I 1st met Johnny Casali at the occasion identified as Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa California. I was straight away taken by his warmth and kindness. He had the powerful hands of a farmer who got his final results from functioning the soil with wooden handled tools. I felt incredibly little subsequent to him for the events that he has seasoned. Johnny has endured a great deal in his years due to his enjoy of cannabis. I hope that the injustices of the previous support push your successes of the present into higher acceptance of our plant. Thank you Johnny.
Warren Bobrow=WB: Why Cannabis? What did you want to be when you grew up?
Johnny Casali= JC: Like numerous other youngsters, my childhood dream was to be a firefighter! Ironically, it took me going to federal prison for that dream to come correct. Through the second year of my eight year sentence, I was provided the chance to turn into the fire captain of Lompoc prison fire crew. We had been capable to go out into the public and fight wildland fires. Life operates in strange approaches! Whilst in prison, I was also in charge of the prison’s fruits and vegetable garden… a part for which I was best. I grew up in Humboldt County, and if there’s a single factor the Emerald Triangle is identified for, it is cannabis farming. My household moved to the area in 1978, and some of my earliest childhood memories consist of me following my mom about like a puppy dog as she watered tomato plants, strawberries , cucumbers and cannabis. Developing cannabis on the farm was a single of numerous approaches my parents supplemented their revenue. They had been little farmers as nicely as fisherman who also sold firewood in the winter and even worked in the logging sector for many years.
WB: Inform me about your soil? Outside or indoor? Who taught you to develop cannabis as precisely as you do? (I Enjoy your flowers)
JC: My mom was an extraordinary teacher. Her cultivation approaches gained her the reputation of becoming a single of the ideal growers in Southern Humboldt. She taught me that TLC is just as crucial to cannabis as water and sunlight, and that TLC starts with harvesting living soil. I can nevertheless don’t forget her saying that, “Just as you consume your vegetables in order to develop powerful and tall, a plant desires nutrient-wealthy soil to attain its complete possible.” So a large element of my childhood was spent digging mulch underneath our farm’s huckleberry bushes (wealthy in antioxidants) to add to the soil, which helped maintain it healthier and wealthy. At Huckleberry Hill Farms, I develop 5 thousand square feet of sun-grown cannabis. Each morning, I wake up at 5am and begin to water the plants utilizing water from our rain catchments (if you are ever in the neighborhood, cease by. You can fish for trout in them!). I get to watch the sunrise as I water each and every plant that is increasing in the exact same soil and on the exact same land my mother employed. All through the farm, we have tons of companion plants like huckleberries, lettuce, squash and strawberries that support feed and nourish the soil.
All of our cannabis is grown outdoors, which is greater for the atmosphere as nicely as the plant and finish customer. The sun’s organic spectrum is effective. It offers us vitamin D, and it offers cannabis its terpene profile. Terpenes are not just there for flavor and aroma they’re cannabinoids that perform collectively with THC to make particular effects. Growers and shoppers can’t underestimate the significance of sunlight. At the finish of the day, cannabis is an agricultural solution. The ideal apples and oranges are grown organically outdoors, and the exact same holds correct with cannabis.
WB: What does the subsequent six months appear like for your business? Twelve months? What obstacles do you face? How do you foresee removing these obstacles?
JC: For the final 45 years, I’ve wanted nothing at all additional than to be capable to legally share this astounding plant with shoppers close to and far. I’m so blessed to be capable to do that now via my partnership with Flow Kana and Willie’s Reserve, but boy are there challenges. I’m not just a farmer. I’m a businessman, and I’m an activist who spends rather a lot of time educating regulators and legislators. It is vital to make bridges among our neighborhood of little legacy farmers and agencies that for decades have been functioning to eradicate our existence. I definitely think that the 1st step towards adjust is finding these who are in positions of energy to personally care.
In 1992, I was busted for cultivating 1500 plants. Right after 4 years of dealing with the courts, I was lastly sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months (sidenote, I nevertheless maintain in touch with the judge, the guards and the prison warden! What can I say, I’m a people today particular person!). Whilst serving my time, my parents passed. I wasn’t just heartbroken I was devastated. Then when I emerged from prison, the neighborhood that welcomed me back as household, with open arms, and that helped me place my life back collectively was the farmer neighborhood in which I was raised. I am forever grateful to them. Each day that I devote in Sacramento speaking with legislators is inspired by the will need for legislators to see these farmers as I do – as a phenomenal group of hardworking, household farmers who worship the land, who are die-really hard environmentalists, and who had been taught by their parents and grandparents how to develop the ideal cannabis in the globe with tiny to no carbon footprint.
California’s farmers are truly struggling ideal now, so there’s a lot of perform that desires to be performed in the subsequent six months. The most urgent is tax reform. Governor Newsom (if you are reading this), California is a nation of little farmers, and we will be squeezed into extinction if we maintain finding taxed as if we’re corporations.
I have no concept exactly where Huckleberry Hill Farms will be in twelve months. We’ll have just harvested. 1 dream I have is to support inform the stories of this neighborhood and area in a truly impactful way that celebrates who we are. You can not make up the lives that we’ve lived. How does that saying go? Truth is stranger (and additional intriguing) than fiction.
WB: Do you cook? If so, who taught you? What is your favourite restaurant? Exactly where? What sort of meals?
JC: From a incredibly early age, my mother and grandmother taught me how to cook numerous diverse Italian recipes (Casali is Italian!). Some of my chores involved assisting my mother in the kitchen. Just as she passed down the art of cultivating cannabis to me, she also passed down the significance of a nicely-balanced Italian meal. Some of my favourite foods are wild-caught king salmon, abalone, and all types of vegetables grown in the garden. Specifically asparagus!
WB: What is your passion?
JC: Given that I was 10 years old, I’ve truly enjoyed breeding diverse cannabis strains. I enjoy the science behind it. I enjoy how each and every selection along the way impacts generations upon generations of that strain. My ideal pal increasing up is nevertheless my ideal pal currently, and our mothers had been ideal pals. They crossbred their favourite strains to make Paradise Punch, and currently every single strain I develop at Huckleberry Hill Farms is bred with this 45 year old strain, a tribute to a gorgeous lady who taught me all the things I know.