HUMBOLDT GROWER

– the gold standard

and, we got turkeys… — May 4, 2018

and, we got turkeys…

so, my neighbor has been feeding wildlife close to our property for several years. This is actually illegal; the practice creates artificially expanded wildlife populations. Now we have an overflow. We found these turkey eggs under one of our olive trees today. The hen waddled away with a limp; this must be why we found them in such an unlikely place. Usually we don’t see hide or hair of our turkeys’ eggs. Just plenty of birds. Anyway…

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Pretty things, huh?

And, a turkey egg, asparagus and ham quiche – and it was really good…

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From back to the landers to take back the landers — January 29, 2018

From back to the landers to take back the landers

 

Here are some thoughts to consider :

There has been a running sentiment in our community for a long time, “get these green rush’n, big money growers out of our community”. For them, the breaking point may have been reached and now they are leaving. Bankrupt in all likelihood. This will give those who have wanted them gone an opportunity to retake the land.

It would be nice to have a mechanism by which those properties being vacated can go to faithful stewards of the land or new families moving in to staff all of our farms. The real estate values will drop on unlicensed properties and they could be within reach of young families. It would be a brilliant move by the County to start an entity that would buy up and then resell these properties. There could be a level of local regulation that could help expanding farms purchase adjacent properties thus increasing their employment opportunities. Create a housing program for placing young professionals and new farming families on these properties. We could even put them into a land-preserve to be sustainably managed.

Take the former Tooby Ranch as an example: the Tooby ranch is 13,000 acres comprised of parcels larger than 160 acre. There are 50ish owners in this area. The farms are larger and the density is lower and most of the owners are second generation farmers….rightful stewards.

This would be a great model to follow county wide as an idealized cannabis community. In the communities with 40 acre parcels, as residents are forced to leave those communities, the neighbors have the opportunity to lower density. The licensed successful farmers will need to expand into the land around them. The County needs to subsidize this by holding these properties in trust to be accessed by the farms when needed through application. We need a mechanism that holds property for local farmers and a job placement program for non compliant farmers who want to remain in the community as farmers.

This mechanism needs to also make homes available for new farming families and could encourage new residential construction. We have the talent living here; we need to keep them living here. As the properties change hands, we need to keep people in their homes and enable them to work in adjacent farms. We do not want the fabric of our community disrupted.

If it works or not, we all got to start thinking.

Steve
answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com

 

What we have done: — January 12, 2018

What we have done:

The people of Humboldt County have done amazing work as Americans in the fight for cannabis legalization. Make no mistake, cannabis was legalized in California by the mass of people growing it. A breaking point had to be reached to bring about legalization. The bubble popped. This was the first war to my knowledge fought by families with plants in their hands rather than swords. We have just been a part of one of the most rigorous tests our Constitution has ever been put through. If we had been somewhere else, this would have either been a cartel run industry or we would have all just been squashed. Only in the United States, where a people are protected by their Constitution, as we have been, could this have happened.

This war was not won by lobbyists or by convincing the government. It was won by sheer numbers in force…just like any other war. We are now negotiating a treaty. We are going for full constitutional protection as American citizens. We are American Heroes not criminals. We are the peaceful activists that changed the world. Whether you planted one plant or a million plants we all fought on the same side….together.. Even if you were just a nice hippy who liked the laid back lifestyle and just moved up here a few years ago…those plants you grew, you grew with us, with purpose, in the fight for our rights and our freedoms. We won! one of the greatest victories in history. Many soldiers that spent decades with us in our community can now go home….no longer needed. But, we cannot abandon those front lines that we have so long held.

When wars are over, there is lots of clean up to do – our communities, our families, our futures. The old paradigms are changing but there are important parts of our history that need to remain. What we built in Humboldt is unique to the world – KMUD, the MATEEL community center, our local infrastructure, the land itself – these icons must be held steadfast; they have become our own national treasures. They are the basis for our strong community and they do not exist anywhere else. We need to cherish them. These are the tools that will bring us success in the coming years. We are the strongest cannabis farming community in the world. We have all we need right here at home. Stand your ground here. Don’t sell out!

How do we cooperate in unity together so we can continue to wield our full strength collectively? We are a group of people who agree to disagree…..trying to get people to engage the process. The success of the small family farmer in the fight for legalization arose from a system of decentralized cells, a headless horseman, just blades of grass blowing in the wind. We are an impenetrable matrix, a Redwood Curtain, with no head to bite off; we are a sustainable anarchy, a group of independents that does not need to reach agreement because what we have built was built on a common trust and a common interest. We are word of mouth. Real grass roots hippy stuff. We may never get a consensus around here…….but we never needed one before. If you know Humboldt, then you know this.

It’s not over. What we have accomplished and what we have made, we can lose. We stand to lose our community if we don’t watch out. Many of us are scared of being taken down by the big fish…we need to stop obsessing on the size of our farms. As a unit of independent cells standing side by side facing the same direction we are all 1000 times larger than they will ever be. Just look in the mirror. We are the biggest small business in the world!

We have done more for small business and entrepreneurship than any industry in American history. We have written the most environmentally forward thinking agriculture regulations ever. Don’t stop there. Bad things happen when good people do nothing…….go all the way. Don’t stop until the whole country is smoking organic sungrown flower. It is our political move. Pharmaceutical empires and health care can be reimagined. Cannabis is the flashpoint. Make the connection between health and recreation. Happy people live longer. They need us more than ever. So don’t put down your plants! SHARPEN your shovels to a fine point and Sound the Charge!

steve & Tobias

Cannabis Farmer Suicide — November 16, 2017

Cannabis Farmer Suicide

Is legalization actually such a good deal? The growers are getting overwhelmed… the whole process seems designed to remove the old core, smaller, growers. Maybe the black market still has its place for awhile…

The Counties and the State sure seem to have decided that legalization needs to fail. You only need to look at their taxation plans. Time to start emailing your elected officials – here in Humboldt and across the State.

And what about San Francisco and Los Angles? Looks like they might shut down the permitting process in their cities; and being among the biggest urban markets in the State, well, that would be quite a blow. Still, things are in serious flux.

I tell you, officials have mis-read the market. It ain’t the get rich scheme that everyone imagines. Those assumptions are going to kill the market. By the time the State works this out, the blackmarket will have been given a boost and the small legal farmer will be in the toilet.

“Resist – Support the Blackmarket” could well be the new battle cry of cannabis growers across the State. Humboldt Growers has strongly supported growers participating in the legalization of their farms; but, now, we have a doubt.

Somehow folks think that the cannabis farmer is naturally just as rich as they can be. This is a myth; most farmers (upwards of 80%) are very small. They really can’t afford the pile on that is happening at both the County and the State level. Just consider Humboldt County’s expectations for rural roads to our cannabis farms; now, these are roads that the County has ignored for decades, but, all of a sudden if you will, they want hardtops or Class 4 roads. This puts a tremendous financial pressure on the farms. And, it is only one example.

Somehow folks think that the cannabis farmer is a reprobate, a low-life criminal that must be watched carefully – just look at the new laws that are involved. This is a myth; the original 60’s and 70’s homesteaders were ex-urban, not criminals. The make a quick buck greenrushers are what you are looking at now. The smaller growers nurture their land; they do not and won’t destroy that land. This is where they live!

Both the County and the State want to benefit from all this imaginary cannabis wealth; but when the goose is dead, well, there aren’t any more eggs. The wealth is based on an illegal market that is not accessible to the County and the State; but it is accessible to those growing cannabis and that is where the growers will retreat.

But, the situation is changing and it can be changed. The “microbusiness” license could help to address these issues – it makes it easier for farmers to succeed in the market; a vigorous and successful resolution to the really large growers and the cartels would help; the tax burden could be scaled back, as the other legal States have already done; the licensing could be streamlined; how about State-backed farmer loans offered to help address these costs?

There are solutions for those that can think outside the box.

Fight fellow farmers. Stand your ground. Humboldt farmers have never retreated and we won’t now. Resist!

 

Humboldt Spring… — June 7, 2016