How did you get into the cannabis growing?
I was raised around cannabis my whole life. It was a lifeline for back to the land hippies like my parents generation. We used to grow cannabis in blackberry bramble mazes- cowering when helicopters flew over, getting scratched up from the thorns. When cannabis went for $4000/ lb. I was probably 12-15 or so. I grew up trimming and helping out. Watching my dad brew guano tea in a bucket with a stick. A lot of my best childhood memories are of trim crews living with us for months on end, singing, cooking, telling stories and sitting in a big circle with a tarp in the center where we would deleaf into. I tried to get to school cannabis free, meaning none in my hair, on my sweater on on the bottom of my socks. I met my husband Jamie as small children, on the same back to the land commune I was born on. When we moved in together he had a plant in our house, then we threw few in the ground. He was naturally a grower, and we skimped by as prices fell and we got married and had kids. Not until recently has this become a sustainable-ish way of surviving. There were always dirt poor times, using the penny jar to buy food and gas. Life is looking a lot different these days.
What was the greatest lesson you learned from being a cannabis farmer that has helped you succeed in the industry?
I would not say I have succeeded in anything but a lot of learning! We have learned to do our best with what we had. I and my team at Mendocino generations have realized that getting in when the getting is good is what will save us small family farmers in the long run, doing your research and being steadfast. Giving up wont get you anywhere! Who ever said cannabis farmers were lazy, has no idea what this industry is like. It is hard, long days, lots of trials and tribulations, lot so of money spent for little and sometimes no return. In my life now, and my job lately I spend a lot of time helping others figure out how to survive this upcoming tsunami that is the new cannabis market and regulation. I have learned to ask a lot of questions and rely on my tribe and community. Unity is what will elevate us to the next level. We need to work together to make our dreams come true.
Since we’re celebrating Women’s History Month, what woman do you admire most and why?
I always say Frida Khalo, for me she is the best of weird and creative, feminine and strong, yet vulnerable and a little crazy, like myself. She looks like me, or I look like her, so i have often thought that i could have been her, seeing the beauty in strange things. I get inspired and see art in everything, in the dark and the light times. Like this cannabis world, there is a lot of ideas and inspiration for me, a lot of room for creativity.
What advice would you have for other women entering the cannabis industry or trying to become a first generation grower?
Wow, well I think women have an advantage these days, it is a level playing field I think now. I see women in the industry doing the most amazing things. Everything from teaching ganja yoga to making amazing products to starting organizations and helping children heal, bringing the feminine back in. I really see that us women can help the world see cannabis as an amazing plant, in many ways. It is not just for stoners anymore. My advice I guess would be that you can do anything you put your mind to, there is a niche for every woman and man.