There is nothing like a sunset in the mountains, especially when you are standing on a tucked away plot of land that is supremely quiet. We got to visit Ananda Farms last night. The farm is situated in the beautiful Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon, surrounded by coastal mountains and looking out over the valley’s vineyards and farm land. It’s private, secluded, and quiet, which is exactly what they love about their location.
Ananda Farms got their start growing medicinal herbs like echinacea and calendula. Fortunately, medicinal herbs function extremely similarly and transitioning from traditional medicinals to cannabis was an easy step. Terpenoids – what give flowers and herbs their distinctive smells – are at the base of what this craft grower is after. The terpenoids in cannabis not only give each strain a distinctive smell, but they are at the root of the medicinal and healing properties of cannabis – the same for traditional medicinal herbs.
While it might be more profitable to attempt a massive cannabis operation, Ananda Farms is committed to growing their strains to the best of their abilities. This means a slightly smaller, more hands on, operation. And that is exactly how they want to keep it. It gives them the ability to run quality control over every flower before it is packaged and shipped. It means that they are able to more easily keep their Clean Green Certification. It helps them manage their crops with a high level of detail and care.
Clean Green Certification
You may have seen pictures of large-scale cannabis operations with thousands of lights and complex ventilation systems in high tech looking laboratories, but that is not what Ananda is striving for. Don’t be mistaken, they are definitely into the high-tech side of things – it allows them to look at what bugs are in the soil, what compostables are helping contribute to plant life, and how they can give their plants the best opportunity to succeed. But part of that opportunity is in letting nature do its work. There were two fans at work and they admitted that even those fans might be overkill.
Being on the north end of a coastal mountain also helps: the south and west sides of the mountain get lots and lots of rain and that translates into a beautiful microclimate that includes moist air, sun, and moderate temperatures. That also translates into the soil. Using about 90% native soil, they have spent their time building it, introducing beneficial bugs and microbes and worms into it, and composting with it. There is also hardly any waste at the farm as all of the bi-product of the plants are used in compost.
Experience with herbs and tinctures and essential oils is the largest boost to their Clean Green Certification. Spraying crops with essential oils from various herbs and spices keeps almost all of the harmful bugs away.
While cannabis is legal on the West Coast, it is still not federally legalized, and that has produced some interesting results for Ananda Farms. Most banks won’t accept cannabis money, so they had to do a lot of research to find one that would. Their payroll was all set, they were transparent about who they were and what they do, and then suddenly their payroll company told them they could no longer work with the farm. OSHA standards still have to be met, and employee laws have to be followed. Taxes still have to be paid.
The farm is managing to stay on top of all of this despite changing laws and regulations. They are on the forefront of the craft cannabis movement and intend to stay there, which takes a lot of work outside of the work to grow and maintain the cannabis, but they say it is worth it to help legitimize something they are so passionate about.