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Build to edge of the document Margins are just a safe area

Mikal Jakubal at Plant Humboldt nursery. J.A. Savage

into the Wayback Machine. In the ’70s, sensimilla was a goal, not a prosaic reality. We planted the seeds that fell out of our baggies and hoped they grew. We hovered over our plants every day to see signs of male pollen sacs dropping so we could frantically sequester the pubescent plants until their in-vitro services were needed to produce seed for the next crop. The seed-grown scene is not so much different now. Yeah, Jakubal buys seed in bulk instead of rifling through baggies but he still has to root out males using a jeweler’s loupe to discover nascent pollinators. We were unable to check out a trim scene so I don’t get to relate how I found myself more than once in mid-winter at a grower’s kitchen table with a few others, clipping away, with a pile of cocaine over by the woodstove for enthusiasm and bottles of cognac for cleaning our hands between plants. It was OSHA’s worst nightmare. I can only assume that technology has obviated that part of the process and OSHA bureaucrats are not hyperventilating. We thought this story would be about two back-to-the-landers looking at how legalization has brought about shiny and scientifically elegant technology to make for better quality flower. We expected

that technology is helping grows to be less environmentally damaging and produce physically less-demanding crops since our labor of love in the ’70s. While that turned out to be true, we also learned how financial risk aversion is turning plants into a commodity by pushing techno-grows. Yet, technology also blunts some of the hard edges of our environmental concerns and allows for the type of grows that satisfy consumer demand and investors’ need for returns. In the ’70s, long-term rates of return for me and my growing buddy were about as important as Manhattan hotel real estate. What we were after were those 10-foot tall, sun drenched plants with “donkey dick” buds. It wasn’t much of a business plan. We did grow a few but after the harvest, we were still driving beaters and looking for an easier gig. We could’ve used a lot more technology but it didn’t exist and, hey, it wouldn’t have made for good stories. l After a multi-decade hiatus from Humboldt in an urban area where she still had to avoid police helicopters, J.A. (Honest) Savage now resides near Trinidad, where the helicopters are mostly U.S. Coast Guard. • Thursday, May 23, 2019 • NORTH COAST JOURNAL


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