5 Questions with Hildi Gerhart of Fire Flower Farm
Posted: January 29th, 2021
Hildi Gerhart is the engine that drives Fire Flower Farm, and grows it with her patience and determination. Hildi is a graduate of Cornell University who found her way to the Mendocino County cannabis community through friends in Covelo in 2006 while living in San Francisco. Hildi moved to a fully off-grid house in Willits in 2011 to join the ranks of the many female cultivators and farm owners who make the California cannabis industry what it has become today. She bought her own grid-flexible cannabis farm in 2016, the year after she began the transition to fully regulated cultivation and her second in 2018, with a jump of faith in the industry. Hildi makes yogurt at home and, after many years of holding out now has a very sweet dog named Otsu.
What brings you the most joy about working with cannabis?
Being a part of a full life cycle. It’s really magical to take a tiny seed and watch it re-invent and express itself.
At what point did you know you wanted to be a farmer?
I didn’t! Honestly, I realized I had become a farmer a few years after I began transitioning into the regulated market.
What are the most and least rewarding aspects of farming cannabis?
Showing people our farms and gardens while the plants are in transition and flowering, the excitement that comes from seeing and smelling the plants and their flowers while talking about their potential inspires me.
The least rewarding aspect is our industry’s focus on high THC percentages and the lack of a holistic understanding of the power of the plant and all of it’s cannabinoids and terpenes.
If you didn’t cultivate what would be your other profession?
I love to dream on and re-invent a space, to make it more functional and beautiful, so I’d probably be involved in home remodeling, both the actual hands-on work and the running of the business. I like a physical and mental balance (I’m still working at the balance part though).
What is your spirit animal and why?
There are two animals that appear often for me and I feel like they have chosen me, not me them. The fox is always showing up when I’m out in the gardens and has for years. And herons (both white and great blue) visit while I’m working on my computer doing the “business” side of farming.