Actor and comedian Jim Belushi is putting Southern Oregon on the map with his upcoming Discovery show “Growing Belushi,” which focuses on the highs and lows of growing cannabis at his farm next to the Rogue River.
“I’m like a cross between Elmer Fudd and Bill Murray,” said Belushi, reached by phone Tuesday in Martha’s Vineyard. “I’m chasing down gophers and digger squirrels. I hate grasshoppers now. I see one and I panic. There’s aphids, there’s russet mites. We bring ladybugs in to help with the mites. There’s mold. Farming is not easy.”
Last year, Belushi lost 300 pounds of bud, or about a quarter of his crop, to mold, which also ravaged many other cannabis farms in Southern Oregon.
The Discovery series, which debuts at 10 p.m. Wednesday, will give viewers a glimpse into Belushi’s life on his 93-acre farm near Eagle Point.
“Growing Belushi” will feature fellow actor and comedian Dan Akroyd, who performs a little singing and dancing on the stage at the farm as The Blues Brothers, which originally featured Belushi’s brother, the late John Belushi.
“I learned a lot about myself in this show,” Belushi said. “It’s about families, it’s about friends.”
It’s not a “stoner’s show,” he said. “It’s about farming.”
It may not be a stoner show, but it does have a lot of comedy.
It even features Jack Murtha, better known as “Captain Jack,” who grows Captain Jack’s Gulzar Afghanica, otherwise known as the “smell of SNL (Saturday Night Live).”
In one scene on the show, Captain Jack chases Belushi out of the growing room. “Guess who left the grow lights on all night burning the plants?”
Belushi said he takes an active interest in the farm, helping with cutting, cloning and other steps necessary to grow high-quality cannabis.
He even delivers the cannabis he grows to stores throughout Oregon.
Belushi talks lovingly about the plants he grows, including his favorite, Cherry Pie, also known as “marriage counselor.”
In the future, he plans to produce edibles, possibly working with an Oregon chocolate manufacturer.
The idea for the show started with a nine-minute video that was ultimately edited down to five minutes.
That short video got the attention of production companies, and he got the financing to produce six episodes.
If you want to get a glimpse of Belushi in action on the farm, check out a short clip from the show at www.discovery.com/videos/growing-belushi-jim-belushis-goes-into-the-cannabis-business-5578243.
The title of the show, “Growing Belushi,” recalls an earlier show, “Building Belushi,” about the building of his home on the Rogue River.
Belushi said his property is almost ideal for growing cannabis, with the Rogue River providing water that has an ideal pH for the plants.
But the location next to the river poses other problems, mainly increasing the humidity and fostering mold that can devastate a harvest.
As a result, he’s building a second indoor greenhouse to have better control over his plants, including over those pesky insects.
Belushi is not looking to expand his operations at this point because he’s looking to perfect the existing operations, and he already works with about 50 dispensaries throughout the state.
“We deliver it ourselves,” he said. “We throw it in the Ford Explorer and we’re off.”
Belushi describes the TV program as a reality show that’s sort of stream of consciousness, while trying to show the work that goes into producing great strains of weed.
“Agriculture is a tough occupation, but it’s so satisfying,” Belushi said. “This acting thing is a lot easier with memorizing other people’s lines as opposed to growing other people’s strains.”
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.