I left off News Joint Grow Journal 18 with me curing the trimmed buds from my five plants (Dream Queen, Amnesia Lemon, Blood Diamond OG, Prayer Pupil, and Swabi Pakistani 3) and finishing my first ever grow. I give myself an overall grade of B-/C+ for my first grow. I stated in Grow Journal 1, I didn’t want to slop together a closet grow with shitty light, genetics, soil, and air environment. Luckily, I had fantastic sponsors who took a chance on a first-time grower and grow journal that supplied top-notch grow equipment and genetics (more on that later).
For this grow journal, I wanted to prove to Illinois medical patients that, together, we could grow medicine tailored toward our own personal needs better and cheaper than what we can purchase from a dispensary. But could I?
Aroma Grow Store sponsored almost every piece of equipment I used for my first grow for a cost of around $2,300. Now, I had nearly everything I needed, but not all growers need all the equipment I used. I totaled 318 grams of trimmed buds, which would have cost me around 3k-5k.
In the first year of Illinois News Joint, we purchased $4,000 worth of products to fill our reviews series, and most of those were products I used for my own medical needs. In addition, I now have my tent, light, filter, fans, and other major equipment needed for my second grown, which is underway.
I saved money with my first grow, and though I’ll will eventually need updated equipment, I should be able to save more money after my second grow finishes, and then more on my third grow.
The biggest takeaway from creating content for this grow journal: I am a grower for life! No turning back now. My sponsors, partners, collaborators, mentors, and others (including Aroma Grow Store, Homegrown Cannabis Co., Mass Medical Strains, Kyle Kushman, Brian Marks, Michael Lasley, Ben Pfeiffer, and more) who helped complete my first grow have set me off on a new journey, and I can’t thank them enough.
My gratitude has pushed me to do the same for other Illinois patients who want to take a shot growing their medicine at home with small or big setups. More news on that front coming soon.
Other random takeaways from my first grow:
- Each grow needs to be tailored to the patient’s individual environment and needs.
- Growing is mix of science, art, and personal choice.
- Growing my own medicine, as I have been repeatedly told, is a spiritual adventure.
- Smoking my own homegrown is better than smoking other cannabis (even though I know mine is not perfect).
- Having mentors and a group of growers to help is a vital resource.
- Every grower, no matter the experience level, is an expert and has advice.
- Staring at mason jars full of my homegrown buds comforts me.
- I want to grow way more strains than I ever possibly could, even if Illinois change legal plant limits.
- The variety of strain selections is an immeasurable benefit to tailoring my own medicine.
- Illinois’ law for growing my own medicine is ridiculous in numerous ways and needs major adjustments.
- Cloning was one of my favorite parts of the grow process.
- As with everything else, proper education on each stage of the grow is key.
- And lastly, if I put in the effort and genuine love and care into my plants, it’ll work out, despite my beginner mistakes.
When I made beginner mistakes or other errors, fellow friends and growers were always easing my worries with a phrase or mantra, such as “It’s all part of the process,” “shit happens, move on,” or “experience only comes with experience.”
Before the end of my first grow, I found myself with my own grow mantra. “Grow and learn, grow and learn.”
Click here for the entire News Joint Grow Journal. A Prairie State of Mind.