Personal Story: Growing Cannabis With My Mom

By Tara M.

The day began in a way that resembled ordinary to most. Coffee. Eggs with rye toast and salsa. A swift briefing of which planets are in retrograde. Muffled complaints in anticipation of the oncoming heat. More coffee.

IMG_2323 2.JPG

The kicker is: in about ten minutes, my mother and I will set our mugs down to rest and go tend to the sixty plants that inhabit our recreational cannabis farm. I lace up the hiking shoes that I purchased overseas fifteen years ago, and my mother buttons up her favorite old Italian jacket from the army surplus store. I tuck a petite pair of pruning scissors into my Carhartts. Phil, my seven year old shih tzu, is waiting at the front door, wagging his tail with enthusiasm. It’s the first week of August, the sun is in its home sign, and our plants have made their transition into flower.


“The ones with the spindly stalks make the biggest buds,” My mother remarks about the ACDC - our highest CBD to THC ratio plant. She looks at me for affirmation. I cannot say whether I agree or disagree. I nod regardless. “The Marionberry for real looks like it has three weeks left,” I mutter semi-sarcastically. The plants present themselves as individuals to their tenders. Each has a unique story, interpreted subjectively by every translator. In any case - objectively speaking - every single plant needs to be pruned today. My mother used to send me out solo to do the hacking, as she couldn’t bear to witness all that was being removed for the sake of alleged growth. After experiencing the outcome of several harvests, the pruning has become less traumatic and more cathartic. Now, we prune together.

I shimmy myself onto my spine between two towering rows of Blue Shark, my personal favorite 1:1 strain. The shade from the fan leaves could soothe even the most weary of souls. I allow my imagination to take the reins and channel my inner Michelangelo (the painter, not the ninja turtle, although at this moment pizza does sound absolutely divine) as I raise my scissors to the sky and create a very green version of my own sistine chapel. A snip here, a snip there. Don’t think, don’t blink. The plants will guide your way. Hmm... Pizza. “Mom, what should we do for lunch?” I cast out into space, hoping the wind will guide my words to whichever section of the garden she’s currently occupying. “The zucchinis look good! I planted the tomatoes early so look for some sungolds.” Her words make their way back to me.

I look to my left, and Phil is laying down between two rows of plants, casually chewing on a bone of sorts. We all stay here for an indeterminate amount of time.


Eventually, there’s a collective and spontaneous feeling of rest in the air. We shimmy out of our supine positions, pull off our gloves,  and head back toward the house. The branches that once provided life but have since inhibited growth have been released. The leaves that once facilitated light but have since sustained darkness have been relieved. Along the way I grab a couple of squashes, wondering how I could possibly assemble something that bears even a marginal resemblance to pizza.

Follow Tara and her mom on Instagram at @phillipsfieldfacility.