gardening (164)

Homegrown: A Year in the Life of a Humboldt County Guerrilla Grower

This is a great book. I found it so fascinating, I read it cover-to-cover. I’ve known growers for years, but never realized the full extent of what it takes (took) to grow out in the woods. It’s not only a book about farming, but about gardening, wildlife, plants and trees, and about treating the earth with respect.

Also, the drawings are great (see link below). Andrew told me it was about a year in creation.

Up until now, guerrilla growers in Mendocino and Humboldt counties produced organic, high-strength cannabis, grown without chemicals or electricity. Now things have changed. Yes, it’s become legal, but there are a host of downsides to the recent legislation. The 30 or so years of guerrilla growers hand-growing and homegrowing a clean product have just about ended, as Big Business has moved in. A lot of pot is testing positive for pesticides. People buy their organic produce at Whole Foods, yet don’t know if what they are smoking is laced with insecticides. How much are your lungs worth? Advice to pot smokers: Know thy grower.

Andrew’s book encapsulates the romance and righteousness of working with nature, and documents an era of wholesome cannabis production.

To get it (and to see some of the pages), go to:

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Nursery in Petaluma

Succulents at Cottage Gardens nursery in Petaluma, California. They have beautifully tended plants, as well as metal sculptures, garden art, old buckets and bathtubs, enamel pots, and wooden barrels. It’s fun just walking around in this fascinating place. 3995 Emerald Drive.

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Metal Sculpture at Cottage Gardens Nursery, Petaluma, Calif.

Lesley took me there yesterday. It’s a stunning place. The plants are exquisite, like the ones at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery. They also have ingenious metal sculptures of animals, old iron buckets, huge ceramic planters (from Viet Nam), a couple of old galvanized bathtubs, antique porcelain pots, and a ton of other stuff. It’s up a hill at 3995 Emerald Drive, on the west side of Petaluma Boulevard as you’re driving out of town to the freeway. An oasis of beauty.

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Smoking Cannabis Is Bad for Your Health

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, what with all the recent euphoria over decriminalizing cannabis, but — having smoked pot for over 50 years — I offer herewith some first-hand experience:

I never considered myself a stoner. I wasn’t stoned all the time. Over that period of time I might have smoked the equivalent of a joint or two per week. I started when I was 28 years old, and it did indeed change my life. It got me on to the right side of my brain and gave me a new way to look at life. I quit my job as an insurance broker soon thereafter, and started exploring other worlds. Cannabis was a key element in the changes I went through in the ’60s,* and has enriched my life greatly overall. Credit where due.


  1. My lungs didn’t feel so good about 5 years ago and I started vaping. But even that proved irritating, so I’ve gone to using tinctures. I had my lungs checked and nothing turned up, but I know what I feel. “You don’t need a weatherman…” If you’ve used a bong, what about the tar that accumulated on the glass? When you’re smoking a joint — or a pipe —  you’re pulling all this stuff through your lungs. When you use a Bic lighter with a pipe, what are you inhaling? Think about it.
  2. A lot of commercial pot has been chemically fertilized and when necessary, sprayed with toxic chemicals to combat pests. I saw a survey that tested many samples from a dispensary, and the vast majority contained traces of insecticides (i.e. Avid or Eagle 20).** An organic grower friend once said to me. “They’re smoking paraquat!” (Not really, but you get the idea.) If one of these big growers gets spider mites in his $20,000 crop, what do you think he’s going to do?
  3. KNOW YOUR GROWER. People  buy only organic produce, yet smoke pot without any assurance that it’s pesticide-free. You should know how your pot was grown. Do you think hydroponic pot is the same as if grown in soil? Is it grown under lights, with fans, using lots of electricity to do something that the sun can do au naturel? Ask your grower where the water comes from, fertilizers used, what is done to combat critters like spider mites? Natural predators? And etc..

The psychoactive benefits are indeed wonderful, so I would look to other ways to imbibe. Vaping instead of smoking; it cuts down on a lot of particulates that you’d otherwise be pulling through your lungs. High-quality tinctures and  edibles (and not over-consuming, as is so easy to do. “I ate the whole brownie and couldn’t find my way home”).

Just sayin’…

Note: I’m only talking about smoking here. Cannabis is a miracle plant for healing. Hemp (same family) is wonderful for food, fiber, insulation, construction…

*See my book-in-progress on the ’60s under the above button.

**Do Google search for Avid and Eagle 20

PS Someone just came by, looked at all this, and said:”Well, duh…”


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