Late September 2002. I'm in California, chasing the harvest, as usual. My daze are spent cruising up and down the west coast, finding the true connoisseurs in the area, and somehow talking them into letting me take pictures of their most private crop. According the the local growers, this is the best season California has had in 20 years. It hasn't rained in nearly a year, and the intense California sun is coaxing the local ganja crop to unbelievable sizes. Admittedly, the passage of Prop. 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California, is making my job much easier than before. Some daze I drive over 300 miles and photograph three or more gardens.
Throughout the summer, I am repeatedly told of a legendary garden in Upper Lake, affectionately known as Eddy's Medicinal Garden. I am told there are hundreds of humongous ganja plants, over 80 different strains, some of the plants towering at well over 15' tall. The plants, each large enough to harvest 5 pounds of herb, are supposedly being grown in full sunlight, within sight of a highway!
also hear through the ganja-vine of the ballsy Vietnam Vet responsible
for all these plants, a man by the name of Eddy Lepp. Having heard several
descriptions of his bold and defiant character, I felt I knew and loved
him before I even met him. This strange feeling was validated while at
the Seattle Hemp Fest, when
I heard a man in the background boasting about his garden being the best
in the world, while proudly handing a person a giant "business card"
with a picture of him and his wife in front of the monstrous plants. I
walked up and introduced myself and said "You MUST
be Eddy Lepp." "I sure am," he proudly replied.
We became friends instantly, and after signing one of his aforementioned cards to me, we agreed that I should extensively photograph his garden throughout the harvest season. Within daze I made the journey to his land, about an hour and a half NorthEast of the Bay. As I approached from the freeway, my eyes spotted a giant mass of thriving green forest in the distance. "That couldn't be it," I assured myself. But as I drew nearer, I was blown away when I realized and accepted the fact that this was in fact a giant ganja forest!...............