Like most people who take up the hobby, when I first started growing weed at home I discovered a huge learning curve.
Not only did I quickly find myself amidst a stack of books on soil science, plant pests and diseases, but I had to navigate many other practical considerations. Where exactly would I set up my garden? Which grow style would I try? What equipment would I need? What would the day-to-day labor really look like? Where could I skimp and save?
I wish I'd had something like Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis from Portland's own Tin House Books ($26.95, 300 pages), a new grow manual for all the canna-curious green thumbs out there. This book would've saved me a lot of time.
Co-authored by Nichole Graf, Micah Sherman, David Stein and Liz Crain, Grow Your Own is everything a person needs to make an informed decision about whether or not they really want to grow weed at home. It likely won't be the last book you'll need to cultivate great cannabis, but I'd happily recommend it as the first.
It walks the reader through equipment decisions, grow space designs, environmental controls, plant nutrition, care instructions and harvest techniques—painting an accurate picture of what a hobbyist-level indoor cannabis garden requires of its operator.
In addition to being a time-saving overview of all things homegrown, Grow Your Own is a relatable, friendly introduction to the weed world. With smart infographics and crisp language, the text opens with a brief and entertaining history of cannabis followed by an overview of the plant and how it interfaces with the human body—covering botanical anatomy, the mammalian endocannabinoid system and the science behind cannabinoids and terpenes.
Rounding out its beginner-level bookends, Grow Your Own finishes with a newcomer's guide to cannabis in its various consumable forms—flower, extracts, tinctures and topicals—as well as an intro to consumption methods from joints to bongs to dabs. There's even a tidy collection of recipes for those who want to try their hand at homemade edibles.
In addition to its unprecedented approachability and comprehensive scope, the book is also a departure from the grow manuals of yesteryear by being explicitly billed as for women by women. It espouses a social justice lean that calls out an industry dominated by white folks who are, more often than not, male.
Further stoking the for-women-by-women angle, the book's launch will be commemorated by a free Cannabis Community Fair hosted by Holocene on September 27, featuring female speakers from the industry alongside tables run by companies like Phylos Bioscience (keepers of the Phylos Galaxy cannabis genetics database), Broccoli magazine (a new "women-in-cannabis quarterly from the creator of Kinfolk") and Pearl Extracts (hands-on terpene education).
Alongside education stations, a series of talks emceed by Grow Your Own co-author Liz Crain will encompass a little something for everyone: Farma's Emma Chasen will inform listeners on how to best interact with budtenders, and April Pride, founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Van Der Pop, will give a talk entitled, "Women's Sexual Health in the Age of Legal Cannabis."
Like the book, the event promises to be a straight-talk cannabis education. Moreover, it signals the future of cannabis culture as legalization spreads across the country—accessibility and the demystification of a special plant.
GO: The Cannabis Community Fair is at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., holocene.org, on Wednesday, Sept. 27. 6 to 10 pm.