BOOKS: ‘The Cannabis Gardener,’ Penny Barthel

? The Cannabis Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Vibrant, Healthy , Plants in Every Region; Author: Penny Barthel, Feb 2021

The short version: ?

A source of great happiness for me during this past year (and counting) of coronavirus avoidance isolation has been learning how to grow cannabis outdoors at home. Turns out they call it ‘weed’ for a reason, and it’s a plant that loves to grow. I can’t wait to learn from last crop’s mistakes, and grow an even more amazing harvest as the current winter frost gives way to spring planting.

This year, I’m also going to put into these plants what I learned from reading Penny Barthel’s new book, The Cannabis Gardener. It’s a beautifully photographed “how to,” perfect for first time marijuana growers and anyone curious about this magical, healing plant. She is also behind @smallgardencannabis on Instagram, which you should follow.

I emailed with Penny about the book for Boing Boing, and she says:

I come from a gardening, nutrition, health, and science background — and am new to the cannabis culture. Three years ago I co-founded an education company called Let’s Sesh Workshops to provide classes in an intimate and friendly setting for adults new or returning to cannabis. This happened concurrent with my writing the book The Cannabis Gardener.

I see this book as a guide to anyone who wants to understand, grow and/or kitchen craft with one of the most helpful plants in our world — cannabis.

Remember, even if THC isn’t your thing, there are other wonderful phytochemicals to be cultivated for health and healing in hemp, the word we use to describe cannabis plants cultivated to contain zero or trace THC, and higher contents of CBD, CBG, or other beneficial compounds.

There are a number of very good books about cannabis cultivation on my shelf — and I refer to them often. What sets The Cannabis Gardener aside is its focus on the small garden home grower, someone like me who is taking care of her own personal medical needs (cancer survivor!), not trying to start a canabusiness.

Penny’s book teaches you how to select strains that are appropriate for the conditions were you live and grow. She walks you through the entire cycle from seed to dank bud. It’s full of really gorgeous full-color shots that will help novel growers understand important details of plant expression, and also show how cannabis plants can be incorporated into how you design your outdoor space. I like planting in containers, but you might want raised beds — both are covered in the book.

When your female plants mature, flower, and show those glittering signs of dank trichomes, you’re covered with tips on how to harvest, dry, cure, and store. She has some nice recipes for making cannabutter, tinctures, and other forms of extracts — also recipes including CBD gummies flavored with vanilla beans, cheddar crackers, and a cannabis fudge sauce.

Strongly recommend, and can’t wait to put it into practice. ?

The Cannabis Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Vibrant, Healthy Plants in Every Region

[IMAGES courtesy Penny Barthel/10 Speed Press]

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