Meet Your Farmer: Carly Minford of Wild Iris
Meet Carly Minford, Owner & Operator of Wild Iris. With a 100% solar-powered farm, a sparkly Chocolate Mint OG and irons on the fire both in the kitchen and with a budding skincare line, Carly is a rockstar in her own right. Here is Carly’s story:
“Wild Iris has certainly been a labor of love, but I’m so grateful that I get to wake up every day on this beautiful piece of land.”
Q: Please introduce yourself: where are your roots and how did you get involved in farming cannabis?
A: I am actually an East Coast transplant. I came to the West Coast for college and knew right away I never wanted to leave. About 14 years ago I had the opportunity to work in Mendocino county as a trimmer and immediately fell in love with the area and the freedom that growing ganja provided- being able to live off the land and in harmony with nature and the seasons. Over time I saved up to buy a raw piece of land that I’ve slowly been developing and building over the years. Wild Iris has certainly been a labor of love, but I’m so grateful that I get to wake up every day on this beautiful piece of land.
Q: What makes your farm land unique?
A: Wild Iris is located just outside Ukiah in the western foothills. It is 100% solar powered and off the grid. The gardens are south facing so I get lots of heat and lots of sun in the summer, which is great for finishing up strong with the last few weeks of flowering. OG crosses tend to do well here for that reason.
Q: When did you join Mendocino Generations and what does it mean to you to be a Mendo Gen farmer?
A: I joined Mendo Gen last spring, the idea of being part of a larger group of heritage farmers was really appealing, as the last couple of years have been a little daunting (to say the least) as we all transition to the legal market. The mutual support that Mendo Gen provides- of sharing ideas, resources, and information is essential for us small farmers as we navigate this transition.
“As a side note though, I think we should all bring back the Blue Dream and make it retro chic.”
Q: Tell us about the strains that you grow.
A: One of my all time faves that I’ve been growing for the last few years is a Chocolate Mint OG, its an early finisher with dense, sparkly buds and a gassy nose. Last year I also grew some of Arcanna’s genetics, the Jedi Nights- also one of my all time favorites, they were a joy to grow. This year I’m excited about a seed project I’m collaborating on to develop some unique OG crosses that I think will do really well at Wild Iris. As a side note though, I think we should all bring back the Blue Dream and make it retro chic.
Q: Tell us about your gardening style.
A: For plant nutrients, I mainly rely on amending my soil in the spring with things like alfalfa meal, chicken manure, worm castings, guano, and compost. To maintain soil microbe health, I usually do a weekly compost tea as well as some sort of foliar spray. Last year for pest control I relied heavily on beneficial insects- ladybugs in the greenhouse and nematodes through the water as well as predatory mites. I’m excited to be switching things up a little this year with hedgerows and hoop houses, but the soil composition will mainly stay the same.
Q: We noticed you enjoy getting creative in the kitchen with CBD. Do you also cook or bake with THC? Do you think you could share with us one of your favorite winter recipes? Click here to see Carly baking CBD chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
A: I love experimenting in the kitchen, I made some CBD heavy valentines day chocolates with Trident, one of the strains I grew this year that was a 14:1 CBD:THC, and I actually think they need more THC, so I’m going to add a little Jedi Nights and melt it down with the cocoa butter and re mix it all together. I don’t actually follow any recipes, I just start mixing and tasting and see what works together.
Q: Tell us more about your up and coming skincare line.
A: The skincare line is more of a zygote of an idea that I’m hatching with my sister, using some of the Wild Iris CBDs in conjunction with natural plant extracts. More on that as it develops :)
Q: What do you enjoy doing on your downtime?
A: As a farmer, I do enjoy the slower pace of life in winter- I love cooking, and I love eating. Winter is a great time to do that. As far as work goes, its a good opportunity to chip away on compliance and marketing, making budgets and plans for the upcoming season, all that boring stuff. However, I think my favorite thing about having some down time is taking the opportunity to do a little traveling, see the world, change my perspective, experience new cultures, and (obviously) eat new things.
Follow along with Carly Minford and Wild Iris on Instagram here.
“Meet Your Farmer” is a series here on the Mendocino Generations blog. Mendocino Generations is an alliance of over 60 permitted farms — all unique in their very own way. From their appellation, to their product, growing techniques and more, we delve deeper to develop a more connected appreciation for the amazing farmers who collectively comprise the Mendocino Generations Family.