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Cultivating with Care: An Interview with SPARC’s Farm Manager

A photo of Amy, SPARC's assistant farm manager.

Introduce yourself, and tell us what you do. 

My name is Amy Goodwin and I am the assistant manager at the SPARC farm. I do all things related to cultivating our cannabis, from planting and feeding to pruning and harvesting, I help bring flower to your homes.

I’ve been in cannabis for 20 years, and have worked at SPARC for almost 8 years.  After starting as a trimmer in the spring of 2013, I fell in love with the camaraderie and spirit of everyone involved at SPARC…  it instantly felt like home. I’ve worn many hats at SPARC, but working outside on the farm with the plants is where I find my happy place.

2020 has been quite the year, what are some of the challenges that you’ve faced with this year’s cultivation? 

The challenges of maintaining a garden of commercial size is all about timing. You have to treat each plant as your own, yet spread your love evenly across an acre and thousands of plants. Each strain has its own needs, its own strengths and weaknesses.  You raise and nurture them as babies, train them as teens, and give them every advantage you can as they grow and you send them out into the world as adults. 

Being able to harvest at the perfect time for each plant at optimal ripeness is a test of hyper attention and hustle. We have begun that dance this year and our harvest is going great! We are really excited about our strains and our girls were very healthy and strong this year.

The recent Glass Fire came close to the SPARC farm, which was lost in the 2017 Tubbs Fire. Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like to work on the team when the fires hit in 2017? 

2017 was our first year at our Sonoma Valley location. We put so much love and work into creating the infrastructure, and planting our crop that first season. It was heartbreaking to see it go to ash, literally.  Our entire farm, crop and structures were lost in the Tubbs Fire. But watching the landscape around us come back to life, has also brought a reinvigorated love of the farm. We are better than ever this year, and we have done it with the same core crew, and we couldn’t be happier with what’s coming your way from our farm.

What are you most excited about with this season’s flower? 

We have many surprises for you this season, but in particular,  I personally enjoy the Its-It.  It’s It is a dream to grow, easy to process, and a weighty girl. Also look out for Lost Coast Lemon… it’s got the sneakier terps.

What’s your team’s favorite strain you’re growing this year? 

We all have different favorites, but one of our team members, Gus, is adamant that Peanut Butter Chocolate is the best!

Tell us more about working with the SPARC farm team?

Every person on our team has a unique talent.  But the common denominator is the love of the plant, and the process. I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with every day. Gianni, Jasmine, Jorgio, Nick, Gus, Nelson, and our Director Chris – they are the ones who make these plants special, and make this job one-of-a-kind. We will be working hard to get these strains down at the perfect time, cured for the perfect taste, and from our farm to your coffee table just in time for Thanksgiving… and many weeks thereafter.

Is there anything you’d like the folks visiting our stores to know?

We do what we do because we love it… and we want you to love it too!