“You’re never too old to try something new,” says Ron Bloom, a Medford resident who took up cannabis growing at the age of 72.
Flash forward a few months, and Bloom is like a kid in a candy store, showing off photos of his buds. He’s especially taken with one shot, a macro image of a super sticky flower that seems to show a little face looking up at a THC waterfall.
OK, maybe you have to have smoked some really good weed to see it, but you can’t blame him for being proud. The bud — and the photo — were created with his very own hands, and any gardener knows how good that feels.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” Bloom says. “I never tried growing. But with the internet there was a lot of information, and everybody I asked about growing was so helpful.”
He grew his plant indoors, and he says he used his own secret recipe in an attempt to produce buds that would taste like a Swisher Sweet cigar. He won’t divulge the exact formula, but he says it involved using molasses in his watering routine, a bold move for a rookie grower. But nobody who knows Bloom would be surprised to see him do it his own way.
Bloom has long been a tinkerer. In 2015, the military veteran built a replica of a Vietnam-era MIM-23 Hawk missile, which he pulled in the Medford Pear Blossom Parade behind his replica German military motorcycle and sidecar.
The missile replica was built to scale — 16 feet, 8 inches long. And even though it was made of wood, fabric and other lightweight materials, it was so realistic that he had to alert local, state and national authorities, including Medford police and the director of the Medford airport.
“Homeland Security knows about it,” Bloom told the Mail Tribune, which featured Bloom’s handiwork prior to the 2015 parade.
“I’m somewhat of a MacGyver type,” he says, referring to the TV character who has a knack for unconventional problem-solving and an extensive bank of scientific knowledge that comes in handy when he tackles high-risk missions around the world.
“I was thinking about the Swisher Sweets cigars, thinking that if you want your coffee sweeter, you would put sugar in it,” he says of his first attempt at growing. “But I didn’t use sugar, I used molasses.
Molasses has been around for a long time, and it’s been used in many grow operations, so this is by far nothing new. It’s just a new recipe, and I don’t know for sure if I could produce it again.”
He started taking pictures of his plant when it was about 3 weeks old, and by the time she was producing buds, he had cobbled together a macro-lens setup that would have made MacGuyver proud.
Using an Android phone duct-taped to a microscope, he started snapping super-magnified images of his reefer buds.
“When I sat down and started looking at the pictures, I could not believe my eyes,” he says. “I can look at the picture and see a man sitting down, looking up at the THC waterfall.
“I called it my Sweets Scotch. Only a handful of friends were lucky enough to try my scotch, and they all loved it — the smoothness, sweet taste and no cough. … I was looking for top quality, not quantity, and I am real pleased with my first grow indoors. This just might be a new sweet pot brand,” he says with a laugh. “Sweet Scotch. It has a good sound to it.”
Reach Southern Oregon Good Herb editor David Smigelski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-8784.