Growgirl: How My Life After the Blair Witch Project Went to Pot

Heather Donahue, Author
Heather Donahue. Gotham, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-592-40692-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-55422-7
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-1-59240-704-0
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Love—and a stalled Hollywood acting career that wasn’t going to see another Blair Witch Project—prompted Donahue to make the career leap to trying to grow medicinal marijuana for a year in a remote California community at the base of the Sierra Nevadas. In her quirky, kooky year-in-the-life account, she writes hilariously of meeting “Judah” (“a sleepy, blond Barney Rubble–skateboy hybrid”) at a silent meditation retreat and resolving, after a smoky visit to his elaborate grow room in Nuggettown, to rent her own house in the neo-hippie growers’ community and try her hand at cultivating “the Girls,” as the luxuriantly sticky female pot plants are called. Despite Judah’s claim of making “sixty thousand every eight weeks,” in the first year she sank a fortune into equipment for the “bloom room,” procured with the (paid) advice of other veteran growers’ in the town, like Judah’s friends Ed and Zeus; they explained the perimeters of California’s Compassionate Care Act and SB 420, such as that you grow only for the patients you have prescriptions for, and no one can grow more than 99 plants. Donahue chose to grow in soil rather than hydroponically, from cuttings and ganga plantlings given by the menfolk’s aggressively blithesome “pot wives”; she also managed to grow vegetables and raised chicks and a puppy, Vito, with some success, even after the pressures of production got to her. Wry, with a nuanced distance from the events, Donahue offers an unorthodox gardener’s take on the growing season. (Jan.)
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