Tuesday, 11 April 2017
The Farmer's Eye Fattens the Cow & the Crop
I work in a clinic that assesses patients for medical cannabis. Our doctors also respect your right to grow. The gardeners are coming out of the woodwork to partake in some horticultural therapy. A patient was given a grow script a few weeks ago and in conversation about growing asked me how a person avoids getting mold, mildew, or spider mites. I told her plainly from my own limited experience but also the knowledge I'd been given by friends and articles I've read that you can keep any botanical ailment at bay with careful daily inspection.
I grew up in rural Farmerville Ontario with horses, so I learned a lot about animal husbandry. At some point in time I was told an old adage that is more like a way of life than a mere saying:
"The farmer's eye fattens the cow."
The best farmers spend time with their animals getting to know each one. These are humans who see farming as a partnership not a master-dominant industry. And just like cattle, ensuring your green Goddesses are healthy requires among others, two major things: time and your attention.
This is one of the main reasons why I herald the new home cultivation rules of the ACMPR. Not only is growing therapy for the grower, but it saves us money too. Some are worried that the average Canadian can't grow this plant safely but growing 5 to 20 plants is much different than growing enough plants to fill a factory! Careful daily inspection is a bit harder to perform when you're talking about 100's of plants. And outside in the sterilizing rays of the ultra violet Sun mold is not the same problem that it is inside a factory. The Sun kills the harmful microorganisms while it gives power and vigor to others that feed on them! Any time we can take the strain off of the legal producer program, it's a good thing. And growing your own leaves you with so many more usable parts of the plant! From leaf to root there's medicine.
Growing can also be purely selfish and that's okay too. Great effort must have some reward or it would never be repeated. There is therapy in sharing energy with a plant such as Cannabis. It grows like it's its job! Each cycle growers revel in the sheer speed of growth seen by many strains out there. Others treat gardening like a courtship, getting to know each plant's evolving personal watering preferences. Weeks later they harvest and repeat the whole thing over again. It reminds me of the construction and then the destruction ritual of the Tibetan Sand Mandalas.
There is ritual in that cycle of life however bounteous the harvest. The time a Cannabis grower invests in his or her crop can often be immeasurable though. But the benefits of the time spent can be therapy that evens it all out in the end. One gardening rule stays: the closer the attention, the better the outcome.