The Feminine Divine; Raw, Real, and Bare in Oklahoma
Nothing to hide behind, exposed, and real with Wendy Elena, The Naked Grower
By Veronica Castillo
Born in the tropical state of Florida, and raised by Panamanian born and raised parents, cannabis cultivator Wendy Elena, keeps it raw, real, and truthful about her experience with cannabis. As she travels throughout the state of Oklahoma to mentor and inspire other cultivators, she took the time to chat with Herbage Magazine, about her journey into the world of cannabis consumption and cultivation.
About Wendy’s Childhood in the South
Wendy describes her childhood as: “I grew up in the tropical climate of Florida! My family immigrated to The United States from Panama during the late 80’s when the drug war was at its peak. My mother wanted a life with more options for my two sisters and I”.
I grew up in Florida, with Puerto Rican parents, and so I wondered how Wendy learned of cannabis and what cannabis was described as in her household. Wendy states:
“My parents were closet stoners, they didn’t share with me at all the medicinal value of cannabis. It was rather the opposite, I was deterred from any “toxin” intake in my youth. Given the chaos my mother grew up around due to the “drug and narco violence”, to her keeping us away from everything was safer than attempting to explain the uniqueness of cannabis.
I never drank or smoked cannabis until adulthood, 21 to be exact. What my parents did do, rather successfully I might add, is prepare me for a life as a functional pothead. All of my good habits, my process driven lifestyle, and my “doer” mentality was derived and fed by my parents.
I had no idea cannabis was present or so prominent in my family’s history, including the practice of natural medicine in Panama (healing), or the fact that my parents even smoked until adulthood”.
Wendy’s Journey in Cannabis Consumption and Cultivation
When Wendy started consuming cannabis at the age of 21, she found healing and said: “ I knew I had to work with cannabis. I needed the space to teach other young ladies and people in general about life, happiness, spirituality, self-sustainability, self worth, and so much more”.
Wendy’s journey in life, led her to cannabis, cannabis cultivation, and so much more:
“The journey that has led me to cultivating cannabis with so many amazing growers. It has been an incredibly long and grueling path, like much others in the industry still endure daily. My navigation has led me to experience almost every aspect of the industry, small and corporate level large. Through this I’ve developed several avenues of reaching out to the community”.
In the cannabis industry, you can find Wendy leading/being involved in/with:
- Dispensary consultation
- CRM and POS consultations
- Sharing in local marketing networks
- Cultivation consultation
- Business Management Consultation
- Seed to sale software (W.E.N.D.Y)
- Software management consultation
- A future platform for cultivation networking
Wendy’s Favorite Strain and About: W.E.N.D.Y
I always ask cultivators about their favorite strain to consume and grow. Wendy said:
“My favorite strain is Tropicanna Cookies byOni Seed Co, but I think it may originate from Bloom Seed Co.! I love to grow this and equally love to smoke it! The terpene profile is so good for the biology of my body. No matter my tolerance level, or the time of day, Tropicanna Cookies hugs me with a beautiful experience tailored by the terpenes, the stars of the show.”
In regards to hardest and easiest strain to grow, Wendy provided the following insight:
“The strains haven’t been the difficulty, so much as making due in environments that were not ideal ! I’ve had to veg in the tiniest spaces and flower in rooms that have were shorter ceilings than you’d like., and a lot more in th 150ces It is true that each strain is different, but as long as the environment and the watering is locked in, you can really have fun with any!
Wendy’s Goals in the Cannabis Industry
Wendy is on a mission to do amazing things in this industry. I asked her what her goals are:
“The point behind all of this is very simple. Keep it local. This level of business only seems to be conducted by large corporate interests. My goal has always been and will always be, to empower the farmer. I travel all over the state of Oklahoma, on top of maintaining my own personal crops, to help other farmers pioneer their way into this industry. Oklahoma has an incredible local economy, it shouldn’t be any different with cannabis.
I dedicate my life to the plant and the farmer, giving as much information as I can so people can sustain their businesses on the cultivation end, and the system management end. There isn’t a ‘big secret’ to growing weed. As a community it’s our responsibility to take care of eachother, by sharing the things we learn along the way.
I want to create a sustainable network of local farmers, processors, and retail stores in Oklahoma. With this powerful network, we can survive any potential industry takeover with federal legalization, and keep Oklahoma’s market strong!”
The Seed to Sale Software named W.E.N.D.Y
The software is inspired by a lack of functionality in existing software on the market. Wendy says:
“The mission is an ease of use from grower, to key administrator, to ultimately reporting and data collection. Streamlining cultivation facilities has never been more accessible. The goal of it all is to take the mystery out of growing and operating a cultivation facility, and facilitate in building the next generation of farmers!”
Wendy’s Idols, Mentors, Inspiration
Wendy names a woman cultivator and her mom as her idol and muse:
“Miss Rad Reefer is a huge female grower inspiration! She shares literally everything on instagram, all her knowledge and real life plant and crop practices. It’s so bold that she’s willing to give all her information away. It really shows her confidence in her own ability, and her personality to want others to rise with her in life.
My mother is my muse. She is a resilient, and incredible woman. As an American I know I could never understand what it was like in Panama from birth to age 28 for my mother, but I know the values and principles she carried with her to America made me who I am today. Without her, I would be nothing”.
Wendy said that being a named grower is more than being physically naked:
“I’m sure everyone has had a naked day or two in the garden. For me, the word naked means so much more than that. It means raw, real, and bare. Nothing to hide behind, exposed and real.
I try to fulfill all of those core values, every day in my own garden and with clients. Like I said before, there is no secret! Humans, fellow Americans, and fellow Oklahomans need to learn to be self sustainable, that’s the naked growing. The real growing”.
Women in cannabis rock! I asked Wendy what it’s like being a woman cultivator in Oklahoma’s legal industry, she said:
“I try to maintain my femininity, without it being the basis of who I am. Like many others, I didn’t choose my meat suit. I do the best with what I was given. So in short, it can be difficult at times. People will try to put you in a box, label you, or disqualify you.
Tenacity is the qualifying attribute for a female in ANY INDUSTRY. I try to let the things I cannot control roll off my back like water, and do my best to steward what’s within my control well!
I look forward to the day that people view others as amazing individuals, and less off the basis of sex”.
As for advice for aspiring cultivators, Wendy said this:
“Don’t be afraid to even begin!”