By Kid Charlemagne
Have you ever heard the saying.. “Time fly’s when you’re having fun?” My experiences in the past year and a half have shed a new light on that expressions meaning.
While growing has a tendency to bring out peoples impatient side I have grown to use that time therapeutically which has given me the chance to grow myself and some of the most seri- ous medication around SW Michigan. This time has afforded me a greater knowledge and understanding about an herb that I hold very sacred to my heart.
A little back-story, High school graduation in the year 2000 came fast; Sept 11, 2001 came even faster. The 101st airborne division took me across many vast deserts and oceans, before I knew it I had been shot and stabbed twice and I was on my way back home. I’ve always been fascinated in growing and ingesting the best quality med- ication known to man. I never could have guessed how this medicine would affect my life after war.
On my return home from the Army my life saw a drastic change, the war had effected me more then I could have imagined and I had joined the statistics of soldiers return- ing home effected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The daily routine of alcohol and government prescribed anti depressants took my life into a downward spiral. It wasn’t long until I realized the anti depressants were killing me physically and mentally, I had become a zombie. I decided to cease taking all advice from the doc- tors and turned to self-medicating with marijuana. After speaking with the V.A. this last winter I quickly realized that my decision in 2005 to quit taking pills and replace them with smoking marijuana had been a life saving choice!
PTSD still has a dramatic
effect on my life, and many other individuals around me. Since my return
home I have lost many friends due to my unpredictable behavior. I
regret that. The nightmares are too much, terrible
dreams, restless sleep, waking up soaked in sweat. Terrible nights lead into terrible days, exhausted and drained. The best way to sooth days and nights like these… smoking a fat joint before bed, which usually helped me to fall right asleep. Blackberry Kush came into my life and so did many other amazing strains via a very good friend we will call Bob Juicy who came from my hometown of Chicago but had moved to Northern California. I was invited out for a visit and ended up spending some much needed time throughout the Lost Coast. On my journey I rekindled and grew my love for great pot, oil, and bubble hash. After being introduced to these super strains grown in perfect conditions my dreams were stopped in their tracks. I could sleep all night without hearing explosions and children screaming; I had a renewed sense of life. I knew that I had to learn to grow this medicine for myself if I wanted to assure that I would always be able to control my PTSD.
After a few years of experimenting and figuring things out in my home state where marijuana is not legal, I met a girl from Michigan who saw the greatness we could cre- ate and was afforded the opportunity to move to Michigan a Medical state and really give growing my all. She inspired and helped me to take my game further. In the last year and half we have expanded in an amazing amount of time. After an eight lighter in a rented house, we upgraded to a twenty lighter in a new house we own on five acres. After a couple pushes indoors I realized my 25×25 grow room was not enough to satisfy my ever growing curiosity and need to push the limit on great medicine. Through my research and collective conversa- tions with master growers I had seen what the sun could do to a plant and I couldn’t miss out on the free power.
I made the decision to move on to experimenting with something I had never tried, Light Deprivation. So this past spring we built two 50x14x9 greenhouses inside of our six-foot high privacy fence. We concreted two
4x4x10 treated posts at the end of each house and built the gables tying everything together. Barn style doors at one end and a 24in whole house fan with an awning at the other. With the roll up sides we choose to install we have been able to stay within two degrees of the outside temps. The doors have double locks at the top and bot- tom, our privacy fence gate is locked at all times as well; Michigan law requires everything to be in locked enclo- sures. I even experienced having three detectives come to my house unlawfully; of course I was in compliance with the laws with my locked enclosures and under my limit in plants. I was very cordial with the detectives and by the time they left we were joking and talking about fishing. That’s another story another time.
I knew quite a bit about light deprivation from a few of my friends out west, I decided it was time to show those Cali boys what the Midwest can do! We began vegging our plants in February and let them go to the first week of June to ensure giant plants and a first week of August harvest. No rain (hopefully) and plenty of full sun makes for awesome buds. I choose to build internal hoop hous- es inside greenhouses, covering and venting the plants and not the whole structure to be a little more covert, as neighbors can be nosy and a pain in the ass if you know what I mean. We dug the holes a square meter side by side and filled them with a year’s worth of recycled pro mix. I purchased bulk top peat and perlite from a Michigan company called Baccto. I pay 370 bucks for 120 cubic ft a soilless mix comparable in my opinion to pro mix. Do the math and tell me if you feel you’ve been screwed by the grow shops.
The plants used in the outdoor garden are Blueberry, LA Confidential, and B2 a strain I would eventually love to enter into a medical cup. It’s a strain I created three years ago consisting of Blackberry Kush from Bob Juicy one of my best friends and a Strawberry Diesel clone I received from another good friend named Potter. We can dig down 6ft and not hit a water table on my property so drainage is perfect. We brew organic teas with a combination of different guanos, kelp extracts, a few things from the bio biz line, and hydromyco. This garden has been daily hard work for my me and my apprentice Twan, but Our organic bud speaks for itself. Hard, sticky, sweet smelling, and covered in trichomes. I often find my friends asleep on the couch. At harvest we will hang the plants in the grow room upside down for ten days with the humidity set at 40 percent. Trimming with a crew of family, friends, and patients always makes for good time. You would be amazed at what good food, music, and hash does for the moral of your workers. Our patients get there medication for the year and the bills get paid, I couldn’t ask for more.
After this outdoor grow is chopped
hung and dried I will be placing winter crops in the green houses such as win-
ter lettuce, kale and broccoli, and begin focusing on per-
fecting my indoor grow for the winter. As we know life is never dull for a farmer. Another venture is also in the works for my partner (we can call her Steezy Jane) and I this fall in the form of a lifestyle brand called Elevated Presence. Which will focus on spreading knowledge and positivity on the Marijuana community.
In conclusion, Ganja has morphed me into a better per- son. It has offered me an opportunity to build a life around a sacred plant, which helps me everyday in my struggle to control my PTSD. It helps me in ways I could have never thought imaginable. I can only imagine what time holds for me and for other growers and patients in the world, every crop pushing the limits and exploring the boundaries of cannabis. I pray often for all the sol- diers caught in the middle of this epic immoral war big brother has waged on you. There is a safe and effective alternative for you, though it may not be legal where you are, if we rally our troops we can be heard, we can make a difference.