This was a particularly poor season. I planted very late: February 20th 2006 when it should have been some time November 2005. We chopped down the plants on May 15th, so we?re looking at three months? growth from seed to head. Unfortunately, the harvest did not turn out like it would have with a four or six month season.
I used raised planting beds built from all-organic material such as sheep dung and moss. The bed is made of moss to retain water because in this extremely arid climate it?s almost impossible to retain water in trap-rock soil. As such, water is supplied through water crystals and water-retaining clay pellets. Clay and rock is all we have to work with at 1,060 meters (3,450 feet) above sea level.
I?ve noticed that altitude has an impact on plants. Friends who grow at lower altitudes finish earlier in the season and get superior plant growth. However, everyone I have shown my buds to said my higher-altitude pot is the most resinous they have seen. The trichome heads on the stalked glands are near perfect: clear and bulbous, not yet amber, and ready to separate from the stalk. Resin production, quality, and density are all at their peak.
In my experiments, I?ve determined that strains from lower altitudes become stunted at this altitude in the first season. Silver Haze crossed with Mortgage Buster was almost ideal, but I haven?t yet found a truly perfect breeding strain that can produce commercially at this altitude. I?ve used seeds sourced from friends and growers who buy from Dutch Passion Seed Company and Willy Jack Seed Company. I?ve also tried Jack Herer seeds from Sensi Seed Bank.
Most seeds from Europe came from plants grown at sea level, thus the seeds a reacclimatized genetically to grow at their altitudes. As such, I am interested in Canadian strains that function well in higher altitudes. There are many, many types of seed strains one can order. Some are definitely the result of true breeding; plants are obviously stable with consistency in construction and the distance between internodes. Others show wide variations. For instance, in the bush Skunk #1 threw to its sativa background after two or three seasons. From what I have observed, it is very difficult to keep a true breeding strain in the bush. We also run the risk of people growing outdoors in neighboring areas and not maintaining their males?stray pollen can blow 10 to 15 kilometers in one direction. It impedes the maintenance of high-quality crops, so every three to five years we try to get fresh seed.
I grow 10 pounds in an off year, up to 15 pounds in a good year, and it occupies very little of my land. I earn more money than others do for my outdoor crop? $3,000 a pound, as I am known to take extra care in my growing, and the higher altitude imparts desirable potency. All that I grow is destined for the recreational smoker?s market in Australia, as there are no compassion clubs to work with yet.