“The Original OG”, the “Mecca of Cannabis,” and “The True Garden of Eden” are names that refer to one place I mention in my book– The Emerald Triangle. I was invited to this historic place last year for the Emerald Cup, which turned out to be a life-changing experience for me. Leaving my rugged mountain home with my partner in crime and landing into another mountain area with a variety of microclimates was otherworldly in itself. Heavy mist would loom in front of your face and kiss your cheeks eerily as it moved past you to wrap its ghostly mass around the ancient redwood trees. I was both excited and anxious entering a place I had been dreaming of visiting for years. I was finally setting foot in the Holy Land where I was about to meet passionate people in the world’s cannabis Mecca.
I was a bit nervous to step into this circle because I wasn’t sure how they were going to take me. Being a transplant from Buffalo, NY (some would argue Canada) who headed west and strongly rooted herself into the Colorado culture, I wondered how not being “Californian” would affect my experience.
Coming from Summit County where our population explodes to upwards of 70,000 people during the winter ski season and then back down to 1,000 per town the rest of the year, I could empathize as far as tourists were concerned. Much to my relief, I was welcomed with open arms by the people and their culture. It was incredibly refreshing to meet people who were even more humble than myself. It was also immensely refreshing to meet people who would bleed for their art, for their passion, and for their love of organic medicine. Interacting with these people, sharing stories, being blessed with gifts of edibles to manage my migraines, sampling organic outdoor grown cannabis saturated with love, and comparing and contrasting the Colorado and California scenes was absolutely thrilling. I felt as if I had been looking for these people all my life but I had to wait till this moment to finally meet them. I had found more of my brothers and sisters, and reveled in their company.
This experience grounded me and caused me to grow in many ways, both from a professional and spiritual standpoint. I became attached to the Emerald Triangle’s energy and I brought it back with me to the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Sharing my experience with other medical cannabis supporters, they too felt the energy and had a tiny taste of the beauty of the culture over there. I know what I have been put on this earth to do and I felt that by making that trip, I had nourished important parts of my soul and mind which were starving. I look forward to my next Emerald Triangle trip again this year for the Emerald Cup to see those familiar faces. I look forward to new adventures, friends, lessons, experiences, local restaurants to dine in, cannabis, edibles, concentrates, late night conversations, passionate people, and the Emerald Triangle’s warm embrace.
In the honor, spirit and energy of this magical place, I bestow upon you my Mother’s (Ma Cat as we call her) apple pie recipe but with a medicinal kick. I decided to pair Kannabis Candy, a strain a friend of mine is growing in Breckenridge, CO, with this recipe as the sweet candy notes of the strain really pair well with the tartness of the green apples.
The warm sweet vanilla tones of the Vanilla Kush really kick the flavors up a notch. This is a family recipe that has never been shared before and was spawned from my Mother in early 1970s. During this period, my Mother and Father lived in rural North Collins, NY; I wasn’t even close to being born and my older sister was just a cute little baby. My Father bought them the book ‘Stalking the Wild Asparagus“, which is what she proceeded to do. She would put my sister into her Gerry backpack, would grab two pillow cases and the book, and would go foraging. My mother would find all the blackberry, leek, thimble berry, raspberry and elderberry patches in the area; sometimes causing trouble by picking the areas dry before the neighbors got to them. Next she was able to find abandoned pear trees, black walnuts, apple orchards, and two ponds which had blue gills. Nothing was safe. She would bake bread in the morning, go fishing for blue gills at noon with my sister, clean and cook dinner and then bake a fruit or apple pie for my Father. In addition to her new found scavenging skills, she also tended to a vegetable garden where all their vegetables for their meals came from. If food was low, as long as she had flour, sugar, spice and butter, they could eat. My mother says this was one of the happiest times in her life. She had full blown nature, warm soil, land to roam, her art, her child and husband.
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