Aster Farms: Hedging Their Bets — the Right Way


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Aster Farms – Anderson Valley, CA

Founded in 2016 with intentions of being fully compliant and legal, Aster Farms was started by serial-entrepreneur couple Julia Jacobson and Sam Ludwig with help from cultivation head Noah Cornell. Aster Farms was not active during medical cannabis, even though the company was founded on diverse experience with cannabis’ medicinal qualities. “From the outset, we were setting every stone down within the regulations that [were] anticipated,” says Jacobson. “We were in a good position from our first harvest last December in terms of both local regulations and state.”

Aster Farms - Anderson Valley, CA

The Place

Aster Farms sits on a flat hilltop above lower hills and Anderson valley, surrounded by oaks and sprouting grasslands. Stunning mountains are visible to the south. Cannabis leaves of favorable strain Maui OG add splashes of incredible purple that explode with a sweet tropical mango-pineapple aroma. Ludwig’s grandparents relocated to the Anderson Valley in the ‘70s and bought the hilltop ranch where his uncle still lives today. His childhood was spent in the Bay Area, although he ended up becoming a third-generation grower when he diversified his creative career and started a cannabis brand.

Aster Farms - Anderson Valley, CA

The Product

Aster Farms’ Clean Green-certified, 100 percent organic cannabis is grown in ground with native soil and a focus on healthy soil biology. Future plans include farm fertility, such as bringing goats to help manage post-burn landscape and provide tightened-up nutrient cycling. Aster Farms strains are available in an informative system of “sunscapes”: Sunrise, Radiant, Sunset, Moonlight and Outer Space. Crop is sorted by ‘scapes based on effects and profile. For the holidays, a pre-roll five-pack featured joints for each time of day.

Although part of the Maui OG crop was lost in the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, Aster Farms is doing everything possible to return it to market this spring. “It’s a blank canvas we can shape as years go by,” remarks Cornell regarding the aftermath of the blaze. In thanks, Aster Farms donates $2 from their Harry’s Harvest pre-roll pack proceeds to Lakeport volunteer firefighters and the Hopland Fire Protection volunteer group.

Aster Farms - Anderson Valley, CA

“Cannabis leaves of favorable strain Maui OG add splashes of incredible purple that explode with a sweet tropical mango-pineapple smell.”

Ashleigh Castro

Ashleigh Castro is a New York seed grown in the California sunshine. A photographer by nature, she developed while capturing peace rallies in San Francisco and snapping shots of musicians. She started at DOPE taking photos for DOPE Magazine as it launched in Northern California in 2015. Aesthetically, her favorite medium to shoot in is film such as 35mm and medium format. Since she studied journalism, she put her DOPEn to the paper and started writing stories about healing family through cannabis, sustainably sourced edibles and consciously created local products. Having developed obscure food allergies caused by histamine intolerance, she applies cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain, inflammation and the anxieties surrounding food intolerance. Now managing the NorCal office as well as the area’s content, you can find her on the scene with the DOPE squad or roller skating in the Bay Area’s scenic spots. Her greatest joy working at DOPE is being able to help found a Dream Team of talent and style.