In the summer of 2018 a small group of farmers from the Mattole River Watershed formed the second post-leagalization cannabis co-op. We realized that as small-scale farmers we were facing an uphill road. Farmers in all industries are driven through the mud of narrow margins, higher production volumes and reduced quality. Cannabis farmers are faced with the additional burden of complex and challenging regulations of a new over-regulated industry. This reduces quality, and drives small farmers out of business. By working together and forming co-ops, small-scale family-run cannabis farms can support each other and increase their chances for success. In rural communities that have depended on small farm cannabis production for the last 40 years, co-ops are key to the cultural survival and continuity of these communities. Ask for and buy co-op cannabis. When farmers win, we all win!
Worms are benificial to soils in many ways. They decompose organic mater, aerate the soil, and innoculate the soil with beneficial bacteria. Their castings gently bind nutrients in the soil so Humboldt winter rains can’t wash those nutrients away.
These folks are hard at work all season. They are more productive at warm temperatures so we bring our worm bins into the greenhouse in winter. We feed our worms rabbit manure, rabbit hair, egg shells, dry cow manure, certain food scraps and chopped plant matter. The liquid that forms in the bottom of our worm bins is rich with nutrients and beneficial bacteria. We propigate the microbes in the worm-tea through activly-aerated teas. Our teas make the benefits of small quantities of worm tea benefit the whole garden.
Our soil is our livelihood. Many thoughtful farmers speak to this saying “we don’t grow plants, we grow soil”. It’s the farmers job to see the big picture, think long term, and address root causes. We have to think about the conditions that give rise to a successful crop, not just about the crop itself.
At East Mill Creek Farms we apply a holistic approach to maintaining soil fertility. We test our soils annually and use the results to carefully determine appropriate, organic approved, amendments. We take a long-term view to slowly and carefully build the capacity of our soil. The animals we keep, from the esteemed earth worm to our cows are integral to soil building and nutrient up-cycling.
Compost: We compost manures from our own animals – chickens, cows, geese as well as plants. These finished composts are packed with humic acids (plant food) and cation exchange sites (places to store the food).
Worms: The chief executives on our soil building team are our worms. We cultivate worms in our mulch, our compost, and in concentrated worm bins. These worms and their castings are the basis for our actively aerated teas.
Teas: Actively aerated compost teas allow us to feed our soil and our plants many small meals through out the season. We brew teas with a proprietary collection of mycorrhizal fungus and beneficial indigenous bacteria. If this does not sound tasty, you must not be a plant because they love it!
We use these practices and the best genetics to help our cannabis achieve it’s maximum genetic potential. When you use our products, breath deep and relax, you are getting the best, most sustainable cannabis product available.
When I first dropped into this rural Humboldt county valley in the mid ‘90’s, I felt I had gone back in time to a place where the community still mattered. I had come home. Cultivating small-scale, top quality cannabis has been part of this community since the 70’s. Here, cannabis, culture and ecology align to improve human experience.
The best example of where community, culture and cannabis team up to form the Humboldt lifestyle is on a farmstead. A farmstead is a place where the owner operator lives on the farm. This relationship creates better and more considerate farm practices than industrial farms. When you are the closest residence to your farm, you put extra care into taking care.
Here at East Mill Creek Farms we continue the Humboldt tradition of farmstead cannabis using modern genetics, best practices combined with the worlds best cannabis producing environment. Our farm is also our home, and we treat it with the respect and care it deserves. This is our farmstead, this our community and we grow it.
At East Mill Creek Farms we choose our strains from the best world renown varieties and local land races. We crack seeds in mid winter and select the best phenotypes for our unique climate. Our old-school methods take more time than other ways but we think it results in the best quality hand crafted flowers.
Here in coastal Humboldt County, we get rain in the winter to the tune of 60 – 120 inches in a year. A challenge we face is that the bulk of this rain comes in the months of November to May. That leaves the long growing season dry, like toast.
In the creeks and rivers our native salmon struggle to survive during these drought months. The less water in the creeks and streams, the harder it is for them to survive.
Agricultural practices can deplete creeks and rivers of their critically-limited supply of water during those times. Large scale rain catchment is a great way to have access to water when we need it the most, and not take any away from the critters that need it. We installed a pond to catch the abundant rain during the winter and use it all summer. Our cannabis is watered only with this captured rain water. When you use our products you can feel confident of the regenerative practices we use, and the salmon thank you.