The name is Shakti.
This blog covers many issues. Mainly this blog is my account of life amidst the rubble of once prosperous cannabis farming communities in the Emerald Triangle (Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties) in Northern CA. This blog is my humble attempt to shed light on local issues from the perspective of those oppressed, with the ultimate aim of assisting in a larger effort of connecting dots between global issues that all are facing today (in varying degrees), and help resolve our collective root imbalances worldwide. In other words-I want to see our species (and others) not only survive, but thrive.
I come to this blog from at least four perspectives-
1. I am a devout seeker of justice and freedom. I am a rookie student of law, aspiring to help insure the rights of nature/communities locally and worldwide. I have worked with countless farmers on the front lines who are victimized by legalization.
2. I am a incredibly hardworking mother ferociously working for a future where not only my family thrives but all do as well.
3. I am a radically progressive, independent investigative reporter, unafraid of holding those in power accountable and to speak up for those who have no voice. I don’t work for a paycheck or to appease donors or politicians. From my experiences, in order to authentically tell the many truths (from all perspectives of the variety of human experiences), one cannot be beholden to anyone. I do this work for free because I feel it’s the right thing to do and unfortunately no one else is doing it (I encourage that to change please!). As a result of my not having donors or big money interests to serve, you can rest assured I will not be toeing the line for those in power. Business as usual driving us all off a cliff, so I wont be encouraging it. I will be covering the real human stories from those on the ground experiencing injustices of all kinds here.
4. I am also a permaculturalist. I have been growing my own food for over a decade attempting to live off-grid and sufficiently. I come from a long line of displaced farmers who came to this region when it was known as Mexico, making allies with indigenous tribes along our way to Northern CA. I come from generations of farmers and activists seeking a better life, living off the land, in harmony with all people and planet.
I not only honor this sacred plant based on my own healing journey with her (that I may indulge you in at a later time). I also honor the sacred experience she has given this novel community where I live. I hold this dream of our human potential so close to my heart and attempt to manifest it in everything I do. My passion to serve comes from this dream and my belief that humans can be truly free, peaceful and live in harmony with all life. Humboldt once held such a promise.
Humboldt County used to be a beacon of hope for humanity, so rare in so many ways. It used to be a great place to raise a family and live in harmony with nature, community, enabling incredible work and art of all kinds, living life to it’s fullest as humans are meant to. This human experiment has shown us what it would be like to find a way to survive off the land, in a successful industry not oppressed by the capitalist narratives that serve those in power. Humboldt County has been an experiment in what happens when people are paid living wages, the type that affords one to raise their children right and grow their own organic food, start non profits, businesses and serve one’s community. If you cared about something as much as I care about preserving this special culture, I bet you would fight just as hard to save it too.
I have lived, studied, worked and observed the cannabis industry in Humboldt County for over a decade. I was born and raised in Northern California. I grew up in these forests, on these beaches and learning to fish in the streams in Willow Creek with my grandpa on his land. I am spiritually connected to this sacred place and I have been since I was a child.
After growing up in Northern CA, I spent several years living in big cities and traveling the world, which has broadened my perspective on our human condition and ineffectiveness of our social and economic constructs. This wider lens I feel has enabled me to see what’s happening in Humboldt County and how it is so contrasted with it’s potential.
Clarity on small farmer classification-
I use the term “small farmer” a lot. The definition of a small farmer is based on the size/plants required by the current market to support a family- aka mom and pop, with maybe one or two helpers in the busy seasons. This fluctuation is based on the upcoming price-per-pound (ppp). The PPP is based on many factors including demand, which is based on enforcement locally and laws elsewhere. It is based on the local economy/cost of living. Ex. If local rent averages $500, families need much less than when rents are $2k. When food costs twice as much, they need twice as much, basic home economics here.
From my experience a small family can live simply on about 60-80k/year (in SoHum). Please do not be fooled into thinking that younger generations are “greedy greenrushers” because they grew more than the 12 plants like the elders did. The younger generations more often than not simply keeping up with the market and local cost of living. They are no different from the elders except that they are younger and so more disenfranchised by our political system today. This means they have more to loose and so more to fight for.
Longtime viewers note-
If you are a longtime viewer, please forgive my long delay in updating my blog. I’ve been on a break to create and nurture a seed of hope for our collective future. I’m back.
So now that is all that is settled, please enjoy this glimpse at life in Humboldt County pre and post legalization and do let me know if you have comments or a story that is in alignment with this platform. Namaste