IYKYK - Sonoma Hills Farm Ready for Croptober Harvest
At Sonoma Hills Farm, the cultivation of cannabis flower harmoniously coexists with nature, embracing regenerative farming practices. The harvest takes place precisely at the moment when the plants reach their full-term peak potential, ensuring the utmost quality. - Written by Randy Villarba
Sonoma Hills Farm, situated on a sprawling 60-acre property within the Petaluma Gap appellation of Sonoma Valley, stands as a distinguished craft cannabis farm and culinary haven. This pristine location boasts its status as one of the United States' foremost wine terroirs.
Under the guidance of Aaron Keefer, renowned for his past roles as the culinary gardener for the Thomas Keller Group and The French Laundry, Sonoma Hills Farm thrives in collaboration with Michelin-starred chefs. Together, they meticulously select and nurture the finest sun-grown cannabis, hemp, and vegetables, aiming for nothing short of excellence.
In anticipation for the Croptober harvest, legendary cannabis pioneer Jorge Cervantes visited Sonoma Hills Farm in September. After touring their property, Cervantes had nothing but praise for the Sonoma Hills Farm family.
At Sonoma Hills Farm, the cultivation of cannabis flower harmoniously coexists with nature, embracing regenerative farming practices. The harvest takes place precisely at the moment when the plants reach their full-term peak potential, ensuring the utmost quality.
This farm seamlessly melds Sonoma County's rich agricultural heritage with a farm-to-table cannabis lifestyle, crafting a tailored experience for discerning and passionate connoisseurs of cannabis flower.
"I am super impressed with the scientific breeding work Sonoma Hills Farm is accomplishing in conjunction with Humboldt Seed Co,” said Cervantes. “Very exciting!"
Croptober of 2023 marks a very exciting moment for Sonoma Hills Farm. They are currently ready to harvest their second 100% certified organic crop that is all pesticide free. They have been sourcing their genetics from reputable breeders like Bio Vortex, Compound Genetics and Humboldt Seed Co.
We caught up with Mike Harden, Chief Executive Officer for Sonoma Hills Farm to discuss 2023’s Croptober Harvest. Harden is an experienced venture capitalist and entrepreneur with more than 20 years in the investment industry. He has served on numerous boards from hospitality and cannabis to tech and biotech and has spoken at major financial conferences such as the Milken Institute’s Global Conference and cannabis conferences like New West Summit.
Over 75 Years in Cannabis Combined
This is our best year on our property,” said Harden. “Our cultivation team has combined, over 75 years of growing and we agree this weather was the best. The rains were amazing and with our regenerative farming techniques, our land and soil is now more charged than ever.”
“We love weed. We have over 28 strains. Jorge Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal both visited our farms this September. Cervantes loved our Pink Jesus. We went bigger with Pink Jesus this year. The color right now is amazing and the trichomes are really stacked.”
Sonoma Hills Farm sources their genetics from breeders like Bio Vortex, Compound Genetics and Humboldt Seed Co.
“All our growers shut down their legacy grows when recreational cannabis started. We all pulled together in 2017 and have been working together since. Our head of cultivation is Aaron Keefer. He has been growing cannabis since his teens. He had his jars of weed on the top shelf all throughout the Bay Area during the 215 days.”
Sam Magruder spearheads the cultivation and development efforts at Sonoma Hills Farm, bringing to the table an impressive track record spanning over two decades. With expertise in cultivating sustainable and top-tier cannabis across diverse settings, including outdoor, mixed light, and indoor environments, Magruder is a seasoned professional in the field. Furthermore, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University.
At the helm of Sonoma Hills Farm's operations stands Joyce Cenali, serving as the Chief Operating Officer. She boasts a remarkable career as an executive proficient in sales, operations, and business development, with a significant background in the cannabis industry. Cenali's journey in cultivation commenced in her personal garden back in 2004, leading to her co-founding a cultivation project in the Sierra region. Notably, her group clinched victory at the 2016 Emerald Cup in the Dry Sieve category.
Sonoma Hills Flower
Here are four cultivars from Sonoma Hills Farm's rich cannabis genetic library, each carefully curated to exemplify the farm's commitment to quality, diversity, and innovation in the world of cannabis cultivation. These distinct cultivars represent a harmonious fusion of art and science, showcasing the meticulous breeding and cultivation techniques that have become synonymous with Sonoma Hills Farm's reputation for excellence in the industry. Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of cannabis, these cultivars offer a tantalizing glimpse into the extraordinary spectrum of flavors, aromas, and effects that the farm has meticulously crafted over the years.
“We have been growing the Gastropop as our compound strain,” said Harden.
“A lot of cultivations are now growing Gastropop, but we are currently cultivating a different phenotype Gastropop #4.”
Gastropop #4 is a cross of Applez & Bananas with Grape Gasoline. This hybrid offers a citrusy and berry flavored smoke with a gassy exhale. Its effects are purported to be social, cerebral and calming. Dominant terpenes are pinene, caryophyllene and humulene.
Gelato x High Octane OG
Gelato x High Octane OG is a must if you love gelato strains. This indica leaning, pinene forward strain has a twist to the old favorite. This cross offers a gassy, lavender and berry flavored smoke. It is purported to be calm, euphoric and relaxing. Dominant terpenes are pinene, caryophyllene and humulene.
Melonade #8 is a Lemon Tree and Watermelon Z cross. This sativa dominant hybrid offers a sweet and fruity smoke with a minty exhale. Its effects are purported to be creative, euphoric and overall uplifting. Dominant terpenes are pinene, caryophyllene and humulene.
“The Cherry Cheesecake is an indica our cultivators have been working with over the last eight to nine years,” said Harden.
“It is one of our legacy genetics that reaches back to the Prop 215 days. Back then we had Cherry Cheesecake throughout all of the Northern California co-ops and Bay Area dispensaries.”
Cherry Cheesecake is a cross of Kimbo Kush and Cherry Pie. The nose is reminiscent of a savory cherry cheesecake. This cultivar offers a mix of creamy and fruity flavors with a chocolate exhale. Its effects are purported to offer a relaxing, euphoric and calming effect. Dominant terpenes are limonene, caryophyllene and humulene.
DomPen and Lost Farm Collaborations
Sonoma Hills Farm takes pride in its commitment to delivering a diverse and comprehensive cannabis experience to its customers. In pursuit of this goal, the farm has forged strategic collaborations with industry leaders such as DomPen vapes and Kiva's Lost Farm edibles.
These partnerships offer consumers the unique opportunity to enjoy Sonoma Hills Farm cannabis in various forms, including flower, vape cartridges, and delectable edibles. Whether you prefer the rich and nuanced flavors of cannabis flower, the convenience of vape pens, or the delightful world of infused edibles, Sonoma Hills Farm's partnerships ensure that you can savor their premium cannabis products in the manner that suits your individual preferences, providing a truly tailored and elevated cannabis experience.
During the Croptober harvest, cannabis plants that have been carefully nurtured throughout the growing season finally reach maturity, producing top-shelf cannabis flower. The quality of these cannabis buds is influenced not only by the expertise of the cultivators, but also by the unique weather conditions that prevail in the weeks leading up to the harvest. The interplay of sunlight, temperature, and humidity during this month-long period can significantly impact the terpene profiles and cannabinoid content of the cannabis plants, resulting in a diverse array of flavors and effects.
For those in the cannabis industry, Croptober is a time of anticipation and excitement as they prepare to bring these exquisite cannabis flowers to market. As the harvest season extends from late September into early November, cannabis businesses gear up for a surge in activity, from cultivation and processing to distribution and sales. Croptober's arrival is a testament to the progress made since the legalization of cannabis, highlighting the industry's growth and potential, while enthusiasts eagerly await the chance to savor the fruits of this annual labor of love.
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