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Humboldt Family Farms: A View From the Emerald Triangle

Owner Scott Vasterling chats with TPL host Jackie Bryant on sustaining legacy farming and keeping business in the community

Baking in the sun is one of our favorite pastimes here in San Diego. Find your favorite sol spot and watch your stress melt away while you enjoy a natural and organic vitamin D mood booster. Bright and warm like the city, Humboldt Family Farms maintains the same energy up North in the Emerald Triangle with a cannabis cultivation process that leads with sun-grown production and legacy farming.

Scott Vasterling, co-owner of Humboldt Family Farms, chats with host Jackie Bryant on this week’s episode of The Plant Lady about how the farm went from a major supplier for outside brands to establishing itself as a hub for local growers through community cultivation. Joining the podcast this week is San Diego Magazine’s very own Troy Johnson, CCO and co-host of the Happy Half Hour, who just happens to be Scott’s fraternity brother when the two were at Chico State.

Reminiscing on uni days and first times, the trio also dive into Humboldt Family Farms’ beginnings following a meet-cute at the Beachcomber Cafe where Scott met his wife, a second generation cannabis farmer and owner of the restaurant. After introducing him to the sun-grown weed industry flourishing in Humboldt County, their fate was sealed. Much like the agriculture business, Scott explained that this was an easy transition for him and was most likely going to be a part of his life as he grew up on his grandfather’s farm.

“I just naturally moved into it,” Scott says on this week’s episode. “From the wilderness and the outdoors and farming was a really smooth transition for me, especially with the sun-grown.”


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So the duo jumped right in and grew with an intent to sell to distributors. However, 80 percent of the product was leaving the county unbranded, he continues. People didn’t know where it was coming from or the care taken by local farms all around Humboldt to ensure this organic, naturally derived plant. For them, it was time to enrich their own community and connect growers directly to consumers.

“Let’s just have this collaboration on behalf of the community,” he says. “Let’s use Humboldt Family Farms as a mechanism for all of us to come together.”

With love, a new side of Humboldt Family Farms was born.

The brand creates recognition for award-winning legacy growers in the local region and brings together small-batch farmers such as Amaranth Farms, Full Moon Farms, and Neukon Family Farms. With a richer cannabinoid profile and terpene, Humboldt Family Farms has perfected sun-grown cannabis while also syndicating the market around them. Although navigating regulation has become costly because of California legalization in 2016, the company hopes to continue nourishing its tight-knit community in the heart and soul of Humboldt County.

“Let’s just have this collaboration on behalf of the community,” Scott says. “Let’s use Humboldt Family Farms as a mechanism for all of us to come together.”

To learn more about Scott Vasterling and the farms, listen to this week’s full episode of The Plant Lady.

By Melody Bathaee

Melody Bathaee is an editorial intern and production assistant at San Diego Magazine. She is currently studying journalism at SDSU where she acts as the social media editor for The Daily Aztec and hosts her radio show, "Beyond The Melody." If she's not climbing a rock somewhere or fueling her coffee addiction at a local cafe, you'll find her brainstorming ideas for future creative projects in media.

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