Growing for Good and Filling Potholes with Pot
Selfish growers is a term I’ve heard too frequently. Its time to set the record straight. Sure there are selfish growers but there are an overwhelming number who give broadly to their community and to individuals. What outsiders don’t realize is that the small hill communities of Southern Humboldt support fire departments, schools, our radio station, and road committees. Most often growers just contribute cash or support the many fundraisers that happen nearly every weekend. But they also frequently grow a plant specifically for a purpose. When going out to write a piece, I’ve had growers show me a large lush bush popping with buds. “That one is for the school,” they’ll tell me. Or “That one is going to help fix the potholes on the straight stretch.”
Today, I was reading The Cannabis Post, a blog with a conversational easy way of discussing marijuana. Recently, the author had come to Humboldt and met a local grower who showed him two patches.
Coming into the blinding rays of light there are twenty foot square plots, raging with rows of WEED growing tall along side of the redwoods.
“This is called the ‘Pencil Patch.’ Over here is the ‘Civic Duty.’”…
“Oh…this Pencil Patch supplies the schools with teachers and equipment. Y’know and all the rest like paper, pencils and glue. Civic Duty sponsors the town with buildings, roads and other needs of a small town,” she says as she cleans the patch removing debris and generally tending to her children.
These growers are not isolated cases. Southern Humboldt with less than 40,000 people has its own hospice and own women’s shelter entirely supported by local contributions. There are no government funds involved. Rumor has it that KMUD went to a conference for independent radio stations. When the other radio stations learned how much they got through donations, they wanted to know how they could duplicate their fund raising model. Locals had to explain that marijuana probably provided a large part of what they received.
In these hills, we have well funded fire departments (volunteer but with excellent tools and trucks etc.), decent roads, and small schools. One of these schools recently held a bakesale and in 5 hours made $1200.
The growing community is willing to help out. And they don’t just help out with organizations, they help when neighbors go through tough times. Fundraisers are held to help families whose homes are destroyed by fires, whose family members are ill and those who have been busted.
Like modern day pioneers, growers here form a tight knit community who reach out to help the unlucky and who support their own fire departments, schools, and keep their roads open and their potholes filled….with pot.