The magical mesa that we had to cross on our way to work is surfaced with black volcanic basalt. The 4×4 trail, though only 5 miles long, meant a grueling 1.5 hour drive every visit. The Dark Wizard’s trusty 1978 Land Cruiser was our main ride though on some occasions a sturdy 5 H.P. minibike served as a backup. Several watering visits required a hike in since our motorized tools were in the shop or out of town. Those hikes involved walking the 4×4 trail for 5 hot miles, then scrambling down a rugged bolder-strewn wash 1,600 feet into the canyon, setting up the pump, watering after dark for 2 hours, sleeping on the ground nearby, and then getting up early the next morning to put away the equipment and then hike 5 miles out. We were young and fit, however sometimes it took sheer willpower to accomplish the weekly water visit.
We weren’t the first humans to spend significant time in Madjag Canyon. Ancient people centuries earlier left their mark in the form of petroglyphs pecked into the hard basalt boulders and cliffs. Whether their rock language was telling a single story, providing a sign for those who came later, or giving a long history of their exploits, it is still a mystery.
The native shrubs and trees offered good camouflage for the cannabis plants as they went from seedlings to a full-fledged canopy. The empty plots of dirt soon became bright green as the plants covered every square foot of space.
Healthy plants soon filled in the soil that had been carefully turned and fertilized. We used only bone meal and blood meal for additional nutrients while the rich volcanic soil provided the perfect foundation and fertility. The sandy loam content had superior drainage and promoted quick root expansion.
The Light and Dark Wizards had special routes inside the canyon. We never left footprints in the sandy edges next to the creek in order to know if any outsider had passed through. Only one set of outsider prints were found in the 5 years we lived and worked in Madjag Canyon and they were left by a hippie hiker who we met by chance a day after he had hiked the canyon. Synchronicity and serendipity graced our work.
The Oaxacan x Thai hybrid seed that we were gifted from a friend in Hawaii grew the fastest and yielded plants with massive flower clusters. Most plants reached 9′ and a half-dozen pushed up to 12′ – 13′. These were multi-pound plants with spicy, dense buds.The east-west orientation of the 1978 garden provided sunrise to sunset direct light. The rich volcanic soil of the small alluvial plateau that housed our garden was 70 feet above the creek and required a strong centrifugal pump to even reach the area with a minimal water flow.
The Colombian stock was slow to flower. Once it did, the buds were finger-sized and the tightest of all the cannabis varieties we had harvested. Sadly, as typical long-day equatorial plants, these giants needed a good 10 month growing period. When we finally harvested these slow maturing strains it was just after Thanksgiving near the end of November. It was snowing on the canyon rim above us and made for a troublesome drying period and finish manicure. Still, the sparky sativa high was there and like all the Colombian varieties that we had selected they provided a powerful, cerebral, and spacey buzz.
The Dark Wizard, even with his 9 foot reach, couldn’t touch the fat colas of these 12′ -14′ plants. The aroma that permeated the air was sweet and heavy.
My oh my……..
Zenflower – our special strain with 20″ – 26″ colas
The harvest bounty and year-end reward.
The April 1979 issue of High Times magazine carried a mention of our weed. Mad Jag Hawaiian and Colombian sinsemilla were both quoted on page 34 in the “Trans-High Market Quotations” section. After our 1978 harvest I had carefully sent the High Times New York office a sample of both weed varieties plus a few of our new Mad Jag labels. It was a stony honor to be given that listing. There were even more media surprises yet to come.