Nature boy article in Oaksterdam news
Plant for a patient: Herbal Medicine 101: Patio planting using a “screen of green” technique
By Nature Boy
“I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Fannie Lou Hamer spoke those words during the civil rights struggles of the Sixties. It still seems apropos some 40 years later, as the outrageous policies of the government locks up people who seek herbal alternatives to the pills big pharmaceutical companies try to force on society.
My mother has had breast cancer for over 12 years and survives, although the doctor who originally diagnosed it has died. She doesn't drink or smoke but does take long walks every day. First, she had one tumor removed; then another and still another. Finally she had a double mastectomy, refused reconstructive surgery and now chooses to wear her flat chest with pride. She often remarks that women shouldn't let men tell them how to heal their bodies, and has strong ideas of what she eats and takes into her own.
I remember her chemotherapy, how sick she became and how she couldn't eat. After repeated begging, she finally agreed to try just half a cannabis brownie (no way was she going to smoke marijuana!) to ease her nausea. It took awhile but she cheered up and proceeded to eat a plate of pasta along with a salad. She was amazed - and so were we all! It was good to see her smile again. She got her recommendation shortly thereafter.
We got a grow book, talked with a few other patients and grew small plants for her with clones we purchased at a local outlet. She wasn't comfortable with more than a few plants, so we decided to keep them short enough to avoid detection but also increase her yield per plant by spreading the branches out as they grew, using a nylon grid from the gardening store. (First time nylon, next time hemp?) The plants were grown in a sunny patio using standard organic soil and a bit of fish emulsion.
They were planted in early summer so they wouldn't get too large, and when we harvested we got just less than one pound from the whole crop. It lasted quite a while and after she finished chemo she continued to take it occasionally to help her sleep and when her friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she gave her the rest with her blessings.
I feel like I got my own blessing from this by growing a plant and seeing how it gave her back her quality of life. Growing ones own medicine is simple and direct. While huge drug and Drug War industries lobby against it, patients have taken back the right to control their bodies when they're sick of being sick.
I'm not sure if I'll become a caregiver or ever grow again, but I do know that I'm glad I live in a state that allows medicinal cannabis.
How you can enter the Odam News garden photo contest
Every issue, Oaksterdam News will choose a winner of the contest for medical gardens and send them an autographed copy of Marijuana Horticulture: the Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible - 512 full color pages and 1120 professional color images.