Golden Blaze founder Chris Haitz has a deep personal relationship with the plants he cultivates and the soil in which they grow. A respected pioneer cultivator with more than a decade of experience organically nurturing cannabis in the famed hills of Humboldt County, CA, Haitz has seen it all. He’s proud of the hard-won knowledge he earned during his many years in the field.
“Cannabis is a fickle, complicated plant,” he said with a smile. “When I first got my start, I didn’t fully understand its agronomy. I didn’t understand the importance of working with nature, not against it. I quickly realized I had a lot to learn and a lot of work to do.”
“I made my share of mistakes in the those first couple years, but I learned there are no pretenders when it comes to this business. You either take the time to master your craft of you fail,” he said. “I chose to master my craft, and now, we know how to create truly exceptional flower in a sustainable, repeatable fashion. But, the most important thing we’ve learned is that we are servants to the plant, not its master.”
Haitz believes his customers deserve not only amazing experiences, but they deserve to be safe and healthy. The only way to ensure that is to care for - not exploit - the soil he cultivates.
“At Golden Blaze, our soil is itself a living organism. It sustains life. We do everything in our power to ensure we make the soil healthier as we cultivate, not damage it with harsh chemicals and fertilizers,” Haitz said. “We amend the soil and compost the plants. The plants feed the soil that feeds the plants. Living soil is teaming with life. It’s capable of producing healthy, beautiful, aromatic cannabis."
“Large industrial farms practically destroy their soil with unhealthy practices,” Haitz continued. "They inject fertilizers and chemicals to the point where the only way their soil can sustain life is by injecting more fertilizers and chemicals. It’s easier, but it's a very unhealthy way to cultivate cannabis. The way I look at it is simple; I don’t want to be exposed to chemicals myself, so why would I want my customers to smoke them?"
The complicated, fickle cannabis plant practically has a psychology to go along with its very picky physiology. Those who don’t understand that fact are doomed to be humbled over and over again - particularly if they choose to cultivate in Humboldt County.
“I’ve often wondered if its a coincidence that ‘Humboldt’ rhymes with ‘humbled,’” mused Haitz. “This is the best place in the world to grow cannabis, but it’s also the easiest place in the world to fail at it. We have these incredible micro climates sitting right off the coast. The unique weather patterns that exist here are perfect for our craft. Still, you have to fully understand all the growing elements and how they interact with the conditions, from food sources to light to temperature to pollination to terpenes and flavonoids to phenos to what ‘organic’ and ‘non-GMO’ truly mean. This can be a grueling business, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you see how much your customers enjoy the products your grow.”
“When you farm like we do, you develop this emotional connection with your plants. You nurture them and they nurture you. It’s a sort of alchemy in which magic and science are equal partners,” Haitz said. "I've had many crops I really didn't want to sell - but, at the end of the day, of course, we do what we do for our customers. When they enjoy our products, we want them to taste the love. Cultivating the right way makes all the difference.”