I’ll try to keep this week’s email brief for everyone’s sake as I know many are gearing up for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
We reap what we sow, as we are told, and this year, I am thankful for the harvests that my life has brought me thus far. This year has been unlike any other, and we have all had to go through unprecedented changes, feelings, adjustments, and more, and yet, here we are, hearing the final month (level?) of 2020.
And, as I spend these next few days focused on gratitude for what the year (and life to date) has brought me, I’m also reminded of how important gratitude is in the garden.
As you have heard me say, I haven’t had 10/10 perfect crops yet, but each time I am able to harvest flower that I grew, I am as thankful for the lessons that that crop imparted as I am for the flower it provided.
Every so often, we can all use a lesson in being grateful for what we currently have, what we wanted for quite some time, and what may have become so familiar that we forget how lucky we are to be reaping what we have sown.
This week, as you spend time focusing on the beginning of the holiday season, I urge you to remember that we all have our own harvests, whether they are in the garden or in the workplace or in the home, and we can find comfort in gratitude for what we are fortunate enough to have reaped.
1. Professionals in the Cannabis Space
This week’s advice is simple: be thankful for the opportunity you have to legally work with a plant that has been demonized, stigmatized, and criminalized for centuries.
Countless people have spent countless hours working to allow for our ability to operate as professionals in the legal cannabis industry. Every day that we handle the plant, market its benefits, harvest its flowers, we are doing so because many before us went through hell and then some to make it so.
Never forget what it took to legally participate in a cannabis industry, and remind yourself that this unprecedented opportunity that many of us are enjoying is something to be thankful for even on harder days and longer shifts.
2. Growing Better Cannabis
Show your plants that you love them, that you are thankful for them.
This sounds corny, tree-hugger-y, and maybe a bit far out to some of you, but plants are living beings just like you and I, and while they may not be sentient (debatable for some), they respond to their environment, and if that environment is full of gratitude for them, their existence, and their bounties, they will be responsive to that gratitude.
Personally, I am thankful for every harvest I’ve had. Sure, I’ve been frustrated that some yielded way less than they should have and some didn’t come out exactly as I wanted, but each harvest taught me lessons that have furthered my relationship with the plant and my respect for the cultivation process.
In less than two weeks, I harvest again, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m going to get to try a few new genetics from Archive that I acquired in August, as well as see if the Tangie is worth keeping in the garden (she’s a finicky feeder), and, on top of that, as my girlfriend pointed out when I flipped these ladies, this will be my “Holiday Harvest” and I should be enjoying the fruits of my labor during the holidays and new year celebrations.
This Thanksgiving (and holiday season), my advice is to show your plants that you are thankful for them, even if it means simply taking an extra 30 seconds to stare in awe at the beauty that this plant exudes.
– – –
Since I’m away from the grow this week, here’s a screenshot from my camera inside the flower tent. The plants began their flush a few days before I left for the holidays, which is why you may notice some yellowing of the leaves as the plants consume stored nutrients in their foliage.
I wish I could share the way this tent smells (and I wish I could smell it remotely, myself!); the tangie smells like an orange forest as usual, but the blueberry just reeks of blueberry notes, and the Sherbadough smells cake-y, sweet, confection-like, and its colas are fattening better than the other plants in the tent. For a finicky rooter, she may end up staying in the stable after all.
3. Cannabis Myth-Busting
Myth: Growing means you’ll never be able to leave your house.
One of the reasons that it took me so long to commit to trying to grow is the belief that the plants would require constant attention, feeding, care, and oversight. While every grow situation is different, and some grows absolutely need daily care (why I dislike coco, for starters), it is entirely possible to set up a garden that can run autonomously for a few days or a week with little assistance.
Prior to COVID, I was really excited to set up my Blumat Watering System. These are drip lines that are pressure-controlled by the water content of your substrate. Essentially, the plant tells the system when it wants water/feed, and it’s dispensed as dictated by the plant, rather than based on a schedule you set.
Without diving into too many nuances, this allows me to fill a reservoir with water to allow my plants to stay happy while I enjoy time away, whether I’m camping or visiting family, or even if I’m home and overwhelmed by work.
My entire system cost $140. And that is for two grow tents. And while that may be a prohibitive cost for newer growers during early cycles, as you continue to advance your efforts, I highly recommend some sort of watering/feeding system, and I specifically enjoy Blumat’s carrot-shaped devices. Thanks to these systems, I only have to have a good friend visit a handful of times to make sure my humidifier is full and my veg plants are happy (currently I’m only running the Blumat in flower).
*I have no affiliation with Blumat/Blumat Watering Systems other than being a completely satisfied customer. There are plenty of ways to automate your grow, this is just one of them.
4. Navigating the Nuances
Flipping: When you change the lighting cycle of a photo period plant from 13+ hours per day (usually 18-24 hours of light) during veg to ≤12 hours of light for flower.
Reservoir: A large container (usually a bucket, storage bin, or food safe trash can in small grows) that holds enough water and feed mixture for you to feed your plants without having to mix every feed/hand-water every plant. Reservoirs can be used for mixing large batches and/or delivering feeds to plants in an automated fashion such as with a Blumat or drip system.
5. Blunts with Ben
This week, I put “enjoy being present” on my weekly to-do list. Each week, I reflect on what I’ve accomplished the week prior, and list what I hope to accomplish in the coming week. This week’s list was short, as I’m spending my holiday camping for our 23rd year, but this item stood out.
Enjoy being present.
Enjoy the moment.
Enjoy the people.
Enjoy the food.
Enjoy the memories of years past.
My advice this week, this holiday season, is to truly take in those moments spent with loved ones, either in person, on the phone, on a zoom or FaceTime, or through handwritten cards exchanged with loved ones.
For me, this means my family and close friends, but for others, that group may look different. As I talked with a client of mine earlier this month, I was reminded of an article I read a few years back that has stuck with me since, and I’ll leave you with its essence as a poignant reminder of why it is so important to spend time with those you love:
By the time we graduate from high school and move out, we will have spent something like 85% or more of our time with our parents. Let that sink in. Before we even begin to realize the importance and value of the efforts of close family like our parents, we’ve consumed more than 3/4 of our time with them.
This was shocking to me. Sobering. Humbling. Saddening. And it reminded me that I can control that number by spending as much time engaged with those that I love as possible. That percentage shrinks dramatically if you can spend two, three, or four weeks combined time with family or talking to, writing, or calling those you love each year.
So this year, if you can’t be with those you love, I encourage you to do what you can to remain part of each others’ lives to the best of your ability.
If you enjoyed this Substack, please give it a like by clicking the heart at the top or bottom of this email/post or consider forwarding to a friend.