Politicians rolling their eyes on cannabis issues is Washington State politicians being an example of Washington D.C. Long time smoker, first-time grower here and I would like to reiterate something that needs to be said over and over, “Growing is hard. Growing quality is harder”. Washington State remains a bruise in the eye of justice as politicians belittle this life and death issue but also the quality of life for most Americans. Homegrow rights are civil rights, making it an essential part of legalization conversation.
I write this not only from the consumer perspective but also as someone who was gifted multiple starter plants. I started with three unknown plants and ended up with two girls and one boy, all as an outdoor grow. The girls are of the indica variety indicated by their fan leaves, and only one I know for sure do I know it’s origin somewhat. The one I know of was part of a bag of seeds I held onto for seven years. Seeds plucked from the ounces of brick weed I use to smoke in Tucson, Arizona.
As I approach my Croptober, I have to reflect on where they came from and the process that got me here. Months earlier I found the bag of seeds from Mexico while I was cleaning out some old boxes. There were about 100 of seeds, and I wasn’t sure if it would work, so I tried seven at first.
The first thing I needed to do was germinate the seeds. This gives the seeds a headstart before you plant, this at least guarantees you have a starting chance. I placed the seeds in a moistened paper towel and put that on the window sill. It took about a week but something beautiful happened, 6 of the seven had sprouted.
Once I felt they were done sprouting (in retrospect I think I could have waited a little more on this) I placed the plants an inch deep in small individual pots. About another week or so passes, and the sprouts breach the dirt, it was majestic. But…Did you know you can love too much? Due to my overjoyed ego and ignorance, the plants didn’t stand a chance, but this is how one learns, through experience.
The sprouting stood about grew out about an inch, and I overwatered all of them. In the beginning, I had lush green leaves and thought, the more water, the better for the little guys or in the case of cannabis, you hope for girls but I was wrong and one by one they died within a couple of days.
At this point, I knew my limitations, but at least I tried and knew the seeds still had some life in them. I gave the seeds to a fellow freedom fighter in hopes he could do something with them, and he did.
In March I got the phone call there was a need for help to overgrow the world, so I did. We met at a park near I-5. The plan was to use some paths and plant about 50 plants on the hillside visible from I-5, and so we did. After the deed was done we there were some excess one-foot tall starter plants, surely I couldn’t fuck this one up and took five home. Space is limited in any situation, so I figured I had enough private space for three to grow, so I gave the other two to my neighbor, the point is to overgrow the world. Out of the three, one was a boy which I relocated to the other side of the property which is about 25 feet; it felt wrong to destroy any one of these beautiful plants.
The plants were lush and beautiful in the beginning, but then the dreaded spider mites happened. I noticed the spotted signs on the leaves and wasn’t sure of the cause we just got done with wildfire season in the PNW and things tend to get ashy then. Since I wasn’t sure, I posted some pics on Facebook and got a resounding 99% agreement it was spider mites. At first, I tried the dish soap, oil, and water technique but that seemed to make it worse when all the leaves had a burned look to them. I thought about trying more natural treatments, but after the leaves turned burnt on my last attempt, I waited until the last two weeks to treat with diatomaceous earth because I don’t want to smoke spiders.
After this attempt and talking to season growers, it turns out one never stops learning about this beautiful plant. Next year, no matter if I start with seeds or am gifted another set of starter plants, I plan on quarantining the area the plants will be with fresh soil, diatomaceous earth, and natural predators like ladybugs and praying mantis. The point is part of legalization is a citizen’s right to grow a small amount for themselves. Homegrows don’t and won’t cause a diversion; instead, it causes education and gives the citizen a chance to be a better consumer and if they choose, to be a part of a growing American recreational market.