Given the tragic history of prohibition, cannabis and stigma go hand and hand. Unfortunately, that happens in a larger and wider variety of ways than many of us realize. But the reality is that stigma, bias, ingrained beliefs and misconceptions come in all shapes and sizes.
As a caucasian and female identifying nurse, I likely receive less kick back and grief than many in the cannabis industry do, let alone in general. I know white privilege.
But there is one bit of bias, and one thing I continue to hear from other cultivators, nurses, colleagues, and especially from other womxn:
- “You don’t really grow it do you?”
- “Oh I’m sure you don’t do much of the farming.”
- “He does all of the cultivating right?”
I have been cultivating and crafting medicinal herbs since the 90s. I am a cultivating medical marijuana patient and caregiver for another nurse in cancer remission. I solely manage the NurseGrown greenhouse. I wake up early, water before heading to the University where I work as a nurse in research, head back home to water again after lunch, and I’m back at it the next day. Every day.
I think it's time to shed light on the fact that female-identifying folks CAN GROW!
I’m not the only one. In fact, agricultural census data from the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service notes that the number of female-identifying farmers has been increasing steadily, and make up 36 percent of farmers, which is an increase of 27% from 2012.
The USDA also notes that womxn "have been a critical part of farm and ranch operations across the country—and around the globe—for centuries. But now, as women in agriculture, we have a unique opportunity to be the change we want to see in our industry."
Speaking of changes, when reporting on this data, Pacific Standard also made a point of highlighting the issue that American agriculture is still overwhelmingly a white-owned industry, “due to a long legacy of discrimination within the USDA.” African-American farmers make up less than 2% of the country’s producers. So, when we talk about bringing justice and equity to American agriculture, we still have a very long way to go.
Now, to be fully transparent, I will say that NurseGrown is co-founded by both myself and my partner, farmer and horticulturist Matt Leonetti. And the truth is that I can’t manage the whole farm by myself, but it’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s because I’m only one person, with 2 hands and 24 hours in a day.
So together, Matt and I plant in the fields, with my oldest son by our side. Together, we weed and feed the fields every week all season long. Together, we inspect and care for the plants for months on end. Together, we hand harvest and hang every plant, row after row.
Together, we process and prepare the plants for either smokable flower or product extraction, to bring you the best NurseGrown hemp and CBD.
But to all the people who question and doubt...Yes, NurseGrown IS NURSE GROWN!