Sol Spirit Farm is an award-winning Flower, regeneratively-farmed, sustainably-packaged cannabis brand based in Trinity County, California. Grown by old-school deadhead legacy farmers who care, Sol Spirit won the Emerald Cup for Most eco-conscious packaging and recieved a gold medal in the inaugural California State Fair in the Terpinolene category for the brand beloved, proprietary Sol Shine cultivar.
Walter Wood and Judi Nelson are a husband and wife team that are the owners and operators of Sol Spirit Farm. The duo has been cultivating cannabis alongside chickens and other crops on their current farm in Trinity County since 2001 after arriving in the Emerald Triangle in 1997. The brand is legacy, equity, and women-owned. Overcoming a past arrest and conviction in Arkansas for possessing a used cannabis pipe, the Sol Spirit founders felt immediately embraced and at home in the Emerald Triangle community. They participated in environmental activism, worked to save the old-growth Redwood forests in the area, and went to extreme lengths for environmental activism.
In 2001, Sol Spirit moved to its current farm on the South Fork of the Trinity River in Salyer, California. “The main focus of the farm and homestead is to live sustainably and in harmony with the land,” Judi Nelson tells Hall of Flowers. “Walter is a certified permaculturalist and was able to see the wonderful qulaities of this land, even though the previous inhabitants had not been good stewards.”
The duo rehabilitated the land, cleaning decades of built-up garbage from the site. They built a strawbale house using materials harvested from the property, built a micro-hydro and solar power system, and planted an orchard. Since then, they have been focused on building soil, reducing the carbon footprint of their lives, and doing community organizing in Willow Creek. They built a chic glamping experience for people to appreciate the land and cannabis community in the Emerald Triangle. As a community of cultivators, the Willow Creek area has experienced the War on Drugs through extreme federal law enforcement actions. The community offers a solid support structure for those who lost their crops or freedom in service to the plant.
While excited about the prospect of “legalization” of cannabis in California because they do not believe anyone should ever be arrested or imprisoned for cannabis, the founders of Sol Spirit were wary of what this regulation would mean for their community at large. Unfortunately, they watched over the following years as the one-acre cap was removed in the 11th hour, as oppressive regulation and taxation made it very difficult or impossible for their friends and neighbors to navigate the transition to the regulated market, and as commodification and overproduction in California has led to the decimation of their local economy.
Sol Spirit Farm are survivors. The brand has been providing packaged products consistently to the California market since 2018. While very difficult, Walter and Judi have committed themselves to the regulated market because it is their mission and purpose to propel the normalization of cannabis. Sol Spirit’s ideology is to spread awareness of regenerative, sun-grown cannabis as a way to heal the earth and her people, no matter their race or economic background.
“Our brand story is all about showing consumers the environmentally conscious farming methods practiced by legacy farmers in the Emerald Triangle,” Nelson says. Her goal is to help educate consumers to know they have a choice to buy flower from small family farms that are protecting the environment while producing world-class cannabis.
70% of consumers say that sustainability is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Sol Spirit Farm is the most sustainable cannabis brand currently operating in California. “Our consumer demographic is broad because all kinds of people care about the environment and they like all different types of cultivars,” Nelson says.
Sol Spirit showcases a deep knowledge of earth-friendly cultivation and features a broad selection of cultivars on its menu. Classics include celebrated cuts of Sour D, Headband, and OG alongside unique genetics like Sol Shine and Burmese Mimosa. The farm is always cultivating something new, and this year it’s focusing on the strains Azul Runtz and Element.
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