About Nikki

Nikki Lastreto was born in the right place at the right time to be a flower child in San Francisco in the Sixties. After years of being the Ultimate City Girl, working at The San Francisco Chronicle and KRON-TV, Nikki dropped out and traveled the world, living primarily in India. After several years, she returned to San Francisco and made her way up to the hills of Mendocino County. Now, as founder of Swami Select, she fosters the growth of lab-tested, ethically grown craft cannabis.

January 2018

“I Guess It’s Time to Retire”: California Pot Farmers Are Calling It Quits Due to Legalization

By | 2018-01-20T13:19:34+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

“What’s the point? I crunched the numbers and they don’t work,” said one longtime grower about legalization. Plus, with a myriad of incoming regulations, many farmers feel that going legit is not worth the effort. This piece was originally published on MERRY JANE on January 16, 2018. While many Californians were hearing freedom bells on [...]

Happy Legalization, California: Two Longtime Growers Reflect on the End of Prohibition

By | 2018-01-20T13:38:36+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

Happy Legalization, California: Two Longtime Growers Reflect on the End of an Era of Prohibition “Outlaws obeying the law is an oxymoron we never thought we'd see,” write our NorCal columnists in their ode to prohibition. “It truly is the end of an era; our whole way of life is vanishing.” ~Nikki Lastreto & Swami [...]

December 2017

What It’s Like to Judge the Best Cannabis in the World

By | 2018-01-20T16:51:18+00:00 December 15th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

What It's Like to Judge the Best Cannabis in the World Our columnists from Northern California have been judging the greatest outdoor-grown flower at The Emerald Cup for 14 years. At this year's competition, they sampled over 200 strains in 10 days. This piece was originally published on MERRY JANE on December 15, 2017. "How [...]

November 2017

Emerald Triangle Growers Celebrate “Light Deprivation” Cannabis at the Golden Tarp Awards

By | 2018-01-20T13:40:42+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

Emerald Triangle Growers Celebrate "Light Deprivation" Cannabis at the Golden Tarp Awards Nikki and Swami—reporting for MERRY JANE on happenings throughout NorCal's grow mecca, The Emerald Triangle—attended the down-home cannabis competition The Golden Tarp Awards, a gathering that celebrates modern marijuana cultivating methods. This piece was originally published on MERRY JANE on November 29, 2017. [...]

Your Guide to the Perfect Cure: Swami and Nikki Offer Insight Gleaned from Decades of Experience

By | 2018-01-20T13:42:01+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

The Perfect Cure: What We’ve Learned About the Cannabis Harvest from Decades of Experience Nikki and Swami share tips for one of the most vital steps to ensure a good cannabis harvest: the cure. As they say, “The key to a good cure is to be kind to your girls!” This piece was originally published [...]

October 2017

Experience the Life of an Emerald Triangle “Trimmigrant”

By | 2018-01-20T13:42:22+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

Explore the Life of a "Trimmigrant" During Harvest Season in the Emerald Triangle Nikki and Swami, longtime Emerald Triangle residents, detail the lives of trimmigrants, the seasonal farmhands who flood the area annually in hopes of quick cash and experience. This piece was originally published on MERRY JANE on October 9, 2017. "It's like The Grapes [...]

September 2017

An Emerald Triangle Harvest Guide from Swami Select

By | 2018-01-20T13:42:59+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

Veteran Growers Detail What to Expect During the Incoming Harvest Season in the Emerald Triangle With incoming legalization, this harvest season is unique for the farmers of the Emerald Triangle. Just knowing how to grow great cannabis is no longer enough. Longtime growers and Emerald Triangle locals, Swami Chaitanya and Nikki Lastreto, provide an overview of [...]

Love Sweet Love

By | 2017-09-12T04:11:45+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Notes from Nikki|

“Life constantly changes while Love remains constant.” That is my simple sounding Message of the Day - but let me share with you a little story to back it up. It’s worth reading to the end … Back when Swami was called “William” and Nikki was a high school flower child, they first met in [...]

The Hardscrabble Origins of California’s Fabled “Emerald Triangle” Part Three

By | 2018-01-20T13:44:08+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

The Hardscrabble Origins of California's Fabled "Emerald Triangle" (Part Three) Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya, longtime residents of the country's marijuana harvesting mecca, continue their historical breakdown of how the area evolved from an underground hippie haven to cannabis cash cow. You can find the previous two installments here and here. This piece was originally published on MERRY [...]

August 2017

The Hardscrabble Origins of California’s Fabled “Emerald Triangle” Part Two

By | 2018-01-20T13:43:47+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Notes from Nikki, Swami Says|

The Hardscrabble Origins of California's Fabled "Emerald Triangle" (Part Two) Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya, longtime residents of the country's marijuana harvesting mecca, continue their historical breakdown of how the area evolved from an underground hippie haven to cannabis cash cow. This piece was originally published on MERRY JANE on August 29, 2017. In our [...]

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