Seth Carey on his tractor in a field outside Rumford where he’s growing hemp. Photo provided by Seth Carey.

After an unsuccessful bid to become district attorney, Seth Carey is taking on an entirely different line of work.

These days, he’s busy digging one deep hole after another on a couple of acres outside Rumford where he hopes about 800 hemp plants will flourish between now and the chill of autumn.

Seth Carey, searching for a way to make a living after his failed bid to win the district attorney race last year, is growing hemp in Rumford for a new line of organic teas and skin care products. Steve Collins/ Sun Journal

“Obviously, I have a lot more time on my hands,” Carey said, and he’s determined to use the opportunity to tackle one of his long-term ideas.

Carey said Thursday that he plans to use the non-intoxicating marijuana extract CBD, derived from the plant’s flowers, to create an oil he can use in a new line of herbal teas and organic skin-care products.

With luck, he said, he can earn a living from them.

Carey, who is challenging the suspension of his license to practice law, said he’s been trying off and on for years to develop a line of skin-care products under the Sun Made label.

What’s held him back, he said, was the lack of biodegradable packaging. He said he’s finally found something that will do the trick so he hopes to have sunscreen and lipstick available on the market in the coming months, all of them “Made in the Mountains of Maine.”

He is also working on an all-natural tea that would include leaves from hemp along with leaves from his parents’ garden, including raspberry, plum, pear and blackberry plants.

Carey said he has a tea machine on order that’s reached New York and ought to be in Maine before long. It will package the mix of leaves into permeable teabags.

Carey said the prospect of adding CBD — which some people think has healing qualities — ought to spur interest in products he’s been tinkering with for a long time. With the hemp-derived oil, he said, there is “amazing potential.”

“It’s all sort of come together,” Carey said, now that growing hemp is legal.

Even so, he said, he’s “not looking to do something on a large scale,” at least for the time being. He said he simply wants to grow plants he can use in his products and then find a market for them.

Carey said his parents are great gardeners so he has some familiarity with what they’ve done. But he’s still learning about farming.

For instance, he said, he tried out a tractor not long ago and wound up getting a quick lesson in its use.

“Getting stuck in the mud, that is a nightmare,” Carey said. He eventually realized that the only way to get moving again was to have a winch yank the tractor back to dry land.

Mostly, though, Carey said he’s been digging holes on his own for the plants he acquired. It’s “back-breaking work,” he said, but he got lucky in having a field with few rocks.

He said he got about 600 plants initially but has to pull out all of the males so the females don’t get pollinated. A neighbor gave him 500 more plants, Carey said.

The plants, Carey said, are “growing awesome.”

Despite the labor required, which has him in the fields daily, Carey said, he finds the work fun because it gets him outside. He’s managed to lose 15 to 20 pounds in the process.

His friends are taking note.

“They’re jealous of my tan,” Carey said.