Willie's Guide to Weed: Moon Made Farms
"From the inside out I feel like it’s possible for people to change, for cultures to change, for communities to change, and for consciousness to shift." - Tina Gordon
Tina Gordon’s energy is infectious. She is calm and collected, but so full of life that it seems like the air around her is buzzing with possibility. I’m sure this charisma is part of what drew her into music. Tina is a drummer, formerly playing with bands in varying genres from punk, to rock, to metal. She was an integral part of the San Francisco DIY scene and traveled across the country living a life much different from her present situation. Tucked into the mountains of Southern Humboldt County California, Tina is almost off the grid. Her home is a refuge, passed down from one generation of incredible women to another for the purpose of cultivating what feels like sacred ground. Really, I swear you can feel the presence of something special when you step onto the soil of Moon Made Farms. My body felt it. The road to Moon Made is an hour directly up a mountain with nothing but twists and turns and waving fields of grass below. By the time we made it there, I thought I was definitely going to vomit from motion sickness. But five minutes after stepping onto the rich soil and breathing in the air so sweet it’s almost saccharine, my nausea disappeared and my equilibrium recovered.
Tina’s life journey brought her to Moon Made through the indelible Joani Hannan. Hannan was a vanguard female jazz drummer who traveled the world in the United Service Organization before eventually landing on California’s Southern coast. After years in Los Angeles where she not only acted in movies alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe, but also started one of the premiere underground LGBT clubs of the time, Joani headed North to Serendipity Collective, the land that would eventually be Moon Made Farms. Joani and her partner Marion lived on the land for years, often hosting friends and acquaintances who had driven up from the city to visit. One of those visitors in particular was Tina.
photos of Joani and Tina via Joani Presents - Georgia (Joan) Hannah
“I came to this property and met a woman named Joani Hannan. After I met her I decided I needed to make a documentary about her. She was such an incredible character. So through a course of events I ended up relocating to this area, making a documentary about Joani, and during that first year up here I started working with cannabis.” Tina’s creative vision not only resulted in a critically-acclaimed short film on Joani’s impressive life, but a relationship with Joani and Marion that led to the creation of Moon Made Farms. “Over the course of the time when I was making a documentary about Joani we became dear friends. I became dear friends with both she and her partner Marion. They were both at the time in their seventies. One day about a year into living here they called me up and Marion said, ‘Tina, I never want to pick up a bag of chicken shit again. You wanna buy the place or what?’ So I figured out how to make that happen.”
Since then, Tina has transformed Serendipity Collective into Moon Made Farms. Continuing in the spirit of revolutionary Joani, Tina works every day under the creed: “The free thinking of one age is the common sense of the next”. The quote by 19th century poet Matthew Arnold was emblazoned across the back of Tina’s shirt (get yours here) the day we spoke with her and it soon became apparent that those words are etched into each movement Tina makes. She led us across the 40 acre farm introducing us to each garden - each plant near half way through their growth - explaining how different strains offered so much more than different highs: the fragrances released from the terpenes of the plant, the taste once it meets the palate, and the ratio of CBD to THC (Tina sent me home with a healthy sample of a strain with an equal ratio of THC to CBD offering a less intense high alongside the calming effects of CBD). Every part of Tina’s farm is dedicated to encouraging the ancient land to flourish in all the ways it can. Everything comes from the land from Tina’s self-sustained living soil made thanks to a nest of rabbits and Tina’ and company’s own compost, to the flower beds made from rocks and fallen limbs from the property.
“Moving from the city up here, it really was this awakening to the natural world and the natural forces. It wasn’t until I started cultivating cannabis that I started tuning in to what it means to have fresh air and clean water. Plants respond to the attention you give them and the intention.” Tina’s intention with Moon Made Farms extends beyond the grounds itself; she is a board member of the International Cannabis Farmers Association and is active in furthering cannabis legalization and education (she even signs off on texts and emails with a hopeful and determined “Onward!”). Tina’s positive outlook and motivation can also be linked back to her experiences as a musician: “When I was playing music, I saw a lot of people who were destroying themselves; who had really hard habits with alcohol and with drugs that were not benefiting them. There are a lot of people who play music who are terribly shy, who are introverted, who have something that they want to share with the world but its really hard for them to get out in front of people. Part of what I think cannabis has the potential of doing is helping people in these situations so they can access their creativity and understand and get a better sense and a better grip on how to be good to themselves, and how to balance themselves so that they have the access and the ability to share the gifts that they have.”
Through her work with Willie’s Reserve and Flow Kana, Tina takes a step closer towards her goals every day. Find her strain “Pineapple Wonder” at a dispensary near you and stay tuned for more from Tina and Willie’s Reserve from the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, California this weekend where Tina will be a featured speaker.