Most people mine for gold and rare crystals. Other people mine for nuggets and Bling. For a jewelry dealer on Broadway, there’s nothing more lucrative than a handful of diamonds. For a dealer on “Shakedown Street,” there’s nothing hotter than a handful of Bling, one of the most sought-after strains on the East Coast.
On a recent trip to New York, I was introduced to a grower named Monk (so named by his fellow growers because of his attention to detail, just like the character on the TV series Monk). “I don’t really mind the nickname—I kind of take it as a compliment,” Monk said. “Sure, my friends think I’m a little obsessive, but I believe attention to detail is critical to growing primo nuggets.”
As I walked through Monk’s operation, I noticed that his friends were right: Everything had its place, and you could eat off the floor. “By keeping things clean, I decrease the chances of developing problems like insects and disease,” Monk said. “I’ve found it’s much easier to do simple, regular wipe-downs with a mild bleach solution than it is to fight a spider-mite infestation.” Keeping the yard and exterior nice and tidy also helps to eliminate the problems of nosy neighbors and nosier cops.
Monk’s prized sensi selection is a strain called Bling—a cross between Legends’ Ultimate Indica and an unknown White Widow strain from Colorado. “About four years ago, my buddy and I decided to try and develop our own strain,” Monk told me. “We wanted to have something that no one else was growing. It wasn’t easy at first, but with the help of the Internet and a couple of books, we were able to stabilize the strain. It took us about a year. We took a White Widow clone that my buddy Jem drove back from a snowboarding trip to Colorado and germinated it with pollen we got off a couple of male plants of Legends’ Ultimate Indica.
“When we first grew the seeds that we got from a friend, we were upset that two of the 10 were males. That is actually what started us on our little journey. We grew out the seedlings, taking the two males and stuffing them into a closet with a 400-watt HPS [high-pressure sodium lamp]. When the plants were done flowering, we took the pollen, threw it in the fridge and waited for the right strain to cross it with. When Jem came back with the White Widow clone, he said he’d found the right strain to use. He talked about smoking it out in Colorado: ‘It’s sweet and it’s a yielder—the two together have to work.’”