Pot Talk with Emily Hobelmann

We are living in an era of frenzied cannabis branding — people developing ways to market their farms, products and services. But some cannabis farmers intend to stay underground, farming quietly in the hills, moving their product on the market with no fanfare, with no marketing strategies or business plans — just a serious love for growing excellent weed.

One such renegade grower from the hills of Southern Humboldt provided the cannabis for this particular edition of Pot Talk. She’s been farming the weed in these parts for twenty-plus years now. She got started back in the CAMP days, a time when her crops required thorough camouflage.

Now she grows her plants right out in the open on a west-facing slope in her sublimely landscaped garden of mums, dahlias, marigolds, flowers forever…, plus fruits, greens, vegetables and shrubs. “I get an obscene amount of sunshine on my garden,” she says, and her plants do well with so much light. She grew 25 this season — full-sun organic outdoor, quality not quantity.

“I’m not the only one like this. I know a lot of friends and neighbors who are really small time too.” Still, she estimates a forty pound yield for the season, up to two pounds per plant. “I never do actually keep track of it, but every year I get more efficient.” She’ll keep about a third of her harvest for head stash. The rest will be sold or given away — she’s all about sharing.

She’s also all about growing cannabis from seed (“I don’t grow clones, they’re a pain in the ass.”) And she’s devoted to growing her cannabis exclusively outside: “I think weed is just like any other plant — it should have bees and birds and butterflies buzzing all around.” This garden is an environment where the natural predator-pest cycle functions at an optimal level.

So, she had some super happy plants this summer. Cultivated strains include Purple Northern Lights, Super Fruit Haze (“That’s a really stony one.”) and Mango OG Kush (“OMG”). And she kicked down some beautiful samples of Kish Super Fruit and Cheesy-OG for this Harvest column.

Cheesy-OG

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 12.43.54 PMI received two fat nugs of Cheesy-OG. The Cheesy-OG is pale green in color with an olive drab thing going on — we’re talking camo vibes with a smattering of glitter that rivals the most hardcore indoor. True to its savory name, the aroma of the Cheese bud has lactic undertones — do I detect a hint of Brie? It also has that distinct kush smell and it smells a bit like coffee and cucumber too.

The flavor is complex — tart, skunky and sweet-like-honeysuckle. The effect of the Cheesy-OG immediately serves to lighten my perspective. It makes me gregarious and chatty with all who cross my path. Laughter comes easily and my humor is contagious. I shared a Cheesy-OG joint at a BBQ party (my sample was large enough to spread the love around), and people absolutely loved it.

I consider this weed to be classic stoney. The munchies come on strong and my inner dialogue becomes profound and poetic. (At least it seems that way to me!) When I smoke the Cheesy-OG, I appreciate the need for human connection and I am eager to share all things, including my sandwich. (This is an appropriate place to note that the farmer believes cannabis takes on the characteristics of the people that grew it.)

As for how the plant lived this summer, our farmer says “I didn’t water it very much. It’s in a part of the garden that the hose barely reached… People water too much, and I think I’m even going to water less next year.” She said the plant stood out from the rest, “It definitely looked different. It had a light green look to it, not purply at all. It actually was cheesy looking.

The buds were huge. But as big as they were, they survived two different rains without getting any mold or mildew. I put it in the ground on May 18th and I harvested it on October 11th.” That’s almost five months. Excellent.

Kish Super Fruit

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 12.44.02 PMThe Kish Super Fruit sample contained three jumbo-size olive nugs plus a 5.3 gram cola. It came casually, loosely trimmed and packed in a little mason jar. The Kish is firm and somewhat modest in its appearance. But this weed does have flair — I gave it a quick trim and then wondered at its sparkle in the sunlight.

It’s a healthy rich green color with crimson hairs and indigo frosting. It smells like blueberry and spicy too, like cedar. I smell fennel too, a sharp herbal aroma. Like the Cheesy-OG, the high is quite uplifting, again. I find the Kish SF brings on cheerfulness, an unshakable satisfaction with life and the day. Munchies and hardcore cottonmouth happen. And I ride the acute stoney wave with a brisk walk followed by some kettle corn and beef jerky. It’s all good fun.

The farmer says the Kish Super Fruit is easy to trim and it has really nice structure. “It smells beautiful and it’s a nice high,” she says. “It was really tough — when a giant branch broke, I just duct taped it up and it grew fine through the rest of the summer. The plant is hearty and it was pretty big too — I’ll probably get like four pounds off it.”

Nothing wrong with that!

I want to extend a big thank you to this anonymous Southern Humboldt farmer for donating samples of her fine outdoor organic cannabis, and may she have many more bountiful seasons to come.

Emerald contributor since March 2012

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