Cut Creek Farms is a second-generation farm in Southern Humboldt. Nicole and Robb run the farm as husband and wife, raising their family and making a living growing cannabis. They want to share the story of how Cut Creek came to be, and where it is headed. This is the second in a two-part series. This week we hear from Robb, be sure to check out last week’s half of the story with Nicole.
I was fired up to come to Humboldt after high school, and lo and behold, I got recruited to play football at Humboldt State. At some point during college, the lifestyle started to feel right, and I made this place my home. It’s just one of those things, when you realize you’re living in paradise. Especially when you go back home.
I came from Santa Cruz County, from a little town called Aromas. There’s definitely a strong cannabis culture down there. It’s like a mini Emerald Triangle up in the hills. You could say I fell back into it right away in Southern Humboldt.
“As a result of the sharing of techniques, the quality is through the roof.”
I started growing indoor to pay my way through college, and eventually grad school. One of my buddies suggested we get a piece of land up in the hills and invest in my abilities, and that’s all it took. After a while, he and I parted ways. Soon after that, I met my wife-to-be, and we ended up buying the property that’s been in her family since the Eighties.
The biggest change that I’ve seen in the industry is the openness of the culture. The sharing of ideas, the sharing of what you do, just plain old openness about what’s going on. Everyone used to be very secretive.
“It seems like every time you turn around, the soil goes up another buck.”
As a result of the sharing of techniques, the quality is through the roof. The prices are down, but the quality is through the roof for everyone. It can only improve upon itself. There are so many really good growers now.
The hardest part of being a farmer is the rapidly decreasing value of the units, combined with the high demand of regulatory fees, and the rising cost of materials. Prices just keep going up for the cost of the goods at local stores. It seems like every time you turn around, the soil goes up another buck.
So many people are making a move towards the business, it’s simple supply and demand. You can only make so much soil, you can only produce so much fertilizer. And even though new companies come online constantly, it still seems like you can’t find what you need.
“It’s a trip. One works for years to stay under the radar. Now, all of a sudden, you need to put yourself out there”
Prices are similar at the different stores, so it’s pretty homogenized. Farms aren’t exactly getting smaller every year, either. You have high-quality soils up there that you can’t make enough of, and more farmers than ever are getting in and staking their claims.
To stay competitive, we’re changing our techniques. We’re using more native soils, which better hold onto the water. We can get a lot more breakdown of the organics in our soil with the use of biological inoculants, so we fertilize less, and we’re watering less.
Right now, there’s an explosion in the market. It’s like the 4th Green Rush. It’s definitely changing the way things have been, for the better. I feel safer, like I’m one of many, but at the same time, it’s still like a culture shock to me.
It’s a trip. One works for years to stay under the radar. Now, all of a sudden, you need to put yourself out there, and market yourself, and brand yourself, when that was the farthest thing from your mind a few years ago. You have to be adaptable.
As of right now, we’re doing what we can afford. Most of the work falls on me, my wife, and a couple of employees who are helping. We’re working with a local graphic designer on branding and logo-ing, but everything else we have done on our own.
“It’s important that people remember the spirit of cannabis, and what it’s all about. It’s the freedom of choice.”
It’s tough, that’s the best way I can put it. Working social media is something I’m not used to. You wouldn’t believe how much time it takes. I need a PR person that can help me with this type of stuff.
Even though certain things about the industry seem to be changing all the time, I think every little aspect of the industry is only going to get better. Indoor’s going to have a niche, and its people it wants to serve. Outdoor sun-grown will be popular because it’s important for people to know that they’re supporting small farmers.
It’s important that people remember the spirit of cannabis, and what it’s all about. It’s the freedom of choice. It’s the freedom to support small farms, and we are one of them. We are small, family-run, and multi-generational, just trying to keep that homestead rolling. It’s a beautiful place, and it’s important. And there are thousands of us.