Zen Cannabonsai https://www.zencannabonsai.com Learn how to grow cannabonsai Sun, 28 Feb 2021 03:10:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 What Is Cannabonsai? https://www.zencannabonsai.com/what-is-cannabonsai/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-cannabonsai https://www.zencannabonsai.com/what-is-cannabonsai/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2020 01:51:59 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=789 The term “Cannabonsai” is a combination of Cannabis and Bonsai, and this sculptural art form is a celebration of both growing cannabis and traditional bonsai art. While cannabonsai projects come in all shapes and sizes, most focus more on self-expression through sculptural form than traditional goals like yield. Some refer to this work as bonsai […]

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The term “Cannabonsai” is a combination of Cannabis and Bonsai, and this sculptural art form is a celebration of both growing cannabis and traditional bonsai art. While cannabonsai projects come in all shapes and sizes, most focus more on self-expression through sculptural form than traditional goals like yield.

 

Auto Somango Driftwood Cannabonsai

Some refer to this work as bonsai weed or cannabis bonsai, but I have the utmost respect for Japan’s traditions and culture, including Bonsai, so I intentionally do not use those terms. I like how “cannabonsai” explains what it is but does not call it Bonsai. Traditional Bonsai refers to a tree in a small pot, and cannabis is 100%, not a tree.

Like any postmodern art, there is a great deal of wiggle room in cannabonsai. As someone who has always love traditional bonsai, I personally celebrate walking the line as close to possible with tradition. This extends to the pots I use (ceramic glazed bonsai pots), sculptural elements I add (round rock, driftwood, other natural elements), traditional bonsai wire, traditional tree shapes, and more.

Other cannabonsai artists take a more modern approach and are more light stress training (LST) focused, shining a light on the incredible lengths cannabis can grow through. These artists grow plants in knots, spirals, and over illuminated crystals, with their imagination being the only limitation.

The cannabonsai subreddit Mod recently drew a hard line about what is considered cannabonsai in the group due to this line getting a bit blurred. Still, the gist is that cannabonsai are cannabis plants paying some level of homage to traditional bonsai.

It will be interesting to see that line become firmer over time as artist styles develop along with the community, but for now, I love seeing folks getting started growing. Most people don’t have room or money for a 4×4 tent set up and everything that comes with it, so this is a hobby that is much more accessible to the average person.

Best to use Autoflowers or Photoperiods for Cannabonsai?

Cannabonai can also be grown with autoflower plants OR photoperiod plants, so those looking to get started just need to grab a pot, some seeds, and few other items to give it a go. Due to their finite lifecycle, I always recommend starting with autos, and I even grew my first autoflower cannabonsai 100% outside in the sun:

 

Auto Blue Gorilla Informal Upright Cannabonsai – Grown Outdoors

Of course, photoperiod varieties are also fun because you get to grown them as long as you’d like (but be sure to keep them on at least 18 hrs of light per day). This allows you to make all kinds of cool cannabonsai art you can’t really pull off with autoflowers like this East Coast Sour Diesel roots over rock that’s about five months old:

How To Get Started With Cannabonsai?

Getting started with anything can be stressful, but if you have any experience with cannabis cultivation or even keeping houseplants, you’ve got this. Zero plant experience or someone who kills plastic plants? Cannabonsai uses small pots, so it’s a little tricky in general, but YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

I started growing with absolutely zero knowledge or people to show me the way in person, but there are infinite amounts of growing knowledge online for free. From forums to subreddits, the world is your library for growing weed.

YouTube has been a game-changer for basic knowledge as well! On my YouTube series Zen Cannabonsai I have a beginner video for Autoflower Cannabonsai and a ton of other videos where I start and maintain my various projects.

Another solid intro video is Episode 4, where I went down to my local dispensary and grabbed a clone. I wanted to show how anyone can start one of these with a clone, and I’m happy to say that the Venom OG clone is alive and kicking to this day.

Manny’s Cannabonsai also has a series for auto-enthusiasts where he walks you through the process of growing an Autoflower Cannabonsai from start to finish. On top of that, he has a book called Cannabonsai: A Beginner’s Guide that’s really sharp visually and can show you the ropes in an afternoon.

As you dive deeper into the art, you may enjoy my Roots Over Rocks episodes as well as Cannabonzai’s videos and books on more advanced photoperiod techniques. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their books as well, and while distinctly different than Manny’s, they offer a TON of valuable info and lovely pictures.

Cannabonsai Supplies

Besides knowledge, the only other thing you need to get started is supplies and a thick skin. Growing anything can be tough, and while cannabis is actually relatively easy to grow, shit happens! From cats eating plants to overwatering, there are countless pitfalls that can face a grow. But keep your chin up and JUST KEEP GROWIN!

As for supplies, I’ve outlined most of what you’ll need on the Supplies page here on Zen Cannabonsai. I only listed the products I’ve used and recommended and linked to the two seed companies I trust right now.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do cannabonsai plants smell?

Yes and no. The two things that make traditional cannabis smell strongly in flowering and drying phases are genetics and surface area. Some strains like Sour Diesel have a FUNK and smell in any amount. Others have less of a smell, and if the plant is small, there isn’t a ton of surface area for the smell to emanate from as air circulates over the plant.

Regardless, cannabonsai are not a solution to your grow being smell proof and it’s always a good idea to use a carbon scrubber kit (or DIY if needed).

How long do cannabonsai live for?

Autoflower cannabonsai live for their pre-bred timeline. This is usually around 60-100 days. They can’t be regrown and die at that time.

Photoperiod cannabonsai can live over a decade but require ongoing maintenance and rootwork after around the 6-month mark. This variety can also be “revegged” after flowering, though this is definitely an advanced technique.

How do you train a cannabonsai into a shape?

Any way that works for you! I personally use traditional bonsai wire, but I’ve used rubber bands and binder clips, hemp cord, zip ties, and whatever else I had around in the past. When deciding on a shape, I like to look at traditional bonsai shapes and draw inspiration from there, but other cannabonsai artists take a more whimsical approach and shape their plants into plants Dr. Suess himself would be proud of.

Another material I see folks often using for shaping is horticultural wire. It has a soft exterior, and I should probably switch to this at some point.

When do you start training?

It’s super tempting to start messing with the plant as soon as it’s broken ground, but patience is key. I like to wait until the 3rd or 4th node before shaping at all due to the cell walls being really weak before that point. It’s super easy to accidentally “fold” a fresh stem where it doesn’t break, but all vascular movement is severely impacted, leading to crappy overall health.

It’s fine to move the plant around a bit, and I even recommend lightly flicking seedlings to build up those cell walls (adding water-soluble silica to your water helps enormously, too), but less is more. At about $10 a pop for seeds, there’s no reason to rush that first bend.

More Questions?

If I missed anything or you have ANY more questions, drop a comment below, and I’ll be sure to drop some knowledge! I don’t know everything, but I love researching, and if you follow my videos at all, you know I hate gatekeeping.

Much love, PK

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How To Grow A Cannabonsai Mother Plant https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-to-grow-a-cannabonsai-mother-plant/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-grow-a-cannabonsai-mother-plant https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-to-grow-a-cannabonsai-mother-plant/#respond Mon, 14 Dec 2020 00:36:54 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=783 What up everyone! I just dropped Episode 9 of Zen Cannabonsai over YouTube and wanted to drop a blog post to go with it. Today’s topic is how to grow a photoperiod cannabonsai plant that stays alive for an extended amount of time while providing clones or a genetic bookmark in one’s cannabis plant collection. […]

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What up everyone! I just dropped Episode 9 of Zen Cannabonsai over YouTube and wanted to drop a blog post to go with it.

Today’s topic is how to grow a photoperiod cannabonsai plant that stays alive for an extended amount of time while providing clones or a genetic bookmark in one’s cannabis plant collection.

Alright, let’s dive in and be sure to share this with someone who’d appreciate it if you fuck with this info!

What is a mother plant?

First, what is a mother plant? The simplest explanation is that it’s a photoperiod variety plant kept in a vegetative state specifically to produce clones. Other times mother plants are kept for long periods of time without cloning, simply because a grower wants to save genetics for the future.

If you have the space, mother plants are a great way to do this. If you don’t, cannabonsai mother plants are even better!

Venom OG Cannabonsai Mom – Age 1-2 Months

Which brings us to my Venom OG featured in this episode. For those who are just tuning in, this is a Venom OG clone I grabbed from back in episode 4 from a local dispensary. It was about a month old when I got it, and I made this composition about 4 months ago so this lady has been chillin for some time now.

While this plant is a bit on the elaborate end due to the rocks here, the principles of how to keep a cannabonsai mother are basically the same.

1. Pot Size

The first thing to consider is pot size. This is an 8 in oval pot with depth to it. The volume is approximately 1.50 quarts, and the larger rock takes up a portion of this. By comparison a 10 in oval pot like the ones I typically use (point) holds about 3 quarts of soil.

While I love this composition, it is a small vessel and it will be a challenge maintaining this over time since the rocks make it difficult to root trim. My plan is to keep feeding it myco and build up a really solid root mass that adheres to the wires and rocks. Eventually it can then be popped out of the pot, trimmed on the bottom root layer, and repotted in this or a larger pot with a new composition.

2. Nutrients

Since I grow my cannabonsai in living soil, my feeding regimen for this plant is similar to that of all my plants: Teas and occasional dry fertilizer. As mother plants are kept in a vegetive growth state, feedings should consist of higher N and P values and a lower K value. 

My dry fertilizer of choice at the moment is an awesome organic mix from Recipe 420. It has extra myco, trace minerals, and a bunch of other great stuff. Unfortunately it’s a nursery only-product but I’ll link to something similar from NPK Industries and suggest you ask your local nursery to consider carrying it if that don’t already. 

The reason I use tea and fertilizer is that the micro herd of bacteria and fungi in the tea acts as an awesome intermediary for the plant. I’ll be diving into teas in a future episode, but for now I have a video up on composting at home which is the first step to awesome teas. 

Be careful with over feeding, as with any cannabonsai and consider using a soak style watering method if you plan to incorporate moss on the top as I have in my other compositions. I’d grade this plant a 7/10 health wise at the moment, as you can see the leaves are a light green and the stalk is pretty purple. As with any cannabonsai tree, stress of serious trimming, small pots, and learning to dial in nutrients make it slightly more challenging than a traditional grow, but if you’ve been following my Fast OGKZ project (point) as well, you know that beautiful plants can come out of struggling cannabonsai and you gotta just keep listening to the plant and growing forward.

Fast OGKZ Cannabonsai Mom – Age ~5 Months

3. Light

Depending on a cannabonsai mother’s size, you may want to consider a diminished light source like natural lighting or a cool 5600k 42w light blub. I’ve noticed my cannabonsai in flowering love my 1000w led, but it’s a bit much at times for trimmed back mothers or plants just starting out. Vegging plants also love that cool blue light rather than anything down the red end of the spectrum.

4. Maintenence

How you trim a cannabonsai mother plant is really depended on your goals with it. If you’re trying to pump out clones, for instance, aggressive topping will produce endless clones even from a small plant. If your goals are more cannabonsai oriented, styling may look like manipulating the trunk, wiring branches, and trimming growth that isn’t conducive to the sculpture.

Broom Style Zelkova from Kokufu Show (via BonsaiTonight.com)

In this example, I’ve grown it in the broom style and wired a few branches. I’ve gone through waves of letting it grow wild, then trimmed it back to add girth to the stalk. Keep in mind the diameter of the stalk is ultimately determined by the surface area of the branches. The quickest way to a girthy stalk is to let the plant grow as much surface area as possible. 

I’ve tried to strike a balance here between form and function since I don’t have clone requirements, but it’s also nice having a mother with plenty of clones on hand if a friend needs a clone of some bomb ass Venom OG.

5. Advanced Techniques

When you’re just starting out with photoperiod cannabonsai it may be tempting to add extras like moss, rocks, driftwood, and such but keep in mind that these things will make it much harder to do root maintenance in the future. I already dropped my thoughts on how I’ll handle that in this instance, but my East Coast Sour Diesel roots over rock is in the same spot and not super happy in it’s terribly draining pot. That one is going to be a really tough job due to the size of the rock, the size of the plant, and the weird lip on the pot, but it will have to be done.

Venom OG Cannabonsai Mom – Age 5 Months

Another advanced technigue is grafting. At it’s core grafting is taking a branch from one plant and affixing it to another. This is how nearly all citris is grown, with Meyers Lemon as the receiving plant. Grapefruits for insstance are taken as cuttings, then grafted to the lemon tree.

Believe it or not this can be done with cannabis as well! Royal Queen Seeds has a whole article here, but this is a basic visual rundown. I haven’t tried this yet, but hope to soon.

How To Graft Cannabis
Royal Queen Seeds Grafting Illustration

You’ve got this!

Alright, so we covered pot size, nutrients, light, maintenance, and advanced techniques, which should get you started with keeping a photoperiod cannabonsai mother plant. If you have any questions beyond that or want to know what gear I use, check out the links in the description below (point down) so you can pick them up locally or online if needed.

If you’re watching this far, thank you for the love and consider hitting like and subscribe (point) to stay up to date on my cannabonsai content. If you want to see more frequent updates on all my other projects hop on over to my Instagram as well and be sure to shoot me a picture of your projects if you’re a cannabonsai nut like me.

Much love,

PK

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A Growing Passion for Dank Nugs (or how I got started with cannabonsai) https://www.zencannabonsai.com/a-growing-passion-for-dank-nugs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-growing-passion-for-dank-nugs https://www.zencannabonsai.com/a-growing-passion-for-dank-nugs/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2020 01:06:45 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=724 I grew up in the hippy hideaway of Western Massachusetts, nicknamed the “happy valley”. This is a region where local cannabis cultivation has been a long-standing tradition dating back to the 1970s (or really much earlier if you consider hemp and Indigenous farming). Growing up there the 2000s, this translated to having access to some […]

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Finding Fall Foliage in the Upper Pioneer Valley | Fall foliage, Scenic  routes, Travel and tourism

I grew up in the hippy hideaway of Western Massachusetts, nicknamed the “happy valley”. This is a region where local cannabis cultivation has been a long-standing tradition dating back to the 1970s (or really much earlier if you consider hemp and Indigenous farming). Growing up there the 2000s, this translated to having access to some of the best Mass Super Skunk, East Coast Sour Diesel, and Chem D money could buy.

I may have been but a mere emo teen, with access to only ditch weed, but I was also blessed with a best friend whose older brother was plugged in. This dude’s clique was thick in the Western Mass medical cannabis game so at 17, my friends and I had all the “kind bud” we could afford with our lunch money.

The setup…

In hindsight, this, in addition to my ferocity for learning random shit, is what first sparked my interest in learning to grow weed. When I smoked that meticulously grown Sour Diesel full of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids, it was night and day from the brick weed I’d otherwise have access to.

Being a teenager, I had nowhere at home to pursue this interest. I spent hours reading online about outdoor growing and even used the newly released Google Earth (Maps beta, yes I’m a nerd) to scour my neighborhood for spots I could plant some seeds. Ultimately I was dissuaded by local laws and being a bit overwhelmed by what method to use (there were so many!), but I never stopped researching.

Fast forward a few years and I’m in college. First time living away from home and I’m rooming with my buddy from above. Our dorm has two small closets and we’re in New Hampshire, who despite their motto of “Live Free or Die” and lack of motorcycle helmet laws, was draconian about cannabis at the time.

In this definition terrible setting, I took an old footlocker, lined the inside with cleaned potato chip bags turned inside out (free mylar!), and threw a few long fluorescent plant lights in one end. It stood vertically and I was able to germinate and start vegging a few bag seeds in that puppy. I was thrilled, but more or less immediately had to ”pull the plug” for various reasons. I was hooked, I just needed a space.

Patiently I waited…

Game time!

A few years later, I found myself living off-campus in a secure apartment with two small closets in my room. Game time!

Growing up, I valued time snowboarding over money, so I was always ballin’ on a budget with growing. It was helpful that I LOVE building things myself, and I set upon building a custom stealth setup for myself that my landlord wouldn’t notice even if they were next to it. This was no small feat, but I’d found a really active microgrowing community online that had already forged many paths.

I studied their designs, bought some seeds online with digital money for security, and came up with stacking two 35 gallon Rubbermaid bins into a modified R2D2 CFL grow cabinet:

Rubbermaid “R2D2” – 60 Day Wonder Autos

It definitely wasn’t pretty, or adequately fire-safe, but it sure as hell beat that footlocker in my dorm room. I even had air circulation! This is, unfortunately, the only picture of my early grow setups because I also started getting more into operational security at this time and basically stopped documenting anything cannabis on electronics due to NH laws. Fortunately, I was able to find this image and a few nug shots cached on an old hard drive (go 5 years in IT!).

My first few attempts were sub-par, but I slowly taught myself about soil, lighting, climate, and all the other good stuff that goes into growing great weed. My first upgrade was to take a bathroom vanity light fixture and hack it into a six 42W CFL bulb array on the lid of these two stacked Rubbermaid bins. Still, I quickly outgrew this setup and started envisioning what an ideal stealth setup would look like on a budget.

Getting Dressed UP

There are a million plans online for going to Ikea or buying an amour and setting it up to grow in with a $1000 budget, but I had about a $200 budget, so I took my time and slowly gathered supplies.

What I ended up with I wish so badly I had a complete picture of because I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever made. Below is a picture from years later when I was getting rid of it, but basically, I took a used dresser I got for free, chopped the front part off all the drawers, and made them into a big door held on by super heavy magnets.

I painted the inside white with Bin primer because it was free as well, then spent most of my budget on 8 5600K 42w CFL bulbs, electrical equipment, and an expensive ass piece of glass that could go between the light compartment at the top and the grow compartment at the bottom. I also put hinges on the top compartment so I could access the bulbs and air filter.

Remnants of several early grow cabs. Footlocker, PC Case, Dresser

The plan was to draw air from under the dresser, through the cab, across the lights, through a DIY carbon filter, then out the back. After everything was battened down with weather stripping and light guards, the only detectable aspect of this cab was the subtle hum of the exhaust fan that could easily be masked by some music.

In the end, the cab fit two 5 gallon buckets or 4 3 gallon trash cans and I was thrilled. I started my autos while I saved up for another set of warm (2700K) CFLs for flowering. I knew this was the last step for me in growing buds I could be proud of because my previous setup was really lacking light. This is why I also focused on the cooling being a key part of this project because I knew if I kept the cab cool I could BLAST light at these ladies.

At this point, I was getting really into the soil as well, so I came out with some decent flower and finally had big enough yields to do fun things like making dry sift hash and edibles. The funny thing was I couldn’t really share any of my flower with anyone outside a tiny circle because it was super obvious it wasn’t from a dealer. We had ok weed in New Hampshire, but nothing that looked like this:

Chunk D I think? Deep Chunk x East Coast Sour Diesel

It seems the universe had an answer to this newfound education and abundance of dank nugs I couldn’t really share, and that came in the form of ripping one of my vital organs in half while riding with my friends on a powder day at Loon. I popped off a big lip on the side of the trail and when I landed in the powder I did a little summersault, elbowing myself in the spleen causing it to rupture right down the middle.

That whole ordeal is a story in its own right, as the State Police followed me to the hospital to arrest me on cannabis charges while I was being read my last rights waiting for blood to be flown in, but I digress.

Down for the Count…

So here I am, January in New Hampshire, fresh out of two weeks in the ICU on pain meds, with an organ that’s hanging on by a thread. Fortunately, I had the BEST roommate (shoutout HP) in the world who not only got rid of the heat but also helped take care of me, but I was in bad shape.

By this time, I’d already lost a friend to narcotics (at the beginning of what would be an all too familiar pattern to this day), and I was very much determined to not use prescription pain medicine after leaving the ICU where I was not allowed to use plant medicine.

Fortunately, the universe always provides if you put out the right energy and my roommate had made sure the plant medicine I’d been slowly learning to cultivate over the years was ready for me when I got home.

This experience was a paradigm shift for me and made me completely rethink cannabis as true medicine

This experience was a paradigm shift for me and made me completely rethink cannabis as true medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I always used it after a long day snowboarding or to deal with injuries, but this was different. The spleen really is a major organ, and it needed to be repaired, not just coddled and numbed.

In a recent High Times Online interview I did with the lovely Sharon Letts, we talked about this period, and I reflected on it for the first time in a while. She pointed out that there’s evidence to support cannabis as a neuro cellular regenerative plant medicine and that while the THC helped with the pain, it’s highly probable the cannabis also helped heal my body in a way it would not have if I’d not used it or worse, become to rely on (then likely become addicted to) prescription pain medicine.

I spent that Winter POURING over and absorbing all the organic cannabis cultivation knowledge I could find and amassed a cannabis ebook library to rival any weed nerd out there. I got a VPN and joined every big forum, posting by a different name on each and meeting awesome online friends in the process. I made it a goal to stay positive, get better, and do my first guerrilla growth that Summer. This was a goal coming from someone who couldn’t even roll in bed, let alone walk without a shillelagh.

I stayed committed to healing and fucking did it, though. I made a PC case clone cabinet, put a clone in a tiny pot, made a mother, then made enough clones for my first official guerrilla grow deep in the woods of New Hampshire. That mama was my first official cannabonsai. She lived in a juice container with the side cut off, so it was horizontal in the PC case, and eventually was planted outside on a hill top overlooking all the other plants.

I eventually moved back to Massachusetts where I never really found a great spot to grow besides helping friends with their setups. I kept smoking weed but focused on growing things like vegetables, bonsai, and other plants. I saw folks like Manny, Cannabonzai, and Buzai on social media, but life had gotten really busy with my corporate IT job, and growing simply didn’t fit in.

Take That COVID Depression!

Fast-forward again, this time to earlier this year when COVID hit the US and California was on lockdown. Stressful, scary, dystopian, pick your adjective, and we all felt it this year. I like many people were stuck in my small but sunny apartment wishing to be out in nature where I’m most calm. The only answer was to bring nature inside and I got a little overboard with plants of all kinds.

I’d been wanting to get back into growing over the 10 years or so since New Hampshire and even had some seeds in my freezer I’d bought on sale. I saw a post from one of the cannabonsai guys on IG one day and thought, “Damn, that’s sick, and it’s kinda like my old PC plant… Maybe I can do that!”. In the wise words of Ice Tea, I said “fuck it”, dusted off an extra bonsai pot I had on my balcony, and popped an Auto Blue Gorilla seed from Advanced Seeds.

Having studied Bonsai on and off over the years, my natural proclivity was to style my cannabonsai in a way that paid homage to traditional Eastern Bonsai. With this in mind, I selected a basic style called an Informal Upright or Moyogi in Japanese.

bonsai styles - | Bonsai tree types, Bonsai tree care, Bonsai tree
Classic Eastern Bonsai Styles

Since this was a bit of an ode to missing nature, I included a sculptural element from a meaningful trip I took through Big Sur last year in the form of a cool rock I found at the beach. This combination of cannabis, an homage to classic bonsai styles, and natural sculptural elements of significance have continued to frame my cannabonsai style.

One thing I love about cannabonsai, though, is there is no set style. We’ve got Growzark growing in shoes, Manny mastering autos and building whole scenes, Cannabonzai sculpting beautiful photoperiod ladies, and countless others around the globe putting their own spin on things.

GROZARK’s Cannaverse Cannabonsai
Cannabonsai Manny’s Campfire Cannabonsai

I love this shit…

For me, my Cannabonsai and my YouTube channel were a very welcome escape this year just like my dresser cabinet and deep dive into growing a decade ago was a very welcome escape from that hell. This is one of the reasons I love sharing this art and the practice of growing cannabis, as I feel it has the potential to make other people’s lives better during both the best and worst of times. I’m so happy I grew that little SFVOG mom in the PC case back in the day, spent 1000 hours learning and that I popped that Auto Blue Gorilla seed earlier this year.

Cheers to cultivating happiness!

PS. If you read this whole thing I love you haha. Drop a comment!

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Zen Cannabonsai Episode 8 – Roots Over Rock + Basic Branch Wiring https://www.zencannabonsai.com/zen-cannabonsai-episode-8-roots-over-rock-basic-branch-wiring/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=zen-cannabonsai-episode-8-roots-over-rock-basic-branch-wiring https://www.zencannabonsai.com/zen-cannabonsai-episode-8-roots-over-rock-basic-branch-wiring/#respond Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:59:08 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=709 When I was finishing up editing this episode I realized how long it had been since I filmed it. I’ve been working on a few other projects, including this site, and got a little distracted. I’ve had a steady stream of great questions coming in though so I’m going to try to focus on shorter […]

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When I was finishing up editing this episode I realized how long it had been since I filmed it. I’ve been working on a few other projects, including this site, and got a little distracted. I’ve had a steady stream of great questions coming in though so I’m going to try to focus on shorter more frequent videos.

Up next:

Thanks for watching / reading and please sign up for my up coming newsletter if you love cannabonsai!

And as always, if you have any cannabonsai questions drop a comment here, on my YouTube, or send me a message on Instagram 🤙

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Indigenous Natural Farming & What It Can Teach Us About Sustainability https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-native-americans-saved-the-pilgrims-from-starving/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-native-americans-saved-the-pilgrims-from-starving https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-native-americans-saved-the-pilgrims-from-starving/#respond Fri, 27 Nov 2020 04:55:33 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=663 It’s no secret that the relationship modern Americans have with the land is in stark contrast to the relationship Native peoples had before North American colonization. Things are a bit out of sync, from trash littering the most beautiful natural areas to industrial farming dumping petrochemical fertilizers by the ton. Fortunately, there are several bastions […]

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It’s no secret that the relationship modern Americans have with the land is in stark contrast to the relationship Native peoples had before North American colonization. Things are a bit out of sync, from trash littering the most beautiful natural areas to industrial farming dumping petrochemical fertilizers by the ton.

The penalty for littering in nature: receive it at home | Animal World Blog
WTF PPL?

Fortunately, there are several bastions of hope. The environmental and “back to the land” movements of the 1970s have gained traction over the last half-century, giving way to a slow creep of environmental consciousness in the United States. Subsequently, legislation has improved on the environmental front, and we may be seeing the pendulum swing in the other direction (but some may justly argue not quickly enough.)

The internet has also leveled the playing field for sharing information about sustainability and natural farming practices the world over including the many thousand-year-old traditions of Korean Natural Farming.

While education has primarily led this shift, it’s fundamentally tied to the history of this land and its original custodians’ practices. The truth is that Native peoples were nearly perfect co-habitual keepers of nature, while our country’s modern inhabitants have a mostly inverse relationship.

This has many causes, but also many solutions. If you follow my posts on social media, you know I think there are some small things everyone can do, like composting, that reduce your personal impact on the environment. For me, this includes using living soil and Korean Natural Farming techniques. I also champion making one’s own inputs with locally sourced materials when possible, rather than buying bottle after bottle of things or mediums that are one use.

Foraged New England Moss with Cannabis clone

In my pursuit of growing cannabis as naturally as possible, I’ve researched several North American Native people’s farming practices (in addition to others around the world), and today, I want to share some practices of the Native groups most commonly associated with Thanksgiving due to their early interactions with the Pilgrims. I think it’s an important historical fact that the Pilgrims in no way would have survived in “the new world” without mastering farming practices kindly shared by Native peoples. In fact, the colony at Jamestown had a period called “the starving time” from 1609-1610 due to colonizers’ ineptitude with the new world’s biology, flora, and fauna.

No photo description available.
Approximate territory 1600s


Fortunately for the pilgrims, the Wampanoag and Pawtuxet people’s agricultural knowledge was through due to their deep understanding of their environment. The Pilgrims learned these practices via Tisquantum, more commonly known as Squanto.

Side note: Tisquantum spoke English due to previous enslavement. In 1614 he and other members of his tribe were captured by an English sea captain named Thomas Hunt before being sold into slavery in Spain. Later, he made his way to England, then secure passage back home to Massachusetts in 1619. Unfortunately, he found that his tribe had been decimated by smallpox, tuberculosis, or possibly some other disease contracted through their contact with Europeans.

So what did Tisquantum teach the Pilgrims exactly? Natural farming.

The Wampanoag had mastered symbiotic farming by growing three crops in unison they referred to as the “Three Sisters”. Corn, squash, and beans were a perfect combo for sandy soil that doesn’t retain nutrients or water and these three plants work together to create fertile soil. Beans are nitrogen fixers (meaning they pull nitrogen from the air) and with the help of soil microbes, turn nitrogen into plant food. The corn provides the beans support on which to grow and the squash helps in water retention and with weed control.

Three Sisters Garden - How to Plant Corn, Squash & Beans Together
Three Sisters

The Wampanoag also utilized fish and wood ash as plant fertilizers. Wood ash contains a bunch of trace minerals in addition to calcium. It also makes for a good PH adjuster, further optimizing soil. Furthermore, wood ash contains potassium and smaller amounts of phosphorous and other nutrients.

Adding amendments like this made the tough local soil viable for a single harvest and continuously for years to come. These practices weren’t limited to coastal Massachusetts, of course. By 1614 the Dutch were arriving in Connecticut while Native peoples like the Algonquin were farming the Connecticut River’s length or what they referred to as “long tidal river”.

In Western Massachusetts, where I grew up, the colonial farmland taken from the Algonquin is still farmed using the traditional organic agriculture techniques and utilized the river’s seasonal flooding to this day.

https://ka-perseus-images.s3.amazonaws.com/70139dea2e2f4d039d83b673ba909a608a6a51e7.jpg
1800’s New England, but still much unchanged from 1600’s New England farming

Using animal products like fish as a fertilizer was also a common practice by many of the Native peoples of New England and beyond, providing further nutrients and amino acids to help in plant growth. In my living soil compost teas, I add fish emulsion for these same benefits (in addition to the beneficial bacterial it provides).

Long story long, Native American farming practices helped save Pilgrims from starving to death. I and other living soil and Korean Natural Farming practitioners still use many to grow everything from organic spinach to fire weed.

In November 1621, the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims celebrated the colonists’ first successful corn harvest, and today some celebrate this as Thanksgiving.

While I think a day dedicated to reconnecting with friends and family while being mindfully thankful is dope, I also think that it’s an even better time to celebrate Native cultures and all they’ve contributed to the world.

Further reading on why Thanksgiving is BS: New York Times

Feel like giving back to those who gave so much to us?

CLICK TO DONATE TO NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS FUND (NARF)

Sources:

  • https://www.ncpedia.org/colonial-farming-and-food-famine
  • https://modernfarmer.com/2016/11/pilgrims-no-idea-farm-luckily-native-americans/
  • https://www.bvusd.org/cms/lib/CA01902235/Centricity/Domain/85/Jamestown_Article.pdf
  • https://connecticuthistory.org/the-connecticut-river/
  • https://www.jstor.org/stable/2449430?seq=3#page_scan_tab_contents

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Talking Cannabonsai with the PV Official Podcast by Platinum Premium Cannabis https://www.zencannabonsai.com/talking-cannabonsai-with-the-pv-official-podcast-by-platinum-premium-cannabis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=talking-cannabonsai-with-the-pv-official-podcast-by-platinum-premium-cannabis https://www.zencannabonsai.com/talking-cannabonsai-with-the-pv-official-podcast-by-platinum-premium-cannabis/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 23:20:40 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=625 Had the pleasure of stopping by the PV Official Podcast a few months ago to talk cannabonsai. George and his son Cody started this company from the growing side and it was dope talking about living soil, compost, and how I got into this. They’re also both avid snowboarders so it was chill talking about […]

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Had the pleasure of stopping by the PV Official Podcast a few months ago to talk cannabonsai. George and his son Cody started this company from the growing side and it was dope talking about living soil, compost, and how I got into this. They’re also both avid snowboarders so it was chill talking about that a bit too.

Side note –They weren’t tagged but Manny from @cannabonsai_Manny and the duo behind @Cannabonzai were definitely my inspiration for giving this ago and who I had in mind when I mentioned influences. The entire tribe of my fellow cannabonsai nuts continues to inspire me as well and I think one of the things I’ll be posting on here is highlights of other people working on cannabonsai.

Back to the podcast... It was funny to see how dead the Humboldt Seed Organization Fast OGKZ (aka the mystery plant) was and how it bounced back since. The moss is thriving (in the spots the fertilizer avoids) and the plant is much happier. I’ve set her up to fill in over the coming weeks and can’t wait to see this lady shine.

The main thing I did to bring her back was lighten up on watering for two weeks so the medium dried out, aerated the roots with a fine metal spike, and mixed organic aloe powder in my water (2 TBSP / GAL) when I did water. I wasn’t sure about the aloe and moss so I soaked this in a bucket rather than top water.

More recently it was showing nutrient deficiencies so I’ve been micro feeding it vegetative (higher N) nutrients, giving her teas to keep the bacterial and fungal “microherd” happy (especially after the intentional dry periods), and of course using water soluble mycorrhizal fungi concentrate in my waterings intermittently.

Big question now is… should I flower this lass?

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How I Germinate Seeds With Mycorrhizal Fungi https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-i-germinate-seeds-with-mycorrhizal-fungi/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-i-germinate-seeds-with-mycorrhizal-fungi https://www.zencannabonsai.com/how-i-germinate-seeds-with-mycorrhizal-fungi/#respond Sun, 22 Nov 2020 03:49:23 +0000 https://www.zencannabonsai.com/?p=623 Coming soon…

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Coming soon…

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