Spring is here, and while COVID-19 is keeping us from doing some of our favourite activities, there are a few things that we can still do – like at-home gardening! And since growing four cannabis plants per home is legal in Canada, maybe this year will be your year to flex your green thumb.
Ian Campeau — formerly of the Juno-winning A Tribe Called Red and now a cannabis advocate, Indigenous rights activist and dear friend — has been reminding people that now is the perfect time to begin growing at home, both in terms of the season and the current trend to social distance.
I caught up with him this week to find out why. We talked about his personal motivations for growing cannabis, why he values self-sufficiency and what it feels like to smoke your own weed for the first time.
Why did you decide to grow your own cannabis at home?
Well, my wife, Justine, is a cancer survivor and we had bought a farm. She got a high prescription for cannabis, which allowed us to grow as much as she needed for the year. My prescription wasn’t as much as hers, but it’s good enough for me. It’s such a luxury to be able to grow our own medications.
You also grow your own food. Is that for similar reasons? Is the process similar or different?
Yes! We’re trying to grow as much food as we can for as many people as we can. Food is as much medicine as cannabis is. We’re taking it a little more seriously this season because of the quarantine. The process is very similar to growing cannabis but every plant has its own trick to help it grow the best it can.
Why do you suggest others should?
Self-sufficiency is something not a lot of people have thought of in recent years. Having to buy all of our medicines and food from corporations is brand new to our species. The problem with this is intent. When we grow food or medicine, the intent is so our family could be healthy. When you buy food or medicine from the store, your health isn’t the intent of corporations. Their intent is to make as much money as they possibly can. So they’re going to mess with the soils, use pesticides, etc. This is why I think people should try to grow their own foods and medicines.
Realistically, can anyone grow?
Yes! It’s a miracle! Anyone can get access to seeds, dirt and water. That’s all it takes to get started. You’ll learn tricks as problems arise but this is all it takes to get started.
What’s the hardest part?
Patience. Watching the plants grow is such an incredible experience, but it takes time. Justine and I are literally planning meals for November right now. You have to get your mindset right for that kind of patience in the age of the internet.
What is the most fulfilling part?
Eating a meal or smoking medicine you grew with your effort is a sense of satisfaction that very few people have felt these days. Sharing the literal fruits of your labour with other people gives me the feeling of happiness. I learned that happiness can’t be pursued. It can only ensue from doing meaningful things. Feeding people has a deeper and more tangible meaning than most “jobs.”
What are the basics someone would need to start growing cannabis at home?
You need a seed, some dirt, some water and some good sunlight. It’s amazing how easy it is and powerful it feels. You’ll wonder why you weren’t shown this before.
For more information about cannabis gardening for beginners and weekly livestream chats about everything under the sun, check out Ian on social media @deejayndn.