The following is a press release issued by Kure Mendocino. In the interest of full disclosure, Kure Mendocino is one of MendoFever’s advertisers:
Mary Polson’s dad, Bob Larson built the home she lives in.
“My family bought this land in the ’70s after first buying land in Laytonville in 1964,” Mary explains. Today, Mary and her family share in the operation of the family’s cannabis farm.
“I’m from Laytonville, but I wasn’t raised in cannabis. I fell in love with a mountain man from Spy Rock. They were so opposite from my family. When we got together, a whole, different hippie energy came into my life,” she smiles.
“Mama Mary” loves her family. She is the mother of three boys and three girls and the grandmother of two girls. Her passions are music, cannabis, and the land.
An episode with post-partum depression led Mary to trying cannabis for the first time. “I smoked a little, took a few deep breaths and felt so much better. I became quite the medical toker!” laughs Mary. “It really was ‘Mother’s little helper.’”
Mary learned her growing style and skills from the Polson family. “I decided to establish myself as a woman grower and go into legal cannabis. I remember thinking, ‘I grow beautiful children. I know I can grow beautiful cannabis.”
Seed 707 was the 2020 California #1 Quality Award winner of The Grow Off Competition, where farmers from Northern and Southern California compete by growing the exact same strain from clones. “It was a great privilege to be selected as California’s winner.”
The farm was featured in the Caputo Group’s 2020 Pacific Northwest Calendar and is an entrant in this year’s Emerald Cup and the California State Fair’s first cannabis competition. They are members of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, the Mendocino Producer’s Guild and the Mendocino Growers Coalition. “These are the voices of the small farmer. Without their support, I’d be sitting here stressing out even more,” she smiles.
“SEED 707 is an all-natural, outdoor, full-sun 5,000 square-foot specialty strain cannabis farm. My office is my garden. We dance, sing and play original Mendo rock to our plants. I believe a connection- a relationship with the plant produces different kinds of medicine. I’m not thinking, ‘I’m getting people high.’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m helping people by growing the medicine they need.” She credits the land’s 150-year-old Sulphur spring with infusing her farm with a special magic.
“The plant has so many uses- it keeps giving and giving. For me, Pink Champagne from Spy Rock is so helpful for my digestion. Mid-meal, I smoke my Champagne and get the relief I need.”
When it comes to compliance, Mary says, “We’re getting smarter.”
Their constant regulation changes are challenging. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Welcome to the bureaucracy,” she smiles.
Mary shudders recalling being “flown” by private helicopters back in the day.
“The helicopters were hovering so low over my home while my children were jumping on the trampoline.”
One of Mary’s worst experiences was getting “taken” by unscrupulous fresh frozen manufacturers.
“In 2018 and 2019, fancy talkers from Adelante schmoozed three Mendocino farms. We signed a 5-year contract for fresh-frozen. They embezzled all three farms- took all our cannabis, paid us barely anything and left us for starving. We all lost an entire crop that year. We had to take out loans and pay each other’s bills. It was a hard lesson- one that makes you stronger as a cannabis farmer.”
It was the kindness of family and the community that lifted Mary out of disillusionment. “It was a dark, ‘crash and burn’ period, with lots of introspection. Because we’re local, friends helped.”
“Flow Kana ended up being my saving grace. It took almost three years to get in their program, but they helped keep my children fed. I was treated wonderfully by them.”
Mary’s future, along with the future of every small farmer is rife with uncertainty. “It’s a very sad and frustrating time for legal Mendocino cannabis farmers. This is why supporting your local cannabis farmers is so important. Local events like the Kure Invitational and farmers markets are our saving grace.”
Though it’s been years, trauma from incidents like these follows families for a lifetime. Music plays an important part of Mary’s spiritual and community support. “Seed 707 is medicine and music from our Mendo hearts,” she smiles.
“We’re committed to pumping out small quantities with quality.” Mary’s investigating offering small events on her land, glamping opportunities, small concerts or off-road vehicle activities. “But then I remember I’d have to re-zone,” she laughs.
The rigors of regulation resulted in streamlining farm practices.
“We stopped de-leafing because of time and money constraints. I’d love to pick every yellow leaf, but my God in Heaven! We have more important things to do.”
“We all had such beautiful dreams. There’s not much dreaming anymore. I do dream of people seeing our happy farm, our beautiful medicine, our rocking music and our happy family.”
“I’m grateful my parents worked so hard so we could be legal farmers. I’m sure my dad didn’t intend cannabis, but this is what I love doing.”
“Families are leaving California left and right. I might have to get a second or even third job to survive the California cannabis crash. My kids asked if we’d ever leave. I told them, ‘We’re Laytonville. We’re staying. This is our culture, our community. We believe in the plant.”
Wedding Tree is Seed 707’s entry in the Kure Mendocino Invitational. Visit Seed 707 on Instagram.
The Kure Mendocino Invitational Collection