Summer has arrived in the Emerald Triangle, and that means sunshine! Lots of sunshine. One of the things that makes this an optimal growing region for cannabis is our hot days and cool nights, known as “diurnal swings.”
Willow Creek, where Sol Spirit Farm is located, boasts one of the most considerable diurnal swings anywhere, with days often topping 100 degrees F and cooling to as low as 50 degrees F at night. Our farm has almost perfect southern exposure. We think that the incredible light intensity our plants’ experience, coupled with the cool nights, gives them just the right amount of stress to produce the higher terpene and cannabinoid profiles we love to see.
Summer also means tourist season!
Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties have always attracted summertime tourists to the natural beauty of the redwoods, beaches, mountains, and lakes. Willow Creek is known for world-class river rafting and kayaking and being the Bigfoot capital of the world. Now we can add Cannabis Tourism to the reasons to travel to the Emerald Triangle.
One massive benefit of legalization is that it opens the ability for farmers to welcome guests to their farms. Whether you are just looking for a 420-friendly lodging for your family vacation or want to go on a fully immersive cannabis vacation with farm tours and tastings, there are great options hidden in these hills.
It makes sense that the emerald triangle is poised to become for cannabis tourism what Napa or Bordeaux is to wine culture. Our community is steeped in the traditions of multi-generational cannabis farmers. It is like no other place in the world, and, until just recently, it was closed off to outsiders to protect the community.
Other than people not being imprisoned for cannabis in states where it is now legal, I think the best part of our new reality is that we can now share our farms with visitors. Cannabis is a way of life here, and it is woven through every aspect of our communities. It is incredibly freeing for visitors who are used to having to hide their love of this sacred plant. It is also an excellent opportunity for farmers to bring a diversity of income to their farms when the market is in such upheaval.
At Sol Spirit Farm, we have been hosting guests at our bud-and-breakfast style “glamp-camp” since 2018 and have had a blast showing off our beautiful area and community to people worldwide. It helps us see it through fresh eyes and appreciate how blessed we are to live here and work with nature to produce this healing medicine.
In the elements, farming cannabis outdoors under the sun is a risky proposition, just like any agricultural crop. We must deal with the uncertainty of the weather, pests, and the possibility of contamination from ash from forest fires.
This year we are dealing with unprecedented drought, and questioning how much we can plant. There are good and bad years, which every farmer must accept. We had a devastating snowstorm in December, which collapsed one of our four greenhouses.
Cannabis farmers in California have one huge hurdle that farmers growing other crops don’t have to deal with, and that is incredibly arduous and ever-changing government regulation. Moreover, Sol Spirit Farm is licensed in Trinity County, which an anti-cannabis group sued, putting virtually every license in the county in danger. Even though Sol Spirit Farm is a third-party certified regenerative farm and one of the most environmentally friendly farms in the state, we must spend thousands of dollars and dozens of hours preparing a full environmental report to renew our license. We are hopeful we will be able to jump through yet another set of flaming bureaucratic hoops in time to plant this season.
By the time you read this (if all goes to plan), Walter and I will have finished our big push to get our first run of deps planted, settled into care and maintenance, and brought the clones along for the second runs. Ultimately, despite the challenges, helping people live their highest purpose with the assistance of cannabis is what it is all about for us, and we are optimistic that our efforts are changing the world for the better. We hope to see you soon at Sol Spirit Retreats!
Feature Photo: Ryan Johnson