the HARVEST issue
Flowerdaze Farm continued from pg. 37
PHOTO BY KANDID KUSH
Flowerdaze commits to cultivating only in native soil, and crafts compost teas and nutrients using what Avila and Johnson grow on the property.
Situated on a pastoral hillside tucked within a valley in Trinity County, Avila and Johnson’s farm makes for a picturesque setting to cultivate Cannabis. Their land on the South Fork of the Trinity River offers them optimal soil, as well as Cannabis-friendly weather created in part by a 6,000 foot ridge that shields them from the humid precipitation patterns of the coastal regions. “We have just enough of a microclimate that really protects us from coastal fog, and we have a little longer Indian Summer than, say, Southern Oregon – where we have a longer season before the rains come,” Johnson said. “You really have to be ready for anything. It’s an improvisation with nature, and it’s never going to be the same.” Every harvest is different and this year, the wildfires have made it difficult for everyone. But despite the constant dance with nature, one thing Flowerdaze can count on is that the hot days and cold nights lead to deliciously sticky plants. “We’re able to get these long, sunny, hot days and a long growing season, but because we’re up in the mountains at a higher elevation, we’re able to get these wide swings, like 50 degrees at night,” Johnson said. “And when Cannabis is in its flowering phase, they will create more resin.” Flowerdaze works with a blend of orchard style plantings and scrogged, sea of green style trellis growing. Employing those methodologies, Avila and Johnson focus on breeding and cultivating full-season strains that hearken to the rich growing traditions of the region. “We have a lot of heirloom varietals that have been bred in this valley for decades now, and are naturally acclimatized to our valley,” Johnson said. Their strain lineup includes their home-bred specialty, Rose Lemonade, along with Gelato, Ice Cream Cake, Mother Chronic, Pink Jasmine Mango, Princess Kush, and a few other limited-batch experimental varietals. They both take great pride in their local community and in California Cannabis as a whole. Avila worked with the Origins Council to fight for the development of Cannabis appellations, and co-authored “The Flowerdaze Farm Regenerative Guide to Cannabis,” to help share knowledge with other growers. “In addition to crafting the purest and highest quality Cannabis that we can, our mission is to give back to the land and to the environment more than we take,” Avila said. “We keep animals – we have three cows, a goat, chickens, ducks and rabbits. We are also growing a variety of plants that we ferment, or make teas that we feed our plants.” Flowerdaze commits to cultivating only in native soil, and crafts compost teas and nutrients using what Avila and Johnson grow on the property. Considering the two of them make up the entire staff of the farm, the pursuit is an intense labor of love. Looking back on how they met – at a classical music ‘jam’ in San Francisco – and reflecting on the path they’ve taken with Cannabis, the motivation behind their approach to farming comes into crisp focus. “We look at it as an art, in collaboration with nature,” Johnson said.
STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS | PHOTOS by KARLA AVILA
Published on Nov 2, 2020
The Harvest Issue | Leaf Nation looks at Cannabis growers at the peak of their busiest time.