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.
Wild Band of Mystics,