We chatted with Mo & Gus, our newest farm partners, from Sunbright Gardens to learn more about their incredibly vibrant homestead family farm and what it means to help create healthy, vibrant ecosystems while growing incredibly high quality craft cannabis. Oh, and a bit about our cultivar Grapefruit Thai!
Read our Q&A below.
Your homestead family farm is located just outside of Round Valley in Mendocino County – would you mind telling us a little more about your region and how it impacts the flower you grow?
Well we are located in a banana belt just a few minutes from the North Fork of the Eel River. As a result we enjoy a microclimate that’s protected from frost and high enough that we’re out of thick fog. Our harvest season is usually relaxed because we don’t get the pressures of deep valley moisture. On average we experience hot sunny, dry days with cool nights in the peak of the season. The perfect conditions for unique terpene expressions.
You both have cultivated cannabis for over a decade and now use regenerative and biointensive gardening practices extensively on your farm. Could you tell us a little bit more about your journey to get to where you are today, why biodiversity is so important to you, and what it means to help create healthy, vibrant ecosystems while growing incredibly high quality craft cannabis?
Gus grew up growing vegetables with his family and eating fish from his pond. His father apprenticed with Alan Chadwick in the 1970’s for the Garden Project in Round Valley. Gus eventually found his way to the valley in his 20’s seeking to grow a garden and live a new age pioneer lifestyle, incorporating off grid living and using a composting toilet.
I grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills but wasn’t exposed to organic gardening until I was in my early 20’s when I went to Hawaii to apprentice on a farm. Through friends, I made my journey to Round Valley after spending time in Santa Cruz. Gus and I became friends and later started dating. Gus exposed me to living an off grid lifestyle and running veggie oil in an old Mercedes Benz. We began gardening together and later bought a piece of land that became what is now Sunbright Gardens and our homestead.
We both have a passion for holistic living not just in our gardening practices but also in how we live our daily lives. We have always cared about doing right by Mother Nature long before regulation imposed strict guidelines on growing practices. We believe it’s super important to nurture soil, and give back. It’s essential to live in harmony with our ecosystem so that our children and all future generations to come have a healthy planet to thrive in. We act with our intentions and set a standard on our farm to live with nature, the bees, the birds, the bugs, the wildlife that roam and the life beneath our soil. It’s important to care for all so that everything stays in balance. Recognizing we are all key players in the outcome is important to remember. We are all connected so having biodiversity is so crucial. We plant companion plants to attract beneficials, using principles of bio intensive gardening, planting cover crops, composting and leaving the magic of nature to help us with the rest.
We’re excited to be launching our first cultivar from Sunbright, Grapefruit Thai. Would you mind sharing a little bit about what makes this flower special?
Our genetics came from a fellow friend and breeder Jerry Munn of First Cut Farms who lives locally in our community. He won silver at the CA State Fair last year and always grows incredible genetics. The Thai seeds (which came from the Chang Mi region of Thailand) were gifted to him by Dennis Peron. Being able to receive seeds from another farmer with such a deep history in cannabis breeding is something we value and respect so much. It’s an honor to grow something so special like this with such a rich history and heritage. A tasty sativa with all that citrus vanilla explosion!
As summertime approaches, what are you most excited about on the farm? What changes does the summer season bring on your small-scale regenerative farm?
Tasting yummy melons we grow, picking blackberries, wild strawberries and raspberries, eating our first ears of corn on the cob, and of course watching all of our flowers bloom into color explosions including our cannabis. It’s always so exciting to witness and smell the amazing aromas our cannabis plants produce and watch as each flowering bud begins to take form. We love to take dips in our neighbor’s pond during the heat of the day and enjoying homemade solar powered popsicles. But with all the excitement also comes the realities of fire season, so we must also prepare for possible evacuations. Having our bags packed with our most valued items (pictures etc.) and making sure our water storage is full. Gus spends time cutting tall grass on the land for fire prevention and adds the material to our compost pile. Ensuring we have a fire-break incase disaster strikes!