Review: Outdoor Performance Cannabis

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a review copy from Kyle.

Written by Dustin Fraser with the help of Kyle L. Ladenburger; Outdoor Performance Cannabis is a practical guide to growing cannabis outside.

Dustin Fraser is a well known member of the Smart Pot(TM) team, and Kyle L. Ladenburger is a respected gardening author known for his insightful Maximum Yield Magazine, Hydrolife, and Garden Culture Magazine articles.

At 77 pages and written in a conversational tone, it is a quick read that doesn’t get bogged down in overuse of scientific jargon or overly abstract theories. This is a booklet about how to grow big cannabis plants outdoors in Smart Pots(TM) written by someone who grows big cannabis plants outdoors in Smart Pots(TM) in the Emerald Triangle using a method he calls “performance gardening”.

Included are suggestions for best practices based on years of experience, and opinions on the ideal cannabis garden. A chapter at a time, it walks the reader through site selection, propagation, growth, flowering, harvest, and even advice on sales.

Not everyone has the opportunity to sit down and pick the brains of growers from California’s famed Emerald Triangle, but reading Outdoor Performance Cannabis is about the next best thing.

I would recommend this to anyone curious about the methods used to grow exceptionally large outdoor cannabis plants (hint from the book: Start early), that prefers a no-nonsense direct explanation that emphasizes on the major points of what you need to know and doesn’t dally around about it.

Review: The Cannabis Grow Bible 3rd Ed.

My photos on page 92

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t pay for my copy, and on page 92 they used (and paid a flat fee for) some of my photos.

First of all, it is big, over four pounds big. The pages are thick (unlike some big books that use a cheaper, noticeably thinner paper), and there are 690 of them. There are over a thousand color photos, and the layout is nicely organized for ease of reading.

Since it is such a big book, I recommend that before diving into it, take a few minutes to break it in by limbering up the pages. For those unfamiliar with the process, while taking care not to break the spine or separate pages from the binding :

1) Set the book on its spine.

2) Open the front cover, make sure it bends along the crease, and run your finger along the inside to ensure the opening fold is along the crease and not on either side of it.

3) Then repeat with the back cover.

4) Open a few pages in the front, and using light pressure, run your finger along the page near the binding. Repeat with a few pages from the back.

5) Return to the front of the book, and repeat with the next few pages.

6) Alternating between the back and the front, continue though the entire book. If done correctly, you should end at the center of the book. When finished, the pages should be more flexible, and less likely to split from the binding.

It should only take a few minutes, and may extend the life of the book, which in this case is a good thing since it is the sort of reference book that begs to be opened repeatedly. It is worth noting that due to the nice wide inside margins, the text has plenty of room for reading when the book is opened despite its impressive girth.

Inside the Book

The first chapter is a quick overview, and while brief, people have successfully grown plants on less information, and it gives a glimpse of the tone and information to expect from the rest of the book.

The second chapter concerns the cannabis plant itself, with history, classification, and physical characteristics. Chapter three includes information on procuring and selecting appropriate seeds, and chapter four is about getting them to sprout.

The following nine chapters are filled with hundreds of pages on how to grow cannabis, indoors or out, organic techniques, hydroponics and more. These nine chapters would comprise a respectable grow book all on their own, and I’ve read plenty of entire grow books that don’t offer as much information presented as well.

But wait, there’s more.

Chapter fourteen is a cannabis pest problem solver, fifteen harvesting and curing, and sixteen is one of the better chapters on cannabis breeding that I’ve read. Chapter seventeen discusses popular varieties.

Chapters eighteen and nineteen are about concentrates, their construction and consumption. These chapters only address traditional hash, and infusions, but also dabs, oils, rosin and other topics not covered in many older publications. Chapter twenty is a nice concluding cap to the experience.

For the beginning grower, this book would be an excellent start. While I am a strong proponent of not getting all your information from a single source, I must admit this book has enough information to give a solid foundation to build further studies on. If a grower was only going to buy and read one book, this would be my suggestion.

How to Write Five Sentence Paragraphs and Five Paragraph Essays

The classic five sentence paragraph and the classic five paragraph essay are writing forms that can help an author organize their thoughts, write clearly, and present information in a way that is easy for a reader to comprehend.

Here is a tutorial:

Think of a topic.
Think about how to explain your topic in a few words.
Write that down as the title, you’ll need that later.
Examples: Why I Love My Kitties, Growing Luffas, Causal Factors in the Collapse of the Roman Empire.

Think of three things to say about your topic.
While you don’t have to write them down, it can be helpful to while first learning the form.

Examples: Physical characteristics, distraction, comfort, or planting, flowering, and harvesting.

The classic five sentence paragraph uses the following format:
1) Tell them what you are going to tell them.
2) Tell them.
3) Tell them.
4) Tell them.
5) Tell them what you told them.

Sentence 1 – Tell them what you are going to tell them.

Consider specifically what the three things you have to say about the topic have in common.
Since they are all on the same topic it shouldn’t be difficult, but it may be possible to be more specific.

Examples: I love my kitties, Luffas need a long growing season to go from seed to harvest.

Sentence 2 – Tell them.

Take the first of your list of three things you have to say about your topic, and make it into a sentence.

Example: I love the feel of their fur under my fingertips.

Sentence 3 – Tell them.

Take the second from your list of three things you have to say about your topic, and make it into a sentence.

Example: They lovingly interrupt my work and remind me of the pleasures of the here and now.

Sentence 4 – Tell them.

Take the third from your list of three things you have to say about your topic, and make it into a sentence.

Example: When I’m blue, they brighten my day and comfort me.

Sentence 5 – Tell them what you told them.

Write the conclusion.

Read the first four sentences that you just wrote. What should the read know from reading them? Write that as the last sentence to sum up what you’ve written.

Example: My kitties make my world a nicer place to live in.

Reread, and neaten up and adjust as needed.

Example:
I love my kitties. The feel of their fur under my fingertips is soothing. They lovingly interrupt my work and remind me of the pleasures of the here and now. When I’m blue, they brighten my day and comfort me. My kitties make my world a nicer place to be.

Practice with the form makes it easier, it isn’t a bad idea to pick a few random topics and try them out. Once you are comfortable with the five sentence paragraph, the next step is the five paragraph essay. The good news is using the five sentence paragraph as a foundation, the rest is mostly more of the same.

A classic five paragraph essay is made of five paragraphs in the following format.

1) Tell them what you are going to tell them.
2) Tell them.
3) Tell them.
4) Tell them.
5) Tell them what you told them.

Which should look familiar.

The 1st paragraph is the introduction.

The first sentence tells what the essay is going to be about. The second is the topic for the second paragraph, the third is the topic for the third paragraph, and the fourth for the fourth. The final sentence prepare the reader for the rest of the essay.

Paragraphs 2-4 are supporting paragraphs each making a point.

Paragraph 5 is the conclusion.

Essays can be grouped and combined this same way into longer papers or chapters. Some textbooks are written this way. Once the basics are understood, they can be applied in a variety of ways.

The number of paragraphs can be adjusted as needed. A compare and contrast may have only an introduction, two supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. A process paper may have many supporting paragraphs. The introduction to an introduction might be kept brief for ease of reading. The form should be a helpful tool, not a rigid standard.

Writing is a skill that develops with practice, and it can be difficult to organize thoughts without that practice. My hope is that this article will help that practice go easier and remove some of the anxiety frequently involved in the process.

Jabberwocky (read by Grubbycup)

Growing with Grubbycup

Grubbycuo reading Jabberwocky

by Lewis Carroll

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

A special thanks to my Gentle Readers.

Kiva finances microloans with local banks across the globe so folks can do things like get a loan to buy pig feed for the family farm.

A fund was set up from the sales of my two books, Grubbycup’s Simple Hydroponics (the simple one), and Grubbycup’s Garden Notes (the more advanced book). Thanks to Gentle Readers (like you), that fund is now one of the top 1% of lenders on Kiva. For that I thank you, and I’m pretty sure some folks who neither of us is ever going to meet thanks you as well.

I admit, I dislike the way the donation to Kiva is checked by default, but overall they seem to be doing good in places that can use some help.

Peace, love, and puka shells,
Grubbycup