Daniel Fink says he decided to move to California and become a regenerative cannabis farmer on his first night in Nevada City. In 2008, he came to visit some friends who took him to a memorial service for a man who had been farming organically in the area for 40 years. He says more than 300 people showed up to honor the old farmer, many of whom had apprenticed with him decades earlier and now ran their own farms.
“I just knew that I was in a new kind of community — a different kind of place than I had been in before,” Fink recalls. “And immediately I knew I had to live here. I felt called to the area because of the culture and community and the heritage of organic farming.”
Although he had never grown cannabis commercially, Fink was not new to horticulture when he launched his business in 2019. He worked in a flower shop as a young man, where, he says, he quickly graduated from floor sweeper to commercial orchid cultivator. He says he immediately fell in love with orchid growing and has always enjoyed growing plants. “I grew a little bit of pot as a kid,” he says, “but I didn’t apply any kind of scientific method. It was just for fun.”
These days, there is a lot of science and complex horticultural methodology being undertaken at Fink’s Down Om Farms outside Nevada City, where he grows cannabis that is available at The Sanctuary and WEEDCo Delivery in Sacramento and at various locations in Nevada County and Lake Tahoe.
For starters, his 1-acre cultivated field looks like a pot garden planted in a vegetable patch because he is cultivating microbes in his soil, and plant variation is good for microbial diversity. Fink’s cannabis plants grow