When I started writing for Budding, one of our readers reached out and asked if I’d ever seen a home grow. I hadn’t and was excited by the invitation to come take a look at his plants and how he manages his small grow. He’s a fine, upstanding citizen who needs to stay anonymous for business purposes, so he shall remain nameless. He’s been growing weed for a long time and has a tremendous amount of knowledge which I’m looking forward to learning.
It’s late September and I head over to his house to take a look at his plants. Contrary to the law, he has them growing outside. Colorado law states you can only have six plants per person, with only three flowering at any given time. It also states they must be grown indoors in a room that locks. There’s more than one reason I’m keeping him anonymous. There are seven plants scattered throughout his and his wife’s backyard. One of them they originally didn’t think was going to make it, but marijuana is actually a weed, and it’ll survive most issues.
Separating the plants across the yard prevents the smell from concentrating, and throughout the years they’ve been bred to stay short. This keeps his neighbors from being bothered and keeps his hobby discreet. The tallest of the plants is just under my height (I’m 5’4″), and the smell, while present, isn’t very strong with a single plant. I don’t really smell much at all until I’m within about two feet of it. And even right next to it, the smell isn’t as strong as getting into an elevator with a high school boy who believes Axe body spray will actually attract girls.
My first overall impression of the plants is that of density. SO many leaves and branches. And I can really see a lot of flowers starting to develop. Marijuana is distinctive in a number of ways, from the unique leaves to the flowers that really don’t look like any flowers the majority of us are familiar with. I get a number a good photos that will be very useful as stock photos for the site later.
We talk about the various parts and the yield he’ll get. His harvest is typically enough that he is supplied for an entire year with enough to share out with family and friends. Harvest is usually in mid to late October, depending on the first hard frosts. The picture at the top of the post is from his plants in mid October about a week before harvest.
He does his own drying and curing with about 50% of the harvest. The other half, along with leaves, is sent off to a company that does CO2 extraction. They generally keep about 50% of the oil as payment for the process. Once the bud is dry, he’ll trim and seal in mason jars to cure. The weed will store in the jars until he’s ready to use it.
He recently sent me a picture of his colas drying. It’s a huge haul and I’m starting to get a better idea of why Colorado wanted to limit the number of plants people have flowering at any one time. He’s offered to let me help trim, which I will gladly take him up on – if for no other reason than to have a bag full of gloves covered in scissor hash to take home.
As I head out he’s kind enough to send me on my way with a small baggie filled with last year’s bud. The flower was almost a year old and still slightly sticky. Yeah. That makes you think hard about the quality of local bud you can purchase, doesn’t it? (more on that topic forthcoming)
The quality of his bud is significantly better than I’ve encountered at a number of dispensaries. And while it’s not been tested for potency, it’s a strong enough hybrid strain that I had a very lovely night pondering the viability of starting my own grow. There’s a significant amount of research I still want to do before I decide if that’s actually possible, and I’d love to talk with people who actually have indoor grows. (if that’s you – please drop me a line!)