Kind Reviews: Whats the first time you remember smoking weed?
The Docta: [In] 2001… smoked weed next to my high school tennis courts in Washington State. Looking back, it was typical Pacific Northwest Hash Plant. [laughs]
KR: Who turned you on to it? Friends? A family member?
TD: High school friends I skateboarded with.
KR: Do you remember the first time you got REALLY baked?
TD: Hmmm… Not really. I do clearly remember the first time I smoked full-melt clear dome bubble hash and that was more memorable to me. [laughs]
KR: In that case we’ll skip right to that question: first time you smoked real hash–tell the story.
TD: [laughs] First time I smoked great hashish was with one of the original bubble ambassadors and Overgrow member, Bubble Junkie. I had always heard of this guy in my youth smoking days in my area that was plugged with all the dank I ever bought. [I] never knew his name or who he was, but I heard he was the dank giver. Albert Walker, The Sweeties, Willy Jack, Dogshit, Corn, etc… He introduced me to all those varieties.
So on 4/20 of my senior year of high school, I was introduced to that guy personally. Before then, I only knew of him as a legendary figure, but didn’t know him. So I ended up going to Bubble Junkie’s house with my one friend who knew him, he smoked me out with some ultra FMCD [full-melt clear dome] hashish out of a beautiful Kevin Nail fumed bubbler, and from there on, I knew growing dank and producing 100% resin head hashish were my goals.
Bubble Junkie is a glass blower, so I was introduced to him through that crew, in the Glassworks Parks days of Seattle’s heady glass culture. I had been informed he was “bubblejunkie” on Overgrow but didn’t contact him through the site. I actually made a bad first impression with him before I even met him. I made a post on Overgrow about some “Albert Walker” that came from some “dorky” individual in my area. I immediately got a private message saying “What the fuck?! You’re outing me! Fuck you!”
TD: Two months later I’m at his house smoking FMCD as an acquaintance, and we knew
who each other were and he was polite, but I didn’t get any contact info or anything. For the next two months I was finishing school trying to figure out what the fuck to do with my life. I knew I wanted to grow, but I just had to figure it out. I had saved $10,000 in high school from working, slingin’ shrooms, et cetera. [laughs]
So a couple of months later I happened to run into him by pure coincidence at the local QFC supermarket–you have no idea how excited I was to get to talk to him without everyone around–and our friendship started from there. And he was my introduction to a lot of the “scene”.
KR: Wow – sounds like an awesome introduction to the heady life! So your first attempt at growing was after that or earlier?
TD: By then, I had already started a grow in a friend’s parents’ “basement.”
KR: Tell us about that first pre-linkup grow – did your friend’s parents know? What were you running? And how did it turn out?
TD: The “basement” grow was part of a three-story townhouse that was on the side of a hill. We went down under the house into the crawl space and dug a five-foot-by-ten-foot section out from the clay foundation… built a concrete floor, put up walls, and put two-thousand watts in there. [We] wired one from my friend’s bedroom right above the crawl space, and the other through a hot tub outside no one ever used.
It took about 2 months to complete the build out. I was fairly proficient being a skateboarder, having had to learn to build my own ramps and shit back where I had lived in rural Virginia.
That was in the Winter of 2001/2002 that we set up that first grow. We were growing bagseeds and stuff I bought in Amsterdam the Summer of ‘01. The bagseeds were from seeded-out crop I had inadvertently bought through Bubble Junkie. They were Superbill, Hawaiian Indica, Albert Walker, and Seattle Purps hybrids.
KR: Damn–the relationship with the Walker goes back that far–to your very first grow– huh?
TD: Yeah, it goes back that far. Bubble Junkie was the original source of the Walker and my link and introduction to it.
There was another glassblower who was the source of the Dogshit, Superbill, and stuff who Bubble Junkie was getting it from. I found that out later as I became friends with more people, but Bubble Junkie is the one who turned me on. And that other glassblower is the man in my personal opinion. I have a lot to thank those two guys for, and they’re both good friends. I’m grateful I’ve been able to repay their contributions they made to my growing career.
KR: For folks who are gonna read this who aren’t familiar with the Pacific Northwest glassblowing scene, can you lay that context out for me real quick?
TD: In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, the center of the borosilicate flameworking world was a shop called Glassworks Park, located right above Gasworks Park in Seattle. Some of the people who I remember working there were Amber Pellegrini, Pakoh, Jason Lee, Kevin Nail, Tim Ease, Derek White, Dosher… a whole bunch more.
KR: Did you hang around the glass scene?
TD: I hung around a little. I was too busy pushing my boundaries in growing to have time to blow glass… Nor did I have the money to do both.
KR: So you’re finishing high school, you’ve got the Great Escape grow under your belt – you’re linked in with the glassblowers who are active on Overgrow – you’ve got $10,000 saved up, and the stage is set.
TD: So I went and got a 2 bedroom “townhouse” apartment thing and put 2k in, then 4k, then 6400 watts or so.
I vividly remember sitting in my brand new unfurnished apartment and hotboxing a walk-in closet with Bubble Junkie and his girl talking about growing, and clones, and how it was gonna be great. Around that exact same time, Bubble Junkie got a place to grow in Seattle and it was on from there.
At first I was growing from seeds I still had from Amsterdam and bagseeds. Some Purple Indica bagseed–stuff from Bubble Junkie. A month after I started, he brought me the Albert Walker, and a couple weeks later I sourced the clone I eventually named Purple Indica, and a 6 months or so after that, The San Diego Cat Piss. That was Summer/Fall of 2003.
That’s why those strains are so special to me, amongst others. I’ve literally kept them with me since I started growing – a decade ago.
KR: Which leads to an interesting side question: genetic drift from multigenerational cloning–fact or myth?
TD: Myth. Clones infected with disease, molds, fungus, whatever that make them not perform like they used to, absolutely. But take any old tired clone, get an awesome grower to get that shit healthy and uninfected, and that bitch will perform.
KR: So lets follow that thread: How’d you become an awesome grower? Obviously practice, and your links to Bubble Junkie, but what other specific moments or interactions made a big impact?
TD: I think it was the lack of interaction that made me a good grower. I was extremely paranoid because I valued my freedom. Bubble Junkie was basically the only dude I knew, or people we were setting up. And both of us were newbies in terms of experience and had different goals in the grow room. I didn’t know many other growers, and at that time, almost everyone else was the same way…
So instead of getting information that was passed along, I was going crazy doing experiments in my grow. Originally, I was an organic freak. At any time I had at least four different soils composting and I mixed every batch of soil from scratch. Pure peat, pure perlite, vermiculite, kelp meal, dolomite, seabird guano, alfalfa, bat guanos, all that. [At] any grow, at any one time [I] had a minimum of 4 different organic soils going… with a clone of 1 variety in each batch.
KR: Did you have an agricultural/gardening background?
TD: Nope – no background. I did lots of reading… Volume 4 of Luther Burbank’s series got me into genetics and after that, my wheels were spinning… I’m a very scientific and factual based person naturally. I don’t want someone to tell me how it works, I wanna take it apart and know how.
KR: How hard was it to get gear, nutrients, etc. at that time?
TD: It wasn’t until I bought my first Omega garden did I even buy a liquid fertilizer or go to a grow store for anything but equipment. I vividly remember my friend drove all the way to Portland, to buy us 2 of the new “Carbon Filters”.. HA! My first year and a half of growing was strictly water and soils.
KR: So what moved you away from organics?
TD: The Omega Garden is the wheel that spins around the bulbs… That’s what moved me away in terms of focusing on production herb. But I still think a true “natural” soil is the best herb you can grow.
KR: [laughs] The Omega Garden! I remember seeing that thing in old high times.
TD: I had two of em. And in a four-foot-by-five-foot footprint, I was pulling 2.2-2.5 pounds of Albert Walker from 1200 watts. I mean what kinda grower buys 2 Omega Gardens within his first 2 years of growing? A fucking mad scientist… I was so interested in the science and factual knowledge of cannabis…
KR: [laughs] So hence The Docta?
TD: Correct… And when I was a kid, whenever I was skateboarding, snowboarding, whatever, all my buddies would always break bones, and I would always end up bloody, but never broken, so I had a habit of carrying gauze, paper towels, band-aids and basic “docta” supplies. So my friends started calling me “The Docta”.
by Mitch Shenassa