Giving Tree Farms

Modern agricultural for modern makers.
Who are the key people at your organization?
Chris Butler, CEO; Courtney Bailey; COO
Describe your organization.
Giving Tree Farms is a family-owned and operated farm specializing in artisan cultivation methods and custom cultivars. Genetics is our specialty, and potency, our mistress. In our expansive natural sun and climate-controlled greenhouse growing environments in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, we meticulously handcraft the world’s most progressive crop before putting each cultivar through rigorous quality control and grading process followed with an R&D lab test to ensure we meet beyond organic standards that far surpass the average—so your company can do the same. Powered by science and watered by hand allows us to deliver the consistency and quality that our customers deserve.
What year was your organization established?
How far does your organization reach?
What is the origin story of your organization?
Giving Tree Farms began during the era of the Compassionate Use Act (proposition 215), approximately 17 years ago. Chris, co-founder of Giving Tree Farms, started by contract farming for several dispensaries in the Bay Area, focusing on the cultivation of CBD and OG strains. As the number of his farms grew, so did the need to run a more efficient and organized business, opening the door to a potential partnership. Here enters Courtney, the other half of Giving Tree Farms. Courtney and Chris met for the first time at a mutual friend’s wedding, and it wasn’t long after that they saw the potential of working together. Their relationship continued to grow, and they fell deeply in love, getting married thereafter. Courtney’s background working as COO of a market research firm gave her the skill set that would take Giving Tree Farms to a whole new level, boosting our overall efficiency and internal organization. Chris and Courtney have always been largely involved in their community, and this motivation for selflessness has spilled over into Giving Tree Farms as well. They've teamed up with other cannabis cultivators in Mendocino County through the Hive Mendocino Cooperative, showing their support of the small farmer and hoping to promote success for all in this expanding industry. They also volunteer their time at the local food bank and donate 1% of their profits to organizations supporting Mendocino County.
When did you first become interested in Cannabis, or first begin cultivating?
While cannabis has been a huge part of Chris's adult life, Courtney has a different story. As someone who battles with anxiety, she used to feel cannabis increased her anxiousness, and therefore, didn't consume it for many years. She sorted through the various anxiety cures out there, like yoga, meditation, and tinctures meant to calm the nervous system, until she decided to turn back to cannabis and found relief in the form of smaller doses. Both Courtney and Chris share an affinity for organically and sustainably grown products, so they took their passion for the ganja plant and turned it into a farm that consumers can trust.
What is your organization best known for?
We are known for cultivating high-quality, greenhouse-grown, craft cannabis that was propagated organically and sustainably in Mendocino County. We also give 1% of all our profits to organizations that support our culture and community in Mendocino County.
What makes your organization unique?
We like to be transparent with our clients and allow them to be a part of the cultivation journey each step of the way. We offer farm tours to our potential buyers, presenting the opportunity for them to see our greenhouses during the season. Our clients can take samples of our flower for testing prior to harvest, giving them a full picture of our products before they have to make a buying decision. Our buyers are able to pre-order batches and schedule delivery in advance, whether through their own distributor or through our organization’s distributor transport license. We additionally offer custom-cultivation to our clients and deliver consistent results, time after time. Since we are a member of the cannabis cooperative, Hive Mendocino, our products are cooperatively grown, shrinking our ecological footprint and adding value to our local economy. Because our cooperative members all share the same vision and values, we have additional inventory menus we can share with our buyers if what Giving Tree Farms has available isn’t what they’re looking for. We, as well as all the members of our cooperative, aim to support the local farmers in our community, as well as educate the public about sustainable farming methods.
What about your organization are you most proud of?
Chris is a wizard with smart-farming techniques and technologies. His additions to our cultivation facility have made our flower consistent, more sustainable, and increased our overall quality. Our family-run business is very hands-on, so seeing how all the data points come together to assist us in producing extraordinary and sustainable cannabis is fun to see. We also pledge to donate 1% of our net profits received from Orange Hill OG (one of our regularly-grown strains). These funds will go to the schools in Westmoreland Parish in Jamaica as well as the Anderson Valley Food Bank in Philo.
What size is your canopy?
12500 Square Feet
How many people make up your organization?
Do you farm independently, cooperatively, or as part of a grower group?
Why is TCC Certification important to you?
We believe at this time in the cannabis industry, a buyer's only method of verifying cultivation claims is through trusted certifications, like those offered through The Cannabis Conservancy. We want purchasers of our cannabis to find comfort in seeing the TCC certification logo on our products, knowing that it symbolizes clean and sustainable cultivation procedures. Due to our strict certification standards, our buyers can rest assured knowing that our product will never result in a recall.
Tell us about a typical day at your organization.
We rise before the sun each day and work until it settles behind the trees, but before the bulk of the work day starts, we gather the team for a regular morning meeting. This is when we review our short-term and long-term checklists to ensure we are staying on schedule. The mornings are then filled with routine tasks, such as feeding, scouting, data reading, cleaning, and client interactions, and the remainder of the days consist of the cycling tasks on the schedule. Depending on where we are in our cultivation season, we could be transplanting, cloning, pruning, harvesting, trimming, or a combination of a few.
Do you grow indoor, outdoor, in greenhouses, or some combination?
Please tell us more about your facility:
Our 2,500 square foot climate-controlled greenhouse is utilized for most of the year, and our 10,000 square feet of cold frame light-dep greenhouses are employed in all seasons but the winter. When supplemental light is needed throughout the year, the use of LEDs provides the additional energy we need. The use of 1,000 watt HPS fixtures in our climate-controlled greenhouse is also employed specifically during the winter months. The drying room and processing areas are located on the farm, and secure storage space is on-site for finished material.
Approximately how many strains do you grow each year?
What are they?
Orange Hill OG , Chem Dawg, Skunkberry, Orange Creamsicle, plus the addition of custom-cultivation requests from the various brands we work with.
What are your favorite strains to grow, and why?
We love OG varietals because of their vigor and acclimatization to our natural climate here in Anderson Valley. They are also very popular among buyers, which makes the end of our season that much easier.
Have you ever been certified by any organization before?
If so, who?
Clean Green Certified
Do you support, or work in tandem with, any local businesses?
We choose to support our local business in any way that we can. This is why we source as many supplies locally as possible and hold community involvement events at local businesses. When able, we volunteer our time at the food bank or other local non-profits to help those in our community that need assistance. We are also a member of a cannabis cooperative (Hive Mendocino) that works to support the small and local cannabis farmers of Mendocino County. Much of our motivation and focus is based around supporting our county’s residents and economy.
What are your preferred dispensaries and why?
While we do not have a preferred dispensary, we do support and promote our local dispensaries in Anderson Valley and the rest of Mendocino County. These dispensaries often source from farmers in the area as well.
Are your plants grown from clone, seed, or a combo?
Tell us more about your choice.
When we can, we take our own clones for each cycle. This approach ensures that they are from a clean origin and are true to the genetics they claim to be. This also gives us eyes through the whole process so that we know if any disease, mold, or sickness is affecting the starts and can act accordingly. When we have to source our clones or seeds, we obtain them from friends, acquaintances, or trusted nurseries so that we know the starts will be successful and clean.
What are your power sources?
Electric Grid
Tell us more about your power sources.
Although Giving Tree Farms is grid tied, all of our power is generated from 100% local renewable power using geothermal and solar
What brand of lights (if any) do you use?
LED lights are used ONLY when supplementary light is needed. Natural sunlight is used as often as possible, utilizing our retractable walls for the greenhouse plants throughout the day. We track the sun's movement in the sky to ensure we use the sun's energy as much as possible.
How long do they last? (years)
What brand of greenhouse / blackout materials do you use (if any)?
6 millimeter black out dep plastic
How do you water your plants?
Please tell us more about how you water your plants.
We use a combination of drip irrigation and hand watering techniques. The method we choose depends on individual plant's needs.
How do you feed your plants?
Please tell us more about how you feed your plants.
We source our nutrients from Cream of the Crop Organics, a local company here in Mendocino County. You can check out their products here:
What kind of automation do you use?
Environmental control system, Irrigation system timer
Tell us more about the automation you use.
To ensure we are as sustainable as we can be with our resources, close monitoring of our environmental controls, such as dehumidifiers, temperature controls, retractable light deprivation walls, moisture meters, etc, is necessary. We use this data to ensure we implement the most efficient and sustainable practices on our farm. We additionally use irrigation lines to fight overwatering, and we inspect the lines weekly, if not more often, to check for breaks, clogs, or leaks.
What kind of soil do you use?
bulk soil
Which brands?
Kings Mix and Royal Gold potting soil
What kind of nutrients do you use?
dry amendments, powdered nutrient line
Which brands?
Water-soluble organic powdered nutrients and dry amendments are used for our plants. All products used are organic and safe for our environment and consumers.
Where do you get your inputs (soil and/or nutrients) from?
Ag supply store, generated on farm, grow store
Tell us more
Our nutrients are sourced from a local company, and our amendments come from the soil analysis organization we work with. We send them samples of our winterized soil before each cycle, and the results tell us what amendments are needed. Then, the organization supplies those directly, and we add them into the soil before planting.
Do you use beneficial bacteria or teas?
Do you have an Integrated Pest Management System?
We use both compost, bacterial/microbial enriched amendments, and composts/microbial teas for our plants. These additions help with the bioavailability of nutrients, plant immunity, and enriching of the soil food web. These points are essential for overall plant health.
Tell us more
We use both compost, bacterial/microbial enriched amendments, and composts/microbial teas for our plants. These additions help with the bioavailability of nutrients, plant immunity, and enriching of the soil food web. These points are essential for overall plant health.
How do you fight against pests, mold, or mildew?
IPM, foliar, dehumidification, other
Environmental controls and proactive daily pest scouting. Landscape maintenance to keep pest habitat to a minimum. Use of predator bugs when necessary and able.
Tell us more about how you fight against pests, mold or mildew.
With the use of our environmental controls, we keep our climate settings where mold and mildew struggle to survive. We also use a dehumidifier when needed to keep the moisture below what is optimal for mold and mildew growth. Proactive and organic IPM is utilized, and daily scouting for pests keeps us ahead of the curve if a pest problem starts to arise. Bioinsecticide foliar sprays of a natural nature are used if necessary, and landscape maintenance is regular to keep pest habitats at bay. We mow overgrown grassy areas directly beside our cannabis gardens to discourage pests from calling our garden their home. When we can, predator bugs are used as well to deter unwanted pests.
Describe your trim scene.
After our product is harvested, we allow the flower to dry before trimming. We knock off the big leaves then manicure by hand to maintain the beautiful bud structure and trichome development. These buds are then weighed and put in turkey bags for storage and cure.
Do you hand trim or machine trim?
Do you wet trim or dry trim?
What do you do with your organization\'s waste?
We compost and recycle all that we can to keep our waste down to a minimum. We purposefully chose products that can be recycled or composted. Being that we are a part of a co-op, we also purchase many products in bulk to limit packaging waste.
Do you compost?
Tell us more.
We compost all the material that we can, including the plant root balls, plant waste material, garden waste, etc. This compost can then be used to rebuild our soil for future crops. To achieve the 30:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio we are after, we add three parts by volume of “brown” materials, or high-carbon materials, to one part “green” materials, or high-nitrogen materials, to the compost pile. If the pile’s temperature gets too high, the microorganisms can die or slow down. To prevent this and keep the composting process active, we aerate or turn the pile to encourage the release of captured heat.
Do you recycle?
What do you recycle?
Anything recyclable, we recycle. This can include plastic pots (when used), jars, nutrient containers, cardboard boxes, paper products, product packaging, etc. We also reuse many of the materials found on our property, making use of otherwise unused wood and similar objects for infrastructure construction when it is safe to do so.
What sort of packaging do you use for your Cannabis?
vacuum sealed bags, turkey bags, other
Tell us more about the packaging you chose.
For our flower products, we use three-gallon turkey bags and can liners (ostrich bags) placed into labeled 24x20x16 cardboard boxes. Regarding our fresh frozen products, we use vacuum-sealed bags to preserve freshness. They are then put in an industrial freezer until sold.
What does your supply chain system look like?
Tell us more about your supply chain
Our products are typically sold to co-branded distributors who use our materials in white-labeled jars or extracts. We do not have our own brand, nor do we sell directly to dispensaries or consumers. Our farm is strictly B2B sales, typically with distribution companies that work for a single or small handful of brands.