High in Jamaica, Uncle Weed visits Black Ras’ abundant mountain growfield to discuss “swamp weed” grown in morass versus “hard land weed” grown in volcanic soil with bat guano, plus varieties of ganja strains – both domestic and imported. Plus background about his family teaching him the ways of growing most anything and living an Ital lifestyle.
At a cabin in Little Bay Jamaica, Uncle Weed talks with Kitty who cooked Bob Marley’s Ital food when he was visiting. He explains the lifestyle, natural Ital food, and the importance of coconut and spring water and Bob Marley’s gifts… and UW shares the experience of visiting Bob’s cabin site and natural pool. Plus a riff about cabin building and acoustic music.
Uncle Weed visits Rasta friend Chubby over the course of making the Jamaican roots brew with knowledge passed on from the Maroons – the free people in the mountains.
First of, Chubby reviews all the ingredients and the related purpose; then breaks down the herbs and gives a rain water bath before moving into Fire Hut. While singing a song and listening to a futbol game on radio. After :45 minutes of boiling, the brew is removed and set overnight. Also comments about the hardwood fires of Jamaica.
Finally ready, Uncle Weed enjoys a long satisfying draw of fresh brew and expresses gratitude to Chubby who is eager to share his healing talents.
In Little Bay, Jamaica Uncle Weed and KK talk to Rasta-man Chubby about the joys of young coconuts including: the heart and belly healthy coconut water; the sweet soft meat within young coconuts while Chubby cuts one open for Uncle Weed to drink then chops it open to sample the soft jelly with a spoon made from the shell.
Chubby explains other uses for the coconut and the Rasta Ital diet including porridge, coconut milk with fish, rice and peas and other staples of the Ital diet cassava, corn, breadfruit, plantain, sweet potatoes, dumplings, but no diary or meat.
Finally they discuss how Chubby got his alias and foreshadow future topics of healing herbs and teas.
Jamaica is a fertile land and Ras @KK is experimenting with sprouting various cannabis plants and local Rasta “bush tiger” Chubby also shares bush knowledge including healing herbs including merenge seeds, roots and tea, tuna cactus tea, nuni (not noni).
Then they head to the porch to explore KK’s workbench of botanical specimens including sea urchin, conch, and soldier crab shells, plus inspect his cannabis seed sprouting tray and compare technique (they just “throw it in the dirt man”) and the advantages of bat guano as fertilizer and the great drainage of coral ground.
While on a stroll in Little Bay, Westmoreland, Jamaica, local Boisy takes KK and me (Uncle Weed) to the site of Bob Marley’s cabin. The former A-frame with glassed-in 2nd story is mostly destroyed by Hurricanes Gilbert and Ivan and the land, and cabin ownership disputed in courts, but the remnants remains including his rock water tank and an outdoor kitchen and remnants of the structure.
While sparking a spliff, I recall seeing the house in books and movies and how this was Bob’s retreat from the busy life where he’d often bring his lady friends and band mates. Noteworthy: The boards are numbered and arrowed in a thwarted plan to be deconstructed and reassembled in a London museum.
Boisy also solemnly recalls Bob sitting upon a rock and singing “rock was my pillow” while his pals constructed the house, or gazing at the sky in meditation. He also points our Bob’s dedication to an Ital food diet (with no seafood from the abundant sea on his steps) prepared in a separate kitchen.
With scant days to go, Uncle Weed reflects on expectations, better realized – plus shares affection for kind people, the important of finding authenticity and supporting local economy– all while embarking on final steps before leaving, including: visiting Mr. Lawrence, the lifeguard; packing up jerk spice and mango chutney; detailing the geometric woodwork in the Queen’s Cottage’s roof; plus mops up a few stories, chats about PM Michael Manley’s Canadian ties, and dives into the sea… before saying good-bye to the Jamaican people by celebrating optimism about the free island’s place in the world.
“Mongooses are like ninja squirrels – stealth, rat-eating machines. They kinda look like squirrels but squirrels are gentle, nut-eating creatures and mongooses (mongeese) are feared sniper killers.”
After more banter about lobsters, reggae and food, Uncle Weed offers observations about music industry, taxi drivers, civic pride, pothole filling, corrupt government and cynicism, devalued currency, human potential, news of the day, Patois remix, ninja squirrel mongoose, Rasta culture, fireflies, coconuts, kids doing homework, bats catching mosquitos, meaning of goats, donkeys strolling, swimming (or lack thereof), varieties of crabs, Prime Minsterial hijinks, calling elections, cruise ships, markets, churches, and Jamaica-Canada connections.
On a hike to a mountain top ganja patch, a new pal called Foot shares his curing technique to make the chocolate weed, plus opinions on Jamaica cannabis strains, and effects on his stamina.
Then, a Rasta bushman called Fire gleefully explains Ital food traditions while grating coconut for a hearty natural stew cooked on a fire before exploring his forest garden of plantains, pimentos, soursop and more bounty – before reaching ganja mountain to squeeze skunk buds with Uncle Weed in the hot sun. “If you worry, it’s a problem, if you don’t worry, it’s a problem – so stop worrying and start living”