Bringing Fresh Strains and Old School Vibes to the Modern Cannabis Scene
Magic People Farms in Southern Humboldt County has deeper roots than most modern cannabis organizations. According to CEO Evan Bowen, it’s been a decades-long lead-up to where they’re at now. Their history reaches as far back as when his dad first came to Humboldt with the National Guard in response to the devastating ’64 flood. “He became pretty intrigued with the area,” Evan says, and eventually returned to stay.
First though, he spent time immersed in the late 60s San Francisco scene. He returned from serving in Vietnam at that point, says Evan’s mom and Magic People Farms Vice President, Annie Bowen-Sickinger. He teamed up with a crew of like-minded people to start a commune called Magic People Church. The commune did clean up work in the Haight and general community service.
“It was crazy back then,” she tells me when we caught up last week to talk about their modern day Magic People cannabis collective. Plus, San Francisco started to get pretty dank after the Summer of Love, so commune joined the great exodus out of the city, moving north to a country locale in Humboldt.
They carried on for quite a few years as part of the back to the land movement, practicing self-reliance and midwifery too. Evan says, “I think for a few years, [his dad] rode around on a horse and lived in a teepee.”
At some point, he adds, “they started taking [cannabis] seeds and putting them out in creek beds. They would come harvest at the end of the season… I heard stories of them bringing the weed down to San Francisco and selling it down there.” Back then, it was like $300 a pound for the seeded stuff. And their cultivation wasn’t profit-driven — they would use some of the money to buy bicycles and sneakers for kids in the inner city. The rest would go to taking care of their needs.
“It was a pretty amazing commune,” Annie says. “But then it fell apart.” After the commune disbanded, Annie met Evan’s father in Santa Cruz. They got pregnant with Evan and moved to Milpitas. Eventually, of course, Humboldt started calling, so they headed north. That was about 40 years ago. Once they were able to buy a piece of land, they lived in a school bus for the first few years. “But it was a nice school bus,” Annie laughs. Today, they’re still in the same spot, except now they have a house and a modern cannabis farm, complete with light dep and full term gardens.
“My dad passed away seven years ago in October,” Evan says. So when they started going through the process of becoming a collective, they named it Magic People Farms to honor him. It’s a name that embodies the history of how they got here, and with the idea of giving back in mind, it seemed fitting.
Today, Magic People Farms is turning out new and fresh high grade strains, sourcing from clone suppliers like Midnight Farms in the Bay area to keep their selection on par with dispensary demand down south. Evan is operating with the philosophy that “It’s a fluid market and you have to stay adaptable… You have to be flexible and work with where the demand is.” They’re also big proponents of CBD, and this summer, they’re growing a lot of ACDC and Suzy Q.
Magic People Farms provided me with two samples of their early season light deprivation flower from this year, Dosido and Lucid Dreams, both strains acquired from the Midnight Farms nursery in the Bay Area. They also shared a host of other goodies, including some 2016 outdoor: San Fernando Valley OG, Buddha Tahoe OG (Evan’s go-to “nighttime medicine”) and CBD-dominant Swix T. Plus Sour Tsunami Rosin and Magic Rocks (aka moon rocks) — buds painted with CO2 oil then rolled in kief.
Dosido is Face Off OG X Girl Scout Cookies, and in bright light by the riverside, the emerald green waters of the Van Duzen set off its epic sparkle. It’s lime and forest green hues are highlighted with purple at the tips of the calyxes. Rust colored hairs are scattered all about the surface of the dense little nugs.
The aroma is sweet, carefree, a musty punch with a hit of herbal, tart earthiness. It’s Cookies heritage comes through with its hint-of-mint flavor, tending toward sage. And in the effect too — I experience a sereneness I tend to find with the Cookies, a potent relaxation enhanced by the riverside setting. “You ready to Do-si-do, partner?” Yeah, I’m down.
Lucid Dreams is Grateful Breath X Blue Dream, Evan tells me. And the buds are bigger and lighter in appearance than the Dosido, a consistent lime green. Its trichomes are distinctly tall with gracefully long necks. The mandarin-orange hairs pop out of its pronounced calyxes. The smell is of a mellow fruit, a mild but bright banana against a blueberry waffle backdrop.
Evan warned me that the samples weren’t cured to his liking — they’re so fresh! But I found the Lucid Dream buds to be nice and snappy and it’s a very smooth smoke. The effect is sharp yet fluid consciousness, a tempered lucidity. It’s a surge of energy and alertness, coupled with a chill vibe.
FYI: Magic People Farms is distributing for various nurseries down south and local vendors too. They have fresh clones and starts available each week. If you’re looking to work with some new and different dispensary-type or CBD strains, feel free to hit them up.
Thanks to Magic People Farms for their generosity and great stories! You can find them online at MagicPeopleUnited.com, on Facebook and on Instagram: @magicpeoplefarms.