David Winkler brings decades of experience to the new frontier of seed-sown American kratom

I have worked Psych/special ed/Behavioral schools for over three decades with the main duty of milieu management in AP Biology lab. I have had the luxury of continuous education in whatever classes I want, from horticulture, anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, physics, pharmacology and enough focused art classes for an accidental degree in visual communications. I hold certification in addictions counseling, strength and conditioning, hypnotherapy and behavior management.

After decades of plant and animal labs, I left the school system and went to Michigan as security on a co-op cannabis grow. Within a few months I had a grow of my own. I got an old store and started a profitable hydroponics garden that grew and moved for five years. My Cannatonic Kush and Durban Poison Landrace are still floating around western Michigan.

I have grown kratom plants for years along with cannabis. At the insistence of my five kids, I returned to Maryland to grow kratom and immediately began sourcing seeds, 80% of which never met expectations, but a few produced beautiful plants that are now part of my sales stock and genetic pool.

One day fellow ethnobotanical enthusiast Cornelia Llama messaged me about problems with clones she had purchased (I was getting a lot of questions about “what’s wrong?” from other clone purchasers at this time too, and observed a clear trend of certain growers peddling mite infested clones). We bonded over our love of seeds, and agreed they were tragically underrepresented in the kratom world, where (sometimes infested) old clones lines remained the primary options, in spite of their absence of genetic diversity.

After a few weeks we began sharing source information and common goals, recognizing a deep current of shared plant passion and a mutual desire to bring sustainable genetic diversity to a field where it was drastically lacking. In the new world of seed-sown kratom we decided competition was not going to be a productive force. Sources and ongoing experiments cost money, and we decided to combine two gardens into one. We’ve been functioning as a team ever since. Our shared community goal of sustainable American kratom farming gets closer with each seedling adopted and thousands of sprouted seeds to choose the traits we need to reach this goal.

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