Cannabis and veggie farming as we age

Farming runs an inherent trajectory as the body begins to age. Farmers have to learn how to do things in new ways, with new help as time goes on. Even at 31, I find that my body doesn’t regenerate the way that it did 10 years ago. I’m pretty banged up for my age, but I work at what I love and this more than makes up for it.

The trick as a farmer is to learn enough while you’re young so that you can leverage your experience and wisdom when you’re older. By partnering experienced mentors with youthful zeal and energy, we accomplish far more than we’d be able to by ourselves while imparting the necessary knowledge to propagate our future.

When I wake up in the morning, odds are that my body aches. My shoulders and lower back throb and my hands and arms have a carpal tunnel yolk that runs up around the back of my neck and makes for soreness, stiffness and throbbing. This isn’t meant as a bitch session, just a statement of the reality under which most farmers toil. A life of physical labor automatically means soreness and injuries, it’s how we choose to deal with it that matters.

Farming Made Possible Through Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation

As a medicinal cannabis grower, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I do without self-medicating. I’m not interested in synthetic opiates that have already damaged my stomach and intestinal productivity from past usage. I appreciate the fact that in California we’re allowed to cultivate marijuana for any medical use deemed necessary by a patient and his/her doctor. I grow food for my community because I love it, but also because I’m able to medicate regularly throughout the day.

Cannabis helps to take my mind off my bodily soreness and provides me with a general sense of well-being that is totally fundamental to my reality as a farmer. We produce our own food and medicine and strive to purchase as few things from the corporate oligopoly as possible.

Mainstream American culture has worked to stigmatize self-medication with an explicit assumption that I’m not informed enough to make decisions for myself. The USDA does this with food policy, the building department does it with housing, and an alphabet soup of regulatory and enforcement agencies ensure compliance.

We’re being forced into an apathetic, helpless mode of existence by the policies of the modern world. People are so afraid for their safety that they’ve requested help from a more-than-happy-to-oblige, power hungry government.

We’ve got to stop ceding responsibility for ourselves and re-assume control of our lives. If you commute in traffic to a job you don’t like and watch your programs in the evening, YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON LIFE! Humans were never designed to sit in synthetic, man-made spaces all day.

I’m not saying ‘don’t have a job,’ but I am saying work 20 hours per week at something you at least don’t hate, and spend the rest of your time engaged in a hobby that you enjoy enough to be able to make a little money at. By spending your time doing something you genuinely enjoy that doesn’t cost you anything, you lower your entertainment costs while raising your income.

How Much Cannabis and Food Could You Grow in the Lawns of America?

We’re missing out on incredible cultivation opportunities as a people because we’ve created this cookie-cutter, lawns-for-houses reality. The millions of acres of lawn in this country could be effectively producing a huge portion of our fresh meat and vegetables, but it all goes back to responsibility, personal work ethic and enjoyment.

The universe bestows the magics of life and growth upon us through solar energy. When properly utilized, this energy translates directly to dollars, so we strive to capture as many free “solar dollars” as possible. We keep some for ourselves, and distribute the rest to our friends and family throughout the community. This is as it should be.

A Close Relationship to the Land

The older I get, the more I want to stay home on my farm. This is the ground that I’ve loved, tended and stewarded, and that has nourished and provided for me. My roots go deep into the bedrock of this place, and there isn’t anywhere in the world I’d rather be. This land is my soul, as much a part of me as my fingers and kidneys. I encourage you to participate in the soul-filling work of raising nourishment for yourself and your loved ones.

When we deepen our understanding of the land, the falsehoods purveyed by charlatans stand as a pale comparison to the real goods raised by the hands of people and sold or bartered within the community. We need to return to Grandma’s kitchen table (or back further) and remember the fundamental loving goodness of American agrarian life.

Previous articleThis Week in News: Aug. 4, 2014
Next articleThis Week in News: August 30, 2014
Casey is a CSA farmer who runs a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises approximately two acres of Clean Green Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. He is a self-described “weed geek” and is passionate about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers as a Board Chair of the California Growers Association and as a voice in the legalization and functional regulation movement.

Leave your thoughts