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Too Busy Working on Our Grass to Notice if Yours is Greener

Posted by Carolina Landolt-Marticorena on

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Song of the Week - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly

Word has it that the band "didn't mean for the song to be 17 minutes", but when you're wandering through the garden, you've got to stop to smell the roses. The first song to bring a heavy metal sound to the charts, in 1968. This newsletter is about getting heavy metal -- with a trowel, on your backyard / balcony / windowsill... Throw on this great sesh tune and get your hands in the dirt.
The Long Form - The Home Grow

This year marks the first summer that most Canadians - with the exception of Quebec and Manitoba – can grow cannabis for their own consumption. This sea change feels empowering and frankly a little revolutionary – look at us seizing back the means of production from big weed and forging a path to self-sufficiency!

This DIY enthusiasm dovetails beautifully with a growing movement in large cities to promote urban farming by whatever means necessary. Not your parents’s veggie patch, this is not a twee effort to grow heirloom varietals but a widespread and multi-faceted effort by communities and local government to feed ourselves.
There is much to do so let’s get our hands dirty.
As some of you may recall our first effort at growing ended in heartbreak (RIP little weedling). Undaunted we are here to try again. This time we have sought out the expert advice of Philip Nessel, an expert grower and founder of One Seed Cannabis Home consultation service. We were lucky to get some of his time as the business is booming with many novices and previous home growers seeking out advice for a bumper crop come fall.
Phil stresses that the three key components to a successful grow are sun, soil and goldilocks watering – not too much and not too little.
It’s is impossible do to justice to all the weed wisdom we’ve picked up in our studies but we have some key takeaways...
For optimal outdoor growing ,we need 8-10 hours of direct sun with most strains flowering within 8 weeks. For plants started indoors, as ours was, they should be hardened or exposed to sun in increments starting at 2 hours and increasing by 2 hours until the plants are used to their new conditions.
Whether growing in a garden or a balcony the importance of well prepared soil cannot be overstated. Though there are many commercial soils available (and here we may cheat our first time), Phil recommends building your own organic soil, as this will teach you how to gauge the needs of your plants. You will need a living soil with a rich microbiome and other organisms. Phil recommends a fabric pot as this allows for good water drainage resulting in a healthy root system which is essential for a happy little tree.
Over-watering is the most common mistake made by first time growers. Phil calls this ‘water-boarding’ your plants, and I stand guilty as charged of this crime against all plants. As an easy to follow rule, the soil should be dry to the touch for at least half to three-quarters of an inch from the surface before you give that sucker a watering.
So here we go again. Our little guy has made it outside and is now being hardened. This weekend we plan to visit Hotbox in Kensington market and check out pots and soil planning for our next steps.
The right to grow has brought legions of growers out into the open, sparking gladiatorial competitions such as The 4 Plants Cup. "For the Love of the Plant, and the Glory of the Cultivator", the friendly competition has categories for both the novice and pro, and we love this kind of grassroots fun. Though registration is closed for this year, its never too early to start planning and plotting your strategy for next year’s competition.
Next week we will branch out from home growing cannabis to explore all the ways in which we can participate in the adventure that is urban farming.
The News: Were the Vikings Smoking Pot While Exploring Newfoundland?

This news item excited us for two reasons: 1. Emma (Our Creative Director) has red hair and viking blood;  2. The story is a bit of a reach - but there's something encouraging about seeing writers look for connections with their cultures and cannabis. 

L'Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in near Northern Newfoundland.   The only undisputed site of pre-1492 presence of Europeans in the Americas, It has been excavated in several stages, most recently with a dig in August 2018. We're pretty thrilled to hear that cannabis pollen has been found at the site - along with Norse cultural items (a cloak pin, weaving tools, and some iron work) and of course many stone tools pertaining to Indigenous peoples.

So who brought the weed to the event? There's not enough information at this point to draw a clear conclusion, but we're going to hope that it was a friendly gathering and they made a salad.
The Social Calendar
What does your garden grow? Have you experimented with any companion plants for your cannabis? Tell us all about your home grow and we'll feature you in one of our upcoming newsletters - we'd especially love to help you with your fall harvest and take some pics!

Until next week - Paddle your own canoe,

- Emma & Carol
Milkweed website

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