Siobhan Danger Darwish and Sloan Reed affectionately known as the Grow Sisters — have combined back-to-the-basics, sustainable farming methods with modern technology to build a brand, and empower others.
The sisters co-own and operate their family farm, Blessed Coast Farms — the first to receive a cannabis cultivation license in the state of California.
The farm, located in Humboldt County, is licensed for 10,000 square feet of mixed lighting cultivation, and associated processing. Products include soon-to-be released items, such as pre-roll packs of 20:1 (THC:CBD) ratio Sour Diesel Sativa Hybrid, and 40:1 Bubble Hash Dusted Sour Diesel Hybrid.
The Emerald spoke with Darwish about their craft farm,
YouTube channel, and upcoming project, “Sister, Grow Your Own.”
Here’s what she had to say:
Emerald Magazine: How did the farm come to be; how did you, and your sister, start farming?
Siobhan Danger Darwish (SDD): I started farming alongside my father. He believed in sustainable cultivation practices and his knowledge was passed on to myself, which I was honored to pass to my younger sister. Our simple, back-to-the-basics way of cultivating was helpful when going through the permitting process. Sustainable, clean farming practices made the permitting process easy, and along with Adram Darwish of Darwish Building and Consulting being savvy to the new rules and regulations, we stood out in front.
Emerald: This launched a business and brand – how did it foster your
relationship as sisters?
SDD: Once our family’s cannabis farm started running we realized we would need help, and no one better than your family to help […]! So I invited my sister, Sloan Reed, to come learn the family business. [This was] a great opportunity to educate her on cultivation and […] spend the summer together!
Emerald: How did the “Grow Sisters” come to be?
SDD: [We’re] honored to get the first permit, and found that once we had it, we had no extra funds to pay someone to market our farm or products. This was how the Grow Sisters was born! While educating Sloan on how to cultivate, I realized that we could document our process and share it with others. In addition, this was a way to influence others in growing their own medicine organically, all while promoting our farm and encouraging us all to know where our cannabis comes from. […]
As sisters, this brought us closer together as we planned, recorded, and shared our videos.
Emerald: Tell us about Blessed Coast Farms; what makes it stand out?
SDD: We received a commercial cannabis cultivation permit here in Humboldt County in June of 2016. This is the first official permit of its type here in California.
We at Blessed Coast Farms love talking about sustainability! First and foremost, growing with the sun will forever be the most sustainable. We use organic amendments and supplements — like compost tea — and do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
We track water usage closely and utilize efficiency measures. When possible, we practice permaculture principles, and use local resources as often as we can. We believe that sustainability extends to setting a high standard for conduct and we are working to educate the community that the emerging legal cannabis industry is contributing to society, not taking from it.
Emerald: Do you consider yourself a craft farmer? What does it mean to be a craft farmer in today’s market?
SDD: Yes we are craft farmers. In today’s market it’s more important than ever to produce clean medication. Craft to us means truly connecting with the plant, the environment, and respecting the medication that cannabis truly is. Through education we hope that consumers will continue to educate themselves on what is in their cannabis and who is producing it.
Emerald: You have built an impressive online and social media presence, creating an instantly recognizable brand. Why use, and embrace, mainstream media to get your message out?
SDD: The Grow Sisters’ launch into mainstream media was quite scary for me. I am a second generation farmer and social media or photos of our lifestyle were never allowed in my family or community. Oh, how times have changed! I still have a bit of anxiety around the attention we receive as the Grow Sisters, but on the other hand I am very grateful that our viewers are interested and show us the love that they do.
We decided to join Instagram and Youtube as a way of sharing our knowledge and cultivation style. We believe that cannabis is a medicinal herb and the more knowledge we get out into the mainstream, the more we remove the stigma.
Emerald: Speaking of Grow Sisters, do you have a favorite episode(s)?
SDD: Oh that’s hard! I really love our bloopers videos and we had such a fun time making “The Legend of Soil Bae” video. I loved the time we got to share with Dennis Peron, the author of Proposition 216, and the video we got to produce with him. Our video with The Humboldt Seed Company was so incredible to make and [to] get to spend time with that team! Sloan and I have such a great time making these videos and inspiring people to grow their own [while providing] insight behind the scenes of the cannabis revolution.
Emerald: The first season of Grow Sisters features product reviews, topics like “When to Harvest,” and “The Legend of Soil Bae.” What will the Grow Sisters cover next season?
SDD: […] As the […] industry grows, so [do] the Grow Sisters and we hope to cover more facets of this exploding industry. There’s so much happening outside of just cultivation […].
Season two for the Grow Sisters’ multimedia educational platform [will feature] our silly, fun, educational videos, of course, including a couple [of] new Sisters.
What we’re most excited about is the launch of our “Sister, Grow Your Own” Summer 2018 Campaign. We want nothing more than to empower and share our cannabis cultivation knowledge, so we are selecting one lucky Humboldt County sister for personalized cultivation training in her garden. From sprout to harvest, we’ll be by her side, providing her the plants, amendments, knowledge and support as she grows her own.
We’re still seeking that sister, so reach out to us if you live in Humboldt County and are ready to grow your own. We’ll also be inviting others to join us in the Grow Your Own adventure, and send in pictures of their gardens as they flourish and grow.
Emerald: You’re involved in so many projects, as well as doing interviews and speaking engagements. How do you maintain your work/life balance?
SDD: […] Coming from the black market, I could never share my passion for cannabis cultivation and now I can. […] I am very energized and love speaking, attending events, promoting events, promoting products and companies that deserve recognition. How I am able to balance all this is thanks to my team of sisters! I have sisters who believe in the Grow Sisters’ mission to educate and they are extremely instrumental to the Grow Sisters’ success – including ensuring I get down time when I need to recharge, helping me say “no” to some events, and celebrating our successes!
Emerald: Lastly, a fun one — what are your favorite cannabis self-care products?
SDD: My absolute favorite cannabis self-care product is Bosm. I love the ritual it’s become for me. It smells fantastic and its medicinal properties are so [good] that this product should be on everyone’s nightstand.
For more information, visit the Grow Sisters online at TheGrowSisters.com, or visit their Instagram @Grow.Sisters
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