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A hedge fund in New York called Jana Partners had snatched up almost 9 percent of Whole Foods’ stock and announced that it would pressure the company to either overhaul its business or sell itself—perhaps to another grocery giant, such as Kroger, or to a less traditional player, such as Amazon.
“From that moment on, I was drowning in it,” Mackey says, “including when I got to Goldman Sachs. The CEO of Goldman [Lloyd Blankfein] wanted to meet with me because, of course”—he adopts a sardonic tone, a tic that tends to make his handlers stiffen up—“ ‘Goldman Sachs would love to represent you. If you guys are going to be sold, we’d love to make one hundred million dollars doing that. Don’t forget your buddies at Goldman Sachs!’ ”
“We were reeling,” Mackey says. “I hadn’t even had a chance to talk to my team. We didn’t have any bankers in place. These guys just—it was like kicking you below the belt. Usually when these things happen, you get fair warning. They let you know, ‘Hey, we’re going to be buying some stock. I want to meet with management.’ ”
“These people, they just want to sell Whole Foods Market and make hundreds of millions of dollars, and they have to know that I’m going to resist that,” Mackey said to me at one point. “That’s my baby. I’m going to protect my kid, and they’ve got to knock Daddy out if they want to take it over.”
“Here’s the thing,” Mackey says today. “I’m just a guy. I’m an Austin, Texas, guy who built a business. It’s a lot bigger than I ever thought it would be. I’m a little older, I’m a little bit wiser, but I’m still the same guy. I just show up as who I am. I’m not trying to bullshit anyone. I’m just showing up in my authentic self. Some people love that. Some people don’t like the self that shows up. Ultimately, I don’t really care. I’m just gonna be who I am, try to be a good person, do the right thing, build a great company, and let the world think what it wants to think.”
Mackey can’t restrain himself from a rant about how unfair it seems that Wall Street is cornering him, given the company’s history. “Whole Foods has created amazing value for our shareholders. We’ve increased value thirty times over since we went public. We have the highest sales per square foot in the food-retailing business. By every objective measurement, we’re still best in class in the entire food-retailing industry. Our business model’s not broken. We’re still extremely healthy. We had eight percent growth in same-store sales for thirty-five years. The last year and a half got negative same-store sales, and our stock has fallen fifty percent. So, obviously, the company needs to be sold! Obviously, the management can’t create any value!”
I ask him if he ever thinks, “Well, we changed food culture. Our work is done—we can go home, let the big guys take it from here.”
“There’s part of me that thinks that,” he says. “But then I see that seventy-one percent of Americans are overweight and thirty-eight percent are obese, and we realize our work is not done.”
For the past ten years, the only compensation he’s accepted from Whole Foods is a $1-a-year salary—no stock options, nothing else. “I have enough, and I don’t lust after more,” he says. (His net worth is around $100 million—a lot of money, but nowhere near the billions people often assume he has raked in.)
It might sound self-evident that corporations would be wise to seek win-win scenarios, but the reality is that Wall Street demands that public companies accept a “fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value”—or, more plainly, to put the interests of shareholders above all else. There’s zero legal obligation to do so, but the notion has become so enshrined in the business world that to question it, as Mackey does, is considered something akin to treason.
“There’s a narrative about business in America that says, ‘Business sucks,’ ” Mackey tells me one day. “It’s the idea that business is about a bunch of greedy bastards running around exploiting people, screwing their customers, taking advantage of their employees, dumping their toxic waste in the environment, acting like sociopaths.” Whole Foods, on the other hand, “is really, really trying to do the right thing.”
Given the risks associated with inorganic fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizers used in growing cannabis, it’s more important now than ever for dispensaries and end users to source their marijuana from organic growers.
. It’s quite common to load up a grow with nutrients, pesticides, and fungicides in the pursuit of massive, pest and mold-free buds. In order to meet large-scale demands and expectations, it’s almost impossible not to engage in such practices.
A great deal of growers tend to resort to growing indoor to avoid these hassles; by growing indoor, you can dynamically modulate light cycles and water/nutrient distribution. This allows for a “rinse and repeat” type of standard operating procedure that can easily be transferred across multiple growers within the same facility. Indoor growing is certainly an efficient way to meet the demands of an industry whose growth is showing no signs of slowing down. However, the grows are often not sustainable; the use of inorganic chemicals and lack of earth can cause soil to turn over more quickly and harmful ingredients to make their way into the end consumer.
It’s a common sentiment to consider “outdoor grown” cannabis to be inferior to “indoor grown” these days. We aim to dispel that notion and make a case for the power and efficacy of outdoor growing, especially when a grower can harness the intrinsic power of nature.
Martyjuana was the 2012 Sonoma County cannabis cup winner for solvent-free concentrate (hash), and was featured in SONOMA magazine in Fall 2013.
Biodynamic agriculture emphasizes that which is “unseen”. While many growers may focus on what they can see(e.g. light, water, soil, and pests), growers that practice biodynamics concern themselves with more cosmic forces. Essentially, biodynamic agriculture represents a philosophy where the scope of a grow is larger than that of plants in the ground; the lunar cycle, insects, soil, and nearby ecosystem all play a role. The biodynamic philosophies that Marty employs are fascinating and quite representative of the biodynamic agriculture school of thought.
arty reports that the best of his Martyjuana crop starts during the new moon in either early May or early June when he plants seeds directly in soil that sits in a 2-4 gallon pot that has already been watered for 2 days in advance to make it heavily saturated. He then uses a hose to mist the soil so as to not disturb the roots for their first few weeks of growth. Timed perfectly, the plant will be ready for harvest in September and October, repsectively, during the full moon. In just 4.5 months from seeding time, Marty is able to harvest 2-3lbs of terpene-rich nugs per plant.
Biodynamic agriculture truly stresses a certain symbiosis with the environment. Much of this can be accomplished by utilizing harmless insects for the pursuit of removing harmful ones. For example, Marty will release lady bugs and praying manti into his grow. The lady bugs will eat aphids (plant lice) and the preying manti will eat caterpillars, butterflies, flies, bees, wasps, and moths that would normally destroy a grow.
Encouraging the presence of insects in your garden is one part of creating a symbiotic ecosystem. The other is introducing non-cannabis plants to be grown in the same area — a practice that has been employed by vineyards for quite some time. For instance, garlic, tomatoes, spinach and green beans will attract pests to them, keeping them away from your crop. An additional practice is to grow mustard and cloves in the ground in the off-season as a “cover crop”. This provides a natural nitrogen source and encourages root growth during the next grow.
Marty doesn’t forego the philosophy of biodynamic agriculture after harvest. He makes sure to compost his stalks and juice the sun leaves of his cannabis plant. Where most growers are exhausted by their harvest and leave everything to die and decay (which causes mold, mildew, and pollens in and around your grow), Marty brings everything full circle in preparation for the following season. Marty makes sure to dump the soil from the bags back into the earth and grow in bags on top of that soil next season such that the roots can extend into the previous year’s soil base. That way, the plant is still able to draw nutrients and Nitrogen through the bag.
Biodynamic agriculture hinges on the notion that if you understand your product and environment, you can naturally tweak it so as to create an incredible product that is free of inorganic fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
Marty’s passion for growing comes from the right place. He was tired of western medicine not cutting it for his wife’s ailments. He decided to take matters into his own hands by growing his own cannabis. So inspired by what he learned, he opted to raise the community’s consciousness on cannabis instead of raising a family.
The Martyjuana outdoor, all natural growing system is unique from start to finish. It uses less water, less fertilizers, and no electricity — allowing the plants to maximize their natural potential. According to Marty, the feeling is that “less is more”.
Martyjuana is proven to be a high-grade quality product with lab tested moisture levels, absence of molds /mildews, presence of terpenes, and top scoring potency results.
While no formal scientific studies have explicitly denoted the benefits of biodynamic agriculture, the proof is in the pudding; there is something special about the subjective effects of smoking some Martyjuana. The love that Marty puts into his grow certainly comes out. Marty’s practice is one well worth pursuing and one that we hope does not go by the wayside with the explosion of commercial cannabis.
2018 is the year California will mandate the testing of all cannabis products sold either recreationally or medically. This is good news for cannabis patients who are currently at high risk for exposure to unsafe levels of pesticides.
A startling result from Steep Hill Labs revealed that 65% of medical marijuana in the San Francisco area contained levels of residual fungicides that are unsafe for human consumption.
California’s new recreational bill, Prop 64 or AUMA, would bring that statistic to 0%. Just like in Colorado, there would be a zero-tolerance policy for the presence of any fungicides and pesticides in cannabis samples that were intending to be sold to vendors for manufacturing or dispensaries for distribution to end users.
That means that if you are smoking a joint that has residual Myclobutanil from when it was grown, then you are indeed inhaling Hydrogen Cyanide and effectively eliminating any of the health benefits of marijuana. That is sincerely devastating news. For a plant that has such a vast array of medical uses to be imposing damage on its consumer is a sincere tragedy. Even the tobacco industry has banned the used of Myclobutanil for this very reason!
I thought I could have a rhythm that builds, and then change it abruptly in the last sentence. Rhythm matters. Mood matters. Sense of place matters. All these things we talk about with novels, yet I feel that for history and biography to ­accomplish what they should accomplish, they have to pay as much attention to these devices as novels do
You have to ask yourself, Are you making the reader see the scene? And that means, Can you see the scene? You look at so many books, and it seems like all the writer cares about is getting the facts in. But the facts alone aren’t enough
In all these ­early ­biographies of Johnson, the fact that he founded the largest electricity ­co-op and brought electricity to the Hill Country gets a few pages, if that—­sometimes it only gets a paragraph. But when I was interviewing people out there, they would say, No matter what Lyndon was like, we loved him ­because he brought the lights. So I suddenly said, God, this bringing the lights is something meaningful.
There is no one truth, but there are an awful lot of objective facts.
Now, if you let the reader see the place—if you do it well enough and have shown the character of your protagonist well enough, so that the reader can see the scene and be involved in the scene—then the reader can see things, sense things, understand things about your protagonist that the writer doesn’t have to tell him, that the reader can grasp for himself
You think of Robert Moses striking down a score of foes, of Lyndon Johnson defeating the Southern senators, and you say, These were epic battles of American history. And the tragedy is that we’re not learning American history anymore
I asked him if he remembered the parkway coming through his family’s land, and he said, That was the day that he ruined our lives forever. His mother and father had finally finished breaking their backs clearing this land when the Moses men came and drove the parkway right through the most fertile part. They wouldn’t even move it a few feet further to preserve some of that good soil.
We live in a ­democracy, so ultimately, even despite a Robert Moses, a lot of political power comes from our votes. The more we understand about the realities of the political process, the better informed our votes will be. And then, presumably, in some very diffuse, very inchoate way, the better our country will be
Romney-Clinton voters are, generally speaking, college-educated suburban professionals: lawyers, doctors and businesspeople. They voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but switched to Hillary Clinton in 2016. They abhor xenophobia, the alt-right and racists, but they also mostly socialize within their own race and they’re mostly white.
4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.
“I don’t care which way you decide. But if you choose to swim on the national team — if you’re going to train these next two weeks, and get in the pool to race — I don’t want to hear another word about your broken foot until after the meet is over.”
That day, down at the pool, when my coach made me make a decision about how I would proceed, he taught me the power of mindset and how important it is to not let an excuse build up in front of you.
No one has perfect circumstances. I realized, as I looked around the pool, that everyone has something — tired, bad night of sleep, social stress, and more — and the ones who find a way to do it in spite of, and alongside, all that’s going on, are the ones that rise to the top. When we make excuses, we’re just making excuses.
You’re either strengthening the muscle that makes excuses, or you’re strengthening the muscle that does it anyway.
e. Fly to Rio de Janeiro in 50min. No early check-ins. No last-minute surprises. It’s always the same personalized experie

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