Behind The Curtain 23: Putting The Ganja In Humboldt Hard Cider – August 20, 2010
By Aunt Mary
Nick put the last bunch of trim into the vat of hard cider.
“That should do it,” he said, sealing the container with wax. “Barb Groom over at Lost Coast Brewery said we should add the trim to the cider, rather than letting it all ferment together.”
“Has she made this before?” Doty asked. “I just love her Great White.”
“No, she said she would if they let her, but not until it’s legal to do so,” Nick advised. “I think she flavors her Great White with coriander – or used to. I remember when the label used to talk about how to drink it with the sediment at the bottom.”
Nick put the last test jug of Humboldt Hard Cider on the shelf.
“Is that it?” Doty said over his shoulder. “Looks like a mess to me.”
“The THC or tetrahydrocannabinol comes from the leaves, bud – even the smaller stems have medicine in them,” Nick said, realizing just how little Doty knew about the plant. “It will mix well with the apple juice, I think. When the cider’s ready it will be good medicine for someone who needs it – and a tasty drink too.”
“You know, just because I grew up here doesn’t mean I know about all this,” she responded. “I’m still kinda surprised I’m doing this with you at all,” she added making her way out of the test kitchen Nick built by the barn.
“Well, the orchard is looking good – I think we’ll have a nice harvest this fall,” Nick replied, joining her in the shade. “That last test batch was good, I think this one will be even better. The labels and jugs should be here in six weeks. I’m excited about this batch because we used a natural sweetener grown in Willow Creek called Stevia.”
“Stevia?” Dot asked. Is that a plant too?”
“It’s a little green plant and the leaves are sweeter than sugar with none of the processing of cane sugar – and no need to ship it from Hawaii,” Nick informed.
“And we can really sell this cider?” Doty asked for what Nick thought was the hundredth time.
“Hard cider, Dot. The dispensary wants it,” Nick said. “Humboldt Hard Cider with a twist will be a hit.”
The two walked walked through rows of trees, each heavy with fruit ripening on the vine. Nearby the greenhouse was alive with three varieties of cannabis grown just for its healing properties, to be used exclusively for the cider. Fall would be a dual harvest for Nick this year – cannabis and apples.
Pulling a branch down to inspect, Doty began to reminisce.
“When I was just this high,” Doty said with her hand raised four feet from the ground. “I used to hide in this orchard. It was my own secret world. Daddy would find me and lift me up to the branches and say ‘Dot, these are your apples too,’ and he’d let me pull down a big branch and pick my own. And they were juicy and sweet – and we didn’t use synthetic fertilizers either, just like you.”
“They are still yours, Doty,” Nick said. “And, I will never use anything but organic matter to feed them.”
“They are yours too now,” Doty said with a warm smile. “No one believed this old orchard would come back to life – and you did it!”
“We did it, Dot,” Nick answered. “This is a new life for me. No more hiding in indoor grows. This greenhouse is the way we should grow pot – with natural light the way God intended!” he laughed.
“Praise the Lord, and pass the cider!” Doty laughed along with her new farming partner.
For back stories on Nick and Doty, see Behind the Curtain, #3, 4, 15, 19.