I woke up at the break of dawn … and I loved it. I was in a greenhouse full of big, growing cannabis plants.
The deeper, truer rhythms of nature, of the earth, of the sun and moon and rain and wind and soil and water, are always there, just behind the veneer of civilization, of smart phones, tablets, laptops, appointments … and those true, deep rhythms are just waiting to show themselves once we back away from the frenetic, technology-driven pace of modern life and take the time to exist in the moment.
Oh, and did I mention the cannabis plants? Yes, it’s hard to explain just how centering it is to spend the night in a greenhouse full of verdant, healthy cannabis – big, bushy, beautiful, budding cannabis plants, everywhere.
Farmer Tom Lauerman and his wife Paula offer nights in their rural greenhouse, on the outskirts of Vancouver, Washington, to visitors who want a little taste of life on the farm; donations are gratefully accepted. There’s absolutely no better way to experience, up close and personal, organic farming methods. Besides growing cannabis, Farmer Tom also has a thriving vegetable garden, which covers roughly two acres – and he loves showing off and sharing his tasty produce.
My girlfriend Lisa and I had expected some sort of primitive cots or something, I guess, when we made our plans to stay the night in Farmer Tom’s greenhouse, but were we ever pleasantly surprised upon arriving! An actual mattress, and a rather comfortable one at that, greeted us about halfway through the greenhouse. A nightstand and a table give a comfortable, homey feel to the surroundings. Yes, there are cannabis plants throughout the greenhouse, including right next to the bed, so guests can revel in their heady terpenes while relaxing.
There are a couple of things you may want to bring along; remember, this is a greenhouse with a bed in it, not a permanent residence, and there’s not electricity near the bed. A cooler and a flashlight are good things to have. But I spent exactly zero minutes thinking about what wasn’t there, because I was so happy with what WAS there.
Was it the fresh air, or the enticing scent of growing cannabis, or maybe the delightful combination, that produced such a restful sleep?
Not long after awakening, Lisa and I enjoyed some delicious breakfast wraps prepared by Paula, as we were welcomed to the table like family. Nothing like some scrumptious breakfast burritos – and a couple of delicious joints of Albert Walker! – to make you feel happy and ready to face the day.
After we’d filled our tummies, Farmer Tom gave us a fun tour of his vegetable garden. I have to admit that one of the most exciting parts of the tour was getting the opportunity to drive the little tractor. As we toured row after row of beautiful vegetables, including the most beautiful scallions I’ve ever seen (they turned out to taste just as delicious as they looked when I put them in a casserole). Farmer Tom kept picking samples for us to take home, and afterward we were feasting on greens for days!
Farmer Tom Is Making A Point
When the current changes in Washington’s medical cannabis laws began to take effect, many of those in the community chose to adopt a lower profile, following the theory that in an uncertain legal environment, it’s best not to attract too much attention.
Farmer Tom takes the opposite approach. Firmly pro-patient and pro-medical cannabis, Tom represents the kind of mom-and-pop family farm operation that provides the backbone of this area’s great agricultural heritage… and he set about to establish a memorable brand name for himself.
Now Tom’s logo and brand are familiar throughout Washington State and beyond, as his kindly, bearded likeness gazes beatifically out from the label.
“I established a brand name, and made it well known, because I think the preservation of family farms that grow cannabis is important,” Farmer Tom told me. “I hope to spread the Farmer Tom brand around the world, but I most want to operate in those markets that seek to preserve the small farmer’s way of life.”
Time To Protect Mom and Pop
So will enough constituents let their Washington legislators know it’s important to preserve the legal right of family operations like Farmer Tom’s to continue producing organic medicinal cannabis for patients? Will gourmet, organic flowers, of the most medicinal and therapeutic strains available, continue to be grown by herbal artisans with deep roots in the patient community?
Well, not unless we, as patients and advocates, take an active part in the political process and make sure our voices are heard. In politics, you either have a seat at the table, or you appear on the menu. Let’s do all we can to keep family operations like Farmer Tom’s in business!