MEET LINDSEY RENNER
MZ. JUNE 2021
Summer Solstice Edition
Written by J
Lindsey is the Founder, CEO, and head grower at Native Humboldt Farms. She has been featured by Cannabis Queenz, and written up by High Times, DOPE Magazine, Humboldt Cannabis Magazine, and Forbes. Native Humboldt Farms won First Place in the 2018 Emerald Cup for Rosin infused cinnamon tincture.
Lindsey is from and still currently lives in Humboldt County. By following her Instagram, it is obvious the pride she puts into her work and her love of family, she is happily married with 3 children and 2 out of the house. You will often see stories of her out amongst her plants on the land, showing the different strains of Cannabis she is growing for her company, Native Humboldt Farms. Other times you will see a commercial kitchen showcasing sheets of edibles. She produces chocolates and other sought out delectables such as marshmallows, caramels, and other candies.
Lindsey seemed a perfect fit for Permaculture Pinup as she's quite the glamorous farmer. She leans into her innate Femininity whether it is the occasional pin-up inspired makeup while working, the flower crowns in her marketing, or the allowance she gives herself to wear whatever she wants to while harvesting in the field. We love her Instagram account and adore the two highlights she currently has. One Instagram highlight showcases the land her farm is on, while the other has a very Permaculture Pinup feel. It's called (meet) "Owner/Founder".
PLANT GATEWAYS TO SELF-DISCOVERY
Lindsey grew up in Humboldt county, but it would take her into her 20's before she understood the deep relation to the land or her ancestral lineage. Although she will laugh and say that in retrospect she was "5 shades darker than the rest of her family", Lindsey did not know she was adopted until she was in her pre-teens. It was around the age of 12 where she started asking the family questions. Her adopted family, probably due to their morality system, the times, and their attempt at good parenting essentially told her that yes, she was adopted, her blood family was "bad", and she should not have any relations with them. She came to find out that she was Native American, from the Wailaki tribe, and that her biological father was a Marijuana grower. She said the conversation was very "Reefer Madness", the 1936 morality propaganda film about drugs and most notably, Cannabis (aka Marijuana).
"To be honest, it was this hyper-sensitivity to Cannabis that piqued my interest with the Plant."
Lindsey started her relation with The Plant in her teens, as many kids do, through consumption of it. She told a cute story about how she would recycle her paychecks from her first job to buy marijuana she could then sell. This was the start of her future Cannabis and healing business. Cannibis, she claims, helped her cultivate a relationship to herself and create a pathway to self-discovery.
"Cannabis helped me to heal parts of me that I never knew."
Lindsey attributes The Plant, prompting her first and only visit to her paternal grandparents. From this visit, Lindsey would eventually reach out to her biological father, the "Marjiuana grower". She has stayed in connection with him ever since. When she married, her husband was a Cannabis grower too.
In one conversation with her biological father, he asked her to visit a part of the land she and her husband were growing on. Her father asked her to visit a specific site on the land, when she got there she had the realization that he knew this land because it had been in the family line and utilized by the Wailaki to cultivate food and medicine in the past. This was the same land she was cultivating Cannabis on then and now. The Plant had led her home.
In 2015, after their house and business burned down, Lindsey became head grower. This was an initiation perhaps, an entrance into yet another new chapter in her relationship with The Plant and the Planet itself.
"I am Native American; I feel it in every ounce of my being
and it means the world to me to be able to say
I finally know who I am and where I belong.”
Credit: Sacred Fox Art
HOW CARING FOR PLANTS IS TAKING CARE OF OUR PLANET
We often ask our Permaculture Pinup showcase models when they realized that they cared about the Planet. Lindsey said she always felt a connection and believes that Ganja consciousness probably helped. It wasn't until (what she calls) "Horticulture Therapy" that she felt her connection to the Planet deepened greatly. It is from this therapy modality that she has formulated the theory that everyone should be growing something.
"People talk about taking care of the Planet but why don't we talk about cultivating the Planet?"
Lindsey continued, "Taking care of the Planet is one step, but cultivating the Planet is the next step and maybe the most important step. We should let people know cultivating plants on this Earth connects you directly with the Planet. I believe it's the missing link. It facilitates healing. You get clarity. Cannabis conscious alone is one thing but cultivating the Plant helps you recognize how important the Planet and all the species are. It's so interwoven."
A SEXY FUTURE? THE SUPER-NATURAL, MICROBES & WILD THINGS
Agreeing with Lindsey about the importance of cultivation, as I have personally seen the difference it has made in my own life and activism, and the lives of others within the permaculture movement, we got to talking about Soil and Sexy Futures. Lindsey, in proclaiming herself a "plant nerd", divulged --
" 'Teeming with Microbes' is my all-time favorite book."
A sexy future to Lindsey, it seems, is a future with healthy soil. Over the last few years she says she has gotten some thrills off of microbreeding and making her own nutrients for the Cannabis plants. "We use organic ingredients and create our own nutrients. We use compost with microorganisms and feed them nitrogen, phosphorous, oxygen, molasses, kelp. We do this for 24 hours in an aerated environment and then release them onto the plants. The idea is that we are doing some of the work for the plants." Lindsey recommends anyone reading "Teeming with Microbes". She swears it is a fun and easy read for anyone. "Very well done."
For both KNF and JADAM she uses plants from around her farm. She says "I love stopping when I'm driving on the property and picking up wild things." She uses such findings as blackberries, nettles, grass, apples, pears, and plums to make fermented plant juices (FPJ) and fermented fruit juices (FFJ) for her Plants. While using KNF methods, she uses organic sugars as a means to ferment the inputs, and while practicing the JADAM methods, she instead uses a potato mash as the sugar input. "So we don’t just buy nutrients, we make them."
To say that Lindsey is "all-natural" does not give her and her company enough credit. Native Humboldt Farms is what I might call "super natural". Part of the reason I resist the usage of the term "all natural" is that anyone in the environmental activist movement knows that it is not a regulated term. "All natural" company providers can use that phrase and have it mean nothing, or very little. The term "organic" is regulated and is meant to mean that whatever you are buying is a minimum of 70% "organic". You can only use that term if it has gone through a certification process through a certification body such as USDA or CCOF. If a company has a product that is 100% organic, they can then use that phrasing. Otherwise, "organic" means a certified product which has 70% or more of its ingredients as non-GMO and without pesticides.
"I've never used pesticides indoor or outdoor," Lindsey matter-of-factly declared and then went into an interesting story. "Until 2018 (when the industry became regulated), a lot of growers used a pesticide called Eagle 20. This was also used in the wine industry. What was found out is that when it is burnt, it turns into arsenic. So, in combination with the extra fees associated with regulation, growers began looking for more natural solutions mostly to save money. This is what created the interest in the community around the KNF (Korean natural farming), and JADAM. Exposure to JADAM increased my interest in making our own nutrients because even what is sold as "organic" or "natural" in the stores is often, at best, 80%. Cannabis doesn't speak English, but I have a relationship with Her. I take my job very seriously, and I feel extremely blessed to be able to work with Her and give Her a voice."
"She wants to be as natural as possible
in every way we are utilizing her. This is important to Her.
It's Her mission here for healing."
Aside from the mission of Cannabis and Her connection with Humanity, there are other benefits to being super natural. Lindsey claims, "When we started making our own nutrients, instead of buying them at the store, we noticed that we did save money. Most importantly, what we found is that the Plants became naturally more resistant and resilient. She (Cannabis) is telling us (using homemade nutrients and techniques such as JADAM), 'this makes us stronger'."
LINDSEY'S FAVORITE NATIVE HUMBOLDT PRODUCTS
Before Instagram took down her Native Humboldt Farms profile, which had over 10K followers, Lindsey was an avid "poster". Much like the Instagram account she has been featured by, called Cannabis Queenz, Lindsey too was "deleted but not defeated". Her current instagram account for Native Humboldt Farms may have less posts but the content is impeccably curated and... Instagram couldn't change her well thought out packaging and logo. The triangular symbol-logo of Native Humboldt Farms is a symbol of the Wailaki tribe representing geese as they fly in formation.
I asked Lindsey what her favorite products were currently and she responded. "I love all our topicals." She uses Argan, Kukui, and Ylang Ylang in some of them. She is so thrilled about her "Relief Balm" she wants to bring it to clinical trials for its exceptional reported healing capacities. But Lindsey confesses, "The chocolates are probably my most favorite. Right now we have a ruby chocolate, it's pink and just pressed. We wish to keep the Plant as close to the natural state as possible. In doing so, you don’t feel the paranoia or any of the other undesirable effects. As I mentioned, Cannabis seeks to stay pristine. We are mindful of this in all of our extraction and production methods."
She is proud to be making the chocolates without any CO2, ethanol, or solvents.
HER FUTURE HELD IN THE HANDS OF MANY MORE
In asking what was coming up for her in 2021, Lindsey had the chance to gush. "I’m really excited about my new partnership with Cookies Enterprises! You can look on their website for reference under projects. It’s the Humboldt grown initiative or the Humboldt Apellation initiative."
On their website, Cookies shares, "The stories are legendary, and so is the Cannabis of the Emerald Triangle. Northern California's historic Emerald Triangle holds a special place in Cannabis folklore. With the Humboldt Appellation Initiative, Cookies honors the traditions started here decades ago by renegade cultivators."
Lindsey says she is growing 4 strains for Cookies including the "Cheetah Piss" with a total of about 4,000 plants just this year. Cookies will package the finished flower as their own but with reference to being Humboldt Grown, or as being part of the Humboldt Appellation Initiative. Some promotional credit will also be attributed to Native Humboldt Farms. Additionally exciting was news coming in - TODAY - that Native Humboldt Farms was chosen by the SF division of Cookies Humboldt Grown Initiative for a special merchandise collaboration in celebration of “croptober”. The merch will be sold in Cookies stores throughout California starting in October of this year, 2021.
"Honestly it’s a dream come true! Cookies is a giant in the Cannabis Industry and I feel so honored to get to work with them this season. It feels like all of my hard work is finally starting to pay off. This partnership with Cookies will help me to get Cannabis in the hands of many more people than I would be able to without their support, so this is huge for me and for Native Humboldt!
In finishing off our interview, Lindsey wanted to give her family a shoutout. "I couldn’t do any of this without my family. They are all so supportive and I love that my children get to grow up around horticulture and without the notion that Cannabis is a bad plant. It’s just a way of life to us all, and that is something I will always be grateful for! Cannabis is everything to us. It is our livelihood, our lifestyle, our way of life!"
FOLLOW NATIVE HUMBOLDT FARMS
A side note by J and a personal story about Lindsey Renner. I met Lindsey in person at the end of 2018. Although I was not the photographer, the photo below was taken the day I met her. I had been in contact with Lindsey for a couple of years before this. For most of my life I wondered how I might ever meet someone (aside from my immediate family) related to my Californian Native American tribe. In 2015 or 16, with the usage of Instagram, I made a whimsical decision to search a hashtag for the tribe name of my great great grandmother. Typing in #Wailaki, I was both surprised and not surprised to see people using the hashtag. Out of the little more than 200 entries I had found at that time, I noticed several from one account - Native Humboldt Farms. I mustered up the courage and reached out to Lindsey. She graciously welcomed me, and I am forever grateful to have a connection, finally, to one of my distant cousins.