farming

MEND Season 1 - Episode 21

With sadie & joshua -& the labors of love.jpg

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 19

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Re-Building the American Dream...

Welcome back.  

This week we are excited to share with you the story and wisdom of Casey O’Neill - a second generation farmer residing in Northern Mendocino.

Casey lives on a multi-generational, family farm where he they cultivate roughly an acre of land.  Much of that - terraced fruit and vegetable gardens for their CSA, interspersed with the cannabis he, his wife & his parents grow within their 5000-sq ft permitted medicinal cultivation area they tend as well.  

He talks to us about what he sees as the two dominant perspectives within the current culture of cannabis - namely - Resource Extraction & the Homestead model - and which one he’s doing the hard work of fighting for right now.  

He tells us about his own journey….. From a degree in sociology… to the work of farming… and now onto policy…  and how that’s shaped him over time.  

We talk about the pivotal moment inside his own life that shifted him from a self-identified mono-cropper, laboring inside the outlaw farmer/prohibition model to his present-day work as an advocate and staunch activist on behalf of the small-scale/bio-diversified farm he sees as key to restoring the health, viability & sovereignty not only of this small, north coast region - but also to the larger world of farming, agriculture & humanity as well.

How he does not expect to see the rewards of his efforts any time soon - but what keeps him moving forward with them nonetheless.

He shares his hard-earned advice on what it takes to set up a truly functional farmers’ cooperative and collective - and what practical steps need be taken to make it work.  

And what he sees as our pivotal moment - - and our last hope - and what shall determine whether we are consumed by the industrial-corporate-agricultural model that has failed us in so many ways - or if we - the counter-cannabis culture shall rise above - and shift the Conversation - to the betterment of all.

This is capstone conversation for us here at MEND - and if we were to break down the entire ethos and drive of what we want you to walk away with inside this season - We would hand you this.  

Enjoy.  

To read some more of Casey’s words & wisdom (including the full article we read from @ the end) visit: http://www.theganjier.com/author/casey-oneill/

Or find out more about the California Center for Cooperative Development here : http://www.cccd.coop

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 11

Outlaw Farming - A New Twist on Things

This past week we had the great pleasure of sitting down with Carl Stanley.

Carl is the former pastor of a cannabis-friendly All Faith church in Eureka, CA, an educator in sustainability and self-sufficiency, founder of Manabu Farms, and an advocate for “outlaw farming”, which is perhaps not what you may think it is.

We spoke with him via phone from Flint, Michigan where he resides in an effort to help the local community with the water crisis before heading back to his beloved Humboldt County.

He speaks about the many services the church provided for the community here, the why’s and how’s of becoming Producers rather than Consumers, outlaw farming, his work in Flint, and offers his thoughts on how cannabis can help Humboldt County become a self-sustaining community.

Some of what we loved about speaking with Carl was his passion for the work that he does, but also what his origin story of Humboldt implies.  He came here as a ‘traveler’, what many might describe in not too polite terms as a transient.  The stereotype of the Humboldt transient juxtaposed with the amazing work that Carl has done here in this community and elsewhere is an interesting and important part of this story; and one could argue yet another stitch to further mend the way we relate to ourselves and to each other.

To find out more about Carl, or the work that he does, or how you can become more energy-independent and reduce your monthly bills, check out his work on Facebook.  

Become a part of the Bill Free Group @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/155362171643501/

Or find out more about the work and mission of Manabu Farms @ https://www.facebook.com/manabufarms2/

There’s also a website with links to his 300+ instructional YouTube videos on living the Outlaw Farmer lifestyle @ http://manabufarms.blogspot.com/

So much inspiration and food for thought here.  

We hope you enjoy.  

MEND Season 1 - Episode 7

The Peace of Wild Things...

Welcome back.

In this hour, we talk to Salmon Girl - a longtime SoHum resident & outspoken member of the community.

She talks about the vast changes she’s witnessed in & around her beloved home over the past 40 years - about the shift from Wilderness to encroaching Industry and pollution - including sound, visual, and environmental - taking its toll all around.  

We speak about the loss of connection to the land itself.

Both physical but also spiritual as well.

About the problems surrounding Regulation - which, in many ways, is geared to support and promote Industry, above any real concern for the natural habitat.  

She tells us her own ideas about the marijuana plant - in her words, a “white-man luxury crop” - and the “cult” she sees having sprung up around it’s cultivation, use and promotion.  

As always, our hope here is to incite useful, instructive and in-depth conversation.

These words may leave you with more unanswered questions.

But may they also spur you to find the solutions, as well.

Oftentimes, it’s from the places of deep questioning, and heartache - that we unearth our own Salvation.

We hope you enjoy.  

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.