back to the land

MEND Season 2 - Episode 36

THREAD: Picking it up (and Throwing It Down..)

Ideas to Reduce our Waste, & Live more Fully with Less

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This week, Anne & I got together to have yet another talk - inspired by last week's interview with Wasteland Rebel, Shia Su - to break down the different ways we can reduce our footprint, our waste & live lives more fully invested in Each Other.  In the actual Lived Experience of LIVING - rather than in the acquisition of Stuff.  

We throw out some books, some ideas and some practical suggestions on how we all can start transitioning into this simpler, yet richer way of being.  

As always, we try to keep these micro-episodes short & sweet - so that you can pick up what you need and get to work applying these ideas to your life.  Like, Now.  

We hope you enjoy.

 

MEND Season 2 - Episode 28

And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”    ― Rainer Maria Rilke

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Welcome back.  

So, we're trying out a new format inside Season 2.

A Stich... A Thread... Sewing Lessons for Beginners... (yeah, we're still working on that naming piece of it. )

Inspired in part by some other work we've seen out there inside the podcasting landscape.  

The idea of the micro-episode.  An in-between breakdown/office hours/practicum/Make it Yours & Make It LIVE type conversation, where we dip one move beyond just the abstract and the intellectual and we move our way one step closer to ACTION.  Towards Solvency, Solution & tiny, do-able movements toward the type of re-connection & well, ummmm, Mending we want to be a part of.

In this episode, we sat down to tease out some of the big takeaways from the previous episode and to look at tools, resources and ideas we can all employ inside our daily lives.  

We look at what Education might mean in the context of the Everyday and moving toward Solution rather than staying mired in the realm of the problem.  Plus, share some great resources for further reading & exploration.  

What's your take?  

What does small, enactable change look like inside your world right now?  

Drop us a line and let us know.  

mendpodcast@gmail.com

MEND Season 1 - Episode 24

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The Last Word (for now...)  SEASON 1 Finale

with Part 2 with Jentri Anders, Ph.D.

We live in a doomsday era.  So much of our existence is in question and we wake each morning to a new tragedy in the world.  Around us people are allowing hate to be their motivation and justification for atrocities many thought we had outgrown. What is there that should give us hope?

In our own corner of the world the changes are happening so rapidly most are unsure of what the future will bring.  Skeptics worry about encroaching outsiders from larger, less committed and cohesive communities.  Once again the battle is being waged on our environment, and once again the land needs people to step forward and defend Her.  Our livelihoods are at stake…but perhaps this is a good thing.   Perhaps now is the time to grab the reins so passionately and confidently held by the cultural refugees of the 70’s; those lovers of freedom, equality and sustainability, the revivers of voluntary simplicity and builders of our community.  Now is the time to take control of our future before the outsiders and big companies have their way.  I say this knowing that most of us were outsiders at some point, and that should bring us humility, but if we move forward with the same intentions and values of the back-to-the-landers then I believe we will be moving forward justly and in accordance with the general rules of good stewardship.

This episode is the second part to an interview we did back in the spring, with Jentri Anders…a back-to-the-lander who went on to finish her degree in Anthropology, and then wrote an enthnography about the very community and people she was a part of.  We played the first half of her interview in Episode 2, as part of the foundation of our stories.  In this episode we get to hear more of her story on the founding of Southern Humboldt culture as many know it today…but mostly we talk ethics, responsibility, offing the pig in you, and finding where our strength comes from.    

May these words of advice echo from our modern origins and guide us as we move forward with integrity and a deeper awareness of what is at stake.

To find out more about Jentri Anders and her work, visit:

https://shumjentri.wordpress.com

MEND Season 1 - Episode 23

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Steve DeAngelo - The Man behind the Manifesto

You know those rare moments in life where you get to meet a truly celebrated figure?

Someone whose face you’ve seen online & in print?

Someone who’s built up a worldwide following behind their work - and for one brief, shining moment you get to sit and chat with them?

How often do these real life meetings ever live up to the hype?

How often do we build up an impossible image of the celebrity in our own minds - that when we meet them in the flesh - it pales in comparison to the shining visage we’ve erected in our minds???

THIS was not the case as Anne & I had the great pleasure to find out - as we sat down for an hour to talk with the venerable Steve DeAngelo this past week.

We spent weeks e-mailing back and forth with his camp, reading his book, watching his Youtube videos and appearances - so that we could get good and ready for this talk with a man who has been on the Activist & Advocacy front of the Cannabis world for some 40 years.  

For those not fully familiar with his work, Steve is the owner of the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA - the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the United States, serving over 200,000 patients.  

Fortune Magazine has named him one of the top 7 most powerful people inside the Marijuana Industry today.  

He’s written a terrific book about the history of cannabis, prohibition, and his own work inside this world - The Cannabis Manifesto.

And is also the co-founder and president of the Arcview Group - a company aimed at introducing bright, promising cannabis entrepreneurs to angel investors who can fund their work.  

We speak to Steve about his path of Activism & Entrepreneurship (and why he sees them as mutually beneficial).  About his own time & connection to our neck of the woods, inside the Emerald Triangle, and his own love of the culture we have built up here and the work of the legacy cannabis farmer.

He shares his thoughts on the unique challenges confronting our community and the tools he sees as key to staying vital & financially solvent in the tumultuous time to come.  

He talks about the ways in which the Prohibition era programmed us toward a mentality that will not sustain us in the next iteration to come.  And the shift he sees as critical to become viable in the new, legitimate marketplace.  

And he offers us guidance on how to continue to affect the current paradigm surrounding cannabis.  Moving, as he says, “out of the shadows & into the Light.”

And ultimately Steve guides back to the plant itself.  

To those amongst us who are called to work with and cultivate it.

To use it reverently & as the healing, medicinal currency for which it is best suited.

To caretake the plant so that it can caretake us and our families and communities, and usher in the type of world we wish to inhabit…

We simply must be willing to sit & listen..

And trust that the way we will be made known.

We are deeply honored and proud to bring you this powerful talk from a great man.  

Cheers.

Links:::

Steve DeAngelo.com

Harborside Health Center

The Arcview Investment Group

The Cannabis Manifesto Book

MEND Season 1 - Episode 21

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A Family Affair...

We are closing down the shop here soon on this first season of MEND and so it is with great pleasure that we bring you one of the final installments of this romp through the history, fields & families & glimpse into the future of this, our beloved culture & county.

In this episode, we sat down with Joshua & Sadie - She - a second-generation cannabis grower - who started down the same path as her urban-dwelling parents back in the day - even using their ballasts and scale when she first got started on her path in Humboldt’s indoor scene over 17 years ago.  And he - an East-coast transplant brought to this life by his love of cannabis, the land on which he lives and cultivates &, well, the love of a good woman, as well.

You’ll hear the story of their own relationship to the plant unfolding.  

From moving to the smaller, more secretive world of indoor into the free-range world of sun-grown, small-scale outdoor.

The beautiful life they’ve been able to carve out for themselves and their three children working with this plant and the abundance it’s provided them.

On what it means to finally step out of the shadows after all these years and claim cannabis cultivation as a legitimate path & profession.

On raising their children in a no-bullshit zone & how cannabis has actually sewn the seeds to start the conversation around Morality, Civic Involvement & Civil Disobedience - good & early.  

And how they’re equipping themselves for the fight they know they have ahead to survive.  To compete.  To stay afloat, relevant & maintain the beautiful way of life they’ve cultivated through the years.

And the magic 5th element inside all of this - they see as crucial to every small farmer’s survival in this swiftly-shifting landscape we are in.

At the end of the day, it comes back to this.

The families.

The freedom.

The community.

The rich way of life that is unique this region - and to the caretakers of this plant.

We are reminded, one again, that this privilege - is THAT.

A gift.

And if we are to see it continue…

We must all be willing to do what we can to maintain what we’ve been given.

At the end of the day, may these stories remind us… of what exactly we are fighting for.

Help us to keep the faith.

And to do the painstaking work of paving the way forward… for us all.  

MEND Season 1 - Episode 20

Pass It Along...

We were excited, this week, to speak with Siobhan, a 2nd generation cannabis farmer and one half of the YouTube duo The Grow Sisters.  She and her husband own Blessed Coast Farms, Humboldt’s first permitted cannabis farm, where she is proud to plant into the native soil along the Van Duzen River.

Legalization ended her days dodging helicopters on a dirt bike, and brought her a sense of liberation.  Now she can be honest about who she is, what she does.  She recognizes that being such a public advocate for her farm and cannabis cultivation may place her head on the chopping block, but the work needs to be done and she recognizes her well-placed position as an advocate. 

This is farming; practices and techniques are not secret, nor should they be.  Siobhan stresses the importance of sharing this knowledge, exclaiming, “This is how we survive!”  The coveting of farming knowledge is a black market thought and now we must grow into this new realm of legalization and transparency together.

Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties have been growing cannabis for decades, Siobhan describes it as generations.  No county is, perhaps, as known for its quality of cannabis as is Humboldt.  This is our strength and Siobhan urges us to get involved, step in and represent ourselves; suggesting, I believe, that as we move forward into compliance and legalization, our future lies in our history.  

To find out more about the resources we discuss, check out:::

Blessed Coast Farms

California Growers Association

Info on the Mendocino Appellation Project

MEND Season 1 -Episode 17

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The Modern-Day Medicine Chest

Welcome to episode 17 here inside this first season of MEND - where we spend some time both with the originators and pioneers of Humboldt County’s Cannabis Scene but also spend some time getting to know some of the innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, farmers, and more who are helping to shape the Future of this Industry and our Region.

We truly enjoyed sitting down with Gillian - a resident of Humboldt County since 1995, who initially moved here from SEattle to be a part of the Intentional Community at Black Bear Ranch and to escape some of the urban trappings of modern life

She eventually went on to get her degree in Biology & Botany at HSU, and for the past 3 years has been one half of the heart and head behind the biz Humboldt Apothecary  - a medicinal cannabis brand that specializes in CBD-heavy tinctures and formulas, blended with other complementary and synergistic herbs to treat a variety of ailments.  

She tells us about her own path to entrepreneurship - from growing a business with a meer $1500 worth of startup capital to its’ present day iteration - operating across all of California and distribution of over 200 dispensaries statewide

On starting small and using what you have and growing from there.  

On the importance of community not only to help jettison her own business into its current state but also on the quintessential role she sees of continuing to craft cooperatives, community and cooperation across the board if the small, legacy farmer is to stay afloat in the current tidal wave of industry we see today

We talk about the high costs of coming into compliance - both on a very real financial level but on the bigger cultural plane as well

She takes us a bit down the road of her own journey from plant lover, herbalist, and botany-geek to full-fledged businesswoman, the co-creator of a thriving brand - and the steps and shifts it took to move into those roles.

And we find herein another call to Keep it Local - even as the stakes, the market and the money seem to scale ever more global - She stresses the importance of sourcing locally, organically - and staying community minded - as Humboldt County works to extend its output, its’ influence and it’s brand - ever outward.  

There are some of us who will not be able to make the leap.

Who, as small-scale, mom-and-pop farmers and low-level black-market sellers, - were able to care for and feed their families - contribute to their communities - but may not have the wherewithal, the start-up capital, nor the desire - to enter into this brave new world of branding, testing, licensing and so much more…

But herein we glimpse a blueprint and singular scenario - of one such woman making that leap.

And wherever you choose to turn - either toward this new wave - or off into some new enterprise & adventure altogether - may you be inspired and heartened by what you hear.

The leap - if it calls to you - is worth the taking.  

To find out more about Gillian, her work, and the formulations she makes as part of Humboldt Apothecary, visit:

http://www.humboldt-apothecary.com

 

MEND Season 1 - Episode 13

Raised in These Hills...

This week we speak with Iris:  a woman born, raised and now raising a family in the hills of Humboldt County.  When Iris was a child, her father was ‘busted’ by the infamous CAMP, Campaign Against Marijuana Cultivation, and given the option of 1 year of jail time or losing his land.  He chose to keep his land and spent the next better part of a year in prison.

She recounts to us:  the details of growing up in the marijuana culture as a child, the advantages and disadvantages of herself and those around her; knowing the safe house in the neighborhood, the one with no marijuana on the property, where the kids could flee to when CAMP came flying, learning all of the local plants and trees, as well as not having even a phone for many years.  And how she appreciates the openness of her parents, and recognizes the sad fate of too many of her peers whom, as she says, “Feel very big, very early.”

Iris acknowledges the benefits of marijuana cultivation in her earlier years, but tells us the big WHY she no longer participates.  It’s not the threat of jail, "That part wasn’t scary".  She tells us how, as an adult, just two plants helped get her family set.   What her community is doing to integrate the outsiders coming in, and poses the very important question of why Humboldt has alarmingly high numbers of childhood trauma and neglect.

This week we recognize not only the beauty of rural living, but the darker sides of growing up in an outlaw community.  Perhaps it is only through looking at these shadows that we can hope to understand how to come back into the light.

MEND Season 1 - Episode 12

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Straddling the Divide...

This week, we had the great pleasure of sitting down with Buzz, a cattle rancher and veterinarian who moved up to Southern Humboldt in 1985 to caretake the ranch his wife's family owned.  The pioneer stock who can trace their roots back to this are for multiple generations.  

He speaks about the shifts he's witnessed in this area.  Raising children - all of whom are now grown and prospering elsewhere in the world - inside the heart of the emerald triangle.  

When it became clear in 2007, that the timber production that he and his wife had been counting on as their retirement nest egg was not going to be what they had hoped for, Buzz recounts the pivotal moment he decided to put, to his mind, a big grow on their family land.  Next to the vegetable garden.  Ten plants in all.  

He talks about the anxiety and stress related to working to come into compliance with the new regulations and upping his production even further to a record 54 plants.  

He tells us about his lifelong love affair with cannabis and how a combination of CBD oil and a regular practice of Zen meditation, has helped him deal with some debilitating back pain.  

And, like many of our beloved interviewees, he steers us back towards a committed relationship to the land and to one another, and to moving forward responsibly and reverently, as we embark collectively upon this new chapter of our history.  

MEND Season 1 - Episode 8

Seed-Smuggling, Lawsuits & Humboldt's Brand.  

Woods, a longtime Southern Humboldt resident, environmental activist & one of the founding members of HUMMAP (Humboldt Mendocino Marijuana Advocacy Project), shares with us some of the stories of the evolution of Humboldt County's Marijuana Culture.  

He laments the presence of greed in our overall culture, and it's rise in the subculture.  He stresses the need for balance, and offers a vision of how we can move forward sustainably, on the cultivation path.  

Here, we share a portion of the original Vision Statement put forth by the organization (that we also share at the end of the show).

WE SEE a continuing bright future for the marijuana industry of Humboldt County.

We are the origins of much of the marijuana awareness, use, and cultivation in the Western World. This vision was born of a lifestyle devoted to self-realization and environmental and social respect and reverence. This lifeway is an essential to the preservation of the Earth and the reverence for the healing, sacramental, and caring social roles that marijuana gives us. Our vision is to honor and extol those roles. To this end we honor the righteous cultivation and sharing of this sacred herb.

Humboldt herbal cannabis is world famous, we are proud to say, but this has not come without problems. There are many who do not sanctify the herb or partake of its glory, but they grow money. Our revolution was accomplished in part with money, for which we all find some necessary and reasonable value. But when weed becomes primarily a money crop it loses its sacred value, its healing properties are compromised, and the social world it propagates is ruled by greed. It is against what the Earth is crying for.

If you're interested in learning more about HUMMAP, or getting involved in their work and mission, visit their website.  

We hope you enjoy.

MEND Season 1 - Episode 6

The Plant as Medicine...

In this episode we speak with a mother, medicine-maker and small-scale farmer who understands cannabis to be not only a medicine for physical ailments, but also a spiritual medicine and teacher. 

She speaks of ceremonies, cannabis as ambassadors between the plant world and human world, and growing her plants with prayer and intention. 

She shares with us her hopes for Humboldt’s future and offers gratitude for having a place to share these stores with the bigger world because, as she says,

“Yes, we might be outlaws, but we’re really good people…” 

This interview takes us deep into the soul connection that is possible with marijuana and hopefully inspires others to question what is lost when money and quantity become the main driving force of cultivation.

 

MEND Season 1 - Episode 5

With My Own Two Hands....

Welcome to our fifth conversation where we speak to Jane - a veteran, single-woman farmer, living and working in the hills of Southern Humboldt.

In our time together, we discuss how an educated & ambitious woman who could've "done anything" with her talents and drive - chose to spend her life here.  Caretaking the land and this plant with which she feels a tremendous bond and affinity.

We dip into the questions of what it means to craft a well-lived life.  We look at the hazards, but also blessings of living independently and remotely in the woods.

We tackle the gender roles and stereotypes that still reside within this industry.  Plus drop into some honest, unadulterated talk about money, hard work, privilege & what it's really like for a woman to forge her own way - & eke out a life on her own terms.  

We hope you enjoy.  

 

MEND Season 1 -Episode 4

Before the Culture...

In this episode we interview a long-time Southern Humboldt resident and activist who tells us one of the origin stories of marijuana in Humboldt County as it relates to the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970’s.  

We learn how this plant helped provide opportunities for activists, at home and abroad, and supported the building of a solid, thriving community.

We reflect on the impacts of marijuana’s progression through Humboldt County's community through the years, and discuss (and sometimes lament) the frustrations of it's current trajectory.  

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the life of an activist before marijuana took over the Humboldt scene.    

 

MEND Season 1 - Episode 3

A Family Affair   In this episode we speak to Laura, a local midwife and resident of this county for nearly 20 years.   For a decade she birthed babies out in the sprawling hills of Southern Humboldt.   We discuss the many surprising advantages of raising children inside the marijuana culture along with some of the inherent challenges as well.   Together we dive into some of the pervasive stereotypes associated with this way of life.  We look at some of the over sensationalized ways the traditional media depicts this region and it's people, and how that stacks up against the experiences and realities of those who live, work and caretake the land and their families here.   She provides us an insightful and inspiring glance into the inner workings of the rich and varied landscape of people that make up this tribe.  We hope you enjoy this time as much as we did.  

A Family Affair

In this episode we speak to Laura, a local midwife and resident of this county for nearly 20 years. 

For a decade she birthed babies out in the sprawling hills of Southern Humboldt. 

We discuss the many surprising advantages of raising children inside the marijuana culture along with some of the inherent challenges as well. 

Together we dive into some of the pervasive stereotypes associated with this way of life.  We look at some of the over sensationalized ways the traditional media depicts this region and it's people, and how that stacks up against the experiences and realities of those who live, work and caretake the land and their families here. 

She provides us an insightful and inspiring glance into the inner workings of the rich and varied landscape of people that make up this tribe.  We hope you enjoy this time as much as we did.  

MEND Season One - Episode 2

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A Brief History of Place

In this episode, we have the great honor to sit down for a lengthy & illuminating talk with Ms. Jentri Anders, Ph.D.  

Anthropologists sometimes get accused of "going native".  In this two-part episode we speak with a native who went anthropologist.  After dropping out of Berkeley, and society, Jentri Anders made her way to Southern Humboldt county where she spent the better part of 15 years living and working amongst the, as she calls them, "refugees".  

She eventually went back to school for her PhD in Anthropology, writing her dissertation on the people and society she was a part of.  Her book, Beyond Counterculture, The Community of Mateel, gives a unique and thorough perspective on life and people in the hills of Southern Humboldt before the marijuana boom.  

We are so grateful to begin this season with her story and perspectives on the formation of this unique community and the people known to many as the ‘back-to-the-landers’.

And to start off with this insightful and spirited entry into the land and people we'll be meeting along this path.   Enjoy.