Hey dudes! Have you seen Moon Made Farms on the shelves at your local dispensary? If you have, and haven't picked it up, what are you doing? Saddle up and get ready for our interview with the owner and founder, Tina Gordon!
A&A: Hi Tina! Tell us about yourself!
TINA: I’m Tina Gordon, founder and owner of Moon Made Farms. In the words of Neil Young, I’m old enough to repaint and young enough to sell. I’m also old enough to remember the 1970’s as a time of open ended possibility, aspiration, and creation unparalleled through the rest of my life to date. And I’m young enough to have the burning desire to contribute my life energy toward change on this planet for the better. I never thought I’d end up in cannabis to fulfill this purpose, I thought Rock ’N Roll was the only path to saving hearts and lives! But now, I’m devoted to cultivating cannabis to help people improve the quality of their lives.
A&A: We never thought we would get into cannabis either. How interesting. How did you eventually get involved in cannabis?
TINA: I was living in San Francisco through the 1990’s and early 2000’s playing drums and guitar in rock bands, making art, and producing videos, art shows, and live events. I was fully immersed in the underground culture scene and hung out with a lot of amazing artists and musicians, living a very urban lifestyle. At that time I had no interest in farming or growing plants at all, I didn’t even have house plants! In the fall 2007 I came to the heart of the Emerald Triangle in Humboldt County, on a visit with a drummer friend and former student of Heartwood Institute, now The Heartwood Mountain Sanctuary. This is when I met the amazing jazz drummer Joani Hannan and made a documentary about her called Joani Queen of the Paradiddle.
Over the process of making the documentary, I transitioned to Humboldt on a farm close to Joani’s land. It was on this farm that I started to learn about cannabis and had the opportunity to participate in growing that season. That year changed my life. At Villa Paradiso Farms, I had the opportunity to participate in cultivating plants from seed to flower and totally fell in love with this plant. In 2009, while still making the documentary, Joani and her partner Marion called me and asked me to buy their land. This is where I live today, this is Moon Made Farms.
A&A: That is one HECK of a origin story. Your brand and who you are as a person is very spiritually connected to the moon. Why is that?
TINA: This plant, which I believe to be the most powerful plant on the planet, expresses in the female form. The chemical compounds that help improve the quality of life for those who work with this plant, ingest this plant, and align with this plant are benefitting from powerful feminine energy. Whereas the sun is the symbol for masculinity in many cultures, the Moon represents the feminine. I remember one night, waking up to a huge full moon that was so bright, and wondering how the light was affecting these photosensitive plants. I looked up “farming by the moon,” which led me to “lunar farming” where I learned a lunar farming schedule and farming techniques that I've been using ever since. I became interested in how the night cycle affects plants. The night cycle’s extremely important, both vegetative and root growth happens at night while photosynthesis is not happening. It’s also about the subtlety of the night light, lunar cycle, and celestial sky. How does this effect growing plants, people, all living things?
A&A: Wow. Amanda is OBSESSED with the moon and your meds, so that makes sense! What it’s like to grow sun grown medicine?
TINA: It was growing cannbis outside under an open sky with rain caught water, wind, among all of nature’s influences that encouraged me to wake up to the natural world. It was only then I realized I was living on a living planet and what this means. Suddenly the quality of air, water, light, soil, the health of the forest, the wildlife, it all became visible as a system, an ecosystem. Cannabis as a living plant helped me slow down enough to take in all of this information with my senses, it changed my life.
This is a definitive difference between cultivating plants outside in open air as opposed to indoor or greenhouse. Sungrown cannabis grows within all of the dramatic and subtle natural elements and truly is a reflection of place.
A&A: We are BIG fans of sungrown/outdoor grown meds. If the option is there, we choose them. When did you first discover marijuana?
TINA: I was a fifteen year old depressed teenager steeped in thick ennui, yearning for comfort and meaning in life when I first smoked weed with my fast friend Vanessa at the muni park. It was in the upper Haight right above the metro tunnel. Vanessa did everything before me, she wore make up and made out with boys while I was still a tomboy wearing denim, t-shirts, and converse and listening to AC/DC. We rigged an aluminum can and smoked weed from a mysterious source and I got high. It was a welcome and unfamiliar sense of transport, an instant internal realignment that lifted me inside a transcendent cloud floating along a cold San Francisco street. For years after I would have an inconsistent love affair with smoking cannabis. It was great for starting songs and terrible for finishing them. I had a different experience joint to joint, bowl to bowl, it was just too unpredictable for me. I didn’t fall in love with this plant until I came to know cannabis as a living plant. That’s what completely changed the course of my life.
A&A: *fascinated* How are currently handling the pandemic?
TINA: Life for us on the farm has not changed a lot physically, I will go for weeks without leaving the farm anyway. The difference I feel is an increased sense of appreciation for the land and the freedom it allows me and the others who are here. We have the great privilege of access to clean air, clean water, space, privacy, pristine land, and a place to grow food and cannabis. I cannot overstate the sense of privilege I feel. In the past I would sometimes miss having conveniences of being in a populated area. Living remotely has it’s challenges, but right now I feel completely blessed. One of the incredible unforeseen consequences of the pandemic in terms of cannabis has been being deemed essential. Cannabis is now defined as essential, and this is huge. Because it is. In the face of this pandemic it raises my spirit to consider people finding balance, peace, calm, relaxation, pain relief, any and all of the effects expressed in an improved quality of life as the result of having continued access to cannabis. The is exceptional period of time is cracking open conversation about economic, ecological, and personal sustainability. Health of the people, the planet, and revisioning a relationship to plants and plant medicine. It’s a time when people are going inside because they can’t go outside and beyond protecting ourselves and each other physically, I’m hoping there’s a lasting collective spiritual benefit that will endure.
A&A: I really hope we learn to stay home more and learn to go easy on this planet. Do you have any awesome stories of people that you’ve helped with your company?
TINA: In 2009 Joani and Marion (Joani’s partner) called me and Marion said, “Tina, I never want to pick up a bag of chicken shit again, ya want to buy the place or what?” Joani was approaching 80 and Marion just turned turned 70 and they needed to be closer to medical services. Joani and Marion changed my life that day because they gave me a challenging offer I couldn’t refuse, one I had to grow into, and that was the beginning of Moon Made Farms. They changed the course of my life entirely.
Then there was Melinda Gebbie, the incredible and talented underground comic book artist from the 70’s and 80’s who visited the farm and who helped conceive the concept of Moon Made. We spoke about Sun Maid raisins and changing the image of this maiden from one who worships the sun to one who worships the moon. Later I embraced Moon Made over Moon Maid because I truly feel made by the moon…and so is the cannabis. A couple of years after I transitioned onto Joani’s land, she passed away. It was Joani and Marion’s wish that there would be women living and working on the property. We spoke about the gender disparity and related economic disparity in cannabis and I wanted to be part of making a shift toward balance. For three years, with a couple of exceptional exceptions, there were only women living and working at Moon Made Farms and it was this badass crew of highly evolved queer punks who taught me so much about living on the land. They knew how to wild forage, identify plants by their latin names, and contributed to every aspect of the full season farm projects. This crew helped me establish the identity of Moon Made Farms and as I watched them learn essential life and work skills helped me develop the concept, heart and soul of Moon Made Farms.
And there’s my partner Chris who has been both anchor and compass during the regulatory transition from medical collective to licensed business. Chris has helped me evolve as a farmer and human and is the partner who has afforded me the time and space to really start building Moon Made Farms.
A&A: GREAT choices! What can you tell us about type 2 cannabis and it’s medical benefits?
TINA: Finding balance in the natural cycles in symbiosis with the full season cycle, I also became interested in balanced varietals. Chemovar classifications are beginning to be embraced with Type 1 as predominantly THC, Type 2 as a mix of CBD and THC and Type 3 as predominantly CBD. I think these classifications can be useful to give people the vocabulary to express their needs and preferences because everyone’s different! And this is just scratching the surface. One of the most exciting things about legalization is increased access to research. Still in the infancy of research we’re already seeing more testing for secondary cannabinoids and terpenes. I get positive effects from using CBD for sleep, aches and pains, and anxiety relief, so I started primarily cultivating high CBD and balanced CBD:THC plants a few years ago.
I feel like CBD is something beneficial to share with the world; it’s the great balancer. What I’d like to learn more about is the intersections of all of these chemical compounds. One of our cultivars, Lunar Bouquet, is a 2:1 CBD:THC expressing 19 different terpenes! And a dear old stoner pal of mine who tends toward high THC loves Lunar Bouquet. The issue with mixed ratios at the moment is connecting the consumers to the cultivars. Where are the dispensaries who serve people looking for Type 2’s? Please let me know, I'd love to hear from you!
We love CBD too, Tina. Amanda has some every night before bed, and sometimes in between!
Well, that was one heck of an interview and if you read the whole thing, I hope you learned something new and interesting! 'Til next time!
Later dudes! 🤟🏼