Last May I scored some decent bud from a Seattle dispensary that we’ll just call Stan’s, and it contained seeds! Nice folks at Stan’s – the bud was kind of hit or miss sometimes, but seeds? Almost unheard of to get seeds. The next day I became a pot grower!

I put some potting soil in half a dozen plastic beer cups, wrapped the seeds in wet paper towels and placed them on top of the dirt. Put those suckers in a sunny window and started my new career.

The seeds were from a strain that Stan’s called “Girl Scout Cookies” but that meant nothing – the pollen that produced those seeds could have come from anywhere and strain names are often bullshit. Always wanted to try and grow some outdoor cannabis, though. Modern urban hipster farming.

Could have easily gone to Cloneville in South Seattle and bought some nice ladies with proper lineage. “Based on genetics from L.A.,” the Cloneville guy once told me. But no, I had to do it the hard way, from seed.

For those even more cannabis-clueless than I: A “clone” is a cutting from a mother plant and is genetically identical to that plant. And Cloneville is a pretty cool name for a store – that’s the way we roll in Seattle.

After a week I had seedlings! The very, very, very long process of growing my own marijuana was off to a roaring start!

And this is why most people buy pot instead of growing it – it takes some time and expertise to make the stuff correctly. A lot of time. I’ll jump to the end of the story a bit and tell you that I did not get (barely) smokable marijuana until the end of October. Five months from the day I planted the seeds. Growing indoors is no picnic either, and more expensive.

Transplanted the girls to five gallon pots. Placed ’em outside at secret locations. Up a tree in my yard. One in the neighbor’s yard. A few in a vacant lot down the street. Once I tried to grow plants on a golf course where I worked on the grounds crew. Planted some seeds and nothing ever happened. Go figure! This time there would be triumph! And hopefully, many thousands of pounds of high grade green.

All six plants turn out to be females. Yeah. Another victory.

So how do you water plants that you have wildcatted around town and are not on your property? The one in my backyard and at the neighbors were no problem. My other girls suffered from dehydration through July and August. Stunted growth was the result.

A final relocation saved the project – a relative who lives on a Lake near a wooded area offered to take them. South facing, all day sun, secluded and hydrated daily.

The Summer of 2014 was great, weather-wise. Cut to mid October. Right before Halloween I harvested the six plants, trimmed them and hung ’em in my basement. And here’s where the fuck-up happened. I did not hang them long enough and so they didn’t cure properly. The end product was unsatisfactory and very acidic and no wonder – it was grown in some dirt and never properly flushed. Further curing in mason jars, with frequent airings, didn’t save what was a poor product. Garbage in garbage out.

Tasted truly like “home grown.” Girl Scout Cookies crossed with Chicago ditch hemp.

In the end: Less than two ounces for four month’s work. It was fun and kind of gratifying to grow cannabis. And legal too: I was an authorized medical pot patient at the time. And also a big waste of time.

While I was busy growing crappy pot this Summer, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop opened for business. No more need to grow. No need for a medical card. Things have been simplified.

So what did I learn? While blogging a bit about my experiment I learned that pot growers will mock you if they see a picture of your plants with a ladybug on them. “Ladybugs and spiders are the sign of a true amateur. And they shit on the plants!”