By Harry Resin
What motivates a breeder or someone to go out and start a seed company?
As a former breeder and seed company owner I was always interested in getting to talk about or read what motivates a fellow breeder when he is creating a strain.
That’s why I really wanted to sit down and talk to Karma about what his motivation is. Everyone comes to this world with their unique history and perspective. As everyone has a different story and approach to how they do things. I thought it would be interesting to sit down with Karma from Karma Genetics and discuss his strategy and the philosophy behind his breeding program.
I asked Karma to start at the beginning and to tell me where he got the idea to start Karma Genetics. For him it all began with Overgrow, the original online forum. Karma joined Overgrow in 2002 and since then he’s been online ever since. “This was the start of the revolution” says Karma, ” previously there was no connection between these smaller grow cells or groups this really con- nected the growers together on a global scale.” This online revolution was an early start to the cannabis insurrection, which has sparked a veritable shift in the way people from all over the world come together to discuss growing.
allowed growers to share information about strains and growing;
according to Karma to this day it was the most global of all the forums. Sure
today you have many different
forums with people from
all over the world on them but generally
they are still somewhat populated by down national
lines. With Overgrow it was everyone. Karma was able to reach out to growers
all over the
world, this led to Karma’s travel period. As he started to meet people from all over the world he began traveling to
visit them, collecting and trading strains with other grow- ers as well
as sharing a wealth of information.
On one six week
trip to Nepal he stayed at Pokra
which is at the foot of the
Himalayas’. It was here that his spiritual rebirth took place. Being in such a spiritual place really
changed the way he looked at things. After this trip Karma found a more
spiritual path to continue
down and more impor- tantly he decided to start his seed company.
From that point on dutch flower (his handle on Overgrow)
Karma. These early days helped form his breeding strate- gy and his sensibilities as a grower.
He remembers the first cup that he entered in 2008 which was an Icmag cup. After Overgrow Karma joined Icmag and from there he continued his relationship with other growers and breeders all over the world. In fact it was in this period that I too had the pleasure of meeting him. So at his first cup he remembers sitting at the green house or at Mila’s when they announced the winners and he had won third prize. He said it was an amazing moment at one point he was sitting around and he hadn’t really met any- one yet feeling almost as though he felt he didn’t belong and yet here he was with his third place prize. From this moment on he had arrived. He had won with his Ks-16, which later went on to become the basis of his Dominator, which won a cup at this past years Cannabis Cup.
It was after this first ICMag cup that he won in 2008 that Karma Genetics began to take shape. Karma began to see how much people enjoyed what he was working on and knew he needed to share his point of view with the world.
Armed with his new handle and his new motivation, Karma Genetics was born. After his spiritual awakening in Nepal he began to understand how the karmic flow of life works. This really motivates the choices he makes as a breeder. This past year he also introduced super foods into his nutrient mix. As he had positive results himself with some super foods he began eating he felt that the positive influence would also be felt by the plants. It is this con- sciousness that motivates him behind all that he does.
When discussing what Strain to analyze
Karma decided on the Happy
Brother, for him this was his crowning glory as a breeder. The Happy
Brother was an Indica that
Karma had saved since the mid nineties. It was one of the strongest plants he had
come across and he felt
that there was something
special about it. His goal was to
create a stabilized version of the Happy Brother. As he was
start- ing from a clone only female
he knew he would have
a challenge. He had no desire to self it and was also curious
He says “look at nature this is it how it was intended to be, if you change and manipulate mother nature there will be consequences.
to see if he could get a Happy
Brother male to use in other
projects. To start off
with he used a Jack Herrer
male but after only the first cross the Happy Brother was totally
bred out. At this point
Karma began searching for other males. He then started a pack of seeds
and got a Sage male
but that also didn’t work
out. It created a nice hybrid
but didn’t leave him with the results he wanted so he moved on. Again
he said its crucial when
working on a project that
you keep your focus and goal always
in mind. Karma says with breeding it is by important to
set your goal and stick to it as you could get really
side tracked by the other results that come up.
After the lack of success with the Jack Herrer and Sage males he tried a Chemdog male from a pack of Rez dog seeds. The male finally brought out the true properties of the Happy Brother in almost all of the children including an amazing male. This male would be crucial in stabiliz- ing the offspring as it really had taken on the structure of the Happy Brother. This male was crossed back into the original clone only female to begin the second leg of the project. From this point on he used that male to back cross it into his original female. Using this original female Happy Brother in each of the back crosses he diluted the male as he bred out the Chemdog and was eventually left with an almost perfect Happy Brother male. After two repeated dilutions or back crosses the eventual progeny of Happy Brother bx2 looked identical to their original mother. Karma is currently continuing his Happy Brother work with the Sour Brother, this is Karma’s Sour Diesel female crossed with the male he used in his Happy Brother bx project. With this strain he really had the feeling it would work when he grew out the mothers on one grow in the same room. He really liked the way they looked together and the smell of the two plants in the room was amazing. He is now working on stabilizing the seeds of the Sour Brother for sale. However there are already a few people in Colorado growing it out and the early tests are incredibly positive. Big yields and a killer smell. Check out Karma Genetics on Facebook to have a peek at the Sour Brother.
Karma said the he often
would sit in the room for some time just feeling and
observing his plants.
He felt that the plants always showed him which
were the right choices especially with the males.
One thing we talk about fre- quently with breeding is the power
of observation but how many times
do we really look at our
plants, do we take
the time to study them on a macro and on a micro level? “Through this close
examination the plants will always tell me what I should do. I’m a nature based guy
whenever I don’t understand someone or something I always look at it with my natural self understanding what we are like as natural beings,” says Karma. It is this sym- biotic relationship to his plants that I feel sets Karma apart, he is a crucial aspect in his breeding process, it is more than just taking strain A and crossing it with strain
B. His approach looks at what works
on a natural level and
he is able to, like a keen chess
player, see several
moves ahead. Knowing that if
he takes plant A and cross-
es it with plant B eventually
taking their offspring and crossing it back
to the original plant A the outcome will yield the results
he is looking for. His
father is a biology professor and he feels that this early exposure to biology aids him in his approach now. All
the answers are in the
plants you just have to dig deep enough
to find them. This is one reason why he is against all of these new
female only strains. He has had extensive
experience growing them out and even
making some but each time he wasn’t
happy with the results. He says “look at nature this
is it how it was intended to be, if you change and
manipulate mother nature there will be consequences.
Any group of people that were close to the land throughout our history
knew that. Respect mother nature. Now it seems that with a little sts or other chemicals or hormones you take a female and make stable children from selfing. Yet this is not really the case, the reality is that you are contravening the natural process altering how these plants work and I feel no good can come of that.”
Karma’s hands on approach and use of his intuition has been a large part of how he gets things done. His peers have rewarded him with five cups over the last three years. This year he says he will try and enter some cups abroad as more and more medical patients are growing his strains all over the world. This has also meant that he has received loads of feedback from the medical community. This too helps influence his approach as he takes into account which strains helped with which ailments, allow- ing him to breed accordingly.
Karma’s approach is certainly unique as feeling and intu- ition guide his process, sure he says looks and flavor and yield play a part but those are not constants as each cross brings on new traits. The key is understanding what will eventually come. Pre conceiving what a strain will look like after it’s undergone it’s process and emerges renewed after being worked on and improved. Truly when you buy a pack of karma genetics seeds there is a little bit of karma in each pack.
Keep it real
In love and light