Cross Golden Gate bridge and head North on Highway 101 for a few hours. This will lead you to a little gravel road with a locked gate. Through that gate and up a windy mountain you’ll eventually come across a quaint home with a luscious garden oasis surrounding it. Down a crooked path past veggies and flowers, you’ll arrive at a beautiful array of cannabis plants grown by two women, Jane and Erin. This is Wild Women Herbals.
How did you get started in growing cannabis?
It all began in the 1970s. We were gifted six cannabis plants from local friends in Mendocino. We hired some WOOFers to help us take care of them. At one point they told us that the plants needed more nitrogen and that we should pee on them. So they did. We later learned that wasn’t the best route to take.
We’ve been doing it for ten years now. We’ve learned a lot over the years. This community has really come together to help one another. We have workshops to help everyone raise the level of their plants, increase potency, and understand the medicinal qualities of the plants.
The 1970’s was quite a different time for cannabis growers in California. What was that like for you?
I was a newspaper reporter in Marin County at the time, and I was attending these meetings where people were discussing growing cannabis and how to do it. They were even discussing a possible legislation. I felt like someone needed to be writing about this. So I started writing about cannabis for a local newspaper in Laytonville and sending my articles around all these different workshops. I was writing about all these things that no one else was really covering at the time.
Eventually people started getting interested, so I took my ideas and thoughts to a local public radio station and tried convincing them to start a cannabis show. They kept telling me that it’s off the beaten track and that people wouldn’t be interested. Eventually I convinced them otherwise and they let me do it. It was called “The Cannabis Hour” and I did it every other Thursday. I interviewed growers and legislators. I even interviewed the DA. It’s been a really interesting experience.
How has the local community changed since then?
We’ve seen the community really develop into something special. It’s so wonderful to gather together. We’ll have meetings and there will sometimes be 100 or more people. Everyone just wants to learn – about anything… legalization, growing…I think the way the community supports each other is by showing up at meetings. We’ve joined together and created collectives and co-ops where we can share knowledge. We have classes on consistency so that we can develop a standard for Flow Kana. It’s important that we all work together to create the best products.
We also really enjoy partying together. Holiday parties, harvest parties, just having meals together is nice.
What has your experience been like working with Flow Kana?
We’re very excited about working with Flow Kana. It’s always been very difficult to get distribution in the past, especially with the black market. It’s hard for the growers to drive the three hours to Oakland or San Francisco to get distribution. We’re stuck with finding people who will transport for us or finding people to buy from us. That was all before Flow Kana. Now with Flow Kana there’s a way for growers like us to access the marketplace.
Also with Flow Kana, we have a better idea of who our patients are and where our cannabis has gone. We also think it’s important for consumers to know who grew their cannabis as well. We want them to know that we do our best to make the process of growing cannabis an ecologically safe and sound process. We only use rainwater to water our plants. We are off the grid and have solar panels for electricity. We give love to every plant.
When taking care of your plants, would you say there is anything unique your farm does?
We make sure to limit how many plants we grow so that each one gets a lot of individual attention. We couldn’t possibly do what we do with a lot of plants. They wouldn’t get the hands on care they need. There’s no chemicals involved whatsoever. If there’s an invasive bug we will find a safer bug to bring in and eat it. If we have an issue with spider mites we spray it with garlic and lavender. It really helps keep the plants healthy. Also, we name each plant after an awesome female in our lives – it takes the relationships with the plants to a whole new level.
When someone hears Wild Women Herbals, what would you hope would come to mind?
If someone hears Wild Women Herbals, or is considering buying our product, we want them to know that it’s made with love, organically and in harmony with the sun, water, and environment. To us, if we were going to get medicine, that’s how we would want it. Created with love in perfect conditions.