OK, I confess that it was with a strong sense of bravado, that I strode into the arena, Saturday morning, that of The Emerald Cup. The venue has shifted from a remote location up in Northern Mendocino County, to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
The irony is too delicious to ignore: What could be more American and more wholesome than to hold this event at such a benign location? Let’s head to the fair, where we can revel in this amazing step forward, and celebrate the fact that we are no longer skulking around alleys behind motels, to cop a couple of rips off a nasty roach.
An hour and fifteen minutes of sitting on the off-ramp? You had to be determined to want to participate, and determined they were. I predicted in my piece yesterday, “a lively day,” and I was not wrong. We were well-prepared, however, for the onslaught, with various key quantities being weighed up in advance, and easily accessible.
Because of the overwhelming numbers, we were slow to get started, long lines holding up the rush, which meshed well with the reality that we were scrambling until the last minute, to get our act together. By “our” I am talking about the fact that there are four separate entities, sharing two booths.
Flow Kana has the corner booth, with HappyDay Farm, FUBAR Farm and Cut Creek Farm sharing the second booth. You could never describe any of our three farms as being glitzy, or pretentious or anything but down-home natural, and the folks running them? Exactly the same.
There were so many 215 booths, that the overflow ended up outside. By definition patrons to the fair had their choice of so many flowers, edibles, topicals and any form of cannabis that their hearts desired, that it may seem only by chance, that they would make it to our booth.
The reality is that many of our supporters come to the fair, specifically seeking our farms and individual strains that we have produced. By “we,” I am not talking about me. I emphasize to anyone who asks, that I am a farmer, and one whose responsibilities are relegated to that which involves soil and growing.
I am not the geneticist, searching always for that magical strain that can genuinely be titled “Great Success.” Rather, I do the pitchfork thingie, from late February through May, and then I do the nurturing thingie from May through October.
The other day, when Lito brought in some Lemon Ogre, Number 2, for me to trim, before I could get started, I had to greet her because it had been a couple of months since we had chatted. When you work with a given plant, tying up each branch with bamboo, taking inordinate measures to avoid the dreaded powdery doodoo, enveloping her in Love and eventually harvesting her, you get real attached.
In return we end up with medicine that universally gains appreciation from those who come into contact with it. We offer up our medicine to patrons of the fair, with no strings attached. Inhale the bouquet, fill a bowl and sample, and then mosey on.
You’ll be back.
Surprisingly enough, I am well-oriented to the venue, being able to find my way around with ease, but it would be a stretch to say I am grounded. I do not “ground” easily to begin with, and this is not likely to be the place I will start.
At one point, the bongs needing a quick rinse, Lito had removed the bowls and I had grabbed two of them to take care of business. In high-tailing it out of there, I had inexplicably headed in the opposite direction from the closest bathrooms.
Lito lassoed me with an ease that indicated much practice keeping a third eye on his pops, and with nothing more than an eyebrow, redirected my enthusiastic forward progress. That Lito.
I met many new folks, but I also hooked up with a couple/three friends with whom I had been buds on social media. So these are not “new” friends; they were old friends I was meeting in person for the first time. It is a very cool interaction to experience.
This was only one of many highs, including simply standing on my chair and gazing out into the throng. Everyone is laughing, chatting it up and interacting with one another. Though there are long lines, there is never a sign of belligerence, at least not within sight and sound of our booth.
The Sonoma County agencies who handle obstreperous patrons at any major venue, must secretly chortle at the thought of maintaining decorum at a cannabis festival.
Everyone is too high to fight. Contrast this venue to that of Any Rodeo, USA, when it comes to rowdy behavior, and guess which one requires more “supervision.”
We will be back today, Booths P102 and P103, so stop by and say "Hey!" if you are in the vicinity. We would love to see you.
Not having to slink off and find a spot to take my meds, I am sure to be around the booth. Besides, I am going easy on the meds because I must have my wits about me, and that is a challenge under the best of circumstances.
Luckily, I have Lito to keep me on track.