The Nectar: The Short and Sweet with Founder, Danielle Caruso

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Whats your job like day to day?

DC: I wake up to my blinds drawn and the sun rising every morning. I'd say that is about my most consistent aspect to each of my days. Beyond this, as a small business owner and a farmer, the work depends on the season. One thing many people forget is how farming suspends during the winter in many places. In Bend, the ground freezes and snow occasionally piles up on our land. This is the time that we are truly able to slow down. During the winter, I typically work on new product formulations and marketing strategy for the brand. I try and shift my focus to research, ideation and sales while the days are cold and short. As winter closes, we begin to map out the schedule for cover cropping, planting and any new infrastructure that needs to be built. Spring finds its way pretty quickly each year and we find ourselves wondering how the year escaped us so quickly. We test the soil, mend the greenhouse 

When did you first realize that you wanted to build this business?

DC: I started working with the cannabis plant about five years ago when I arrived in Southern Oregon for my first ever "trim season." I had no idea what to expect, nor did I anticipate that it would open the door to a greater interest in starting my own business in the industry. I witnessed and became integrated with a very intimate piece of the supply chain-- trimming the leaves off the flower and refining the shape so it's ready to be smoked. I had never handled cannabis like this before and it opened up my eyes to a world that I was very curious about. Fast forward four years, my family and I planted out first seeds in the soil of our very own property in Bend, Oregon in 2019.

Did you have any training? 

DC: I would consider my training "on-the-job" training. We dove right into the project with some basic knowledge of farming but we did not have any formal training or experience. My dad and I took it upon ourselves to reach out the community and learn from those around us. The farming community in Central Oregon is very unified and we were able to tap into the knowledge bases of nutrient experts, generation farmers, irrigation technicians, and genetics specialists. This knowledge, coupled with internet research, pure intuition and perseverance catapulted us to a extremely successful first season. 

What does it take to be successful?

DC: For this company to be successful, I truly had to sacrifice my time and any consistent routine/schedule. Something always came up and I had to be flexible to work with the season and the daylight (ultimately, time at large). Because the grow season is a short period out of the year, we were at the mercy of the earth's schedule, not our own. Beyond sacrificing time, we did have quite a lot of capital investment for such an operation. Although we started at a small scale compared to many other large scale farms, developing land and infrastructure from scratch is a serious financial sacrifice.

Have you learned anything about yourself along the way? 

DC: I've learned so many things about myself in this process. Mainly, I suck at letting go of control. I'm innately Type A when it comes to management and I wanted to manage this whole project with a better grip, but I realized farming is different from managing a marketing strategy. Luckily on the contrary, I am such a sponge for information and community experts. I love hearing advice from those around me and then working with my pops to make our own plan relative to our farm. I love a good consistent schedule integrated anywhere in my life as does my father. We both built a schedule consisting of daily irrigation, nutrient and weeding. Our commitment truly showed it's impacts at many points throughout the season.

What is it like working in your industry? 

DC: There are many males in the hemp and cannabis industry but once you find some other ladies in the industry, they become your greatest friends. I also truly believe that farming causes us to connect with ourselves just as much as we connect with the earth. The nurturing aspects of farming taps into our divine feminine and grounds us with Mother Earth. Additionally, the need for balance, flexibility and slowing down gives us the opportunity to drop into our feminine and shine.


Feel free to reach out to Danielle with any questions! @highdesertnectar