Canada’s Saddest Grow-Op: Ian Brown Humiliating Adventures in Growing Cannabis

Article by Ian Brown, Globe and Mail

CANNABIS AND YOU Canada’s saddest grow-op: My humiliating adventures in growing marijuana When Ian Brown was tasked with cultivating some home-grown pot, he did what any eager, if inept, gardener would do: he borrowed a state-of-the-art weed machine and hoped for the best. But as he discovered, growing good cannabis is way harder than it looks. STORY BY IAN BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIMOTHY MOORE

Before we move on to the truly humiliating material in this story – and because it is a gardening story, in which a puny human tries to best unfeeling nature, you know it’s not going to end well – perhaps I could explain why I tried to grow cannabis in the first place.
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It wasn’t my idea, but that of one of my editors. His name is unimportant. All right, it was Sinclair Stewart. We were sitting in a bar in one of those so-hip-no-one-has-heard-of-it-yet neighbourhoods where bars are the size of eight telephone booths, not that anyone there is old enough to remember those. The bars have ironic names such as Bus Stop and Brenda’s Favourite T-Shirt. We were dreaming up fresh ways to write about cannabis, which Canada planned to legalize that very fall, and discussing how the anti-establishment roots of cannabis had been co-opted by Bay Street financiers.
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Suddenly, Mr. Stewart said: “Why don’t you grow some pot?” His theory, from what I could make of it, in between the references to Moby Dick and fly fishing – Mr. Stewart likes to operate on at least three channels at once – was that this quest to grow marijuana would acquaint me with the obsessions of the gardening mind, that jungle of detail and duty in which a watchful soul evades the thugs Random Weather and Lurking Pestilence and manages, with little more than a seed and her dirt-stained hands and her patience, to create something more. At least I think that was what was on my editor’s mind. The point is, he did not for a moment consider the likelihood of humiliation. Editors seldom do. But it’s always lurking somewhere in a gardener’s sense of the future.
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Before we move on to the truly humiliating material in this story – and because it is a gardening story, in which a puny human tries to best unfeeling nature, you know it’s not going to end well – perhaps I could explain why I tried to grow cannabis in the first place.
.
It wasn’t my idea, but that of one of my editors. His name is unimportant. All right, it was Sinclair Stewart. We were sitting in a bar in one of those so-hip-no-one-has-heard-of-it-yet neighbourhoods where bars are the size of eight telephone booths, not that anyone there is old enough to remember those. The bars have ironic names such as Bus Stop and Brenda’s Favourite T-Shirt. We were dreaming up fresh ways to write about cannabis, which Canada planned to legalize that very fall, and discussing how the anti-establishment roots of cannabis had been co-opted by Bay Street financiers.
.
Suddenly, Mr. Stewart said: “Why don’t you grow some pot?” His theory, from what I could make of it, in between the references to Moby Dick and fly fishing – Mr. Stewart likes to operate on at least three channels at once – was that this quest to grow marijuana would acquaint me with the obsessions of the gardening mind, that jungle of detail and duty in which a watchful soul evades the thugs Random Weather and Lurking Pestilence and manages, with little more than a seed and her dirt-stained hands and her patience, to create something more. At least I think that was what was on my editor’s mind. The point is, he did not for a moment consider the likelihood of humiliation. Editors seldom do. But it’s always lurking somewhere in a gardener’s sense of the future.
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To grow cannabis, you need a cannabis seed – preferably a feminized one, as only female cannabis plants produce the flowers that contain the cannabinoids some 380 million human beings consume. You could grow a male, but by the time you discovered this disappointing fact, you’d have wasted six weeks.
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There are at least 5,000 known varietals of cannabis in the world today, usually sativas (the original slower-growing cannabis plant that produces a cerebral high) or indicas (body buzz, stoney) or a hybrid of the two. The catalogue of the Canuk Seeds catalogue, “a proudly Canadian company,” presented a fraction of those possibilities. The array was still bewildering.

Read the full article here.

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