I Did That – Become a Certified Budtender

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
― Carl Sagan

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image: inc.com

When I was in the early part of my college career I did a research paper and speech on how I believed hemp could save the world. As it is often a misunderstood and many times a belied plant, it is the plant of a thousand uses and it is very exciting to me to see it legalized, and utilized on a larger scale.

This is why I certified as a budtender.

I took a class and learned about all the ins and outs of the cannabis industry as was my goal. I have no idea if I am going to do anything with it, although I am fascinated by cannabis plants from a botany/horticultural perspective and may very well get into that industry soon. Because frankly, Cannabis or hemp in all its forms is a wonder plant.  Who knows what I will do? But I took the class and completed it, so a checkmate for myself!

If you are interested in a class, UNLV’s cooperative extension office has a great one. I did it online and it is fairly inexpensive. Check it out.

 

In case you are curious:  source

• Hemp is thought to be the first domestically-cultivated plant, with evidence of hemp fabric dating to 8,000 years ago found in Turkey (former-day Mesopotamia). Other evidence suggests cultivation further back by two or more thousands of years.

• The word hemp has been used in the past to Europe to describe other fiber plants, including sisal and jute.

• Beer hops (Humulus genus) are a close cousin of genus Cannabis, both of which fall under family Cannabaceae.

• Hemp products are now legal in the United States, although ingredients or end products are currently imported from other countries – particularly Canada.

• Hemp was not always treated as the same as marijuana by the U.S. government.

• The word “marihuana” (now marijuana) was coined in the 1890s, but not used until the 1930s by the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics (replaced by the DEA) to refer to all forms of cannabis.

• According to the documentary “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” (available at YouTube), the first marijuana law in the United States was enacted in 1619, in Jamestown Colony, Virginia, and actually required farmers to grow hemp. Benjamin Franklin used hemp in his paper mill – one of the country’s first – and the first two copies of the Declaration of Independence were supposedly written on hemp paper.

• In parts of the Americas, hemp was legal tender and could be used to pay taxes.

• Hemp paper is stronger than wood-based paper, and can withstand more folding. In general, hemp has strongest natural fiber of any source.

• Hemp paper hundreds of years old (found in museums) has not yellowed, and is thus a high quality paper of archival quality.

• Marijuana plants cannot be hidden amongst hemp plants. The former grows wide and less tall (5-10 feet), whereas the latter is grown more densely and taller (10-15 feet), to produce maximum stalk fiber lengths.

• Hemp can grow nearly anywhere in the world, in many types of soil — even in short growing seasons or in dry regions — and helps purify soil as well as kills some types of weeds

• Hemp can grow without pesticides. The crop also kills some weeds, purifies soil, and is suitable for rotation use, due not only to its short harvest cycle (120 days).

• Hemp is a high-yield crop. One acre of hemp produces twice as much oil as one acre of peanuts, and nearly four times as much fiber pulp (for paper) as an acre of trees.

• Hemp paper is naturally acid-free and does not yellow as quickly as tree pulp-based paper.

• Hemp has the strongest (and longest) plant fiber in the world, resistant to rot and abrasion, and was in long use before DuPont patented nylon in 1937. It was used for ship rigging, military uniforms, parachute webbing, baggage and more.

• Because of its strength, hemp fiber can be used for composite materials that could be used to make anything from skateboard decks to car and stealth fighter bodies.

• A hemp composite material (with limestone and water) forms a type of concrete (hempcrete) that can be used for home building, at 1/9th the weight. It also acts as insulation and repels some vermin.

• Levi jeans were originally made from hemp sailcloth (and rivets), for goldminers in California, who would fill their pockets with gold.

• By the 1800s, the state of Kentucky produced about half of the industrial hemp in the U.S. The first hemp crop there was planted in Boyle County in 1775.

• Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, created a plastic car in 1941 which ran on hemp and other plant-based fuels, and whose fenders were made of hemp and other materials. Ford had a plan to “grow automobiles from the soil.” (Note: a company in France is experimenting with a similar vehicle in current day.)

• Despite the active Marijuana Tax Act and the official federal government stance on hemp and marijuana, the U.S. Army and the Dept of Agriculture jointly produced a 1942 film, “Hemp for Victory,” encouraging farmers to grow hemp for the country’s effort in World War II — particularly for textiles and rope, imports of which had been cut off by war. Over 100,000 acres of hemp was growing in the U.S., but all related permits were canceled when WW II ended.

Source: Online Masters In Public Health

I Grew Some of the World’s Hottest Peppers

 

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Bhut Jolokia

As a personal challenge to myself, I decided to grow some of the world’s hottest peppers. Not the hottest pepper. Seeds are hard to come by, but I did grow bhut jolokia, scotch bonnets, and Thai Chili. Here is what I learned:

 

  1. I am way too chicken to try them on my own. I like to think I am ballsy, and in a lot of ways, I am. But ghost peppers, not a chance.
  2. I have a way patient husband who tries things for me instead.
  3. Peppers are not the easiest thing to grow in the PNW. They require a lot of sunlight and good drainage. Both of which can be problematic.
  4. This is a pure novelty. How am I supposed to cook with something I have to wear rubber gloves to handle?
  5. Why do people eat these?

I grew them, they are gorgeous and currently languishing on the vine. It was a fun experiment, and I might tackle the top five next year if I can find seeds. But, as there is no one who will willingly eat them, it may just be another experiment in my gardening prowess. I did it though and crossed something off of my list. Cheers!

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I grew Orange Habaneros, Thai, Guajillos, and Bhut Jolokia

 

Novel Review – “Sleeping Beauties” by Stephen King and Owen King

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Awards

“It makes no difference if you’re rich or poor Or if you’re smart or dumb. A woman’s place in this old world Is under some man’s thumb, And if you’re born a woman You’re born to be hurt. You’re born to be stepped on, Lied to, Cheated on, And treated like dirt. —Sandy Posey, “Born a Woman” Lyrics by Martha Sharp”
― Stephen King, Sleeping Beauties

Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Novel (2017)

Goodreads Choice Award for Horror (2017)

 

About

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

My Thoughts

“sometimes you get what you want, but mostly you get what you get.”
― Stephen King, Sleeping Beauties

I hates it…

Well no not really, I mean it is Stephen King. He is like pizza, even when it is bad it is still decent.

I dislikes it…

This is on a C grade or lower scale of Stephen King’s work. It is on par with “The Cell”, or pretty much anything he has written in the last ten years. There are plenty of fun references of nostalgia for King fans, the cat and the Mercedes anyone? But, this novel falls flat.

First, let’s talk about the idea instead of the execution. The idea is an interesting one. Male and female and the duality it represents in life, society, and the universe. A big idea. All readers, being members of the human race, can understand and empathize with it. Here is when Stephen King starts to lose me though. The male/female idea. Men = warmongerers and female=caregivers and bringers of life is all well and good, but it is fantasy. It isn’t real. Just like all blondes have fun or all Irish Drink. Society and people are much more nuanced. You can’t boil women down to an idea and be serious about it.  I am not even talking gender politics or people who do not conform to a specific gender here. I am talking about women not being all flowery personifications of a fertility goddess. We can be bad, warmongering fools as well, Just like some men are pacifists. I think The Kings tried to touch on that a little bit with the main setting of the novel being in a woman’s correctional facility. Women in the facility did bad things which is why they are in jail. Even in that, they are still genders, not people.

Secondly, there are no heroes in this story. Not all books need heroes, but they do for it to be a book I like. Why on earth would I want to read 700 pages on people being shitheads, or evil to each other? I know literature..blah blah.. the human condition. But still, there are no true heroes or even likable characters in this story. All are horrifically flawed characters, who don’t get any redeeming moments. Even in that, it is flat. Life has redeeming moments, even for assholes. Show me that. Give me an asshole character, and a redeeming moment. Even if the character turns away and goes another path at least give me that moment.

Thirdly, back to the idea. This is a huge idea told on a microscale. A global pandemic told from a tiny town by the tiny flawed inhabitants. Men have been found wanting, so they got their women taken from them. At this length, I think we could have had more. It doesn’t have to be “World War Z,” but give me a broader perspective. Give me something other than this podunk POS town full of meth and horrible people.

To summarize, get it from the library or Goodwill to read and really only if you are a diehard King fan. It doesn’t even read like a King novel, but if you have a list and are aiming at completion then there you go. Otherwise, I would skip and read a King book that is awesome like “Firestarter,” “Carrie,” or “The Shining.”

 

 

 

What am I eating? Homemade Almond Milk

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Image courtesy of tasty-yummies.com

In a bid to try new things and learn about how to prepare fresher foods, I came across the idea of making my own nut milk. This is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but new to me. I was always under the impression that doing things like making your own nut milk or coconut butter required a lot of machines, know-how, and time. All of which I am in short supply of. I do like almond milk from the store, but I find that I am getting really picky with it. If it isn’t one particular brand that I like it tastes metallic and almond milk is not supposed to taste like a copper penny right? bleh.

13701634563_457dec5e49_z.jpgA few days ago, I found a very easy guide (which I will post below) and gave it a go. What came out was the most delicious creamy wonderful almond milk I have ever had. I am digging it, plus it is fun to try out new and sometimes better ways of doing things. Give it a try. If you can use a blender you can do this. Pistachio milk?! Yes, please!

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make Various Milks

Homemade Nut Milk
makes 1 quart

  • 1-2 cups raw unsalted organic nuts*
  • 4 cups filtered or purified water

Optional:

  • pinch of himalayan sea salt (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoon local raw honey or other sweetener (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1) Soak your nuts and vanilla bean (if you are using one) for at the appropriate amount of time (see above chart for appropriate soaking times)

2) Discard soaking water and rinse your nuts and the vanilla bean.

3) Place soaked nuts, the whole soaked vanilla bean (you can chop it up or split it open if you wish) or vanilla extract, honey (or other sweetener), a dash of sea salt and 4 cups of water in a blender. Cover and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. It will be milky and have a bit of foam on the top.

4) Strain milk through a nut bag and squeeze into a bowl. (see my suggestions below on what I use)

SERVE.