It’s not easy to make a clear connection between the phrases, “It ended in a local, state, and federal task force at my front door at 5:55 a.m.” and “It was the best thing I ever did,” but they both 100 percent apply to my existence.
What grandma refers to as, “another chapter for your book, darling,” started in the west end of the city of Hartford, Connecticut, with a wooden bowl and a bag of Barney’s Farm Blue Cheese (aka BFBC, Blue Cheese, Cheese, the Cheese; aka the stinkiest, most mind-blowing strain to ever cross this stoner’s blood-brain barrier; aka the third of my trifecta of firsts). It ended with Agent Buckles and friends, including one young dude with a goatee who had been lurking around the previous Saturday morning while impersonating a meter reader (tricky, tricky). He was the dude who leaned over the front porch to a window and claimed to smell weed, right before they all drew their guns and entered without a warrant. They played a game of revolving good/bad cop for a few hours until they got a judge in to sign the warrant they had neglected to secure in the first place. But, whatever. I am far from the first (otherwise) “law abiding citizen” to watch the Constitution be used like toilet paper.
That Cheese, though… That strain is the first one I fell absolutely, heart-in-my-lungs, head-over-heels in love with. There was a lanky sativa (whose name I never got) with a habit of falling down once a day that made me feel really good when we were together, but she was not the first, and it was not the same. Super Lemon Haze? Yes! And for ease of growing, combined with excellent results, give me a bunch of Cinderella 99 and come see me in a couple months. But, the Cheese – that was the strain that launched my life in a whole new direction. It is the one you see when you stare deep into my unblinking eyes until time slips away. It is the tone in both my giggle and my gasp. The Cheese was straight church – Sunday morning, choir singing, sun beaming through stained glass, church.
I only smoked Blue Cheese one time before I knew I wanted to grow weed. The strain is an indica-heavy cross of Original (UK) Cheese – a cornerstone of modern cannabis genetics, built from Afghani, Columbian, and Mexican landraces in the 1970s – and DJ Short’s 2000 Cannabis Cup-winning Blueberry. The Cheese grows stocky and dense, favors the deep greens that you see in those spots of deep forest near running water where things are rarely dry, and it will allow you to surf outer space or remember that era of evolution when all life was aquatic. It will allow you to be absorbed into the molecules surrounding you, as well as anything this side of the psychedelic, ecstatic, and dream experiences.
So, I grew weed and I learned. I learned about genotypes and phenotypes and soil composition. I learned about hanging lights and nutrient schedules and watering, a little about the legal system, a bunch about loyalty and friendship, and, mostly, I learned about myself. BFBC started me on that paradoxical journey that feels like it travels outward, but is really an investigation of who you are and what you believe in and what matters to you. It is the journey we all walk. The only thing that changes is the scenery.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].