Green Acres: Oakland couple turns marijuana grow-op into organic farm

By Oscar Pascual |

Is marijuana really a gateway drug, leading to an unexpected path in life you never would have chosen while sober?

Oakland’s Karissa and Region Lewis think so.

“Most people call it the gateway drug – I call it the gateway plant,” Karissa Lewis said in a video interview with the Movement Generation. “I haven’t started smoking crack, I’m not on heroin – but I do plant me a mean tomato.”

The couple are co-founders of East Oakland’s Full Harvest Urban Farm, where they raise livestock and organic vegetables for the community to enjoy. But the first crop they grew first was cannabis.

After a talk with her mother, Karissa Lewis came to the conclusion that her passion in life is pot.

“So we just started growing copious amounts of pot,” she said.

The couple used a method called companion planting, growing fruits and vegetables next to their weed to increase crop productivity.

“We figured out we like growing other plants just as much as we like growing weed plants,” Region Lewis said. “Then after that is just kind of like ballooned into this thing where, you know, this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Six families living on the compound help to work the land, but even the livestock do their part. While their cannabis crops are in its vegetative state, the goats actually help to trim the plants.

“Goats like weed just as much as we do,” Region Lewis said.

The couple also hope to provide a space for the formerly incarcerated to learn agriculture skills and make a living by growing legal pot. They see it as a subtle way to stick it to the man.

“It’s directly going against the senseless War on Drugs,” Region Lewis said. “We know why that was put into place, and that was put into place to lock people who look like me up.”

While their attention might be divided towards chickens and kale, marijuana will always be the cream of their crop.

“We’re never going to leave the roots,” Karissa Lewis said. “We will always grow pot.”

Photo credit: Wikipedia