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The Catalyst for My Botanical Obsession

I’ve always been a bit of a radical personality. Whether it’s been bucking authority or playing in bands of dubious distinction, the only time botany or plant life came to my mind was when I was smoking cannabis or climbing a tree to avoid arrest. If you told 20-year-old me he would have his own heirloom seed collection in the fridge crisper, you would get laughed at. If you told him he would be mixing plant nutrients and cloning genetics like some sort of auto dictate scientist, he would look at you quizzically and wonder if he should maybe punch you in the arm for being a dork.

Locked Up With Nowhere To Go

What was the catalyst that caused this change in perspective and interest? One word and two digits, COVID-19. This pandemic had me locked in my house working for a Fortune 500 company, and I was slowly going crazier than I already was. My time at home became redundant and without any joy. So I started searching my past for things that might save me from watching the paint dry on my life. I decided to take a deep dive into one of the only things that ever held my interest, one of the only medicines that has consistently worked for me, Ganja.

Hobby farm

Photo credit: Regi Oneton

As a lifelong lover of all things cannabis, I started exploring growing my own. My ADHD wouldn’t simply let me try growing a plant under the sun with tap water, God forbid. I have to get an indoor set up with multiple light sources and start a nutrient regimen. Let’s not forget the fans and carbon filters, pH meters, and all the other bells and whistles you might deem necessary to make sure you have the best possible Trichome development.

All that money I was saving on gas and office coffee was going towards my new hobby, and my time and passion were switching over to harnessing the dark art of successfully making a plant reach its full potential. I spent hours on end just reading and watching all the content I could, all the while praying to the plant Gods that I was running good genetics and hoping the Amazon guy didn’t think I had an impulse shopping problem.

A Welcome Distraction

My first grow tent became a place to escape and try my hand at a craft that I once thought was out of reach for me. After a tedious ZOOM meeting, my walks to the garage were as medicinal as what I was growing. The confidence boost was palpable; that’s not to say my first batch of Bruce Banner auto flowers wasn’t a complete failure in terms of cultivation and quality, but boy, did I learn something.

Regi Oneton

Art and photo by Regi Oneton

I learned enough to want to pass this knowledge on to others. So I started a YouTube channel where I post my successes with flower density and hardships with spider mites. My tone is welcoming and laid back because growing effectively can be daunting. I’m here to help, not stress you out. That’s what the office is for.

Hobby Farm

As I write this, I am still under pandemic restrictions, and I haven’t had decent Sushi in two years! But one thing I do have is a crisper full of seeds and enough calcium and magnesium to raise an eyebrow from a fellow farmer. I have a new hobby that provides medicine and sustenance in uncertain times. This thing has snowballed past cannabis into tomatoes, chili peppers, and a plethora of veggies I love.

It’s hard to find a silver lining with COVID, but I considered it a big win when it led me directly to my passion. Thank you, COVID, for providing the boredom necessary to get me there.

As for my 20-year-old self, I’d tell them that gardens are not for dorks, and in 20 years, he’ll be told to stay home and lock the door for an extended stay, so he might want to start researching what seeds to pop and get a head start on things.

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Regi Oneton is a multi-disciplinary artist and daytime Executive. A member of Socan since his first Album release at the age of 20. Self-taught audio engineer and self-proclaimed studio rat. A late-blooming street artist and painter whose works can be found hanging in the offices of Burton and Vans Canada. Long-time contributor to the Under Pressure Graffiti Festival and lover of the Arts. As the years plow forward, he has added botanical enthusiast/plant father to his litany of passions. His interests include writing and spending too much time looking at his phone.