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Cannabis and veggies growing side by side
Cannabis and veggies growing side by side
Cannabis farmers gathered at the California Capitol to have their voices heard. Photo courtesy of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt.
Cannabis farmers gathered at the California Capitol to have their voices heard. They wore shirts that said “I am a farmer” and “I

As a culture in the Emerald Triangle, we’ve made investments over the years in our soil and infrastructure that enable us to strive for connoisseur branding. We built a reputation for growing the finest cannabis in the world. We have an opportunity to represent ourselves and backstop our brand with certifications and cooperative efforts to maintain the health of the environment.

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By working together, we can learn to do things better. We have come a long way on our farm as knowledge began to filter out to the hills; the more open and communicative our processes can be, the better we will support our environment and the communities that rely on it.

There will always be work to do but we delight in the journey, each year fulfilling goals and bringing up new ones. With each passing season, the tree plantings grow, the pastures become more lush as the total organic matter expands, operating as a sponge to sop up water and release it during the summer months from our ridgeline into the ecosystem.

We pump all water with solar power and our agricultural needs are met from rainwater-filled ponds. We control our outflows and are working to establish beneficial runoff programs; we seek to go beyond mitigation; to support the environment by rebuilding the original water-holding capacity of our land before it was logged in the old days. Rotational pasturing helps us build fertility that over time has created more lush pasture that stores more water from winter rains, supporting the overall ecosystem over time.

Trade Associations Educate Farmers & Support Good Practices

We have been supported and encouraged into good practice by Hezekiah Allen and the Emerald Growers Association. It has been crucial to our operation to have a trade association like EGA that is able to provide us support in answering our questions with workshops, meetings and educational opportunities. Knowing that we have representation in Sacramento is key to our ability as a marginalized culture to relate and navigate the future of cannabis regulation and policy formation. It is time for us to come together as a culture to represent ourselves, the qualities and values that shaped our experience of farming as craft cannabis cultivators.

There is great potential to be found in cooperation and open communication. Together, we can build a future that is safe, secure and healthy for the environment and our human communities. I am confident that we can work together to support food security on a regional basis. Small farms need access to a cash crop that enables them to provide needed infrastructure capitalizations; cannabis is an ideal small-farm subsidy that would support the current reinvigoration of our rural landscapes. There is an awakening culture of small farms that are in need of any form of support they can get.

We have a human obligation to put all of the tools into the toolbox of small farmers and allow them choice of use. It is past time to regulate cannabis, and it must be done in a manner that honors the heritage of Prohibition, and perhaps more so, the spirit of the small farmers who hark back to an earlier time in this country. Jeffersonian reality has been achieved in the heritage culture of craft California cannabis. It serves as an example and potential for the future of rural America.

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