Giving Tree Farms
Anderson Valley, CA
It’s chilly, rainy and foggy here in Mendocino County — a sign that winter is truly upon us. After the 2020 fire season, we’re happy to see moisture coating all the vegetation around us. The tops of the rolling mountains are nearly invisible in the gray-tinted clouds that hug their peaks. It’s such a beautiful sight to see (especially with a warm mug of cocoa in hand).
But this time of the year is not all kick-back-and-relax for us cannabis farmers in Northern California. In fact, we’re nearly as busy as we are during the summer and fall. Preparing for the coming year consists of a tremendous amount of cleaning so we can start on a fresh and tidy slate. It also involves prepping the soil for a fertile foundation come spring by sending out samples of our medium to be tested and adding amendments where the results say we’re lacking. Because we operate greenhouses, we have to continue our pest management procedures as well, even while there are no plants in the ground. This is to ensure no pests or pathogens set up a home in our warm and protected environments.
Beyond physically preparing for the first spring planting, we also have some mental work to do. With this additional time not spent babying our plants, we can evaluate last year’s operations, select priority projects for the upcoming 12 months and plan for an even more prosperous year to come. We identify what our strengths and weaknesses were last year, involving our team to gather their input and assist in creating suggestions for improvement going forward. We also speak to our wholesale partners and ask for their feedback: Were there specific cultivars they liked the most? Is there any area where our customer service can improve? Was our product accurately graded and processed to their standards? Winter is also a great time to discuss customized plantings since we will soon be choosing genetics for our upcoming cycles. Planning is necessary if we want a smooth transition into this year’s cultivation seasons. Evaluating our data from last year’s cultivar sales is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this entire process. We love to see what strains sold well and why, so we can make the best decisions for our buyers in the months to come.
This time of the year is unique as it offers a time for reflection. These few months provide a breath of fresh air for a mind that loves organization, and it promises the opportunity for new and better beginnings. There are no breaks in this business, but there are moments where we have the time available to evaluate each moving cog in the machine. These moments are essential for the future success of our operation, and the misty-mountain view makes it that much more enjoyable.