The Flowerdaze Farm Regenerative Guide to Cannabis: A Season-Long Recipe Book for the Beyond-Organic Gardener
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The Flowerdaze Farm Regenerative Guide to Cannabis
Want to know how we grow award-winning flowers using only homemade, farm-sourced inputs? This is an easy-to-use basic guide to our season-long recipe for cultivating the dankest, highest quality cannabis, using only natural, farm-sourced, homegrown and homemade ingredients. For all beyond-organic gardeners, these fertility methods can be utilized on any scale from home grows to craft commercial farms.
"Cannabis farmers have the ultimate responsibility of working with the plant that has the potential to clean the planet through its phytoremediation abilities while transforming the health of humanity. Thankfully we have role models and teachers like Jacob and Karla to guide us on this path. This little gem of a book is straightforward and packed with clear instructions on how to transform your gardening using time-tested biodynamic and regenerative farming techniques." -Frenchy Cannoli, Master Hashishin
"Flowerdaze Farm's regenerative and biodynamic cultivation methods produce exceptionally dank flowers. Generously sharing their time-tested recipes and techniques, they've made it possible for any gardener to grow cannabis of a superior quality that is sure to stand out in a market full of mids." -Caitlin Podiak, Certified Dank
"Thank you Flowerdaze Farm for taking the time to transform your expertise into DIY information for all. We look forward to supporting communities everywhere in their transition toward regenerative agriculture." -Hollie and Dan, Compliant Farms Certified
"I've been seeking the wisdom of how to deeply connect with cannabis and our land. This guide from Flowerdaze Farm showed me the truth, love, and how to move forward with transitioning into a regenerative farm." -Sassy from Booney Acres
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Also available in Ebook. Look for The Flowerdaze Farm Regenerative Guide to Cannabis Ebook at most major Online Retailers
2018: Wildfire, Unassisted Homebirth, and the Most Beautiful Garden We’ve Ever Grown. Part 3: October Blessings, Homebirth and Harvest. By Karla Avila
October marks a most sacred time in the annual cycle of the seasons; in full season cannabis, the harvest represents a year-long collaboration with nature in which all of our collective energy poured forth throughout the year culminates in the beauty of each perfectly ripened flower, capturing and preserving the true essence of nature in her finest moment. We don’t take it lightly that we grow spiritual, life giving medicine. It makes a big difference.
The Unassisted Homebirth of Rose
The week that we evacuated, the flowers still had a little time left, but by the time I got back, they were much closer to ripening. (You’ll have to ask Jacob what that week must have been like for him.)
The smoke had mostly blown the opposite direction, by grace we were not in the path of the winds, which had allowed them to hold the line from getting any closer to us, and to contain the fire without it breeching the valley.
If there was a little more CO2 in the air that week I can say it definitely did not negatively affect the flowers. And Jacob was able to put his attention back onto the garden.
It was so hard for me to detach from the garden this year, especially at Harvest Time. But I knew it was important that I center myself around welcoming this new life into the world. The plants also knew. The ladies were so supportive, they were sparkling with joy. There were many beautiful seeds ripening together at that time, human, mammal, plant, medicine, all of it, simultaneously ripening, bringing new life. Jacob has always been such a rock, and he was this year many times a one-man show in the garden and on the homestead. I have to say, he is good with the ladies. And so, everybody thrived.
Rain was imminent, and the week the fire was contained he and a couple friends finished covering the last of the plants just as the first sprinkles of rain hit the ground. This was in the late afternoon. By a little after midnight, Rose would be born. But at this point, I had not even had a hint or sign of labor.
I should perhaps preface the next part by explaining that my first birth took over 50 hours from start to finish; I made it through with the steadfast support of Jacob and our first midwife, Jaime. Inyo was born at home after two long nights of hard work, in the third morning of labor, in the birth tub. Jacob was in the water with me. She floated up into our arms through the water and we caught her together.
And thus, when it came time for Rose to come out I was fully prepared for another multi-day marathon. I was convinced, however, that I could perhaps envision a relaxed, quick birth and it would really happen that way, so I focused on this, but I don’t think I really believed it could work. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.
So in the week leading up to the birth I spent a lot of time in calm and quiet around the house. I stretched, had massages, took frequent walks alone through the gardens and sat meditatively still for long periods of time, honing in on the Om, letting go, allowing myself to be relaxed and open. My appetite had begun to shift from cravings for huge meals with lots of protein to only wanting liquid foods like herbal teas, broths and smoothies, with some serious carbs, like huge bowls of pasta. This was my only clue that labor might be getting close.
That evening we said goodnight to Inyo and she went with my parents for the night, which had become the routine during the birth window. We sat down to a quiet dinner, just the two of us, enjoying the calm sans 5 year old, knowing that soon the house would be filled once more with the unpredictable sounds of a newborn baby.
I began feeling a tightness in my belly and thought, ah, a nice Braxton-Hicks (practice contractions that occur throughout pregnancy). Soon, however, the tightness started to become more of a pulsing, rhythmic wave, sweeping over my body with greater force each time, until 15 minutes later I could no longer comfortably sit and eat my dinner.
I knew I must be starting pre-labor. We called the midwife and decided we should try and get some rest, as we thought it likely we would have a long night, and perhaps another day or two, ahead of us.
Jacob went to the bedroom to take a nap. I lay down on the living room couch and mindfully relaxed, breathing calmly and meditating through each wave of contractions. For about 45 minutes I lay calmly breathing through my contractions until they were unbearable. I remember thinking, how the hell does anyone sleep through this?! (I thought I was still in pre-labor.)
Finally, unable to lay there calmly any longer, I called out for Jacob and ran into the shower. The hot water felt great against my back. Jacob immediately knew from our first birth that those deep, guttural moans and my deliriousness were indications that I was pretty far along. I on the other hand still couldn’t believe in my logical mind that it was happening this quickly. It had only been a little over an hour since the first signs of labor had begun. I remember telling Jacob he was going to have to call the helicopter to come take me to the hospital, as there was no possible way that I could make it through another 50 hours of this. He calmly reminded me that our midwife was on her way, and that everything was going perfectly. He encouragingly said he would do whatever I asked but that we should probably wait for Paula to arrive before heading to the hospital. He was really just trying to buy some time as he suspected that it wouldn’t be long before we would be birthing a baby.
There was one moment where I realized I had to trust in the wisdom of my body and let it guide me.
I felt a strong instinct to get out of the shower and go to the bedroom. With some difficulty Jacob helped me dry off in the midst of a crazy, super intense contraction during which I crawled on the bathroom floor on my hands and knees moaning in deep pain. Suddenly I had an undeniable urge to bear down. It had only been a couple of hours since labor had begun, and our midwife had not yet arrived. I asked Jacob to check my cervix. I felt the extreme excitement in his voice as he felt the baby’s head and proclaimed, “the baby’s RIGHT HERE, Karla!”
I had the sudden urge to bear down and hopped up onto the bed. My water finally broke and I felt a rush of wetness. It scared me, I didn’t know what it was and thought I was bleeding. I cried out, “WHAT is happening right now?!?” Jacob promptly reassured me that it was just my water breaking.
Ok, I thought. I know what to do. As the next wave of contractions pushed through me, I pushed with it, and the baby’s head began to crown. I calmly pushed out her head, and in the next contraction, her body slipped right out. Jacob caught her. He sucked the mucus from her nose and mouth. She cried out and we both looked at each other in complete amazement and relief. He handed her to me and I put her to my breast. She latched right away. We wrapped her in a blanket and held her and each other closely.
A few minutes later, with the umbilical chord still attached, I felt the instinct that it was time to birth the placenta. I’m not sure how I knew this, as there wasn’t an obvious contraction or sensation of any particular kind. My placenta came out easily. It was roughly the size of a large dinner plate, and very heavy, heavier than the baby! I remember thinking, "Wow!, so that’s what a Hyampom Homegrown Biodynamic Placenta looks like!" Jacob picked it up and put it in a bowl alongside me and the baby. We were still in shock and also completely mesmerized.
The oxytocin had kicked in strong and we felt super alert and super blissed out. But it still had not yet occurred to us to check if the baby was a boy or a girl. This funnily happened with our first birth, too. Just goes to show that gender is really such a detail in the grand event of birthing a life into the world. We didn’t find out she was a girl until a few minutes later, when our doula arrived and asked if it was a boy or a girl. Soon our midwife arrived and exclaimed, “Hurray!, you got to do it just the two of you, just like you wanted!”
“Weird,” I thought, “I don’t remember saying that’s what we wanted”…but in the end, it was probably the most incredible experience that we have had together as a couple.
And so that is how we welcomed Rose Mary into this world, in about 2 hours, at home, just the two of us.
We also wouldn’t know her name until the day after she was born. But once she came out we both had that name come to us, separately. Jacob was the first one to mention it to me. As soon as he said it out loud, we both knew that was definitely it, and so she was aptly and lovingly named after two of our grandmothers, and our two most favorite flowers.
Less than a week later, it was Harvest Time. For four years we had worked nonstop on regenerating the soil of this land, and 2018 culminated in the most beautiful garden we’ve ever grown.
The ecosystem in our garden and throughout our land is rich in biodiversity and vital in harmonious life energy. Brix levels are soaring. Everything is bursting with flavor and more delicious than ever. We have learned to see the gnomes and fairies.
Our companion crops of onions, garlic, potatoes, and winter squash yielded enough for our own food supply for the entire year, and a small surplus. And the cannabis seems to be both potent to the degree of psychedelic, and next level spiritually enlightening.
Looking back at this last year, the important things in life really came into perspective. The ongoing saga with our industry aside, we are truly blessed, and I am grateful for the way of life we lead.
As we prepare to hold steadfast the course and survive the hardship ahead, we are also renewed in our strength of conviction that, in our intentions, we hold true to some greater values, and that many very amazing people are beginning to come together over something much, much bigger than any of us.
We were called to the land, to relearn the skills that our grandparents knew but that weren’t a part of our formal educations, which prepares us for a very different reality than the one we are living. And perhaps it would be much to our grandparents’ dismay that we’ve chosen to go back to the life of a small farmer after everything they did and all the sacrifices they made to ensure we would have other options in life. But even they would surely be filled with joy to see how happy we are, and how much we love what we do. Having the opportunity to steward a piece of land, grow all of our food and medicine for ourselves and others, is an incredible life. Nature provides. We live a much higher quality of life and health than otherwise would be possible, regardless of education or economic status.
I’d like to think that all of our ancestors would be proud of what we’ve accomplished on this land in the last four years, and what we have achieved on the larger journey of our lives together over the last dozen years. We have completely transformed ourselves in that time, and by relearning how to live this way, we have learned how to heal and nourish ourselves and the land, to reintegrate ourselves as humans into a balanced, natural ecosystem of which we are a part, and truly begin to live sustainably. Better yet, Regeneratively. And so begins Year 5 at Flowerdaze Farm.
Karla Avila, Flowerdaze Farm
2018: Wildfire, Unassisted Homebirth, and the Most Beautiful Garden We’ve Ever Grown. Part 2: Wildfire. By Karla Avila
Part 2: Wildfire
While I knew that having a child due in the late summer meant planning a homebirth in the middle of fire season, I did not imagine the chances very likely that a wildfire would strike so close to home just as I hit my birth window.
It was the very day I entered into my due date birth window that the Kerlin Fire broke out just a couple miles up the watershed and only one ridge over from our home. Strong winds pushed it from just a few to nearly 1000 acres overnight. A mandatory evacuation forced me to leave, bringing the animals, our musical instruments, our genetics, and our 5 year old with me to the nearby ranch of a generous friend, who also happened to be my doula. Jacob stayed home to continue doing fire protection. The fire was a safe distance away and for the last couple days, it had been helicopter after helicopter drawing water from our neighbor’s pond. The locals had stayed up 24-7 holding and strengthening the line. It was every chainsaw, every man, and every machine for miles, by their own accord, compelled to the front lines. When you live this far out it’s pretty much the Wild West. We don’t wait for help to arrive.
We formulated a back-up plan, which involved Jacob stealthily hiking across the river if need be, to come birth the child with me and then be able to get back across the mandatory evacuation line. (Once you leave, you aren’t allowed back, which would leave nobody there to defend our home from wildfire.)
And so, for one week we all waited in suspense of what the winds would do, and whether the baby would come in the midst of it.
I am so grateful to our friends who helped us care for the animals and Inyo and gave us all a peaceful and lovely home that week. And though I was mostly feeling optimistic and healthy, it was definitely stressful to experience. I imagine that the baby somehow knew that it wasn’t quite time yet. My due date came and went, and I knew that I was still not having signs of early labor.
We were blessed. The fire was contained, the mandatory evacuation was lifted, and a week later, we were bringing everything and everyone back home.
The house was a huge mess. Literally everything we owned was spread out across the entire living room floor, but that allowed me the chance to nest and deep clean before putting everything away. It had to be done ASAP if I didn’t want to have to squat down and birth literally in the middle of all our stuff, so, giant belly and all, I immediately buckled down to cleaning. Jacob and our dear friend and doula extraordinaire helped us load and unload the instruments and heavier boxes. The animals all had been in a very nice and peaceful environment and so thankfully there was very little drama involved for them other than a short trailer ride, and they were settling back in without too much trouble.
And so life became normal again. We were so happy to be together, to have made it through unscathed.
2018: Wildfire, Unassisted Homebirth, and the Most Beautiful Garden We’ve Ever Grown. Part 1. A Look at the California Cannabis Industry through the Eyes of a Small Farmer. By Karla Avila
Many things came full circle in 2018. It has been a year of blood, sweat and tears, and alongside facing the difficult challenges of being a small farm, have been some of our greatest triumphs and most precious and beautiful life moments…
…In any day and age, but definitely being a small cannabis (and food) farm in California in the brave new world of legal rec weed…
I am so exhausted by the overly complex (to an idiotic degree) regulations that govern the production of cannabis in California.
As the saga of the rec market continues we have found ourselves trapped in a system designed for capitalist ventures, a commodity market of constant flux, crash and very little boom, reliant upon endless investment capital and volume of production, creating surplus and continuingly lowering prices to the farmer regardless of quality.
It is a quantity over quality scenario without much room for anything quality, particularly for those rare gems of us growing quality in nature. It is not intended for a small, fair trade, artisanal family business to easily succeed in this, (or any modern-day) scenario. The writers of the law (Prop 64 that voters must have thought was a simple happy end to prohibition) were obviously well aware, and they meant it, for they are corporate financiers after all. This isn’t their first rodeo.
But a capitalist venture is the same in any industry no matter the product. And we feel very strongly that cannabis should be treated as much more than a commodity. However, these are the same people who made food a commodity, who made water a commodity, who privatized all the land on earth and made every natural resource on the planet and necessary element of sustaining life a commodity to be bought and sold for profit, not for value, at the expense of the earth, and all peoples enslaved in the system’s undervalued labor force. How can we be surprised?
While the price to the consumer on the retail shelf is still as high as ever, (if it’s not illegal anymore, and farmers are making less than ever, how is it more expensive than it used to be to the consumer?), the outdoor farmer is having to fight tooth and nail to earn even the smallest fraction of that cost back to the farm. And then, up to 25-30% of what the farmer makes is going directly to, (you guessed it, there were always middle men), it’s the new middle man, the government, who inserted themselves multiple times while simultaneously inserting middle men as a requirement of the law between farmers and retailers and consumers.
And that is if a farm can even get on the shelves, especially as their own label. There are many brands vying for very limited shelf space across the state, and many of those brands also capitalize on the market surplus, overly saturated with boof, grown in mediocrity at best in large volume, branded in fancy packaging and green-washed with false marketing, causing small farmers to have to compete with wholesale prices so low that we risk the inability to offer ourselves a fair, livable wage, or, alternatively, sell at below labor value to a corporation which in turn must capitalize on that farmer in order to survive.
Jumping through a million regulatory hoops is hardly worth that.
So what the hell are we doing? Who knows. We don’t even know. We just know that we feel compelled to fight this David and Goliath battle. Perhaps we do it for the sake of the plant itself. Or perhaps because we feel the plight of small farmers everywhere worldwide and that makes us want to keep fighting, to demand a seat at the table regardless. Ultimately, our motivation and our intention are based on much more than economics or capitalism.
Why shouldn’t we have a connoisseur market that isn’t exclusively grown indoors? There are many people out there who love weed the way some people love wine. There is such a thing as Cannabis Terroir, but people will never get to experience it, or actual “top shelf” outdoor, which most people still believe doesn’t exist, if they aren’t given the option. It is what I would want as a consumer, and so in the bittersweet early days of the end of prohibition, we soldier on, holding true to our vision and prepared to endure for the long haul.
The time has come to explore a new dimension of experience in cannabis. What connoisseurs have come to expect from a top shelf indoor flower can now be found under the sun in native soil, grown in complete harmony with nature, reflecting the distinctive flavors, characteristics and true Terroir of the land and the region in which it is grown.
Located in one of the most special cannabis appellations and premier micro-regions for cannabis cultivation in the world, Flowerdaze Farm is dedicated to upholding a standard of quality, purity, and artistry that is first and foremost about making art, in humble collaboration with Nature, and pursuing what is so much more than a passion, it is our way of life;
The Way of The Flower—the ancient spiritual art form of nobly and mindfully preserving the very essence of Nature in its finest moment.
We hold true in our practice to the lessons that the plant teaches, and it shows. We use no commercial pesticides or fertilizers, and everything that goes into producing our flowers is made on the farm from the land, by our own hands, from start to finish.
Our small batch, specialty flowers are meticulously tended and holistically cultivated to full season under the sun in native living soil, harvested in single batches at the very moment the resin is most ripe, impeccably preserved, and cured to perfection.
The outcome is a true top shelf flower that has the beauty, complexity and elegance of premium quality, and the perfect combination of the most natural, pure, multidimensional and spiritually elevating medicinal experience you can buy. The real reason why we insist on doing it this way? Because we love it. Is it worth it? Absolutely. We would have it no other way. And the best part about it? We can share it with the world.
Regenerative Cannabis: The Time is Now for Conscious Consumers and Farmers to Redefine the New Top Shelf, Before it is Too Late.
Historically, the “Top Shelf” at most retail dispensaries has been largely and almost exclusively indoor grown. There is no question that an indoor cultivator with great skill can create a product that looks just right, and is harvested at the exact finishing time. In fact every watering, feeding and light cycle can be perfectly timed out with a timer, often controlled entirely from the grower’s mobile device while they are somewhere else besides their grow room. However, it is our opinion that the sun is still better than any light bulb, and that full season naturally sungrown flowers have the most optimal terpene, cannabinoid, and flavonoid profiles.
Truth be told, really great growers committed to their craft from start to finish grow really great weed, indoors or outdoors. However, it is harder to be Regenerative, to go way beyond sustainable, when you are not using the sun or growing in nature, and consumers should and do care about how their product is made. And yes, we will admit, we do think that all other aspects being equal, a flower sungrown in nature is a superior product.
Like any great work of art, the closer it is to truly divine inspiration, the greater the masterpiece; there is a certain undeniable magic to the spiritual and connective experience of a medicinal plant grown in this artisanal and regenerative way, with great love and attention in complete harmony with nature and the cosmic vibration of all existence.
Unfortunately, the reality still remains that the small farmer faces the steepest part yet of the climb in the arduous road to the California retail market. Only 1% of the existing heritage farmers in the three counties of the Emerald Triangle have attained a state license. These tens of thousands of small farmers have historically produced 60% of the cannabis consumed nationwide, and were falsely promised by the state of California a chance to finally come out of the shadows. The burgeoning legal market threatens to leave most of them behind. Out of the 1% of the small Emerald Triangle farmers who have attained a state permit, it is expected that about half will fail to make it through the hoops of regulation and/or go out of business this year. Meanwhile, large corporate entities continue to claim the majority of the state licenses and retail shelf space thus far handed out.
So what does this mean? It means that it is still pretty damn hard for most Californians to find a nice selection of fair trade, ethically and regeneratively produced pure, clean, sungrown medicine from a truly small, artisanal craft farmer in their local dispensary. (And it isn’t because we don’t exist.) Who is going to bat for the conscious consumer? Who is going to bat for the small farmer?
A few folks are. Solful, a licensed recreational and medical dispensary in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, is likely one of the finest examples of a retailer who is supporting small, craft, Regenerative cannabis farms. Solful is dedicated to curating high quality and impactful products that are consciously cultivated, safely produced, and lovingly offered to the community. They vet their farmers thoroughly to ensure that our practices are second to none, seeking out and offering the purest, cleanest, highest quality and most ethically and ecologically produced cannabis products on the market.
We here at Flowerdaze are very excited and thankful that our entire line of limited release, single batch, full season sungrown flowers are currently available to anyone over age 21 or with a medical recommendation at Solful.
We were also very excited to attend a Regenerative Cannabis Farmers gathering a couple weekends ago. It was a very positive gathering at a time when regenerative, artisanal farmers need to come together most and define who we are and what Regenerative Farming truly means so that conscious consumers can know the difference between us and all the green-washed corporate propaganda that is sure to over-saturate the general retail market.
Regenerative Farming, however, is a movement that is not canna centric and that goes far beyond the realm of this one plant in the kingdom. And, it isn’t something money can buy. This is critical to remember in these difficult times. The longterm problems we all face are the result of a much bigger epidemic.
Regenerative Farming is a way for farmers and all people to utilize their own resources to provide abundance and resilience against global corporatization of local natural resources, including water, agricultural land use and the genetic diversity of seeds, while improving the health of the land and themselves. Regenerative farming is inclusive of all natural farming practices, including biodynamics, Korean natural farming and permaculture, committed to building fertility in closed loop systems on the farm. When necessary to source offsite farm inputs, Regenerative farming emphasizes the importance of doing so locally, ethically and sustainably.
Farmers big and small of all crops all over the world are facing the same issues today, and regenerative natural farming is proving to be the solution, by consistently lowering costs and artificial chemical contamination, raising crop quality, and improving ecological, soil, individual and community health.
Even many organic inputs are sourced from industrial waste byproducts or unsustainable mining operations and are shipped globally, resulting in massive carbon footprints and high costs for the farmer. As the burgeoning legal cannabis industry is greenwashed by false marketing promises of sustainability, Regenerative Farming will define a new standard of sustainability for consumers of our food and medicine that are in line with the values that the plant teaches us.
It is imperative that all of us demand justice for our food and natural medicine systems or they will continue to be threatened, here and across the globe. The state of the new “legal” (corporatized) California cannabis market makes us wonder what price the “end of prohibition” is truly costing us, and after everything we have been through to get here.
The Emerald Cup 2017 Regenerative Cannabis Farm Award ~ a tremendous honor is bestowed upon our little family farm
2017 was quite a year. As small farmers we’ve been so used to the difficulties and incredible struggle of keeping up with the changing industry the last several years that we just kept right on busting it and working super hard, our noses were to the grindstone, or should I say the dirt, all year long.
It was amazing to finish out 2017 by receiving first place at The Emerald Cup for Regenerative Cannabis Farming. We are constantly feeling humbled by this great honor, and truly inspired by the amazing group of Regenerative Farmers that we met this year.
The Regenerative Cannabis Farming Community is growing every day, and it is incredibly exciting to see that we are changing the world, one farm at a time.
As morning dawns on the brink of Weed legalization in California, small growers are taking note of what makes a really great wine. Why? Because much like in the world of wine, where and how you grow your weed is finally going to matter.
The Emerald Triangle is not just a place where back-to-the-landers from the 1960s generation went to “drop out” and be left to their own devices, it is today one of the most important and distinctive geographic regions in the world for the cultivation of world-class cannabis. What is it exactly that makes our location so special for growing really great weed? There is something about the angles at which the sun hits the earth at our particular latitude and longitude, and the way the seasons evolve, the particular distance from the ocean and the rugged mountains that surround our valley, the natural mountain spring-fed waters, and the bountiful life-filled wilderness of Oak, Pine, Fir, Madrone, wildflowers and wildlife that surrounds us. Most important to the distinctive flavor and effects of our flowers is the purity and richness of our native living soils in this woodland meadow in a lush river valley deep in the heart of the inner Emerald Triangle. The flowers, like the people, seem to display the uniquely wild, pure and magnificent natural characteristics of our soil and our region. They are resplendent, blissful, and brilliantly impressive with a larger than life vim and vigor. This is a very special place. And it is because of a very special people with a great love for this particular plant in all its glory, determined to help it fulfill its destiny, that the Emerald Triangle has emerged as one of the most important regions in the world for the cultivation of cannabis.
It is the unique characteristics of a named place, or Appellation, which give a product from that particular place its distinctive qualities.
At the moment in the United States, not even the wine industry has true Appellations. Rather, wine producing areas are identified with Geographical Indications (GI) called American Viticulture Areas (AVA). This designation, however, has no other qualification than to stipulate that at least 85% of the grapes used to make that wine were grown in the named geographical area.
In France, on the other hand, Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) has many more requirements. The purpose of these is to identify the unique conditions prevailing in that area of origin, to show why the product is unique. Many factors are considered, such as weather, temperature fluctuations, average rainfall, typical frost dates. There is also soil quality and composition, which is based on the geology of the region as well as the water.
The other set of factors are the "human interventions in the process", the particular farming methods which are a result of generations of trial and error by the farmers in the region. This is also key in the breeding of unique heirloom varietals.
The French have a concept that encompasses all of these ecological elements such as "climate, geology, soil and cultural heritage combined with a spiritual relationship with the land". The word is Terroir; most simply translated as “of the Land, of the Place.”
In the Emerald Triangle, generations of backwoods farmers brought landrace strains back from the farthest reaches of the globe, including legendary cannabis growing regions such as the Hindu Kush area of Pakistan and Afghanistan that is not easily accessible today. Many strains were shared and bred openly for generations, allowing natural selection and genetic vitality and evolution to progress while selecting for characteristics that have created potent and beautiful flowers with great vigor for our particular climate, and a certain distinct je ne sais quoi, that comes from our unique Terroir.
It will be important for California cannabis consumers to demand knowledge beyond where their cannabis was grown, but also how; to go way beyond organic sungrown, to ask, was it grown exclusively in native soils? What farming practices, water source, nutrients and inputs were utilized? Are they inputs that are sourced externally from outside places, or does the fertility used come from the land in which it is grown? Do the farmer and the farm have a heritage with cultural and spiritual ties to the region, the land and the product?
We believe these factors are critical in the outcome of the product, and the difference definitely shows. True Terroir comes from planting outdoors in the ground in native living soils, and utilizing inputs and fertility that come from the land itself.
Our farm’s mission is to thrive as one whole interconnected living organism that creates abundance through its own fertility and regeneration of the land, via holistically cultivated biodiversity and closed-loop natural systems of renewal, utilizing guiding principles of permaculture and biodynamics to enhance the health of our native living soils and unique characteristics of our Terroir.
As community leaders in the Regenerative Agriculture movement, we are deeply committed to using only the most ecological, sustainable, and holistic of growing practices. For us it is more than a passion, it is a way of life. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, and we know that we personally love the flavor of flowers that is 100% pure and unadulterated. Check out our latest Laboratory Test Results here.
Do you want Weed to Keep Getting Better? That is the number one reason why you should demand your local dispensary carry craft cannabis from small farmers.
At cannabis events we have periodically been told that we remind people of “a young Niki and Swami.” And while I am pretty certain we are much lesser known than they, like Niki and Swami and good folks like the O’Neills down in Mendo, we have been actively involved from the beginning in the legalization process, and the fight to defend the small craft cannabis farmer in the advent of Big Weed. But we have been rather quiet when it comes to revealing our personal identity outside of our very remote and hidden neck of the woods. Maybe it is because we live in Trinity, land of outlaws and rebels, typically regarded by the more yuppified and mainstream Mendocino and Humboldt counties to be something like the wicked stepsister of the Emerald Triangle. Maybe it is because years of forced anonymity and secrecy and the questionable nature of our government's laws have kept us from revealing our true identity, even when affiliated with award winning weed collaborations. Or maybe it is because while here in the Emerald Triangle Weed used to be something everyone had a little bit of in their garden to help them get by, we have witnessed the rapid evolution of both a massive illegal industry with no regulation and a legal industry so clearly carved out for big business, and that scares us a little bit for the future of everyone who we love just trying to make it in the brave new world of pot.
Due to its criminalization and prohibition, cannabis has had the strange benefit of having been excluded for the better part of the last century from the vile clutches of the legal corporate industrial economic machine. That is all about to change. As exciting as legalization is, the logistics of regulation are complex, and come Jan 1st 2018 your farmer can’t legally deliver their own crop to market without going through the proper channels. This goes way beyond the farmer needing to be a fully licensed, permitted cultivator. To be legal, they must also seek and secure legal distribution and transportation channels or be vertically integrated, i.e. own their own dispensary, in order to legally reach the retail market. It goes without saying that vertical integration and the invitation by our government to big business has made it nearly impossible for the small Emerald Triangle farmer to come out of the shadows and participate in the legal California market. Small farmers are in great detriment of not being able to get their crop to market without the use of a large corporate distribution company who may or may not have their or yours, the consumer’s, best interests at heart. Furthermore, there are a multitude of corporate and private interests who have already attempted to stake out the controversial intellectual property of patenting genetic strains, including patenting the entire genus of cannabis sativa entirely. The Monsantos of Weed are out there, and truth be told, they scare the crap out of us.
But we also scare the crap out of them. We know how to grow organically without using any externally sourced inputs, and still pass labs, a feat many industrial agronomists still have yet to accomplish. We know how to breed and save seed that will retain its true genetic characteristics, not just produce F-1 hybrids of inconsistent phenotypes. But most importantly, we know how to keep it all hidden, and if we have to, we will go back to the old ways before we will go along with the Monsantos of Weed.
Are we in a position as small farmers to win against the Monsantos of weed? That is difficult to say considering the regime currently in federal power. Meanwhile in California, we are banding into cooperatives and focusing on quality. However, our days of operating like the mob are not far behind us, and we aren’t afraid to have to be rebels and even outlaws in the name of what is right. Ironically, this kind of vigilante courage is also a classically American trait, and one that is exhibited frequently in backwoods growers. It is a trait that I would prefer to see a lot more of in the legal cannabis industry. After all, aren’t our strong, independent character and our counter-culture way of life a large part of what makes weed culture so cool? Most importantly from a consumer standpoint, who do you want growing your weed? Do they even smoke pot? You might be surprised to find out how many posers are jumping aboard the green rush bandwagon. And since these days it is all about marketing, they are all going to tell you they are “small batch”, “sustainable”, from “family farms” and whatever else you want to hear.
Who is bluffing? That still remains to be seen. Will distributors be willing to pick up weed from small farmers who live in the boonies when they could just get it in the Central Valley or a nearby warehouse the size of a shopping mall? Will the posers and sellouts figure out how to grow great weed on a large scale? Perhaps. Will it compare to the weed lovingly grown in small batches by heritage Artisan farmers with True Terroir in the most distinctive cannabis Appellations in the Emerald Triangle? Doubtful. Once again, the proof will be in the pudding, and it will be up to consumers to decide how important the source of what they ingest into their lungs and minds is to them.
It is very possible that there will be so few operators left standing when the new state licensing laws take effect that there could be a temporary shortage of legal weed on the shelves. If we are lucky, the small farmers who make it through the hoops will have a chance to reach the shelves. That will indeed be temporary, as the new posers rush to build their mono-crop weed mega farms like the Budweiser of cannabis. Over-supply of unexceptional product is likely to continue. But how easily you will be able to order a craft bud from an artisanal small batch farmer still remains to be seen. I would like to think there are enough interested consumers out there who do care about both quality and a farmer's growing practices, and also want to support truly ecological and regenerative agriculture and small family farms, to sustain the relatively small amount of cannabis being produced in a truly regenerative poly-culture system.
I know it sounds like we have some sort of super chickens, and not that they aren’t incredible ladies, but alas, it is the simple design of this chicken tractor that my husband put together to which we really owe our gratitude. Thank you Papa Bear Mystic for your ingenious and creative solutions to homesteading chores.
Flowerdaze Farm is the family homestead and regenerative farm of Wild Band of Mystics, a slightly reclusive, enigmatic family of renegade backwoods award-winning artisans. This Emerald Triangle mom and pop family farm is led by a couple of diehard stoners who are happily married and live in the woods, farm and make beautiful music, babies and flowers together; Specializing in artisanal one-of-a-kind connoisseur full season cannabis flower handcrafted from start to finish, reflecting the distinctive flavors, characteristics and true Terroir of the land in one of the most special cannabis appellations and premier micro-regions for cannabis cultivation in the world.