A core value of everyone here at Country Cannabis is being a good neighbor. On a personal level, that means checking in with the elderly lady across the street and letting the kids next door spill onto your lawn for their game of tag. On a community level, that means supporting local mom and pop businesses and doing your part to look after the environment. When we were searching for growers, we knew we wanted to partner with good neighbors. And that's how we found Sweet Creek Farm.
Located in the sunny hills of Sonoma County, Sweet Creek Farm is owned and operated by a mother and daughter pair: Kila ("Mama Ki") and Keala Peterson. The dynamic duo had grown cannabis for personal use and in 2014 decided to turn their passion into a business. Their farmstead produces cannabis as well as other crops and the Petersons take great pride in nurturing their flowers from seed to harvest. That care results in some of the best CBD in California, which we were eager to use for our first light joint blend. But what we really fell in love with was Sweet Creek Farm's commitment to being a good neighbor.
This family farmstead's approach to growing is centered around sustainability. They use rainwater for irrigation. That system is powered by renewable solar energy. And companion flowers planted alongside crops help to sustain the health of the land and to create a "beauty and vibrancy" that daughter Keala says fosters a "high vibe" that makes you want to hang out in the garden. These practices are not necessarily the easiest or cheapest, but they're the right thing to do as a good neighbor. As Mama Ki says, "Our garden is our community." Keala, an NYU graduate, told us they also hope to be "a learning platform to show regenerative agriculture in action" (sounds like another Country value: leading by example).
Of course, good deeds can't insulate anyone from the risks of running a farm in California. In 2020, Sweet Creek Farm was devastated by a wildfire, losing 80% of their crops along with Mama Ki's family home. "After the fires we didn't know what to do," Keala told us. "We were resigned to the fact that the season was over."
But one benefit of being a good neighbor is that your neighbors will want to return the favor in your time of need. Members of the Hessel Farmers Grange (a local agricultural group) immediately reached out offering to help. The air was still smoky at Sweet Creek Farm when caring neighbors showed up, dug, and helped the farm replant some donated clone crops so the season wouldn't be lost. Keala expressed gratitude for not having to go through hard times alone: "With a community around you, you can get through it and it's a wonderful thing."
Country Cannabis is thrilled to now be part of the Sweet Creek Farm community, using the farm's CBD-dominant AC/DC strain in our Good Neighbor joints. Keala and Mama Ki really believe in the quality of that crop and prefer light cannabis themselves after cultivating it for years. "CBD flower is for us," says Mama Ki, a self-proclaimed rebel at heart who adds she is "grateful for the opportunity to grow cannabis legally and out in the open."
The success of the farm hasn't changed Sweet Creek Farm's desire to be a good neighbor. "It's not about greed," Mama Ki explained. "It's about making great products we can be proud of and leaving the land in better health than we found it." The mother-daughter team told us that two new strains are on the way -- as well as a baby for Keala! Thinking about the upcoming third generation of Peterson farmers, Keala reflected on the wonderful opportunity she has as a good neighbor in the community: "I'm nurturing the future of our property and my future."