America is going through some serious challenges at the moment. People are scared. A new pandemic is upon us. The governments around the world want us all to huddle at home and wait it out. They will advise when it is safe to come out again. They tell us that life as we know it has changed, forever.
FEAR, FEAR, FEAR… what a great motivator. Scare the crap out of people to get them to OBEY.
I am a grower. I work in controlled environments keeping plants alive and thriving. I am here today to let you know that plants and people are a lot alike. Plants get sick when attacked by viruses, bacteria, fungus, pathogens and insects. Some make it and thrive. Some die. I will share some of the secrets to staying alive from a growers perspective. I promise to keep it simple and easy so you can put it into practice in your home.
#1. ENVIRONMENT IS EVERYTHING
If there is one thing that separates good from great, this is it. Maintaining the perfect environment for plants with constantly changing inputs is a balancing act. Plants start small but grow quickly. As they get bigger they take up more room, they release moisture into the air, affecting humidity and temperature. They take in more nutrients and water and absorb more light growing even bigger, releasing more moisture, affecting humidity and temperature on an algorithmic scale. My job is to keep the plants stress free as they grow. As they have no eyes or mouth to communicate, it is up to me to read their “body language”. Theirs is a world where they feel everything; cold and hot, wet and dry, breezy and still. It is up to me to provide the perfect environment that they can thrive in by watching their reactions to the changes in the environment.
What we recommend: Ideal temperature for growing plants indoor is 72-78/F with 45-55% humidity. We call this “Balmy with a slight breeze, like Alabama”. This temperature and humidity is maintained through the use of Air Conditioning units, Dehumidifiers and Oscillating Fans.
Your home environment, likewise, needs to be made ideal for your family. More people at home putting out heat and moisture must be taken into account. Temperatures will go up so we recommend staying between 68-75/F with 35-40% humidity to keep everyone comfortable. Move furniture into the garage to make more space for everyone to move around. Make use of fans to blow a cool breeze, air conditioners to keep the temperature constant and dehumidifiers to maintain tolerable moisture levels. The goal is to keep the environment warm, breezy and fresh and to keep everyone as stress free as possible.
#2. MONITOR EVERYONE IN YOUR SPACE
Growers are in their grow rooms daily (crack of dawn) because we have lots to do to maintain the health of our plants. We constantly check to make sure everyone is healthy and thriving. If an issue arises with one of the plants, that plant is pulled out of the room and put into quarantine, away from the other plants. There, the issue is treated until it is either resolved or the plant dies. Once the sick plant is removed, the focus is on the plants in the MAIN ROOM and protocols are begun with EVERY PLANT to counter any possible contagion the sick plant may have caused. Protocols can last for weeks as the reproductive life cycle of certain insects can take that long to mature. We run our protocols until everyone is clear. This is the main reason growers won’t let outsiders into their grow rooms. We can’t afford the risk of outside contamination. In a crisis, WE DON’T WAIT-WE ACT.
What we recommend: Watch your plants like a hawk and check for any issues. Should problems arise, pull problem plant and begin protocols in room to address possible contagion issues. Don’t stop for 7-10 days, 14 to be sure. Make sure all your inputs have a Certificate of Analysis so as not to import insect larvae, fungus or bacteria problems into your room.
If a member of your family begins down the path of dis-ease, you MUST jump into action. A quick check of elevated temperature means a separate room with immediate protocols for the sick member of the family: make them as comfortable as possible, liquid immune booster shots and soups, limit the number of visitors entering room, be careful to disinfect when going in and out of the quarantine area so as to not carry the disease to other parts of the house. Once that is done, liquid immune booster shots for everyone else in your household with strong emphasis on washing hands with soap and water. Waiting can mean contagion to other members of the family. DON’T WAIT!!!
Preventative protocols in a grow room are designed to keep issues one plant may have from infecting all plants in the room. Because the fans generate a vortex of air that circulates in the room, a powdery mildew ejection or insect larval hatching could ride the air stream and spread to all plants. Similarly, a grower can prevent a lot of disease by piggy-backing an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial or anti-viral aerosol into the same air stream, coating the plant surfaces. By circulating this aerosol, airborne pathogens, bacteria, fungus and viruses can be wiped out mid-air, before they have an opportunity to cause harm in the room. Should they by chance survive and land on the plant surface, the aerosol will eventually get to it and destroy it.
We recommend dispersing Tea Tree oil through a diffuser or a fogger into the air stream to eliminate airborne pathogens and bacteria. Eucalyptus oil and clove oil are tremendous at eliminating viruses, Lemon oil and cinnamon oil will also wipe out bacteria, mold and mildew.
Destroying pathogens, bacteria, viruses and fungus that are airborne in your home with an aerosol will help keep your family healthy. Strategically placed fans can create an airstream that can be effective in moving your aerosol to all parts of your home. A diffuser or steam from a pressure cooker can be instrumental in putting the aerosol into the air to be carried around your house. Breathing it in will keep you and your family healthy.
We recommend lemon and orange peels in a pressure cooker with cinnamon sticks and water. Citric acid kills bacteria, mold, mildew and viruses. Make sure to wash any pesticides off the lemons and oranges before placing peels into pressure cooker. You can also drink the water as a tea.
#4. LIMITED ENTRY
The best grow room designs have a clean room as an integral part of the plan. they provide some separation as a space that is not in with your plants and has a filtered air system to keep the air in it clean from contaminants. The clean room is where nutrients can be mixed, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) suits can be put on, etc. The positive air pressure from the main grow room pushes air into the clean room when the door is opened, never allowing unfiltered air to enter the grow room to contaminate it. The grower and his assistants should be the only people entering the grow room from the clean room to limit the plants exposure to anything that could create disease. All air in the grow room must come from a filtered source and be constantly purified through charcoal air exchangers. This keeps the air clean and free of pathogens and odors.
We recommend using charcoal filtration for air purification and building sealed rooms to limit contamination issues in your grow room. Always limit entry into your grow facility. Wear PPE suits.
People entering your home can track in contaminants on their shoes, clothes or their person. Taking off jackets and coats in a mud room and washing oneself upon entry to your residence can go a long way to prevent bringing what is outside, inside. Bacteria, mold pathogens and viruses are invisible to the naked- eye but will happily piggy-back on you to come into your perfect environment of a home where they can thrive. Don’t give them the opportunity. We recommend: Shoes off, jackets off, wash in the mud room, bathe upon entry. Do this or all your efforts at keeping things clean will be for nothing.
#5. BOOST IMMUNITY
It is said that sick plants put off a vibration or scent that bacteria, viruses, fungus, pathogens and insects can detect. Weak plants with compromised immune systems are attacked and killed unless they can be nursed back to health and grow stronger. Growers accomplish this through nutrient dense and mineral rich foods and supplements that are easily recognized and absorbed by the plant. HEALTH IS ALL ABOUT PENETRATION AND ABSORPTION OF NUTRIENTS. We prepare plant food in the form of liquid smoothies, the plants root system takes it in through the soil media. The more easily absorbable and nutrient dense, the better the chances for survival.
We recommend ORGANIC plant nutrients, ORGANIC liquid amino acids and ORGANIC mineral supplements with Certificates of Analysis (COA). For best results, mix ingredients as a tea in vortexed and oxygenated purified water, no higher than 70degrees/F and 5.5- 5.8 pH.
Fruit and veggie smoothies and soups are a great way to boost immunity for your family. Easily absorbable and nutrient dense ingredients flow directly into the blood stream to provide the building blocks for the body to heal itself. Your body has an internal software program that is programmed to facilitate the healing of the body. However, without the correct inputs, the system cannot do its job. Because smoothies and soups are in a mostly liquid form, your body does not have to work to break down the inputs, saving critical energy necessary to fight viruses and disease.
We recommend a booster shot made of raw garlic, fresh squeezed lemon juice, powdered cinnamon and honey. Mix it in a blender with a little ice and drink it down. You will feel the surge in minutes. Chicken noodle soup made from scratch is best for those down with the flu. The Greenie from Nectar is made of parsley, spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon and apple and was instrumental in helping my friend, who had gangrene, save his leg from amputation.
#6. DISTILLED WATER
Rainwater carries a negative charge and is typically free of contaminants and minerals. If you collect and analyze it, you will see a nominal amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in comparison with tap water. The more minerals in the water (hard water), the more difficult it is to use in a grow room. If it is loaded up with chemicals, your nutrients cannot be administered with any certainty. Growers use reverse osmosis water filtration systems and charcoal filters to pull contaminants out of tap water, removing chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride to name a few. These chemicals are known to sterilize soil and slow plant growth. The cleaner the water, the easier the absorption of nutrients by our plants and the easier the elimination of waste products and toxins.
We recommend using a charcoal filter off the tap, leading into a reverse osmosis system that filters the water that is then collected in a reservoir. Running the reservoir water through a vortex generator and magnets will now structure your water so it is as close to rainwater as you can get.
Changing out the water in your cells with purified water is one of the greatest things you can do for your family health. Because it carries a negative charge, the water acts like a magnet, ripping out calcification, toxins and heavy metals throughout your system. It gives your body the opportunity to eliminate these poisons, helping you to feel better and be in a greater state of health. It removes toxins from blood, plaque from arteries and veins, dissolves kidney stones, rehydrates the body and brain, to name a few. (My sister was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent chemotherapy. I brought her gallon after gallon of water from my grow facility to drink during her treatment. The cleaned and vortexed water helped her eliminate a greater volume of urine on a daily basis (15% more) compared to drinking the water provided by the hospital. This meant less bloating and less radioactive material left in her system to accumulate in other organs.
We recommend drinking large volumes of distilled or Reverse Osmosis filtered water daily
#7. WIPE DOWN ROOM
Successful growers clean their rooms on a daily basis. However, when the room has produced its crop and has been harvested, the clean-up crew comes in to THOROUGHLY clean and disinfect everything in the room. This includes fans, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, charcoal filter air scrubbers, walls and surfaces, floors, ceilings, lights, reservoirs, trays, racks, plant-dolly’s, etc. Using harsh chemicals is not advised so we use a combination of hydrogen peroxide and water that has an acidic pH. The combination eliminates any bacteria, viruses, mold, pathogens, or other contaminants with no residue. Clean rooms produce clean plants.
We recommend the use of hydrogen peroxide and low pH water on all surfaces in a grow room.
Coughing and sneezing spreads viruses and bacteria all over the surfaces of your house. A spray bottle with a hydrogen peroxide/water mix plus lemon juice are your friends when members of your family are sick. Be liberal with the spraying and let it sit for a minute to allow it to do its job of killing the pathogens. Clean with paper towels and dispose of the contaminated paper towels carefully.
We recommend the use of hydrogen peroxide/water and lemon juice on all surfaces in your house.
It is easy to be a hero when the going is good. That can change with adversity. How you show up under those circumstances defines you.
Indoor growers worth their mettle know how to handle crisis situations. They are masters of the creative manipulation of plant environments and are constantly balancing room performance with optimal plant health. However, when pathogens and insects create problems, they know to fall back on tried and true protocols to fix the situation. Hopefully, you can apply some of the protocols discussed today in your own houses for the benefit of you and your family. We wish you good health.