2020 Isolation Grow Blog

2020 Isolation Grow: Full House

2020 Isolation Grow: Full House

June 2 All the plants are now in beds. The next couple of days are going to be very warm, prime growing days, followed by several days of wind. I want the new plants to have a couple of days before the wind hits them.  Also, for the first time since April 15,...

2020 Isolation Grow: Settling In While Grieving

2020 Isolation Grow: Settling In While Grieving

May 28 A second Ringo’s Gift will go in a bed this morning. It appears we have a second female, and I’m still shocked that we have one. Blessings abound this foggy morning. Further, it appears a small band of rain will pass by Friday night and Saturday. Maybe a...

2020 Isolation Grow: Planting Day

2020 Isolation Grow: Planting Day

Told you I was looking forward to my first sunrise for this blog, and here we go. Btw, planting day also marks my full time return to proper farming attire: Overalls. It’s time to work. Five years ago, I was looking for hope. I was online all the time, reading...

2020 Isolation Grow: Outdoor Eve

2020 Isolation Grow: Outdoor Eve

First, a belated Happy Anniversary to us. Number 38 for Karen and me, celebrated yesterday. I present as evidence this sequence of photos. A week after we were legally married at San Francisco City Hall, we had our own, very small ceremony. We were about to sample...

2020 Isolation Grow: The Window Opens

2020 Isolation Grow: The Window Opens

Today, May 15, is the first day our second row of beds remain in sunlight after 5:00 pm. That means the sun is finally beginning to inch toward the north side of the tree line atop our southern hill. We’ve had enough sun to grow vegetables, but not quite for cannabis....

2020 Isolation Grow: CBG & Me

2020 Isolation Grow: CBG & Me

Because I grow these plants, I get asked about them from folks in pain. People are curious. They want to know about the alleged pain killing, spasm stopping properties of cannabinoids. My experience with them is limited to four years of growing, annual testing, and...

2020 Isolation Grow: Clones

2020 Isolation Grow: Clones

In the first blog of this series, I stated that I now grow exclusively from seeds. That was not how I started. My first year was entirely clones. My second year was half clone and half seeds. I am grateful to clones for helping me get started, and if there was a...

2020 Isolation Grow: Turn Your Head & Cough

2020 Isolation Grow: Turn Your Head & Cough

This morning, as my plants begin to show their sex, I’d like to offer a few words for the soon to be departed males. Over the years, they have attained a justifiable bad rap. They are less than stellar cannabis, and good for only one thing.  However, I would be...

2020 Isolation Grow: The Long Game

2020 Isolation Grow: The Long Game

For all of you out there right now, starting gardens for the first time, or considering starting a garden, allow me this observation: True gardeners are in this for the long game. It’s not about what we’re growing now, it’s more about how and what we’ll be growing in...

2020 Isolation Grow: Heat

2020 Isolation Grow: Heat

One day last summer, June 10, 2019, we had the hottest day we’ve had in our 22 years at this home. It reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit. During this heat, as you can see in the photo, local quail flew into the garden and took comfort beneath the canopy of our cannabis...

2020 Isolation Grow: Halfway to Planting

2020 Isolation Grow: Halfway to Planting

Today, the youngsters in the cottage are halfway to planting day, provided enough females survive. To help make certain I fill our beds, I’ve started five feminized seeds. So of the 32 plants in 3-gallon pots, all I need are seven females. Other than wanting a variety...

2020 Isolation Grow: Some Growling Required

2020 Isolation Grow: Some Growling Required

It would be fair to describe where we live as being on the border of a wilderness. We are surrounded by near pristine land. That such land still exists in California is a testament to the grit and stones of the people who fought to keep it wild. A sincere tip of the...

2020 Isolation Grow: How We Have Coped

2020 Isolation Grow: How We Have Coped

As previously mentioned, Karen and I have been on our own survival trip for over five years now. That we have begun our third month of extreme isolation due to Covid-19, is possibly more impressive to others than to us. It’s been a long time since either of us felt a...

2020 Isolation Grow: Inside the Cottage

2020 Isolation Grow: Inside the Cottage

For six weeks, my grow is indoors. I watch the sky and chart the progress of the sun, but while that process takes shape, I keep an eye on the babies. This is made easier by having the temperature and humidity being relayed into the house, so I can react quickly to...

2020 Isolation Grow: Training

2020 Isolation Grow: Training

If you go back to the first blog in this series, you’ll see the weights of our four harvests listed. You can see the improvement in the beds based on weight alone. But the soil improvement was only one component to our sudden and dramatic rise in yield. The other key...

2020 Isolation Grow: Cultivars & Terpenes

2020 Isolation Grow: Cultivars & Terpenes

One day in the garden with Brenden, we were silently and happily pruning. Brenden was working on a Harlequin plant displaying a Fibonacci sequence in its growth. We were both staring and marveling at the beauty, and the surprise of the discovery. Brenden took a deep...

2020 Isolation Grow: Surprise

2020 Isolation Grow: Surprise

As previously written, I love growing local cultivars. I love trying to grow a cultivar that someone I know has put the time and energy into developing and engineering. These are plants carrying unique information. That these plants are not known, or not widely known,...

2020 Isolation Grow: Sexing

2020 Isolation Grow: Sexing

This will be my third year of growing exclusively with seeds, so it will be my third year of sexing. I have had two completely different experiences so far, which is not unusual. The first year, I had more females than males, which is unusual. I started very few seeds...

2020 Isolation Grow: Babies on Board

2020 Isolation Grow: Babies on Board

Yesterday, I spent several hours doing the slow, precise work of transplanting 32 starts from little cups to 3-gallon pots. As much as I enjoy every step in this process, I will admit to this being one of my least favorite days. The simple reason is the amount of...

2020 Isolation Grow: A Home Dispensary

2020 Isolation Grow: A Home Dispensary

The accompanying photo was taken last fall, when we finally were able to fit all 17.1 pounds into half gallon jars, and then into a cool, dry, closet for storage. Each jar is identified by a two digit designation for the cultivar, the bed number and the year. Further,...

2020 Isolation Grow: Starting Seeds

2020 Isolation Grow: Starting Seeds

I start normal cannabis seeds (as opposed to feminized) wrapped in tissue, in a heated grow mat compartment. I spray each tissue and compartment with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. The proportion is ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water. This is...

2020 Isolation Grow: Beneficial Insects and Plants

2020 Isolation Grow: Beneficial Insects and Plants

Brenden took this miraculous photo last year. In it, we have a beneficial insect eating a harmful insect. This is the Assassin Fly, and it has a burrowing beetle in its mouth. We began noticing assassin flies two years ago, the same year we embraced borage as a...

2020 Isolation Grow: Pathogens

2020 Isolation Grow: Pathogens

Did you know that the pathogen, powdery mildew, lives in the bits and pieces of plant debris leftover from your previous growth, and therefore, live on in your soil? Did you know that the powdery mildew that attacks your zucchini is not the same powdery mildew that...

2020 Isolation Grow: Pests (Part 2)

2020 Isolation Grow: Pests (Part 2)

I have a truly vile anecdote regarding fish and raccoons that I share for full disclosure. The first year I planted fish, we had no idea what to expect. I worried about raccoons, but had to simply wait and see what happened. In that first year, and the second, they...

2020 Isolation Grow: Pests

2020 Isolation Grow: Pests

All growers have pest issues. Be they insect or vermin, growing food and/or cannabis attracts creatures who want to help themselves to whatever is being grown. I have largely prevented raccoons from helping themselves, and that is a major victory. I work proactively...

2020 Isolation Grow: Compost Teas

2020 Isolation Grow: Compost Teas

I remember when my teacher at Oaksterdam began talking about compost teas, I felt a bit sick to my stomach. I had heard about compost teas for a while, but knew nothing about the specifics. Whenever I heard compost tea, my thoughts were only on the unruly mess of...

2020 Isolation Grow: Bed Preparation

2020 Isolation Grow: Bed Preparation

urrently, our beds are filled with nearly flowering fava beans. Why fava beans? Nitrogen is something that has to be replenished in soil. It gets depleted with every grow. If you want to grow effectively again next year, you’ll need to replace the...

2020 Isolation Grow: Tracking the Sun

2020 Isolation Grow: Tracking the Sun

oon, I will begin my pre-dawn ritual of rising between 5-6 in the morning. I’ll stretch, do some pilates, pushups and crunches for about 30 minutes, before bundling up and heading outside. I have to be extra careful at this time. I had my second...

2020 Isolation Grow: Costs

2020 Isolation Grow: Costs

​n the previous post, you read about the basic infrastructural work that went into what I’m doing now. We tapped into our spring water long before we started growing cannabis. That cost close to $20,000. We built our own beds and fence, but had to...

2020 Isolation Grow: My Setup

2020 Isolation Grow: My Setup

Let me tell you about my setup.  hen we first moved here, we waited two years before starting to build a garden, which had always been a dream of ours. We waited, so we’d have enough time to observe which way the wind blows, and which way the water...