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11 September 2007 @ 06:55 pm
Comic relief  
Adventures in Cultivation

During our homeless odyssey we were staying at the Casa Alta hotel, taking advantage of their winter rates. First we got one of their studio apartments with a kitchenette, then we were able to score a 1 bedroom. It was run like a hotel with maid service every day and we paid weekly. We knew the rate was going up in the summer so we felt pressured to come up with some kind of housing solution. My daughter was nearly 1 year old--she had her first birthday there--and my son was 2.

Mahasraya still had some of the pot he had stolen on his first visit to Santa Cruz and was trying to sell it. But he also wanted to give psilocybin mushroom growing another try to and he also wanted to turn his pot into "hash." I never knew whether this was really a "bona fide" thing or not but he got some kind of cone shaped machine out of an ad in High Times and processed the pot into some kind of dark sludge-like substance he called hash, which he then sold.

He decided that the reason his mushroom culture was previously contaminated was because he hadn't sterilized the manure thoroughly enough. (I was always amused by the way he pronounced sterilize, like STIR i lize.) So he concocted a way to steam it until it was purified by putting a steamer lined with aluminum foil (with pinholes) on top of a hot water vaporizer in the bathroom.

Soon our bathroom reeked of manure and the odor wafted out the window, bringing joy to our neighbors. Out of fear we finally shut the window, thus concentrating both the odor and the steam in our bathroom. Soon water droplets were collecting on the ceiling of our bathroom. These droplets were brown in color and soon they reached maximum density.

Yes, it was raining manure in our bathroom! If only this were cow dung I am sure we would have been purified for life but alas, it consisted of whatever the garden supply companies put in there.

The air was thick in our little apartment and if I hadn't grown up on a farm I don't think I could have made it through this. It may have bothered Mahasraya, a Chicago city boy, far more than it did me. My only worry was our landlords, so we took it all down when the maid was due to come and attempted to air out the place.

Mahasraya never did manage to grow psilocybin mushrooms but he got a pot plant growing in our bedroom. One day the landlord wanted to come by to see some of the construction work going on in the adjoining units as well as some of the finished ones. The manager and owner knocked on our door and I was forced to give them an impromptu tour complete with pot growing room. (Thankfully the manure steamer was dismantled at that time!) They glanced in but didn't say a word about the plant. I always wondered if they knew what it was but didn't care, or whether they were too square to recognize pot. Or maybe they didn't look at the plant closely.