Botanist and Budtender, Cae Jones, has turned his newfound passion for botany into a houseplant and home growing consultation business. His plant Instagram @junglecae has gained over 7,000 followers in the past year, where 2 days a week you can sign up for a Houseplant Housecall.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Cae has an educational background from Columbia for Music with a focus on Guitar. He moved to Chicago and began working at a Cannabis Medical Dispensary. For his 25th birthday last year, Cae was gifted his first houseplant. “A homie lent me a tent and light and I started my first home grow in May  to learn more about what I smoke and what I sell.” Cae now takes care of over 50 plants at home.
“You learn a lot from just paying attention to
another living being in your crib.”
Cae began learning how to take care of plants through different online outlets, like Instagram; but mainly from feeling things out. Learning what the plants like, dislike, and what works best. Cae’s inspiration for the housecalls came from the same place many of his ideas do- seeing a lack. A lack of widespread access to direct advice on Cannabis offers, uses, and benefits.
“It’s helpful to have someone actually walking you through what’s on the menu... I ask people what their physical and mental health needs are and direct them to the right products.”
He then expanded to consultations for home growing and houseplants, and most recently produce gardening. Cae in no way claims to be an expert but says his work is important to help himself and others learn together.
“Growing plants and food taught me how much I hate capitalism.”
It almost surprised him at first how one fruit can supply an endless amount of food. By breaking out of the mass production of agriculture and giving people access to the proper resources, Cae believes, there is no reason people shouldn’t have food. For example, simply growing Basil at your windowsill brings the ability to have an unlimited supply of fresh ingredients right in your own kitchen.
“We need to supply equal access to the tools and knowledge and resources people need. Because you don’t need a whole farm to grow food.”
Similarly, Cae talks about how giving people the means to homegrown Cannabis offers those who use it direct access to producing the medicine they prefer.
In his work, Cae promotes the importance of being mindful of our language and understanding of Cannabis. He looks to normalize its use in everyday health practices. One way of doing so is by mixing his houseplants and Cannabis plants together in the photos he posts. By having them together, he doesn’t create a strong divide.
“There is really no difference.
They are all plants.”
Ultimately, Cae stresses the positive physical and mental health benefits, wanting homegrowing to be included in our discussion about access to healthcare and the movement towards natural healing products.
“People should be able to grow their own medicine,” he states. “We use it for recreation but we don’t want to rule out the medical and health uses just because it can be fun.” Plus Cae has found that caring for a plant of any kind can be extremely rewarding and beneficial.
“Not only the ability to smoke my own product but trying out new things... It’s like that reward when you cook your own delicious meal for yourself.”
Cae has also found a positive community of other gardeners and networks of fellow Black botanists across the world. He has been featured on Instagrams like @blackmenwithgardens and @plantdaddyhangout.
“One thing that has held us as people of color back is access to capital and the resources to making money. Now I have this business.”
Illinois became the eleventh state in the US to legalize recreational marijuana on January 1, 2020. As legalization continues to expand across the country a new market is being built where you can either give your money to someone else or become self-sufficient. Cae wants to help lead people to take that next step with first-hand resources, knowledge, and tools.
“A door is opening. I can uplift myself through this.”
By growing his own Cannabis legally, learning about products, and working at the dispensary, Cae has pioneered himself in the industry. Being able to reap the rewards of his own care and labor by sustainably growing anything he needs. He even learned that his grandmother grew up on a farm, reflecting "It's liberating to celebrate and continue this family history of farming how I want.”
To people who want to get into home growing, gardening, or houseplants Cae advises the first step is to simply pick up something you like, take it home, and start learning about it.
“You’ll learn the wrong way, and leaves will fall off
but there is always more growth.”
Follow Cae Jones @junglecae
Book a House Call
from Houseplant Health to Homegrowing Help
Tuesdays & Fridays