The feeling you get walking into Heart Rock Mountain Farm can best be described as a warm embrace. We were welcomed with a hug upon arrival, but it wasn’t just a physical gesture; we could feel that there is so much more to this place than just growing cannabis. Heart Rock is true to its name, an organization built on love that encourages self-care and is constantly improving its regenerative farming practices. After producing the flower for our Kali Kush and Bio-Diesel Single Origin Reserves, we felt inspired to share their loving origins.
First we met Dan: a poet, lover, yogi, husband and second-generation farmer whose family has been growing cannabis since the late ‘70s. After suffering an injury that kept him from playing college football, Dan became interested in growing and turned to his older brother for guidance.
“My brother told me, before he passed away, to go get my medical card and ask Dad if I could help grow. So I went and got my medical card in Ukiah, and I was like, ‘Dad, I got my medical card, can I help you grow now?’ My dad said, ‘Go talk to your brother first.’ I knew right then I had gotten the job.”
Joining the family grow operation in its 15th season, while some called it beginner’s luck, everyone describes him as a greenthumb. Dan explained, “I was under the wing of some expert growers, but my first year all the plants were over my head. My dad’s generation did the trial and error.” Dan has now been running the family farm for five years.
At one point during our visit, Dan’s father pointed off in the distance. “That’s where Dan was born… at the top of the hill right there.” Being born from the same soil as the plants he tends on the farm, Dan has a deep appreciation for the land and most importantly for cannabis. This season Heart Rock Mountain Farms has 10,000 square feet to produce flower and 2,500 square feet slated for seed production.
“I am really interested in cannabis breeding and genetics. For me it’s more of intuition and heart. I am now learning the science, and it’s exciting. This is my office—and I love it.”
Last year, the farm grew 100+ crosses, and they are trying for even more this this year. But with this lofty goal, Dan stresses the importance of a balance between self-care and work. “You won’t get everything you want done in a season, or even a year. Take the time for self-care. Take time to work on your relationships.” Eventually, he hopes to turn Heart Rock Mountain Farms into something much bigger than cultivation and expand the property into more of a community. His dream is for the farm to become an eco-village to host retreats and hold classes all year.
Unsurprisingly, the organization also believes giving back is an important part of the industry. For the past two years, Dan’s teams have donated some part of their earnings to charities or someone local in need. Dan describes himself as “just another human” but fosters a culture that inspires us to trade in our cell phones for shovels and join the Heart Rock movement for good.
This lifestyle isn’t easy. As Dan says, “It’s like a marathon. You gotta be in shape both physically and mentally.” In the off-season, he and his team prep for the long haul so they don’t wear out. They often are found meditating, engaging in yoga and enjoying reading or team-building exercises. (We unfortunately missed out on their most recent slumber party.)
In closing, Dan left us with this:
Heart Shaped Rocks
The most beautiful
heart shaped rock
I ever found
I gave away.
The very instant
that I held it,
I went looking for
someone to give it to.
For this is what you should do,
when you find,
Daniel’s family and the whole Heart Rock Mountain team are great reminders of what makes this industry so special, and we thank their dedication to creating a more loving earth.
Reach Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions about the farm or scheduling a tour! You can also follow along here: @heartrockmountainfarm.