The Dude Grows Show

Family Heritage Haze

In memory of Duchy and “Uncle Dan”

“All you have to do is what you are supposed to do.”

Straight out of the trailer park, I started out at a very young age with an entrepreneurial mindset. I had never grown anything, so my early days were fraught with problems. Everything was trial and error, and it was almost two years before my first successful grow. Living in the shadow of Lake Erie and in the Maumee River valley, weather is often not your friend. We saw extreme temperature swings, but it was a mild summer, and the grow went amazingly well. Pests were a constant issue, but otherwise, I was extremely blessed. This year, we did not lose a single plant in a storm—only minimal damage or lost limbs. Seeds purchased locally that were supposed to be White Widow ordered via catalog. I showed up roughly two weeks before harvest, and everything was gone. Turns out my seed dealer’s harvest went bad, and, well, my harvest paid his debt.

At this point in time, my life is extremely turbulent, and I was just counting down the days until I could leave my biological father’s home. Gaining my freedom, I reconnected with my grandfather, and the farm quickly became a safe place. I felt I could go there regularly undetected, and as it backed up to mixed wooded farmland, I picked there for my next grow after having over a year to recover. Being at the farm every day to prep my grow site likely tipped him off, but the day I put seeds in the ground, I walked out of the clearing to my grandfather waiting for me. He didn’t say a word, just pointed back in the direction I came, and we walked in silence.

When we got there, he just said, ‘Well.’ I started to string words together, and he just said, ‘Stop,’ and started walking back to the farm. He gestured for me to enter his truck and didn’t say a word the entire drive. We exited the driveway, turned right in the direction of the trailer park. My heart fell through the floor. We traveled no greater than a half-mile, and he turned into the next driveway. Obviously, I was very confused. We got out of the truck, and my grandfather just walked in like he owned the place. Enter ‘Uncle Dan.’ My grandfather introduced me, and the first thing Dan, carrying two beers, said to me was, ‘Would you like a beer?’ At this, my grandfather just broke out laughing. Turns out they planned out the whole thing to scare me and knew about the grow from my first day.

When Dan and my grandfather traveled the world, both fell in love and married women they met in villages mountainside, and the seeds they brought back from that trip were the parents of the plants he grew. Dan had a perpetual harvest and had been breeding and selecting for over 40 years by this time. Dan gifted me one cut, and my grandfather gave me space in his greenhouse. I had never cloned before or knew that it was possible. I started my first grow journal that day.

Soon, I was working two farms, and with a guiding hand, Dan and my grandfather showed me how to grow ‘one plant at a time.’ This is a philosophy that you treat whatever plant you are nurturing at that time like it is your only plant. I may have taken that too much to heart.

The initial plan for harvest was to take them before the first ‘greenhouse frost’ when we could not keep the temperature high enough in Dan’s greenhouse passively at night. It was late October, and snow was on the forecast, so Dan’s plants had to come down. I was lucky to have a heated bed. After Dan’s harvest, I was still not looking forward to taking the plant down. We created an inner room inside, and I rode out the storm, sleeping in the greenhouse to make sure the salamander never ran out of fuel. We were blessed with a very mild November, and she was looking as healthy and happy as ever. Dan had never pushed a plant this long and was also eager to get it drying, but he had a crazy idea to keep it going because the plant was showing no signs of fading. We measured the day before Thanksgiving and were at just over 13ft tall.

To deal with the temperature pressure, we moved a wood-burning stove in, which was enough to keep the room comfortable. We were blanketing the inner room at night to try and retain as much heat as possible. During the day, we would still see 60+ in the greenhouse, and at night, we tried to maintain 50+ in the inner room. Things really slowed down from here, but we kept going. The fragrance of the plant during this time really began to evolve and was what drove us to keep going. It was very loud, but as you sat with it, every smell was very smoothly layered. It had this turpentine funk that punched you in the face from far away but gave way to a very subtly sweet fruit the more time you spent with it.

We were having to pull buds down from the ceiling, and Dan was concerned about what would happen if we pushed too much into the next season.

This was my first personal harvest. Sixteen days after harvest, we gathered for the first taste. Excitement was in the air, and Dan rolled the fattest plumber’s joint I have ever seen. The effects were immediate; it made your face feel like you just took off diving goggles after a long dive and could still feel them on your face even though you were not wearing them. Very cerebral and trippy, and soon we were all stuck between fits of uncontrollable laughter. This was great in the beginning, but it never seemed to end.

Our yield was significant, and keeping it fresh was obviously a priority, but we could not give it away after people tried it. We kept this harvest in jars for over 7 years and distributed it to family and friends after my grandfather passed away. (method to be shared in a separate post)

Learning to grow that year was a life-changing experience that set me on the path that brought me here. My grandfather used to say all kinds of things, but when I needed to get sober, he said, ‘All you have to do is what you are supposed to do.’

You hear people say that this plant changed their life; well, for me, that is my reality. Alcoholism destroyed my family, and cannabis saved me from it. Real tears were shed on approval of issue 2 here in Ohio that I might one day be able to grow without reprisal or fear.

Keep the faith, and don’t get caught.


One response to “Family Heritage Haze”

  1. Hybrid Ohio Avatar

    Was a bit emotional when trying to finish this up and left out the most critical of detail. planted May 28th harvested March 1st.

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