About a month ago, I cut 200 clones from the same mom. Just yesterday, I finished delivering those clones (four each) to 50 of Oregon’s elite cannabis growers, all over the great Beaver State for our second annual Grow Classic competition. These elite growers do their unique thing with these identical genetics and we reconvene November 17th in Eugene, where we award $15,000 cash to those who finish with the most THC, highest terps, and the Growers Choice, selected by the growers themselves. This is our second year of the competition which has introduced me to so many of Oregon’s premier growers, many of whom I have developed lifelong friendships with.
As a grower for 23 years and daily consumer of flowers for more than 25 years, and as someone who has played in the circle all over New England, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Northern California and Oregon (where I’ve been for the last 18 years), I can testify that these Oregon friends are pushing up some of the most beautiful, coated, terpiest, tastiest, dense, and stoniest buds in the country. Their individual methodologies span the gamut of tried and tested grow knowledge, handed down from three and four generations and/or earned like research and development badges. Each of their farms is just as unique as the people themselves and, as you might guess, as unique as each of their finished flowers, despite our identical genetics. I’ve gleaned so much knowledge from visiting each of these growers and following along with them on our proprietary Grow Classic app through the duration of the competition. Though each of these folks is certainly unique, there are, of course, some commonalities; baseline observations I have made along the journey that I thought I’d share with you in this very fitting “Sustainability Issue.”
Sustainable and intentional practices reign supreme for almost all of these all-stars. They are conscious of their plants from root to cola, conscious of the air above and the rhizosphere below, and the symbioses surrounding and throughout the plant during its lifecycle. They are conscious of their environment and the earth itself and their personal relationship to each plant. This may sound hokey to some of you, but the passion and positive vibes contribute as much to the finished product as the genetics themselves or, quite possibly, any other single factor alone.
Organic practices are commonplace; no-till methodologies and bio-dynamic farming seemed to complete the theme over the past couple of years. Some are implementing Korean natural farming techniques into the equation, taking advantage of indigenous microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and protozoa) to produce fertile soils that yield high output without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Furthermore, most contestants are bubbling these microorganisms and bacteria with come sort of compost tea to stimulate the life within before applying to their soil.
You may already be using some or all of these techniques, or you may have developed some proprietary secrets of your own. Whatever your methodology, remember to have fun and be kind and when you do make a discovery share with friends, including us, so we can all help each other grow danker and danker buds.
Cosmos Burnigham, Editor