As a young grower, my mentor once told me, “The highest quality bud is usually grown by the ones who love it the most.”
A rough-around-the-edges sort of guy held together by a veneer of hardened biker bravado, he was the short-and-stalky, bearded type who bathed in Grateful Dead T-shirts and Carhartt jeans. The canonical old school grower, he hitchhiked cross-county to California in the early 70’s with the clear intent of growing good dope. He was a true pot enthusiast — a purist when it came to the game. A “true believer” who lived to grow cannabis. An often serious guy, his boyish enthusiasm would shine through his tempered exterior as he exuberantly rolled Fidel Castro sized joints with bed-sheet like rolling papers.
During long, post-work smoke sessions, he would wax poetic — “There’s those of us who move to the Emerald Triangle to make money, and there’s those of us who live to grow the highest quality possible … Product that comes from someone in this game solely for money is worlds apart from what comes from a grower motivated by love of growing.”
And he would passionately close stating, “You can only achieve the highest quality possible if it comes from a place of love. When it comes from ‘that place’, it’s not even the same ball-park or planet for that matter. you can literally taste the love.”
It was hard-lined, unfiltered cannabis gospel. You knew without a doubt that he genuinely believed in the cause through his sheer conviction and visceral passion. He spoke about connecting with plants on a personal level and taking care of them as if they were his own children. He was in-tune with his plants, he gave them everything they wanted and in return they gave him everything he wanted.
He preached that above all, what we do is an art-form.
Our smoke sessions would leave a lasting impact on how I would approach not only growing, but life itself. His words would stick with me as I ventured on my own to climb the emerald ranks.
They taught me that a quality life is the natural by-product of a life lived for art. As an artist, your craft is no longer a duty or a task; it is a labor of love, an unconditional selfless service to the well-being and progression of your craft. In the constant pursuit of always improving, the true believer embarks on an endless journey to seek glory and perfection in his cultivation techniques and genetic selection. True believers share a common understanding that quality in itself is not a destination or end product, but a state-of-mind.
Quality is something we’re famous for in the Emerald Triangle, and hence we are defined by our quality. For true believers, Growing is life. Not just a way of life. Not just a means of living.
But a just means of living.