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My Beloved Bud: Top Pot Farmers in California Write Love Letters to Their Best Strains

We asked our favorite cultivators to express their devotion to the plant in their own inspired words. Enjoy, and may your own Valentine's Day be enhanced by a date with some special grown flowers.

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All photos courtesy of the growers themselves

Valentine's Day… it makes you want to cuddle up and put your lips to your sweet lady, the one who carries you through good times and bad, the one who always makes it just a little bit better. She is the Provider who has put food on the tables of cannabis farmers in The Emerald Triangle for over forty years. The nurturing Mother who cares for our aches and pains. She loves that her myriad forms of magic are being unveiled more and more by these free-thinking, green-thumbed, courageous, passionate, and radical farmers who love her so much. This girl gets around, but that's OK. In fact, the more hearts she can conquer the better.

A large part of why the cannabis products that originate in these hills are the best in the world is because of the devotion that craft pot farmers share with their girls. And with this passion-filled holiday happening smack-dab in the middle of MERRY JANE's Cali Week, we asked a few of our favorite cultivators to express their true love for the plant in their own inspired words. Enjoy — and may your Valentine's Day be blessed by a date and some romance with your favorite green flower.

"Omija"
THC: 20% 
Lineage: (Tangie x Glue) x (Pagoda Kush x Sherbet) 

Grown by Mike Angelotti / Emerald Cup Genetics

Mike Angelotti, head breeder at Emerald Cup Genetics and poet extraordinaire, writes about his favorite girlfriend, Omija, whom he cultivates with loving care in the Mendocino hills.

ODE TO OMIJA

since met earth
single drop from above 
not no need never for more
imagine ——— fireworks
———— flash ————
breaking through to catch the rays 
away on the way
single first only moment 
all it would ever take 

up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 
up up up up up up up up up 

long passed the summer's warmth 
heavy the weight becomes
cool the colors of fall bring 
one's final sunset has arrived 

so beautiful - so bitter - so sweet
so sour - so perfect - so spicy  
omija 
the one and only one for one 

single last moment 
single last tear 
cold steel to the xylem
darkness

away to no-where 
one single spark 
one single inhale 
solace 

"Harle Tsu"
15:1 / CBD:THC
Grown by Tina Gordon / Moon Made Farms

Tina Gordon of Moon Made Farms hails from both San Francisco and Southern Humboldt where she is an an active cannabis farmer and advocate, known for growing her beloved Harle Tsu. Clearly her love is strong!

My dearest most beloved green queen, our relationship had a humble beginning. We first met in a park in San Francisco overlooking the upper Haight. I knew you as a nondescript baby bud, in a pipe, a crushed can, a cored out apple. AC/DC in my ears and the taste of you in my mouth. We knew each other from house parties and bumped into each other in alleys before rock shows.

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I observed you from a distance during an awkward time when you were unpredictable and inconsistent — we were on and off for many years. Through ash and dirty bongs, we had highs and lows. A shape shifter, I've known you as an organic healer and chemical dependency. How did you come to be the most defining force in my life, the one I love with unwavering devotion, to whom I dedicate my life force? That's the love story. So big hot mama boss lady, why do I want to protect and share you with the world? Because you grabbed me in an elusive embrace both cellular and ethereal, became my teacher, and changed my life.

It has been through the experience of seeing you grow throughout your life cycle that has endeared me to you. To observe you daily has been a treasure. You are the first living thing I learned how to nurture, and in doing so, you required disciplined presence and observation. You taught me to unite my senses to reach out to you and ask you what you need. As a result, you have shaped my living and working philosophy. Living things come first. To bring you from birth to old age, I've grown to appreciate you equally both young and old. You taught me to use my intuition, to research and experiment, to use my imagination. And in your reflection, I've learned to care for myself and others.

What makes you healthy and strong is providing an environment that inspires health and well being and I know now that you absorb your environment and reciprocate it. Your wild ancient wisdom I can only support and guide, but must not stifle, suffocate, or seek to control. No part of you is without purpose. You provide subsistence for the human experience, nourishing spirit, mind, body, and soul. It's through your reflection that I've learned to love myself. To understand what it means to breath fresh air, drink clean water, to stretch and grow and dream unhindered. To crave an epic view. 

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The more I love you, the more I see how you and those who love you have been misunderstood, mistreated, misrepresented, and harassed. It's not easy being the most powerful plant on the planet. Made of earth and heaven, you bind worlds and challenge our centers. You threaten the shallow, indulge the curious, defy definition and the selfish human grasp. Ancient healer, fragrant flower — you encourage me to explore all directions. To test inspiration, tame restlessness, accept the benign, seek the infinite. You've taught me to introspect for answers and to share knowledge. You teach past and future heritage and destiny. You amplify the spirit of all living things.

Thank your being my muse, my teacher, companion, friend, my nature guide, mother, and sister. My defiant teenage girl. You keep me up at night, wake me up in the morning. Like you, I don't want to miss the moon hovering over the night or first light of dawn. I want to listen to your soft hum between my ears on a walk through the forest. You color my day dreams and bring sweet silence to my nights. 

Love,

Moon Made Farms

Casey O'Neill / HappyDay Farms

Casey O'Neill of HappyDay Farms is third-generation craft cannabis cultivator also grows vegetables and flowers for his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative. He is also the Chair of the Mendocino chapter of the California Growers Association. He does it all out of true love for his plants. The below love letter was not written for a specific flower or strain, but rather to O'Neill's entire garden.

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Leaves wave with sensuous motions, shivering in delight from the caress of the wind.  She stands glorious, lifting towards the sun in green splendor. Her lineage has been crafted with care, transferring her qualities down through generations, mixing and learning new ways to synthesize her many components. She has secrets as yet unlocked, carrying knowledge within her chromosomes.  

More than the sum of her parts, she is supported and loved. Her flowers ripen, terpenes thick with innuendo. Her scent perfumes the garden, catching the bystander almost unaware, gliding into the nostril. She is strong, spreading consciousness and light in her journey, sharing with the world pieces of her soul to light the souls of others. A candle, she lights a thousand flames, yet grows not dim. Her offspring will carry forth a renewal as another season draws near. She is the cycle of the world in a microcosm, scattering infinite possibilities of thought. She is joy; to behold, to love and to share. She offers lessons of truth to humanity, and we love her for it.  

"Rosé"
THC 17.42%
Total Terpene Content 2%
Grown by Brandon Scott Parker / Third Gen x Dying Breed

Brandon Scott Parker of Third Gen/Dying Breed in Mendocino County is a perennial winner at The Emerald Cup for both his flowers and his concentrates. His Rosé placed second in the Flowers division this past year and, as Judges, we can testify it was a delicious experience.

The following love letter to his award-winning Rosé comes from an interview Brandon did with MERRY JANE editor Zach Sokol for another story, but we're re-publishing it here with the decorated grower's permission.

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When you're talking about Rosé, Rosé is one of the most exotic, one-of-a-kind flavor/terp profiles that you're going to ever come across. It's a beautiful flower. It's like roses, potpourri in your grandma's bathroom, rose water, and walking through a garden. It's one-of-a-kind. Rosé is what I call a "Holy Grail" strain. Just like with the Zkittlez; it took three years of me chanting before Zkittlez got out and about, and we had to win a bunch of awards before it finally made a stamp. The Rosé, I've been running with about two years, and it's the same thing.

We won a third-place award the first time we ever entered it at the High Times Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino a year and a half ago. Since then, we haven't entered it into any competitions. We waited until late 2017 when we entered it at the most recent Emerald Cup, which is one of the biggest competitions in the world. It won second place in the flower competition. So now it's starting to grab people's attention, and it's going to start getting a foothold.

And when I say things like "Holy Grails," and stuff like that, it's kind of not to be taken lightly. By Holy Grail, I mean strains that are undeniably and unexplainably different than the rest. When you talk about a Holy Grail of a variety, you're talking about Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Grand Daddy Purple, you're talking about Girl Scout Cookies — varieties that are so different from one another that they're very, very special. They just are stand-alone. You can put them in a field of all kinds of stuff, and if you're educated person on ganja then you're going to be able to spot them and point them out.

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Zkittlez is going to be amongst the Holy Grail. Zkittlez is undeniably and unexplainably different than anything else out there. The palate when you smoke it, everything. The same could be said for Rosé. Ultimately, it doesn't matter so much as what you think or I think — it's what the world thinks. So the real proof in the pudding is what the reaction is when you present it to the people. 

For more on Nikki & Swami, visit www.swamiselect.com

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