It was imperative to keep the central characteristics that made Northern Lights such a special strain. The plant had to stay compact, with dense, high yielding, low odor flowers while remaining simple to grow. The more I thought about how this plant would do in the southeast U.S., I knew it had to be a survivor.
If grown outside, it would have to compete with poke salet, locust, etc. If grown inside, it had to be packed tightly together in a confined area with not only the possiblitly of excessive heat and cold but with extreme humidty variability as well. It couldn't be just easy to grow, it had to be a fucking Terminator, with a focused and relentless desire to not only survive but to thrive as well.
Did I mention any drop in potency was completely unacceptable?
At the beginning, I decided to have two seperate variations of seeds. One would be straight matings of F1 to F1, F2 to F2, etc, a complete, inline bred seed. The other variation would be back-crossed, side-crossed, and forward-crossed more than a West Virginia hillbilly.
For the entire F2 generation, I used ideas I learned from Vic High on the BCGA forum and selected accordingly. There really wasn't a whole lot to it, as the plants were just so uniformly, consistantly good. There wasn't much variation at all, so I selected the most vigourous and dominant males to match up with best rooted females. F3 was just as stable, so that's when I started back-crossing.
Then 9/11 happened.
It was impossible to keep a detailed, objective assesment of the small variations I was observing during this time period. Two of my children were in the Air Force, so I took this shit real personal. In addition, The Patriot Act was passed so I had a pretty good idea Internet traffic was going to receive an unimaginalble level of government scrutiny, including sites like the BCGA forum, overgrow.com, etc. It was difficult enough to actually use those sites when you're "proxied up", so for security reasons, I ceased all cannabis related Internet activity.
I decided to let the plants show me how they wanted to grow.
I have had self-sufficient, independent access to SouthEast Lights cannabis that is quite extraordinary. The plants have evolved over this time and I don't think they have yet achieved their full potential. They have survived week long power outages, mid 30 to upper 90 degree fahrenheit temperatures, as well as 10%-100% relative humidity. I have only had one branch of one plant go hermie and that was on a 4 year old clone. I couldn't create a hermie if I tried, that's how stable. I objectively bred for vitality and overall mental effect, not resin production, color, smell or any other superfluous quality.
I could care less about THC percentage, THC to CBD ratio, terpenoid profile, or any other scientifically measured value. Those values are completely insignificant to me. Not everything in life can be scientifically measured, quantified and categorized.
What I care about is, how does it make me feel and it makes me feel so much better.