1. We were lucky to be dealing with stupid thieves.

Denny and I went to the garden the other morning for the usual, daily once over, only to find a handful of smaller plants had been stolen. Initially, we were devastated, and any theft brings up a number of negative feelings like the feeling of being violated which prompts anxieties and trust issues and paranoia. However, the majority of plants weren’t stolen, so we had little time to lick wounds.

Pending cold nights and thieves in our garden meant we had to get to work immediately. First to be harvested were the plants right next to the ones the thieves took, including a ginormous Chocolope that Denny had just de-fanned to get ready for harvest. That one plant will yield more that the total of all the plants stolen. As I said on social media, stealing is lazy, but a mistake like that suggests stupidity might be an issue for our thieves, too.

The thieves left a mess behind including flowers they dropped …

and lip balm.

  1. Things can get turned upside down and still be okay.

The theft and the weather forced us to totally change our harvest plans. We had planned a more slow and staggered harvest. We had planned on harvesting a couple plants at a time at night when the plants are at the peak of their daily cycle, like we did last year. Denny was carefully going over each plant daily to watch for bud rot and to keep them clean of debris. The rain had him running a leaf blower like a hair stylist drying damp hair all day.

The slow, staggered schedule idea had to go, due to the circumstances. Instead we did 72 hours straight of harvesting during the day and guarding the girls by bonfire at night. Catnaps became second nature, and when we finally went to get our first full night’s sleep, my eyes snapped wide open after only 3 hours!

We like to harvest the whole plant and hang it by the root ball, rather than cut branch by branch.

All in all, though, the job got done, the medicine is drying, and we even managed to work a little laughter and fun into our night watches.

  1. Harvest time is incredible to see through inexperienced eyes.

We like to call harvest time, the stoner Christmas season, and this year friends from New Jersey came to witness some of the hullaballoo first hand. Beckie Ellis and her daughter Frannie love our way of life up here. For us Mainers, it’s hard to imagine not being able to grow your own medicine, but patients in NJ can’t. Up here, fall has long meant skunk in the air—even long before any form of legalization.

Denny and I have had a blast showing off the garden, the harvest process, and the medicine itself. We’ve had a blast watching the newness of it all in our friends’ eyes. The theft didn’t dampen the celebratory feeling of it all.

Picture contributed by Frannie Ellis – thanks Frannie!

Picture contributed by Frannie Ellis.

Picture contributed by Frannie Ellis.

  1. Denny is incredibly stable in his recovery.

Tending the plants has been a big part of maintaining recovery for Denny. The ritual of growing and tending the medicine that supports his health is as therapeutic activity as you can get. He’s been nurturing these seedings and clones since the dead of winter, and he’s pretty attached.

In the immediate moments after discovering the theft, Denny was pissed. He took his anger and frustration, though, and stabilized them by using them as fuel for the hurried harvest.

  1. Even stolen plants can be an opportunity for gratitude.

We’re grateful no one was hurt as part of this crime. I mean we’re hurt by the loss of medicine, but we’re talking about plants, not people.

Also, the theft and the long week that followed made us even more grateful for each other. Denny and I are middle-aged and in recovery and have every reason to be extra grateful for what we’ve found in each other and together. We pride ourselves on our ability to work as a team, and this situation was no exception.

We are grateful that not all the plants were stolen and the ones that were, were the smallest. It’s not that the loss won’t be a hardship. We had carefully figured out how much to grow based on how much we use in a year, so the loss will affect our supply, and therefore, our finances next year. Most of the plants survived to harvest, though, and that is something to be genuinely grateful about.