After another cosy night’s sleep with my hot water bottle, we are up early and straight back into cleaning seeds. In this temperature the dry resin collects on my fingers extremely fast and once collected makes a lovely fragrant smoke.
I came to Parvati knowing that the genetics up here were fairly confused. Years of western introduced strains have added all kinds of interesting flavours smells and plant structure. Most of what we are working through visually look similar but has a large divergence of smells. There are clearly some more sativa dominant plants here but for the most part, the average here is a hybrid sativa/indica form of the plant.
Around India, there are a great number of landrace strains that are particular to different areas and on a future trip, I plan to go to those areas and hunt for totally local strains. For the sake of ease and partly wanting to share the experience with all of you, Parvati was a simple choice and easy to access.
Once we have finished all the separated bundles, we spend the rest of the day collecting and cleaning all the random seeds we have. This kind of mix seed is excellent for casual growers looking to have a few plants with the chance of a nice surprise. Certainly, almost all of the plants we have been working with have a fantastic smell and I can’t wait to get back to Europe and test grow lots of these plants out.
At the end of the day, my friend shows me his spare Tandoor oven upstairs. It’s completely stuffed with bud and seeds. I’m wondering if he has stashed a load of weed one night after a few too many spliffs. The mountains and isolation can do strange things to you, but it turns out to be a much simpler explanation. The mice in the house have been slowly collecting and storing buds for food and bedding to see them through the cold winter. My friend has no intention of removing the approximately 4 kilos of weed we think are in there. He explains that all the animals up here need to live together and anyway it’s not as if he is short of weed and Charas!!!
After tidying up we head inside for a hot coffee and I’m shown a large stash of charas of all different forms. This is just part of last season’s harvest. There are different grades from cream to mid-grade charas and lots of different shapes and sizes. It’s great to see it all up close and I’m given a beautiful piece of his personal Cream which he made this year. He explains that he gets bored of making cream after a few days so only makes a very small amount but its exceptional quality and the fact that it is made from plants that grew all around his house make it even more special.
I end up spending a few more days up at the top of the valley exploring and spending time with my friend but all too soon its time to make my way back down to civilisation and soon enough back to Delhi. It’s almost time for the next part of the adventure! So with a bag full of seeds and a pocket full of incredible hash I say my goodbyes again and with great sadness start the trek back down the mountain.
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At last, after 3 weeks and a lot of #trekking, I have finally arrived at my main destination. A beautiful house high up at the top of its own valley. My friend has separated whole plants into bundles which he feels are of the same #phenotype or distinct #genetics. We work our way through the multiple bundles of plants and while I’m removing seeds from the dried #bud it’s a perfect chance to really look at the plants and check smells and bud formation. Because the plants seed fairly early the buds don’t really fully form and I’m actually very surprised by the number of #resin heads on the #flowers. It seems that pollination here doesn’t slow down the production of resin, like I have seen in other places. It’s a repetitive process, rubbing, sieving and separating. Especially removing any unwanted #seeds. Once we are happy with each batch we bag and label everything. All of these seeds will have the chance of massive variation away from their current traits as there is no way of knowing what males have pollinated them. As a breeder its this variance which gives the chance of something special popping up. By the end of the first day, we have worked our way through about half of the plants he has prepared. Join the adventure!! ???????? ???? @seedsmantravel