Hello to all you cannabis growers out there, and greetings from the East Coast of the United States, where the humidity and sun are strong, and so is the weed.
I’ve been growing cannabis for seven years, both for my own headstash and for friends. Recently, I’ve been growing for a medical patient too. That is a very rewarding thing to do. I have never spent much time with elderly people or sick people before now, and I have found that it makes me feel really high just to see the smile on the face of the little lady that I give my shake to.
She has a disease that is shrinking up her skeleton and causing her a lot of pain in her joints, so I give her the shake and she makes shake joints that relieve the pain in her joints and the shake of her hands.
When I watch her smoke a joint it teaches me about dosages and tolerance. I can smoke any number of numbers rolled from pure, sticky buds, but she only needs a puff or two from a number filled with leaf, and she says to me, “Gary, that’s all I need right now, anymore and I’d think I was young again and start giving you the eye.” She’s a feisty old grandma and she says that when the government tried to prohibit alcohol it didn’t work, and that more people drank because they made their own and it was better than what they got at the liquor stores.
To produce my cannabis I have an indoor and an outdoor operation, often going at the same time, weather permitting. This saves electricity costs and extends my growing seasons.
My indoor operation is a small space in a bedroom. The space is bounded by some plywood. On the interior section of the plywood I have Mylar, a space-age material that reflects most of the light back onto my plants. I am running a Super Sun 600 HPS bulb that usually has 8-16 plants underneath it.
I really like this system because the reflector sends nearly all the light to my plants, unlike other reflectors which are the wrong shape or coating to do so, and the 600 watt bulb is a good compromise between the too-weak 400 watt and the too-hot and too much electricity consumption of the 1000 watt. Besides, I don’t have enough space for a 1000 watt, and if I got one I would have to add elaborate venting to the grow area, which I don’t want to do.
I will tell you what the varieties are that I am growing in a second, but I also want to tell you why I grow from seeds and why I order my seeds only from Marc Emery. It is not just because he will ship to the USA or has more varieties than I can grow in a lifetime. It is also the result of research that I have done on the marijuana seed world. I am semi-retired and cannabis is my favorite hobby. I used to grow roses and orchids, so you can see I am a gardening fan anyway. This is my passion and I was not about to accept advertising or word of mouth as my only info sources.
When I decided to grow my own cannabis I never thought of cloning. That’s because my friends who are in the orchard and fruit stock business where they do cloning, grafting and other non-sexual reproduction of crops, told me that cloning was not going to give me what I wanted, which was the most potent and strongest crops and the ability to breed my own plants.
I know that clones are important for commercial pot growers and for people who want to save time, but when I have seen friends doing clone operations, it looks to me like it takes just as much time and trouble to get clones cut and rooted as it does to sprout and sex seed plants, although there might be a one week savings in time by using the clone system. I have also seen how clones carry diseases and bugs with them to infest so many grow rooms in a chain of misery.
I am not growing pot to get rich, and I grow year-round using my indoor and outdoor combinations, so I don’t need to worry about losing time and garden space due to sprouting from seeds and losing a few plants because they are males. Actually if you have never smoked male flowers you are missing something and if you have never pollinated a female plant with good male pollen and made your own seeds, that’s something you’ve missed too. It takes a little time to pick the seeds out of the flowers, but the little leaves around the seeds are loaded with resin and fun to smoke in a pipe.
From what my professional nursery and greenhouse friends have told me and what I have seen from other pot growers, cloning does not give you as strong weed and it does not contribute to the genetic diversity of cannabis, which is important.
For example, the main type of banana we all eat is a cloned monoculture crop created by large companies to make it easier for them to make profits, and as a result the world’s supply of commercial bananas is endangered because the monocrop does not carry enough genetic diversity to resist diseases and pests. Basically the businesspeople have turned the banana plant into a sterile monocrop that cannot survive on this planet. There are reliable predictions that this type of banana will go extinct within 10 years. That is one of the hazards of cloning- the loss of biogenetic diversity.
So now you know why I am not cloning and why I like to grow from seed. But as to why I buy from Marc Emery, that is because I did a lot of studying about cannabis seeds and the people who sell them. I used to look at the seed selling rating websites. I wrote to one of them and he admitted that he was in the seed business himself and that it was “possible” that some of his seed bank ratings were biased due to his money interests. He also said that the world of marijuana business was full of gossip, fighting and hucksters.
I looked at the various website marijuana forum discussion groups and also saw that most of the discussions about seeds were not very scientific and the people often were more commenting on who they liked rather than what the seeds did, or they were blaming seeds for problems when the real problems were their own inferior growing skills.
Marc Emery, from these websites, appears to be a very famous and controversial figure. People either love him or hate him. I would guess that more love him than hate him, especially if they love growing pot.
I myself having the time and desire to get stoned in the two most marijuanaish cities in the world have during the last several years made my pilgrimages to both Amsterdam and Vancouver, expressly so I can smoke the weed and meet the seed people and look at the seed world.