NOW THAT YOU can grow four cannabis plants at home, what kind will you grow? Yes, yes, the sticky-kind kind, otherwise why bother? But using what method?
There are many ways to grow cannabis. You can grow in soil or hydroponically. Some brave souls even grow aeroponically, a method in which the roots are bare and exposed, and get sprayed with a nutrient solution.
Same as with produce, there are "conventional" growing methods (meaning chemicals are used) and organic choices. Yet another option is biodynamic growing, a method designed by Rudolf Steiner that involves mystical and spiritual approaches that can include burying quartz in a cow's horn with your crop. I graduated from a Waldorf school so I'm contractually forbidden from mocking this method, but you should feel free.
When I first heard about a new technique—veganics, AKA vegan organic gardening—I rolled my eyes. Really?
But I'll admit I was intrigued when I learned Kyle Kushman had racked up 13 Medical Cannabis Cup Awards with his veganic entries, including several for flower. Kushman is a long-time world-class cultivator who gained prominence in the pages of High Times, writing for the publication for more than two decades.
As Kushman writes on his website, "Veganic simply means no animal-derived products are used. Veganic nutrients rely on proprietary formulations of fermented plant solubles for the majority of their nutritive power."
Fair enough. When you consider that fertilizer is animal waste and that bone and blood meal may not yield great tastes, perhaps veganics are worth exploring.
I sought out a local veganic farm. I had heard 7 Points Oregon's name at several dispensaries, and asked if they would share their story.
They told me they didn't start out growing veganically. "Before we started 7 Points, we grew with synthetic nutrients, and had great results and yields," says Robert Elam, one of the farm's partners. "However, when we reflected on food and how we wanted to live our lives, we couldn't use chemically derived nutrition any longer. Because everything you put into a cannabis plant is destined for human consumption and medical use, purity became a top priority.
"During the first days of 7 Points, we did a controlled grow of both synthetic nutrients and veganics, which is essentially our signature formula built off of fermented vegetables," Elam continues. "We found that while the chemical crops yielded higher, the quality of the veganics was infinitely better."
I've tried 7 Points' cannabis, and have to agree. I cracked a jar and the scent was strong and clean. I picked up notes that were missing from the same strain grown conventionally. I haven't seen any data claiming higher THC numbers, but if it's flavor and scent you're after, you should consider growing veganic.