There’s a new cannabis seed company providing unique strains to the Southern Oregon region, which are uniquely suited for the climate. Moonflower Gardens is now providing strains such as Royal Blue Durban to the market, especially aimed at the commercial outdoor growers.
Richard Reames, the company’s founder, is a resident of Oregon and lives in the Applegate Valley, where he has spent many years as a tree sculptor. He is a certified arborist and can create living sculptures with trees. He has clients across the country who have employed him to design pieces of living art for their gardens. His property is covered in arboricultural masterpieces, too. They are a tribute to his prowess with plants.
His love of nature, and growing, conveniently extended to his fondness of cannabis. Reames grew cannabis for years, and eventually got busted in 1987 for growing, spending 120 days in jail in Grants Pass, where the Judge advised him to try to change the law and not to break it.
“After that, I became more politically active and took the Judge’s advice, and tried to change the law,” Reames explained. “And, things unfolded from there with OMMA and with our ability to grow uninhibited.”
Under the OMMA, he was free to experiment legally, which made things easier. He was able to talk to others freely and trade genetics to develop better strains. He was able to develop an expertise in cannabis horticulture during that period.
“I got started by just maintaining my own strains when I first started growing back in the 80’s,” Reames told OCC. “I started with a strain called “Frosty” that a lot of locals loved, and from there I just started maintaining my own seed lines and collected the best I could find amongst my friends and neighbors.”
A classic tale of Oregon cannabis horticulture practices, Reames has been able to develop strains that are acclimatized for the typical outdoor grower in Oregon’s southwestern growing region. They finish early enough and are mold- and mildew-resistant to deal with the often wet, autumn conditions.
At the moment they Moonflower Gardens have four main strains: Royal Blue Diesel, Royal Blue Durban (a mostly leafless variety), Mana Gooey (his largest yielding variety), and Royal Blue Mana Durban (a cross between RB Durban and Manna Gooey).
His “leafless” strains have a super high calyx to leaf ratio, so the buds have few leaves protruding from the stem past the buds. They are a trimmer’s dream, according to Reames.
The other main aspect of his breeding is the terpenes. Terpenes are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are called terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing, in the case of cannabis). They are a main component of any plant resin and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors in “essential oils.”
“Using chromatographic analysis from good labs like Sunrise Analytical in Wilsonville gives you the terpene profile,” he said. “It’s where the plant exhibits the various characteristics of the ‘high,’ whether it’s going to be a stimulant or a sedative, and the properties of the terpenes are well-known.”
Armed with this knowledge, Reames has developed plants he says are easy to grow and harvest and highly desirable in effect and terpene profile. In addition to leafless varieties and terpenes, he picks for harvest date and larger buds. The larger “fat” bud varieties he has come in earlier to help avoid mold, and the later harvesting plants tend towards thinner-type buds that resist mold.
His seeds are dioecious, and not feminized, so his seedlings will include males. With a price point low enough to make his dioecious seeds competitive, Reames thinks it’s not a big deal. His seeds will be available in dispensaries at a very competitive price, but he hopes to go further and work with commercial grows.
“I hope to work with people who get permits,” Reames stated. “We want to sell many seeds to those with recreational permits and then be able to select a few among their progeny for our own future use.”
“I want to work with permit holders to advance the genetics of the plant under higher numbers than any one person is allowed,” he expounded further. “We can also provide the grows with four different strains so their harvest is spread out and they are not inundated all at once.”
He intends to work with the commercial grows to produce seed for Moonflower and cross-breeding as well as the permitted grow’s use the following year. With a mutually beneficial relationship, he can continue to work on his own genetic lines and the growers get the strains they need at a discount.
For more information on Moonflower seeds, visit their website at www.moonflowergardens.com. Email Richard Reames at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach them at 541-787-7054. Look for their seeds at your local dispensaries, and contact him if you are planning a commercial grow!