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Introduction. WARNING: Although using marijuana may not be addictive, growing it is... Ed Rosenthal renowned cannabis grower and advocate.

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Introduction WARNING: Although using marijuana may not be addictive, growing it is... Ed Rosenthal renowned cannabis grower and advocate. The Kitchen chronicles the evolution of a hassle and money-saving
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Introduction WARNING: Although using marijuana may not be addictive, growing it is... Ed Rosenthal renowned cannabis grower and advocate. The Kitchen chronicles the evolution of a hassle and money-saving effort that eventually turned into a full-blown passion for the marijuana plant. If you re looking for a highly technical, step-bystep guide to growing and harvesting marijuana, you won t find it among these pages. Are technical steps in our personal journey outlined in the text? Absolutely. But more than that, you ll find a story about the supreme adventure that your authors have embarked on with this wonder plant, including our pitfalls, setbacks, and triumphs. My Beginnings I m a baby boomer. When I was in high school in the early 1970s, I thought it d be cool to score some grass and be part of the counter-culture evolving around me. Despite thinking I was hip, I was actually horribly naïve and inept, which resulted in getting ripped off more than once due to my trusting Midwestern upbringing and plain stupidity. When I look back, I realize I didn t truly get stoned until 1974, as a college freshman. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn t just looking for a quick buzz. Instead, I sought relief from an extremely painful condition called ulcerative colitis that I d struggled with since early adolescence. But as soon as I took my first real hit, my curiosities turned into enamor. Not only did I want to smoke this stuff, I wanted to grow it. In 1975, I snatched up a copy of Murphy Stevens book, How to Grow Marijuana Indoors Under Lights, and put some bag seed into the ground or in this case, under two, 4-foot, ungrounded, fluorescent fixtures that hung from the ceiling in my basement apartment. It s no surprise to anyone familiar with this setup that I zapped myself with low-grade electrical shocks whenever I got too close. Stevens was one of my earliest inspirations A page from Richardson s book Just like the pre-packaged foods hitting the grocery store shelves, my plant food followed in toxic form. MiracleGro fertilizer and store-bought dirt were the order of the day. The finished weed snapped and popped when smoked from all the nitrogen hiding in the nutrients. Real headache material. Who knew? Around this time, Jim Richardson published the book, Sensimilla Marijuana Flowers, with featured photographs by Arik Woods. They showed me an entirely new and truly beautiful plant, the potential of which seemed unattainable by mere mortals such as myself unless you lived in Hawaii and called David Crosby a friend. As my knowledge grew, so did my palate. A period of smoking better weed, hashish, and honey/hash oil followed. The Bicentennial (1976) was a banner year for me as a consumer because the variety of cannabis products seemed endless: Columbian that looked like gold flake and cost the unprecedented sum of $45/ounce; temple ball hash with an alleged dusting of opium from Nepal; and a smattering of the purest honey-like hash oils. Likewise, my gardening ambitions progressed from a corner in my bedroom to a huge walk-in closet in my apartment. When I moved to Gotham in 1978 to pursue a graduate degree, those same two florescent fixtures came along for the ride. I vividly remember trying to track down worm castings - worm excrement/excretions - based on something I d read about how they added a wonderful element to the soil. Unfortunately, no one and I mean no one knew what they were. I d heard a rumor that a nursery in an outer borough had some, but that location seemed too alien a land for me to ever try and track those castings down. Thirty plus years later, worm castings are, in the gardening universe, mainstream. Throughout the mid-80s and early-90s, I took a hiatus from gardening and focused my attention on marriage and children. But my passion for the plant didn t die, and unfortunately, neither did my colitis. Around 1996, I traveled to Amsterdam on a family vacation and ended up visiting the Cannabis Castle, The Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum (www.hashmuseum.com), and many coffee shops, discovering a wealth of fabulous strains and ideas about indoor growing. Back home, I continued reading Ed Rosenthal, Mel Frank, Mel Thomas, High Times, and any other marijuana publications or literature that I could get my hands on. On another family trip, this time to Vancouver BC (are you noticing a trend?), I inadvertently found myself at 307 West Hastings Street and discovered Marc Emery and Cannabis Culture. I brought a few seeds back home, bought a 250- watt magnetic ballast, and started running some plants in a homemade, free-standing, 3x3 closet. My hiatus was over. I was back. I jumped into experimenting with hydroponics and deepwater culture, though I finally settled on using organic soil and amendments in two tents used for vegetative growth with LEDs. I had a 4x3 foot kitchen floor covered with flowering cannabis plants, which shone brightly when illuminated by the two hanging 600-watt, high-pressure sodium light fixtures. The electric bills were extraordinarily high and the results only satisfactory at best. The excessive heat in the building and recurrence of plagues and predators, particularly mealy bugs, combined with a lack of space, proved too big an obstacle for my seeds and clones to reach full genetic potential. Further, security concerns and the desire for better results pushed me to move my little green friends. I uprooted and headed to a neighborhood where folks minded their own business and didn t worry about the tall dude nervously shuttling materials into his garage. That brings me to my current garden. Then in the summer of 2011, I met Tweezy, a young man who shared my passion for growing. He d spent years reading and learning about the plant and various grow techniques before he ever touched a seed. By the time he got around to planting and cutting, he d amassed serious knowledge. With what seemed like an almost intuitive sense of what the plants needed and how to give it to them, his abstract studying leapt off the page and into a successful reality - certainly no easy task. From the first moment he started getting his hands dirty, it was clear to me that the time and love he devoted to the garden was special and from his heart. After getting to know one another and sensing that our respective experiences and resources would complement each other on many levels, we began working together. This volume documents key points on our journey. Welcome to The Kitchen. Jay Tweezy's Story I m a flower child. I was born and raised in NYC in a diverse neighborhood that was predominately Latino with a healthy representation of Black, Asian, and Italian families. People smoked and sold cannabis freely in my hood but I wanted to be a ball player, so I steered clear. Along with the other athletes on the block, if you smoked Mary Jane, I looked at you funny because I valued sports above getting high. As time went on, rap music started getting global recognition. In the music, the artists frowned upon smoking but if you peeked behind the closed doors, it was easy to see they were all major potheads. Even that didn t matter - I was still scared straight. My pops was a soldier in the Army, drafted right out of high school like in the movie Dead Presidents. Fortunately at the last minute his battalion was sent to Panama, not Vietnam. I still remember his warning to this day. His exact words to my brother and I: If I ever catch you smoking rope, grass, dope, weed I will break your fucking neck! After he and my mom split up, basketball didn t seem so hot to me. I was still young but I grew up around OG s and would see them handling the little manila envelopes, Bambu and EZ Wider papers, Phillie Blunts, and White Owl cigars. The beer of choice was Olde English 800, or if they were into spirits, Bacardi Dark. I started getting into rap and hip-hop, writing rhymes and searching through old records for break beats or loops to rhyme over. The music dudes were big potheads and I used to tease them all. Then one day we were in the projects chilling out as they smoked some Red Hair Sinsemilla. I ll never forget it. They passed me the blunt and when I started to protest, they told me to shut up and take a pull. Peer pressure in full force! The smoke embraced my lungs like a lost friend. I took another pull and blew it out through my nostrils, and then coughed for what seemed like minutes. My head was mildly throbbing, my body was getting warm ah yes! After smoking, we went outside and I remember asking the fellas, This is what high feels like? They laughed hard as hell and said, Yep, that s what it feels like. I was high for hours and told them, If this is what being high feels like, I ma be high everyday! 25 years later: I m still steaming, Willie Beamen! As time went on my opinions and feelings about cannabis changed drastically. It started with smoking in staircases and on rooftops to studying guys like Mel Frank, Jorge Cervantes, Ed Rosenthal, Max Yields, and Kyle Kushman. My man Prince (R.I.P.) who was an ill metal head guitar player man, he could crunch! originally introduced me to High Times and more. I bought my first High Times by myself when I was 15 on the Lower East Side and I m still surprised the guy sold it to me. I guess I was big for my age. During those early years there was a lot of great commercial cannabis going around, along with brick Mexican, and some very potent Indicas and Sativas. This was also the era of the smoke spots - legal businesses that sold weed, almost like an illegal dispensary. Some of the most sought after cannabis in those times included strains such as Skunk No. 1, Buddha, Chocolate Thai, Lambsbread, and Gold Leaf Indica. The scene evolved into much higher grade (read: more expensive). If you had the cash, the smoke spots had so many different varieties and grades - it was insane. We saw strains like African Black, Chinese Thai, Pakistan, Peru Blue, and Cambodian Indica. Rastafarians and Latinos, especially in the neighborhoods I grew up and hung out in, dominated the cannabis scene in Gotham during that time. City times were tough in the early 90s, but the cannabis was getting better and better. I was reading High Times and anything and everything else that had to do with weed. A friend and I went 50/50 on the book Indoor Marijuana Horticulture Totally Revised by Jorge Cervantes, Robert Connell Clarke, and Ed Rosenthal. Published in 1993, this was and still is the bible of cannabis horticulture. I wasn t even of legal age yet! We studied that book front-to-back and back-to-front. While studying, we bought a 175-watt halide light system from Greenfield Hydroponics out of Milwaukee, plus soil-less mixes and nutrients and started growing in a closet. Our first run was Panama Gold and Lambsbread. The plants were healthy - nice and strong under our light and eating the nutrients nicely. But it wasn t enough. We let them stay in the vegetative stage for too long in that small closet. We didn t even get to taste the fruit of our labor as we jarred it before it was completely dry and our beautiful flowers turned gray with mold. Time went on and my musical efforts continued to make headways. I toured London and Amsterdam in 1996 with a few other artists and what I saw there was a revelation to me. Everything I d read and studied about was there. Many legendary strains were just making their debut or being hoarded for both good and bad reasons by breeders. At around the same time, a fire broke out (unrelated to growing) at my partner s place and damaged our equipment. He moved out, but he left me with the book. Even today, I read it as if it s a newspaper that never gets old. The pages are resin-spotted from hours reading and medicating. Then in the early aughts, I met B-Science. He was from the far northeastern part of the country and consistently ran Northern Lights. A Jedi Master at the ebb and flow technique of growing, he schooled me in the style in With him, the words in the book came to life. I learned that I preferred to grow organically in soil, but I still experimented with new things if I thought there was something to learn. I kept studying and trying different methods, but continually found myself held back by the lack of space to run things the correct way. My unbridled passion to cultivate the best medicine known to man, woman, or animal continues to drive me to this day. At that time, it was the Haze era, which was incredible. Now it is Sour Diesel, OG, and Chemdog-dominant strains that rule the streets I run. In 2011, I met Jay while I was managing two hydroponics shops. He always came to the shop early, always knew what he wanted, and always paid cash. One day we were talking about calcium peroxide and Amsterdam when we discovered that he had made his pilgrimage the same month and year that I had. It was during the summer of 1996: Hashplant was just introduced, AK-47 was a baby, and Jack Herer wasn t stabilized yet. During that conversation, I saw that he had my same hunger and love for the plant and that he was trying to cultivate the best medicine he could in the same way: stress-free with no restrictions. We kept trading genetics and notes, eventually partnered up, and now you have The Kitchen: a book, a journal, a montage of the work we have put in over the years. I hope you enjoy it. Tweezy
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