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Casey O'Neill

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. http://www.happydayfarmscsa.com

Heritage Cannabis’s Stark Contrast to Mono-Crop Farm Culture

Tomato on HappyDays Farm

Traditional farm economics goes like this: purchase almost nothing, produce almost everything. A deliberate set of policies moved us away from the ways humans have always done things into a new paradigm. Removal of hemp and cannabis as staples of rural America for fiber, fuel, food and medicine concurred with a transferal to petroleum-based products that were deliberately pushed...

How Much Water Does it Take to Grow Cannabis?

How much water does cannabis use

The water/plant figure is actually not a very good one to work with because there are too many variables in terms of plant size, climate, strain, soil, aspect (north/south) etc.  After playing with a number of different formulas over the years and trying to find what fits, the best figure we've come up with is one gallon of water per day...

Best Practices Movement Surges as Post-Prohibition Future Nears

best practices for farming

Becoming involved in the democratic process has instilled in me a novel patriotism. As a farmer who has seen the heavy-handed enforcement of cannabis prohibition, it has been a great joy to gradually shed my feelings of disenfranchisement. When we chose to no longer be defined as ‘criminals,’ the world around us changed. The timing was right; many people...

Cannabis Farmers’ Good Practices Stimulate Communities, Improve Land

outdoor flowering cannabis

Picking Up What NorCal Timber Industry Left Behind There is so much blame pointed at cannabis farmers, but we couldn’t have taken up our work in the hills of Northwestern California if not for the fallout from the timber regime. When the big companies stripped our forests as they saw regulation coming, the vast boom left our region with legacy affects...

Is Growing Cannabis Easy?

cucumber beetles on cannabis leaves

People who don’t know anything about cannabis assume that it’s easy because “criminals do it.”  As a farmer of many crops, I can say with objectivity that we spend exponentially more time, effort and energy to farm cannabis than we do ANY OTHER CROP. Each plant can have hundreds of branches. We stake and tie every one of them for...

How to Balance Moisture During Curing Process

Hang drying cannabis Humboldt style. Photo by Emily Hobelmann.

To cure cannabis, the balance of moisture must be assessed -- Too wet is just as bad as too dry. Early in the season, we at HappyDays Farm don’t take any leaves off when we harvest because the big water leaves will provide extra moisture to slow the process, which is crucial because it’s generally hot out during curing for our...

Stacking Enterprises on the Farm for Less Erosion, Bigger Bounty

Tiered farming

The larger the scale, the more difficult it is to maintain flexible policies and capacities for operation. Small, diversified farms are more productive on an acre-by-acre basis because they can engage in stacking of enterprises that yield more bounty from the same space. At HappyDay Farm in Mendocino, we planted alfalfa in the cut banks of our terraces when we...

Encourage Reputable Farms with Regulations that Protect Consumers

Working on the farm in Mendocino

How big can a community be and provide effective self-regulation? How do we define self-regulation? Discussion among people about land use practices in a non-threatening setting creates the opportunity for cultural management of cultivation. In our community, we maintain a small farmers market on private land. Anyone is welcome to vend and there is no market manager or PIC “person...