Happy Day Farms from Mendocino happily displayed veggies and cannabis side-by-side
Happy Day Farms from Mendocino happily displayed veggies and cannabis side-by-side

Farmers’ markets act as cornerstones in communities like those in the Emerald Triangle. Such markets are not just outlets for local farmers to sell their nutrient-dense produce. And they are certainly more than just places where hipsters purchase their smug.

A farmer’s market represents a community’s values by showcasing the local businesses and farms that can thrive there. It also provides a common ground where you can run into the people of your community, both those you know and those you haven’t met yet.

And, as a fringe benefit, they are pretty good tourist attractions. Especially when cannabis is involved.

That’s why I made the two hour trek from Humboldt down the coastline into Mendocino for the first Healing Harvest Farms Farmer’s Market. Taylor Blake, who helped organize the event at Area 101, said they wanted to throw the event to celebrate the fall harvest.

“The end of August is the time to begin harvest and we wanted to have a farmer’s market where we could have beautiful produce,” Blake said, and that includes everything that Mendocino farmers grow and create, from sweet onions to jalapeno relish to cannabis flowers. “It’s a very low key, family-oriented event.”

The atmosphere was indeed low key. Aside from the fact that they ran out of forms at the front gate (you had to join the Healing Harvest Farms collective to get in) and you needed a 215 recommendation, this event was like every other farmer’s market I’ve been to. People talk with farmers, producers and artists. They meet others in their community. And the lively action really only starts when the music does.

Ganjier Casey O’Neill was serving up boiled corn straight from his farm, along with a colorful array of other produce and sun-grown cannabis flowers. “This is like the accumulation of everything I’ve been working toward,” having veggies, fruit and cannabis alongside each other, Casey said. “People keep joking about ‘Hey, what if the cops come?’ What would they do? This is such a fundamentally mellow scene.”

Healing Harvest Farms is a sponsor of the 1st annual Golden Tarp Award, which is why we were doubly stoked they had Green R Fieldz performing. He’ll bring his killer verses to the Golden Tarp performance on Saturday, September 13, 2014, along with Potluck and a line up of other awesome artists. Check out this clip of his performance:

No official numbers yet on how many people came, but there were over 200 cars that parked in Area 101, according to Taylor Blake. But I have high hopes that this won’t be a one-time event. This is a side of the cannabis community not everybody gets to see but that is making real change in the way the industry operates in California and is perceived.

Another Ganjier at the event put it this way: If something happens to one Mendo farmer, it doesn’t affect just that individual. It affects that person’s friends, family, and the community that relied upon them in a very real way.

That’s community.

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