“I feel like they fell out of the sky. And it’s the first time that’s happened to me… I’m extremely blessed.”
All aboard the Redwood Roots strain train where heavenly volunteers and influential life moments have crossed to create some miracle blends in this month’s edition of Pot Talk.
Redwood Roots is a medical cannabis collective based in Southern Humboldt. Chris Anderson, founding member and president, grew the two strains featured in this edition of Pot Talk: Ol’ Boy Blue and Grandma Anderson’s Cookies, both “volunteers” from his outdoor garden. A volunteer, simply, is a plant that has not been deliberately planted.
“I got lucky,” Anderson says, of the two mystery plants that popped up in two different beds in his garden, as if from out of nowhere. “I feel like they fell out of the sky. And it’s the first time that’s happened to me… I’m extremely blessed.”
For one thing, having volunteers appear means that Anderson reuses his soil from season-to-season. Yes, he says, “We’re building the soil instead of killing it. It’s live soil cultivation, all organic.” And it means that a couple of his female plants got pollinated. He blames the one male that infiltrated his yard that season — a “Kush” that he got from a seed bank in the Bay Area.
He pulled the male from the garden, but it had already let loose with some pollen. By late winter of the next year, he saw a couple of volunteers pop up. So Anderson took clones of the two plants and grew them out.
The strain he calls Grandma Anderson’s Cookies popped up in a bed where he’d been growing Girl Scout Cookies. The volunteer has Girl Scout characteristics when in vegetative growth, he says, and he sees Platinum Girl Scout characteristics in it too. He can’t be totally sure about the heritage of that particular volunteer — after all, that one male was just a “Kush” — the package didn’t say OG Kush or Lemon Kush… “So I think it’s just a Kush with the Girl Scout Cookies.”
The Ol’ Boy Blue has to be a derivative of that one male Kush plant too, and he speculates that it could be Kush X Green Crack. “It looks a little more Green Crack-ers than Blue Dream-ish, but it came up in a bed that had Blue Dream in it the year before.” Could be the Kush X Blue Dream…
He’s been depping clones of both the Ol’ Boy and G-ma, and he’s grown them full-term and indoors too. They are consistent and phenomenal producers, he says. “They’re super consistent and hardy.” Both mystery strains root easily and “grow like gangbusters.”
“It’s so exciting… No one else has ’em.”
The Grandma Anderson’s Cookies volunteer strain is named after his grandma, who was a major baker in the community for all the local kids. “They’d all come to her house in the summers and raid the freezer — it would be chock full of chocolate chip cookies…” Her cookies were legendary.
“Anyways, I was the first person to farm [cannabis] in my family,” Anderson tells me. “My grandparents were school teachers. My dad smoked weed but never grew it: he was always just a little afraid to be himself in front of his parents. I was a little bit more of a rebel. I’d show up to family dinners stoned out, not disrespectful, but stoned. And my grandma knew it and didn’t care. She loved me anyway.”
“So she took me outside during dinner one time, and I thought I was in trouble.” But it was the opposite. Grandma Anderson told him she was proud of him for being the pioneer of the family, for doing what was right for him, for doing something that was not an evil thing. “I’m a good person and [cannabis farming is] something I have a passion for. She recognized that and gave me a big hug. We went back inside and it was just a really cool thing.”
The name Ol’ Boy Blue came from an old fellow Anderson picked up one day. “[He was] literally on the verge of death,” Anderson says. “I saw him camped in this spot for five or six days and it was like 100 degrees out… Finally I stopped and walked up to his tent and he was looking really sunken in, just gnarly, and [could] barely move.”
“I ended up going to the store and getting him some food and water. And I came back the following day and he was still there and still in bad shape. So I asked him if he wanted to come to the house and shower and eat some food and rest. His eyes lit up… He ended up staying for almost a month.”
Eventually Anderson had to tell the fellow to move on. “But it was a really great experience for me, to be able to help somebody. It felt like he was extremely thankful.” Anderson could see such a genuine deep thankfulness in his huge bright blue crystal eyes. “So I named that strain after him. It was a very influential moment in my life.”
“Maybe my grandma sprinkled [the volunteers] out of the sky, or something — she’s in heaven. Or, maybe Ol’ Boy Blue died and he sprinkled them down… I don’t know.”
Beautiful stories! Thanks Chris.
Ol’ Boy Blue
Ol’ Boy saved my day, came in and perked me right up. One hit off my aptly-named one-hitter had me hopping, gettin’ ‘er done, emphatically punctuating this very article. It brought me to some needed smiles and eased my mind. Even when I first looked at the Ol’ Boy, it spoke to me, like, “You’re going to like me.”
This strain comes in at 22.38 percent THC and 0.12 percent CBD. It’s got an earthy hue with a mustard yellow base and pleasantly contrasting, darker green highlights, reminiscent of a Southern Humboldt hill-scape. The outsides of the nugs have a cheesy poof frostiness. It’s dark orange-brown hairs blend in well. A glittering topography is to be found inside.
I see from the CB Labs test results that the terpene content is high, 20+ mg/g, the bulk of that being alpha-Pinene, followed by beta-Caryophyllene and beta-Pinene. Anderson is a fan too: “It’s just super frosty, super tangie with a major pine smell, and lime,” he says.
In spite of the strong terp profile, I find the taste is mild. The smell is too, a mild and familiar musky tartness — grape, sweet orange, tobacco, pine and lime. I really like its effect.
Grandma Anderson’s Cookies
Grandma Anderson’s Cookies tests at 25.74 percent THC and 0.01 percent CBD with d-Limonene and beta-Caryophyllene as dominant terpenes. The nugs are airier than the Ol’ Boy, and the stems are svelte. It’s pretty dazzling with a bright green, almost silvery tone and shades of purple, teal, gold and emerald. The hairs are a muted brown, and like the Ol’ Boy, the inside of each nug is brilliant.
My favorite nug is a bulging purple and gold piece about the size of my thumb tip. I found the taste to be mild too, but the smell is rich and earthy. It’s got a kush vibe with a flowery note too. G-ma Anderson had more of a slowing, sedative effect on me than Ol’ Boy. Good pain-relieving, relaxing weed for the end of a hard work day.
Written by Emily Hobelmann