Look closely at the lush green beds of Moongazer Farms in Mendocino, and you’ll find a teeming ecosystem of plants: aromatic lavender, giant mushrooms that naturally release CO2, sticky cannabis flowers, comfrey and nettle shading out weeds and amaranth to boost phosphorus during the flowering phase of cannabis. By planting a diverse polyculture, Josh and Sandra of Moongazer Farms allow their plants to work together, protecting themselves from pests and sharing nutrients.
“I don’t want to manufacture weed, I want to grow weed how it was made to grow.”
Josh and Sandra met on a remote Israeli goat farm in 2010. They built a life together, traveling and working on small farms and vineyards, until they found 22 acres of wooded land in Mendocino. The property had been cleared long ago, and grew back as a dense habitat of native oaks, madrones and manzanitas. Josh and Sandra decided to embrace and manage their woods, developing only a few acres for growing crops and medicinals.
Keeping the property healthy generated a lot of cut brush and logs—biomass the couple used as the foundation for hugelkultur beds. In hugelkultur, dead wood soaks up water like an underground sponge, and as the wood decomposes it releases nutrients to the plants above. The couple’s holistic practices not only nourish their cannabis, but a variety of fruits and vegetables and the land itself. Sandra explains, “I don’t want to manufacture weed, I want to grow weed how it was made to grow.” The proof is in the flower: their Lemon Diesel, a local Redwood Valley strain, measures at 23.4 percent THC.
Moongazer Farms’ thoughtful approach to cultivation won them Emerald Cup’s Regenerative Farm award in 2016, along with Dragonfly Earth Medicine and Green Source Gardens. Josh says they were deeply honored by the win, especially alongside farms of similar quality and dedication.
Moongazer Farms is certified Dragonfly Earth Medicine Pure, and will soon be a Demeter-certified biodynamic farm. They are thankful for companies such as PremaFlora, who only source their flowers from small, sustainable farms. Sandra says, “The future of cannabis in California should follow Dragonfly Pure—the future of agriculture in general.” Moongazer Farms hopes to show the cannabis and agriculture industry how fruitful regenerative farming can exist.