In the early 1990s, when he was 18 years old, High Times Senior Cultivation Editor Danny Danko got his first taste of the promise of homegrow in the closet of a friend’s Boston apartment.
“My friend John had a 400-watt light, maybe ten or twelve plants flowering. It was mind-blowing,” he reflected recently on a blustery morning at the High Times Manhattan office. “He also had a pumpkin plant in there. I haven’t seen that to this day,” he added with a chuckle. “I thought you needed acres and acres of fields in South America. I didn’t realize it was something you could do in a closet.”
In retrospect, that encounter marked an apt launching-off point for one of cannabis’ most lauded and passionate documentarians, particularly one who has continued to advocate for a DIY approach to cannabis throughout a long and varied career.
Danko’s pot philosophy is crystallized in his new book, “Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Marijuana,” released this September. The book caters to a rising breed of novice home growers; it is a return to the fundamentals of growing cannabis and a prime example of the old adage, credited to Albert Einstein, that “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Delivered in eloquent and stately language and complemented with clean-cut illustrations, the book makes clear that Danko more than understands the material at hand.
“There are plenty of [complex] books out there that can be daunting to beginners,” he said. “I wanted something welcoming to this large group of people who are going to get interested in this hobby.”