In cricket, which is not that far off from baseball, there’s a type of player known as an all-rounder, who is comfortable tackling any position. How does this relate to cannabis? Well, recently I had the pleasure of interviewing someone who fits that description. He is an amazing grower, and an amazing hash maker (both solvent and solvent-less) and is truly a cannabis all-rounder.
He goes by the name DobisFamily and can be found on Instagram, where he shares some amazing bud pics—and was how I found him. He has some of the frostiest buds I have seen outside of my own gardens, and those of a few close friends. He also had an interesting array of strains running, from some dank-looking Gorilla Glue #4 to an amazing-looking AK-47, and a super frosty Platinum GSC. I decided to email him and connect, because I really wanted to shoot his gardens and find out what his growing style was.
Our tour actually started in another part of his world: his ice wax production facility. “Wow,” was all I could muster. Having made bubble hash myself for the better part of the last 16 years, it was impressive to see. The first thing that you notice when you walk in is how cold the room is. He keeps his room really cool, which prevents the ice wax from getting warmer than 55 degrees. This keeps the wax an amazing almost-white color, as the product isn’t given the chance to oxidize (the change in color in most hashes can be attributed to oxidization.)
His set-up had eight large washing machines going and had two baker’s racks filled with some sappy-looking ice wax. After putting some into my pipe, I was blown away by the flavor of what he made. Even after only a week of drying, his stuff was already incredibly tasty—and he was still going to cure it for a few more weeks.
At that point, we still hadn’t seen the garden yet, which was the true purpose of my journey, so that was our next step. Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the minute we walked into the flower room, the lights went off. I got just the tiniest glimpse of his glistening buds. Thankfully, it was harvest time and he let me use my flash to put some ancillary lights on and document the moment.
Simply put, his garden was pretty impressive. The AK’s were the largest of what he had, each one with between four to six huge colas. Then, as we went down the room, we got into his OG’s, Platinum Cookies and Gorilla Glue; each one was shinier than the next.
His system is no-nonsense: vented hoods, all 1000’s over 4×6 tables, using an ebb and flow system. DobisFamily uses big rock wool cubes in a bed of hydro rocks. He also has covers on his rock wool, which keeps the temperature at the root zone warmer and fends off any algae. He uses a bit of a cocktail when it comes to his nutrients, but as a base he uses Advanced Nutrients. I had a few questions for him and he was happy to answer.
I’m always interested in hearing a person’s origin story, as we’ve all arrived in this business from different paths. DobisFamily grew up watching his uncle, aunt and father grow and smoke cannabis. He touched his first plant at 12, and grew up with it as part of his home environment. When he smoked it at a young age, he said he fell in love with marijuana at that moment.
But DobisFamily’s dedication to the plant came from something even deeper. “My little cousin, Day-Day, had a horrible reaction to a flu shot and developed a disease called HLH, which basically made his organs work less and less until he passed away at the age of 10; I was 12,” he said. “I questioned big pharma and why something that was supposed to help my cousin fight the flu killed him. That’s where my passion started with cannabis and herbal medicines.”
He learned how to grow by hanging out and helping family and friends with their gardens. When he turned 18, he put up his first garden and started growing. He started off with a CFL setup in his aunt’s closet. That quickly grew into a room in a condo with four lights that he and his mom rented. As his skills progressed, he told me that a local delivery service fell in love with his buds and put him to work in a 20-light room. From there, he was eventually hired by a dispensary in San Francisco called SparcSF.
As for his system of choice, he explained: “the reason for using ebb and flow is that I got accustomed to it. When you find a system that works for you, it’s best to stick with it.” I couldn’t agree more. When he worked at SparcSF, he switched to a flash-feed system using a drip line. This system provided better quality plants, but was more work to maintain, he intimated.
DobisFamily started making concentrates about six years ago. As he was surrounded by plants, it was easy to find good-quality trim. He started researching different hash-making techniques and started working with other hash makers to perfect his own method. He began making bubble hash, and then gradually tried making solvent-based extracts, first using 99% ISO, then gradually moving into using butane. His preference will always be full-melt bubble hash, “as BHO tends to get me too medicated, to the point of being uncomfortable, whereas full-melt takes me to the perfect medication level.”
His top tip for a newbie is to link up with a more experienced grower to work as an apprentice. Otherwise, you will end up spending a lot of money on trial and error projects. Also, make sure you have a basic understanding of fertilizers: “It took me a long time, but I finally got my regimen down from all the macro- to all the micro-nutrients.”
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