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Old 07-25-2017, 03:10 AM #1
Satyros
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Orient Express & more from the Buddhist Arc

Hiya friends,

I'd like to open a thread at what happens to be a rather auspicious moment.

Firstly, I have been smoking the flowers since 1984, and I was turned on to hash in 1987 by a piano tuner. That one was no test drive; he shared what we could only estimate as eleventy-five hundred bowls of it.

I am in an area that is not represented in the U. S. subforum, at about 35 degrees north, in a 7b climate where it is unlikely to freeze until at least November. Have been doing bagseed grows since about '98, starting plants outside to reach only two or three feet tall, and force flowering indoors using lights that would be considered a travesty by any serious person. Although it works. So I've built all the basic chops around things like pinch off, taking cuts, hermaphrotism, and that sort of thing.

I'm pretty inexperienced about strains, and I finally decided to pursue this as a tangent to a much larger "herbs with benefits" project I do, with things like Valerian, Licorice, Ashwagandha, and so forth. Around here, you can only get what you can get, and usually no one has any clue what it might be. I think a lot of it is grossly overestimated; for instance, once, a friend shared "some kind" of sinsemilla with me, and I told him I thought it was midgrade and he said midgrade has seeds.

Well, I've had plenty of seeded stuff that seems to have blown away a lot of sinsemilla or named varieties. As the "nameds" started going around, someone grew an AK47 or 8 that wasn't too impressive. One time another guy was trying to settle an unrelated score and offered me a dime bag of Strawberry Cough as part of it. I looked at this little corner of a bag and was like, ok I'll take that. Oh, no, you can't have all of it! I wound up with like two bowls and I can't say it was particularly impressive either. Right now, I can get something that smells like perfume, it kind of hits, it kind of creeps, it kind of goes to the head, it kind of goes to the body, but it doesn't do very much of any of those.

So, in looking at my cultural interests, it includes that tract of earth which goes from the Pamirs, across North India, down towards Southeast Asia, and from what I am able to research about genetics, it sounds as good a starting point as any.

I understand about the Afghani types of smokes, and I like that just fine, but, right now I'm trying to experiment with mostly other things whose roots range across that area beside it. I almost bought a ten pack of "something", but once I realized some places would be willing to let me get two or three seeds of different things, that's the route I chose. I kind of tried to span the spectrum from the skunky to pure "sativa" and from basics to poly-hybrids, in hopes of forming any kind of taste or opinions about these things.

The reason this is an auspicious moment is because the final strain in this menu just sprouted. The different thing I am strongly considering now, is to use the sun for flowering; so, more or less looking for input from anyone who knows these particular ones, and/or perhaps outdoor growing.

Edelweiss. This is a skunky one with "something" from North India. I was intrigued that the Swiss grew it outdoors all over the place. This one is perhaps best indoors? No Alpine climate here, I'm sure of that.

Kiss Dragon. A Nepali sativa crossed with Black Domina, which itself is a blend of about four skunkish kinds.

Orient Express. Researching this is what led me to IC, already a great thread on it. The difference for me here, is that I mistakenly ordered regular seeds, but I got three of them. As long as there's at least one female, I might put it to seed--I don't think this strain is going away any time soon, so perhaps it's not a bad idea to try using this as an actual breeding stock here at the homestead?

Mekong High. A mostly sativa blend from Laos and Vietnam. I believe I saw somewhere around here that it is discontinued, and there were only feminized seeds available when I checked. I can understand that large sativa varieties are less viable on a commercial basis.

Sex Bud. No, it's not from the same area at all, and no, I don't think it's a terrible name, and this one is a serious poly-hybrid of Cinderella 99 and White Grapefruit. If in someone's experience, those two strains are somewhat aphrodisiac, I'm willing to toss it in as a comparison.

The last two seem superficially the same, Nemesis and Himalaya Gold. Indian Sativas crossed to Nepali Indicas. Not saying their origins are in the same village, valley, or wherever. So far, the three things that have some Nepal in their background all have thicker, harder seed hulls for "shoes" and then they have "socks", a second layer of mucilage or something that binds the cotyledons together. The Nemesis was the last one of those to come up today, and it did something I've never seen before--it popped up looking like the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Took a little adjusting, however, I've heard that a spiral shape makes a sturdier support than a root that goes "properly" straight down.

Yield is not that important to me. I understand that if I take a two week old Mekong or Himalaya plant and force flower it indoors, it will still reach five feet tall. Given the time of year, latitude, and climate, what would one expect from leaving them outside?

Thanks for any reads and replies, looks to be a good board to discuss these things.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:37 AM #2
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Welcome to the site! Sounds like you've had some fun experiences in this life and we'd love to hear more!
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:53 AM #3
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Hi, thanks for the welcome.

I'm obviously too young to know anything about what went around in the 60s, 70s...but even in the 80s, one of the great things about the kind herb was that it was extremely social. They had recently started doing the "quarters" thing instead of ounces, but it was still relatively cheap enough that nobody was stingy, and it was abundant--people that barely knew you would yell at you from across the street and offer to burn with you. So it became my social life for the most part. I was a card-carrying member of a skinhead organization when I had hair halfway down my back, and was accepted in diverse circles from the Deadhead/Rainbow Gathering types, to the Hell's Angels.

Along the way, I met one friend who I'm pretty sure was the first person to get me a bag from which we rolled one and...it went out halfway through and I felt no need to relight it. As it turns out, his grandfather had started growing...in the 1930s. Pretty sure it was all outdoor, it was seedy, but fully grown nice pieces on thick stems, and he would comp your weight for the sticks/seeds, so this was more or less my "standard gauge" for many years.

There was never any talk about "what kind" it was, I wouldn't say it was really a high grade, didn't smell skunky; sometimes the pistils were orange, but it was basically all the same, reliable for, I dunno, about twelve years until the situation changed. The only possible clue was that they had spent some time in the Virgin Islands, but whether that had anything to do with the origin or variety, I really don't know.

Compared to the bagseed grows I've done from him or anybody else, on the first true leaves, I can say that the Edelweiss is definitely short and round, and the Mekong is long and straight; the others aren't really distinguishable yet, although, perhaps, Sexbud is the most vigorous out of the gate.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:07 AM #4
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Hrm, well, I saw some unusual things today.

I wanted to set up this new batch of potentially more interesting stuff in my outdoor vegging area, and flip the last (presumably Mexican) bagseed thing inside to flower.

Now I would tend to believe, that not only is Mexico not sending its native types because they consistently come up as wide leaf hash plants, but I found this last one had already sexed. It was a male so I fed it to the goats, but that leads me to believe they've got some auto-flowering thing mixed in as well; the plant was only about two months old, and we still have 14 hours of sun, 15 if you count the twilights. I've been growing the same plants from the same seedy brickweed for, maybe about four years, and never seen one do that on its own. In fact, I don't think I've seen one show sex on its own, in anything I ever did. So that was weird.

The Nemesis wasn't quite ready to make the trip. When I pulled off her shoes and socks, she was an albino. Today, there's quite a bit of light brown over the majority of the little leaves. Because it wasn't yellow, I watered it. I hope that was the right thing to do; I don't think I have ever seen a plant of any species start with that kind of discoloration. Fortunately there's enough green so that it looks like it should grow.

That makes 9/12 germinations for breeder seeds, which sounds fair for the industry standard. When you look at why something doesn't come up, it's pretty much that either not enough moisture has penetrated the hull, or else too much was present and it did germinate but rotted.

Since the three no-shows are all Nepali influenced, which seem to have a reputation as a thicker and tougher type of seed, I would think it would be worth keeping them around maybe up to a month, watering occasionally.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:17 PM #5
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I made a field assessment which has resulted in a unanimous and irrevocable decision.

Flimsy plastic is unfit for containing plants of any size.

I won't suggest there is anything inferior with the Nemesis seed or strain, but it wound up in a flimsy cup and I believe this choked its development from germination. I also noticed that, for all kinds of plants at various stages of hardening off, if it was anything in a flimsy container, it was all in the same kind of bad shape. Something about this material is just poisonous towards growing, so don't use it.

I put Nemesis in a friendlier little pot, hopefully it will start chirping, but it is not much past seedling stage. On par with duplicates that sprouted, making second plants for Mekong, Sexbud, Kiss Dragon. Also including a couple of the free (regular) goodies, Seedsman Hindu Kush x #1 Skunk and also an Afghan landrace from near the Uzbek border. Now on the subject of that one, I understand that sometimes you get jumping beans that travel from cup to cup, but unless two seeds really went in there somehow, one seed sprouted two plants.

One of the Orient Express appears to mimic Edelweiss; suspect this would be a Yunnan phenotype.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:33 AM #6
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To the good, it looks like Nemesis will keep going.

The first casualty came in, the likely Yunnan phenotype is in slight disarray. Proximal cause of death: stem chewed by a grasshopper. I know they did it cause I saw 'em hoppin' away. It hadn't been down more than a couple hours, so, trying to re-root it in some water as I don't have any powder right now.

It has been really bright here this past week, and I will have to credit Orient Express, Mekong High, and Sex Bud for dealing well with strong sun at a very young age. The others seemed to want more shade. Himalayan Gold appears to be the rangiest/wildest looking, everything else got very even and regular; it might not like any heat since it's a mountain plant.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:56 AM #7
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Everything good so far, the Mekong noticeably outgrows the rest. Maybe the one (Yunnan?) Orient Express will re-root. Excluding that, this batch will contain:

2x Orient Express (regular)
2x Kiss Dragon
2x Mekong High
2X Sexbud
1x Himalaya Gold
1x Hindu Kush Skunk
1x Nemesis
1x Edelweiss
Afghan landrace--not sure? I separated the two sprouts, and, so far, they seem identical. *Maybe* some seed stuck to my fingers when I sowed, but this one honestly seems like two plants from one seed.

From further research, I see that, of all people, Willie Nelson shares quite similar interests, Vietnam and Nepal. But the specific cross does not seem to be available.

In the future, it seems like landraces (i. e., The Real Seed Company) are looking good, plus I asked my nose.

I read a lot of things where people say cannabis smells like lemon or some other type of fruit. In my shallow experience, I have *never* smelled lemon or fruit. In fact, I'd surmise the one that smelled like perfume, may not have been due to the plant, but, considering who we got it from, it may have been "masked" by some actual perfume and retained the scent.

So, since I don't identify "fruit" as a cannabis smell, I asked myself, what can you identify? It seemed to me this:

Generic cannabis smell (similar to hops)
Skunk (if this needs an explanation, you haven't found it yet)
Pine (I guess this is what some people called "Christmas tree?")
Pepper verging towards peppermint

and that is all. But I think the nose knows.

After my 3rd-generation seller became unavailable, I wound up with a younger guy, who sold two things, what he called schwag and chronic. It was the same price for a quarter of one, or an ounce of the other; guess which?

So, schwag, I agreed. I can understand someone selling that stuff, but I can't understand anyone buying it. According to this definition, it means one thing: no resin. When you rolled it, you might as well have rolled the paper in a circle. It had no additional scent, and no resin streaks on the paper as you smoked it. So no effect. Whether that was "wild hemp" or whatever, I don't know, but at least cheap brickweed has *some* resin to it, even if it is almost no THC, and weak for what it is, only leaving a few streaks on a joint, right around where it is burning. I never bought any "schwag", but I tried it, and found it to be basically smoking paper with no effect.

The "chronic", well, I guess that's actually the name of a strain, and possibly what it actually was. Seemed like a 50/50 blend, probably all cloned, it seemed like I bought the same bag for about three years. It had the generic/hops scent, and it was never anything earthshaking, but it was always strong enough to be satisfying--not a favorite, but usually the best I could get.

Instead of looking at marketing hype for the 2,700 + strains that are available now, I asked the nose question. As I said, I'm ignorant about lemon/fruit, so that is worth some pursuit. As I have found from experience, these are the scents:

Cannabis/hops scent is better than cheap brickweed, but not anything all that great.

Pine has always been a mark of quality, but never has quite been a favorite.

Skunk, well, almost goes without saying, it is the mark of distinction, as long as you are talking about a "down" buzz.

Pepper towards peppermint--usually a favorite, above hops and pine.

So, I was able to find infographics about scent, and was surprised to find these encompass most of what's found in cannabis, besides fruit. The other outstanding example seems to be Lavender. So, one of those will probably become my next pet for a skunk type effect. It was not bred to "get" lavender, as far as I can tell, but if this scent spilled out of selective breeding, I think it plays along with "entourage effect" and is worth a try. Not much else seems to have it besides Lavender. Similar to other plants; for example, Anise Hyssop is not related to anise or hyssop, but it looks like hyssop, and smells like anise, because it contains some anethol. Now anethol is in a number of plants conjuring that scent, it just happens to be highest in anise. So if lavender smell is highest in lavender (which I already have) but, a distinct effect can be found in cannabis that produces it, so much more for the curiosity. It is not prominent in many strains from what I can tell.

They say the "pepper" scent is not itself related to any effects, and, I am not going to get too technical here, but let's say, with other plant medicine, black pepper is not really the source of effects, but pepper (and ginger) are considered *highly* effective in getting the body to properly metabolize other things. So, pepper by itself, is nothing, but, (for example), if you have pepper with turmeric, then the turmeric effects are faster and more powerful. So I think my attraction towards "pepper" weed, it's somewhat misleading, it might not be the pepper terpenes that drive anything, but they make the body more prepared to absorb the good stuff that comes with it.

So next year: Lavender + Real Seeds + (perhaps) Mekong Express, which it looks like a good chance of me creating that.

I never had a problem with grasshoppers, I just ran about 16 plants through that same area, and, yes, you get a few of them nibbling on large leaves, but I have never seen a stem severed as they did the other day. I thought it was pinched off or fried when I first saw it, but, really, both ends of the stem were still rigid, so I'm quite sure they chewed it in the two hours I wasn't looking. Shouldn't be a further problem as plants pass ~2 weeks where the stems are still that thin.

Chickens do the same thing, which is why I used a roll of fence to keep those stupid b!tches away, but it doesn't scale down to grasshoppers. So I'm thinking of setting up a toad house. Over a summer, a toad can eat 8,000 or more bugs. Same house would work for frogs, lizards, skinks...which, in the little fence, would be safe from cats or whatever else goes after them. Reptiles and amphibians are probably *the* best insecticide. But I threw down some diatomaceous earth in the meantime.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:27 PM #8
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Found a little bit of Perlite, and attempted to re-root the severed Orient Express in it. To my amazement, this little thing has not even drooped yet, so maybe it will pull through.

Today there was a pre-dawn rain, which made a few of the second batch seedlings floppy. This is understandable and most likely self-correcting in a few days--assuming it doesn't keep happening.

When I've done this before, I mostly used small containers in storage racks, so if you didn't want some free water from the rain, it was easy enough to pull them indoors. On this go round, most of the first batch--around three weeks old, four or five nodes, I've put into larger containers, about three gallons. However, it is likely to rain every day now for perhaps a week or more, which sounds like a death warrant. In anyone's experience with plants of this size, what's a safe limit? Two or three daily rains?

The alternative now would be to toss them in a barn that has some openings in the sides, so it's not that great for sunlight, but I'm pretty sure that a few dim days is preferable to drowning.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:40 AM #9
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I haven't seen this, either, but...the seedlings were mostly recovering from getting rained on. Now usually if one has a problem, the whole thing flops. Afghan "twin" was still standing, but collapsed at the tip & leaves. Guessing that's a fatal sign.

Then, in a particularly humiliating form of irony, I'm out there and, right in the motion where I'm preparing the scissors to top the Mekong plant, someone comes leashwalking a goat and parks at the seedlings. In spite of me begging:

"Please don't let him eat those!"

Instead of pulling on the leash, Mekong #2 gets slurped like a noodle.

Hopefully the top will regrow. I can't say too much about the wild side of nature, the rain, sun, bugs, or whatever...but I cannot comprehend why I've spent most of my life with people and their domesticated animals ruining my things. I never bothered their stuff. But they spoil almost everything I ever had.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:27 AM #10
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The next thing that intrigues me, is that the plants which look different from what I am used to, are the broad leafed ones; particularly Edelweiss, and to an extent Kiss Dragon and Nemesis. The other ones look almost the same as bagseed stuff, however I will say they look better--more vigorous & better branching at a young age.

I referred to bagseed as "hashplants" cause that's how the buzz seemed. And also, someone I know, had a greenhouse full of Hawaiian around the time I had my first toke, including the technique of...hanging baskets, training the branches to hang upside down, because "gravity makes more resin flow into the buds" (...).

From reading around IC, I take it there is not such a thing as native Hawaiian or Columbian. But those must be somewhat different plants, as when I shared some of what I grew, her exact words were "tastes like hash". So whatever the bag seeds are, is nothing like Hawaiian, it's not Indica dominant, but it's hashy. In fact, some of the final leaves (for the small size I grow), are very narrow. Maybe that's a sativa thing? It doesn't show narrow leaves until further along (3 months-ish) into its growth?

I think the locust-plagued Orient Express is going to make it; some of the top cuttings from other plants might have been too small to regrow, but I think the Mekong might do it. I'll severely miss having that second one. Assuming at least one male Orient Express, I was planning on pollinating it to the others of its kind, and to the Mekong. If the Afghan or Kush comes up male, I can't see much need to try to fold that into anything else. The specific Kush x Skunk is the same one that had the name, Pot of Gold.

The Himalayan might just be out of its element. Has "alernating phyllotaxy"--leaves come out staggered, instead of in pairs--and most of them are whorls, as if the heat is making them transpire faster than they'd like to. Aside from the wild appearance, it seems healthy. Nothing much I can do to provide a cool mountain, if that is what makes it thrive.
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