A Two-Part Book Review on “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own Backyard,” by Madrone Stewart.

Review by Lalita Rose 

Is this issue getting you juiced up to start growing your own marijuana? Let me tell you, that desire will be stoked with the fire that is Madrone Stewart. Stewart is a cannabis grower based in North California and she deliciously paints a realistic picture of how you can grow in a pleasure-filled, liberatory and feminist practice. Published by Portland-based, Microcosm Publishing in 2018, “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own Backyard’ is a feminist-instructional-DIY guide. Induced with wisdom and political reflection on the transformational and liberating effects of cultivating healthy ganja for your personal use, Madrone critiques the expanding cannabis industry and the hypocrisy of the dispensary system.

She boldly states, “I believe that in order to consume cannabis with integrity, we must derive our plant medicine from ethically responsible sources,” (Steward, 9). She continues: 

“Cannabis, DMT, mushrooms, ayahuasca, and LSD, among other entheogenic plants and compounds, can help us to illuminate these invisible prisons that society has created for us, which prevent us from thriving. I believe that growing and getting high on cannabis and other psychedelics can help to wake us up to who we are, how society is actively constraining our dreams, and they can help us illuminate pathways to liberation and self actualization,” (Stewart, 9-10). 

Her introduction empowers readers to ask themselves the question on why it is important to gain control over their access and consumption of cannabis.  On the topic of dispensaries she declares “I love my straight white brothers, but I do not think it is fair that they have come to control this industry, especially because of the disproportionate incarceration of black and brown people for cultivating and selling pot throughout the span of the war on drugs,” (Stewart, 10).

An inspiring call towards women’s capacity for self-actualization, and why it’s radical and political to take responsibility, to control our consciousness how we see fit. The guidebook is helpful for both beginner and seasoned growers. Divided into 5 main parts she speaks to the plant life cycle (Stewart, 16-35), creating a good growing environment (Stewart, 34-63,) protecting your plants (Stewart, 64-75), harvesting your medicine (Stewart, 76-107) and hash making (Stewart, 108-121). She ends the book with “twenty ideas for enriching your cannabis growing experience,” as if the initial call wasn’t enough to get you started on growing your own high vibration ganja. 

With the shifts, changes and expansive market of cannabis that is available, it is my hope that we can produce, consume and share the plant medicine in a way that enhances our capacity to grow individually and collectively. As we step into Spring, may you receive blessings to a growing season that will elevate you. I have come to understand that there are various contributing factors that can impact one’s experience.Understanding our relationship with plant medicines, especially the plants that have a strong impact on our consciousness can perhaps allow us to learn more about how we are to come into balance and shatter perceptions that have disconnected us from our true humanity.


Review by Ciana Hamilton

When I first cracked open Madrone Stewart’s “Feminist Weed Farmer” I dont know what excited me more – the fact that there is a book written by a Black Feminsit Cannabis farmer or the fact that Stewart’s guide emphasizes the importance of growing Cannabis in it’s most natural state. I am a lover of growing all the things. The power of growing my own food or medicine is a big part of my personal liberation. Weed is no exception. Getting my hands on this book was exciting and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an affinity (or simply a curiosity) for growing your own cannabis medicine. You will quickly discover that Madrone is an advocate for an all earth grow; growing this herb outdoors with the sun, earth and fresh air. This is the common theme throughout, a sound chamber for the importance of growing this plant with its most ideal and natural conditions. It is important to recognize that growing your own cannabis plants indoors can be just as liberating and freeing.  Sadly, I dont have access to a private outdoor space but I still found the Feminist Weed Farmer to be influencial and a great resource of information. Throughout the guide Madrone touches on all the important topics of plant care and maintenance. She clearly and creatively takes the reader through the process from seed to harvest while intertwining her own personal lessons throughout the book. This guide challenges the standard narrative around what growing Cannabis looks like and gives folks something to lean on when starting out. My biggest take away from “Feminist Weed Farmer” was the integral part of meditating while tending to your garden. No matter what kind of medicine or food you are growing, do it with intention. Do it with love. Step into your garden with a mind that is tethered to the moment and transfer that energy to each of those plant babies. Big shoutout to Madrone Stewart for putting something like “Feminist Weed Farmer” into our community. 

Resources:

Stewart, M. (2018). “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own 

Backyard.” Microcosm Publising: Portand, OR.


Ciana Hamilton is a happy nappy freelance creative writer & journalist. When she’s not writing she can be found doing fun shit with her kids.

Headshot of Sharrae Lyon

Lalita Rose is a futurist, time- traveler, plant-lover, pleasure seeker, weaver of songs, films, and visions. You can catch her conjuring a story, reading tarot, twerking mid-day and talking on the phone with people across the seas.

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