As another season of cultivation unravels before us in Nevada County, we farmers have battled a rather long winter and unstable spring, filled with inclement weather derived from an El Nino year. While the precipitation that has fallen in the form of rain, hail and even snow here in the foothills has been a blessing for the drought that we have been experiencing in California, it can also be challenging to prep for early nursery stock when temperatures are seemingly lower than their optimal comfort zone. However, a mindful farmer knows how to work with these parameters and mitigate any plant stress that may occur. Moving into the second half of May, with the sun staying high in the sky, and the days continuously getting longer, it seems like we have extended stretches of consecutive sunny days that await us happier farmers, as well as thriving plants and a good grasp on projected yields as long as the weather stabilizes and we keep cultivating with our mindful approaches.
It may seem that the longer days of consecutive sun have moved us all out of the intemperate weather patterns that kept us connected to the earth and well reminded that we aren’t in control, there is another major storm front that is upon us. Since the turn of the calendar year it has been hovering over Nevada County like a black abyss waiting to unleash its absurdities on we farmers. The storm that we have all been preparing for more so than any other rain, hail or snow forecast is that of Measure W.
A complete dark cloud of inconsiderate and unwavering local politics that have been formulated in the hands of a few people that are supposed to be upholding the laws, not making them, are coming at us like a tidal wave with a ban on outdoor growing in Nevada County. While it is our basic right in California to cultivate medicine under Proposition 215, these folks are trying to tell us what we can and cannot do – without any hard facts or concrete evidence to back up their decisions. They come at us with propaganda, peg us as criminals, condemn us that we are not received as contributing members of our community, that we have not helped pave the way for a thriving downtown or brought any legitimate value to an already bankrupt county. Yes, there will always be a few bad apples to spoil the bunch, but the upstanding cultivators that I have learned from, consult with on a daily basis, that strive to adapt to a new set of regulatory framework on the state level, just want to grow medicine.
Indeed, the eye of the storm is upon us and it has another 3 weeks before the gates open on June 7th. Grab your umbrellas, tighten up your boots and instead of welcoming the storms of El Nino to fill our streams and wells as a mindful cultivator, fight this political storm with your “NO on W” vote.
I just want to farm and be considered legitimate in my practices, just as the farmer who supplies me with tomatoes, or the small business owner who makes me my coffee every day at the variety of cafes where I spend my money. I just want to take a mindful approach to my cultivation practices without having to look over my shoulder or worry about an unstable Sheriff telling me and the thousands of other cultivators in beautiful Nevada County what we can and cannot do. I want to continue my passion with my hard working band of dedicated and loyal farmers as well as the passionate team at Medicine Box and cultivate medicine from soil to oil, to you. Does that make me a criminal? I think not.