I worked out it has been over a decade since I first had the dream and tonight it came true. Back then when I was a mere stripling of a student who had just taken his first taste of freedom and illicit substances, it was to be the latter which was to have the greatest influence upon my life but I won't spoil the story for you. I have tried most of the recreational substances , I have also abused most of the recreational substances to gonzo like proportions. I have also abused alcohol but that is a whole other story, I don't mess with that stuff any more, it'll end up killing me.
Out of all the so called recreational drugs there is one that stands out as something a little different, cannabis, it's pleasant, mood enhancing, creative and enjoyable. I remember my first taste of grass, during a time in London when it was a rarity but red seal & gold seal hash, squidgy black and occasionally hash oil were available. Tremblin' Tone got it for me, African grass in a little brown bag, smelled rich and earthy because it was full of sticks and seeds, we all gathered round and rolled a spliff and got really high, really fast and I was hooked.
Tremblin' Tone the heroin addict from the block of council flats down the road, one of the increasingly hard drug users I was getting to know and a perfect advert for why not to take smack, ever. One of the rich kids who got stuck in the drug rut, later he kicked the habit totally, became a vegan, settled down, had a kid and could no longer be called Tremblin'. Anywho Tony told me while we were all laughing our asses off that I should plant the seeds and see what happened.
Couple of months later and I had two foot tall plants growing out of a dozen pots on the windowsill, I can't believe the damn things just wont stop growing. I haven't a clue how to care for them or what to do with them, I am pretty sure they wont get me high but I try anyway and cough my lungs out trying, little did I know that I would get to know that experience very well over the years. I put the whole growing grass thing down to experience and got on with trying a whole load more drugs because grass just wasn't available.
Years later when my connections got even better I was able to start smoking more regularly again, I always collected the seeds just in case but then I only started keeping the seeds from the good stuff. I tried different varieties and dealers, over the years I have known my share of those characters, a few I have called friends while others you back away from slowly until you can feel the door behind you then bolt.
I became a connoisseur of cannabis, I read books about it and visited Amsterdam where I got more books and my first taste of Sensei Seeds and The Hash Museum with the little peek-a-boo window into the grow room so you can see what it is supposed to look like when you grow it right, the smell was overpowering but strangely enriching, the light helps to bring out those rich green colours and warm that alluring aroma.
So about a decade ago I had a dream that one day I would grow my own cannabis, I started to read and read and read some more. I found out all about soil and seeds and lights and fertilisers and it goes on forever just like any specialist subject and just like that is only of interest to a specialists so I wont bore you. I started making little isometric drawings of cabinets to grow inside, exploded views and detailed inventories of supplies, a background in technical drawing was helpful.
I laid out all my plans to my significant other who bluntly said no, I was crestfallen but unbowed. I borrowed a tiny lamp from an acquaintance and grew a test crop in a closet, flowered it early and all without my so knowing. I realised growing grass of sufficient quality to keep me supplied was not going to be an easy proposition so again I put the idea to the back of my mind and got to know a really nice dealer instead.
Me & Chris the dealer go back a long way, we talked long and hard about cannabis because we were both connoisseurs, we discussed the relative merits if hashes and grasses, growing conditions and shipping which invariably seems to damage fine grasses. We were in total agreement on one thing though, hydroponically grown grass just doesn't taste right, it's nice don't get me wrong just not to my liking. I last heard from Chris when he sent me a package from Columbia with a certain seeds secreted inside.
Back then I told my friends who are all mostly settled down now and paired off and thinking about country homes and kids that I would still be smoking. Little did I realise that first the hash that I adored was going to become a scarcity and that hydroponics grow operations would take off the way they did. I tasted some fine Northern Lights from another Chris, this one a stuttering hypnotist, I shit you not. He ran a few student house grows around the area but eventually graduated to dealing a stones throw from Trafalgar Square with a fellow from the Bitmap Brothers, he at least convinced me that connoisseurs of cannabis can grow some fine hydroponic weed.
Then to my horror I was going to be deprived of all recreational substances for a couple of years, nothing was available to me, a complete starving for relief full on personal drought. I lost contact with everyone, never managed to see any old friends, couldn't find any new ones. When I was eventually able to score again it was shitty brick weed or soap bar, the weed I have since confirmed is shwag and I would rather inhale butane from the can than smoke soap bar after finding out how it is made.
Would you believe that this drought has lasted over five years with only very occasional bonanzas when I find a little score that makes me remember why I started smoking in the first place, I like myself when I smoke, I like what I can do when I smoke. Because when I couldn't I turned to alcohol with disastrous results, I was always a one or the other man, could drink with the best of them in fact out drink most of them right into alcoholism or I could smoke, I couldn't smoke.
Finally years later with a different partner who has allowed me to grow a small test crop and I have been able to realise that decade old dream, I built a grow chamber out of 2x2s and covered it in mylar to keep in the intensity of a high pressure sodium lamp. I lovingly mixed good top soil, sand, pearlite, vermiculite, wood ash, his & hers & cat hair, peacock feathers, blood meal, bone meal and a whole host of secret ingredients. I planted 5xNorthern Lights, 5xSilver Haze, 10xHimalayan Gold, 10 saved seeds some found seeds and some of the aforementioned brick weed seeds & I waited.
Nature grew the seeds, well some of them, some of them just plain went bad on me, some were weak and died, most grew like mad with a little bit of tender loving care for five months solid. In the end all the Northern Lights turned out to be male, bastard son of a bitch useless males, which ended up lightly seeding the female plants. I grew out two Silver Haze and two Himalayan Gold and one of the brick weed now obviously insane sativas. Five females from all those seeds was a let down but what the hell I had a garden.
It is harvest night tonight and I have just cut down and hung out to dry all five plants, the insane sativa has the merest brushings of resin to be seen only under the closest observation, not fit to smoke but it might make a good local plantation if broadcast sown next spring in some unlikely place, I might grow out a few just to see what the cross does to the strain but probably not. The other plants frosted up with THC just lovely thankyouverymuch, the haze ended up being one plant with one huge cola and another with two proportionally smaller colas. The golds had a similar two cola plant and a multiple smaller headed plant from my early experiments with pruning.
I ran into my share of problems, I didn't over or under water much but because I was growing organically fertilisation may have been a little sketchy, I didn't overcompensate when problems were identified and most of those were identified quickly and without concern, all that reading paid off, it was just like sitting back and watching the grass grow in the end. Next time I will improve my technique but for now I have drying and curing ahead of me. The grow room is gone and all that remains is a spare bedroom with a very pleasant ambiance and one very happy bunny.
Early reports of the crop seem to run to the verbose so I will endeavour to get some impartial opinions in the future when I go-a-visiting a few friends who I have chosen to share my passion with, five friends to be exact most of whom may read this and who I hope will give me a report as to the quality of my produce here. I refuse absolutely to sell a single leaf to these people or anyone ever, I have grown this for myself, for my own personal use and enjoyment and that of a few select friends, I'll give it as a gift as it should be given, I like gifts, especially gifts that keep on giving.