Lazy Bee Gardens – Methow Valley, WA
Lazy Bee Gardens is the brainchild of owner Matthew Frigone, his parents and a silent investor. Frigone started growing six years before Lazy Bee’s inception, while his parents were running the farm under the name Bernhard Farms. His dad called it ‘Lazy Bee’ for short, so when it came time to rename the farm, “it just kinda happened real natural,” says Frigone. You might say it happened organically, which is ironic, as the term ‘organic’ is held by the department of agriculture; so, while Lazy Bee Gardens practices organic methods, they cannot legally claim that title. “Maybe soon we can see that kind of movement from the department,” Frigone muses, “but for now we are ‘Clean Green Certified.’”
Clean Green Certification indicates that the grower is observing organic practices without calling it organic, due to that linguistic block with the Feds. Frigone explains the farm’s philosophies by mentioning his favorite book on taking care of the earth, “Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web” by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. “[That] book was one of those ‘aha’ moments for me, where I realized I had been growing wrong this whole time,” Frigone shares. Lazy Bee observes the tenets of sustainable farming not just in using water properly, but by treating the soil correctly; in taking care of the earth, the plant thrives independently.
Even before I-502 was passed, Lazy Bee always had a “pretty great weed culture. Then, when it became a medical thing, everyone did it,” Frigone notes. “We’ve been really happy with how good our partners have been to us. Not an easy market, and I feel fortunate. That’s why we’re still around.” But even with the leaps and bounds of progress within the marijuana industry, Frigone admits there’s more he would want to see out of the sustainable weed culture at large. “I would absolutely want a terpene profile on cannabis products everywhere, not to mention hemp packaging. I mean, [in terms of] high hopes — I would really want to see more people getting into no-till farming, but that would be on them.”