Residing Off the Land


The story of Canna Country Farms is one in every of a multigenerational survivor from Humboldt County, California. Ted Blair, Canna Nation’s proprietor and an award-winning third-generation hashish farmer, considers the operation a mannequin full-sun backyard representing the most effective “the hill” has to supply. The farm’s geographical location helps, as being in the proper location in The Emerald Triangle is crucial to rising the most effective fireplace doable. Canna Nation sits not too far exterior Garberville, California. The city of about 1,300 folks is southern Humboldt’s first main inhabitants heart, simply north of the Mendocino County line at Prepare dinner’s Valley.

Excessive Occasions Journal, Might 2024

Southern Humboldt is King

Some would argue that the Southern area of Humboldt County is a few of the most excellent cannabis-cultivation lands in all of California. Quite a few Emerald Cup champions in numerous classes dot the area, and, like Blair, a lot of their households have spent generations residing off the land and the superb hashish it could actually present.

Once you’re speaking about elite outside flowers grown by legacy survivors, southern Humboldt is without doubt one of the greatest locations you can begin, so far as Blair is anxious.

“We’re a third-generation farm that went authorized, and our property is off the grid,” Blair instructed Excessive Occasions. “We’re a rainwater catchment. We’re within the floor. We plant a full-term solar, we don’t use any gentle, no gentle help, and we’ve been creating our genetics for about 5 years up there.”

Blair instantly emphasised that they’re actually all about household farming, being carbon-free, and doing issues as pure as doable with all natural inputs for his or her crops. Additionally deeply embedded within the farm’s core values is making an attempt to not do any harm to the surroundings.

We requested Blair if residing off the grid has impacted his gardening model, given the connection to the land that comes with that form of way of life.

“Completely, sure,” Blair replied, “I must make the most of the solar and do most of my heavy work throughout the time without work of the electrical energy and try to reserve it for, , later at evening. We don’t should have any backup generator of any sort.”

Blair lived off the grid together with his household when he was rising up, however they finally received energy.

The farm is a chunk of property his household has owned for about 15 years. His mother helped him get began, and within the years since, he has taught his sons how you can handle the farm and develop nice weed, as contests in recent times have confirmed. In 2021, Canna Nation took residence second place for #26 within the sungrown flower class of The Emerald Cup and ninth for #9, adopted by a sixth place win for #26 in the identical pressure and class in 2022. Last year, Canna Nation Farms took residence a second-place award within the non-infused pre-roll class for its collaboration with Huckleberry Hill Farms, a Whitethorn Rose and Canna Nation #26 blended pre-roll.

Based mostly on his many awards, it’s clear that Blair’s hashish is exclusive, however he factors out quite a bit is happening on the farm moreover hashish.

“We now have fruit timber and persimmons and berries, and we’ve got wild mushrooms within the winter,” Blair stated. “We aren’t removed from the ocean. So we’ve got a ship, we go salmon fishing, rock cod, halibut, and crab.” 

Blair stated he’ll be utilizing the fish carcasses in an emulsion he’s making for this yr.

Blair went a bit of deeper into what makes the area so particular; it’s the local weather, however it’s additionally the expertise that’s within the hills.

“Not solely is it simply superior solar and climate, however planting in the identical filth for nearly 14 years and regenerating the filth yearly, it retains getting higher and higher,” Blair stated. “So, having the nice climate and all these functions which have their very own microclimates, having our genetics which are uncommon, after which figuring out how you can remedy, dry, and retailer and simply maintain it as contemporary as doable. And people are issues we actually can’t train. It’s simply trial by error for me anyway.”

Regionally Bred

Blair has been rising hashish since he was 13. His older sister would toss her roaches off the again porch, and one yr, two crops popped up. He began tending to these crops. His mom additionally at all times had a few crops in her backyard that she would let him assist with.

The spine of Canna Nation in recent times has been the breeding work they did 5 years in the past. Blair has spent the previous few years digging by all these seeds primarily based on which crosses he was probably the most enthusiastic about. In whole, he has 305 crosses from that season 5 years in the past. The work has been regular.

Plenty of the pollen concerned within the course of was community-sourced. Totally different farms had pollen obtainable on completely different days. They might let of us know what day so they might come over and seize it contemporary.

His favourite from the pack to this point is the #26. It reminds him of the phenos he grew as a guerrilla grower within the hills throughout his youth. It’s inexperienced during till it will get some purple on the finish, solely on the flower itself. The pressure is a pairing of Forbidden Fruit and Cherimoya.

“We had this pressure that was good, that #26 pressure. [It] had that odor, and I couldn’t get out of my head that I bear in mind from after I was a child,” Blair stated, “It’s woody, peppery, and spicy. It’s creamy. It’s received all these completely different flavors to it. I simply fell in love with that instantly. That was our star, that was my star, and it’s my favourite. And there have been a number of others.”

Proper now, the farm has popped 47 of the strains from the large breeding undertaking. Often, Blair would pop about 50 seeds of every cross. He’s engaged on making an attempt to get licensing agreements collectively and get the work out to individuals who need to do giant grows however has discovered numerous crimson tape within the course of.

“I feel to have your personal pressure that nobody else on the planet has to develop in your farm, all of us acknowledge how essential it’s,” Blair stated noting the #26 is at present their diamond. “Having that in our pocket might be the one purpose we survived.”

One other huge winner from the breeding undertaking was the #9. It brings collectively Humboldt Skunk and F4 Bitter Diesel OG Kush for a really gassy expertise that the farm calls unforgettable. The workforce at Canna Nation guarantees a full-bodied excessive however stated there may be nonetheless loads of cerebral exercise.

Blair famous that the crimson tape concerned with licensing his strains is tough on high of the charges that he already pays the state and county to exist, along with an assortment of different companies such because the California Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Water Board. The farm does no matter it has to remain in good standing. For Blair, going authorized was by no means an choice if he needed his work to maintain going; it was a should.

“It was type of such as you needed to be part of up for those who needed to maintain doing what you have been doing,” Blair stated. “At the moment, county officers have been sending out these threatening letters. They have been abatement letters. They have been going to come back out to your own home and begin combating you and doing all this scary stuff. I needed my legacy, my youngsters, to have the ability to do what they’re doing.”

When Blair determined to go authorized, he had no thought in regards to the form of ache and struggling that he would face all through the method. In our interview, he questioned whether or not he would nonetheless have finished it if given an opportunity to do it over. As for watching different folks go exhausting with out leaping by the authorized hoops, Blair loves his neighbors no matter what aspect of the fence they’re on and doesn’t need any of them to should cope with heavy enforcement.

Blair went on to elucidate the largest hurdle within the legacy market moreover the pound value crashing. He argued that simply getting the product to market is a battle in a market pushed by THC percentages. Shoppers don’t usually make their purchases primarily based on elements apart from THC efficiency, so Canna Nation’s effort to focus on issues just like the terpene ocimene doesn’t at all times get the highlight it deserves.

Packing Dilemmas & Promoting Direct

As somebody who may be very earth-conscious, Blair has been blown away by the quantity of packaging he’s required to make use of with a view to be compliant. He’s much more shocked at simply how wild some of us get with it.

“It’s horrible, man. It’s horrible. If I roll a joint, there’s no stuff I throw on the bottom. There’s nothing I throw within the rubbish,” Blair stated. “[If] we go into the dispensary and need to purchase one cartridge, it’s like a pile of rubbish, and you then received to purchase the battery, and there’s a pile of rubbish. It’s simply insane what this has changed into.”

Blair feels one of the vital useful issues for small farmers can be simplifying direct-to-consumer gross sales. The common distributor prices 17% of no matter they will persuade the retailer to purchase the product for. With the ability to ship issues immediately from the farm to customers can be an enormous profit for growers. Because the California business doubtlessly expands to different states, farm direct would imply delivering freshness and high quality, particularly in Humboldt.

In 2024, California cannabis testing facilities have been required to stick to stricter controls from the state. Whereas these new restrictions ought to assist get inflated THC numbers again to actuality, Blair doesn’t suppose it’s going to matter if customers aren’t educated.

Those that purchase Canna Nation flowers perceive that high quality isn’t outlined by THC percentages alone. Among the many folks shopping for Canna Nation’s flowers is Farmer and The Felon, a model that has beforehand gained The Emerald Cup with its gear. Farmer and the Felon aren’t going to simply toss issues of their baggage that may dent their repute. That relationship is actually one other feather within the cap for Canna Nation.

“Canna Nation embodies the holy trinity of hashish: genetics, the farmers, and terroir,” stated Patrick Anderson, model supervisor for the Farmer and the Felon. “For the previous two years, they’ve been an distinctive companion, as they’ve harnessed this synergy to develop hashish with wildly numerous profiles and distinctive results.”

Preserve a watch out for Canna Nation Farms on competitors podiums throughout California in 2024.

This text was initially printed within the May 2024 issue of Excessive Occasions Journal.

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