Bloomfield, of Grass Valley, CA is the kind of company it’s easy to love if you are an old health food store kind of guy like me. Their product comes via a woman-owned collective of small farmers, growing organic craft buds outdoors in Northern California – what’s not to support? When I caught their owner on the phone to inquire about this piece, she was, unbeknownst to me, right in the middle of harvest, reaping away in the fields while telling me about her passion for the work. This was awesome, I thought, and, on a calmer day, made arrangements to meet up while they were visiting LA.
Grass from Bloomfield tends to come in proprietary strains that are not grown by anyone else. The ones I sampled included Khaleesi’s Dragon (a sativa-dominant hybrid, one of multiple types of weed named for the Game of Thrones diva), Sour Pina (sativa-dominant hybrid), Pineapple Chem Dawg (hybrid) and Jager (indica-dominant hybrid).
I started out with the Black Lime Special Reserve, figuring, I should be grateful that the owners have generously shared some of their personal stash with me, even though my brain logically understands it’s not literally their own special reserve, they just call it that and sell it along with every other strain. But you have to start somewhere, and this one says it’s the owner’s private reserve – pick of the litter.
So, what are the tasting notes? Primarily… mmmm yes, that is some high grade Northern California outdoor weed all right, properly grown and processed. We don’t get that all the time in LA, this hearty tasting outdoor bud, and it’s a righteous thing to have. This particular strain is an indica, and is said to have sleep-enhancing effects. Oh my God, I DID go to bed kinda early the day I broke it out, which proves that science in this area has come a long way.
Knowing that the folks on the farm dig the Grateful Dead inspired me to listen to their music, something I don’t do all the time, nothing personal, it’s just not my normal thing. But I remembered that I did like the tapes I had heard of them around the time they were doing the song “Cream Puff War”, as heard at 30:35 in the clip below from the Avalon Ballroom in May of 1966, and this suddenly, this sounds like the perfect band to be on the bill with Moby Grape and the 13th Floor Elevators in my mythical time machine. I can sign on to that, no problem.
In the days since, working through additional flavors, it becomes obvious that these folks put considerable love and care into their production. They’re all powerful and tasty, fine representatives of their respective families. They’re such pretty plants, coated in crystalline white dust with bright orange hair. The trim is impeccable, the strength and rugged outdoor taste consistently awesome.
I realize flavor preference is an individual consideration. There are definitely good indoor buds that have distinctive and delicious flavor profiles – I’m thinking of THC Design’s Blueberry Dome, which had strong notes of lemongrass, inspiring me to order $50 worth of Thai food so I could do pairings.
But outdoor grown pot has a kind of funky flavor to it like wild mushrooms, wild cherries, etc. “Wild” as a signifier of something deep, earthy, dense, with maximum umami from the salt of the earth. As one of the judges on Top Chef once put it, it’s the difference betweeen a shaved armpit, and a hairy armpit. And Bloomfield really does a nice job with the hairy armpit.
While everything I sampled of theirs was strictly high class craft bud, the custom brand entitled Jager emerges as the clear favorite. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid described on the label as a cross of Hindu Kush and LA Confidential (that kind of genetic history would be nice for all their homemade varietals). Even at the tail end of a roundtable sampling, it had an instant “how ya doin!” buzz that lingered and made its presence felt for a long time.
It’s some of the finest flower I’ve had in a while, and frankly, I was starting to wonder what had become of weed with purple and deep red hairs in it. Lo and behold, breaking these buds open reveals large deposits of deep, lovely purple at the core. Further research shows this to be a distinctive characteristic of the LA Confidential strain that fathered little Jager. Again, one has to marvel at the science of modern marijuana. You can just DECIDE to make weed with purple hair in it – and now, someone has.
Its effect on Mario Kart racing were inconclusive, though it was enjoyable conducting the research. I did a typical round where I aced every single race until it was time for the Rainbow Road, which is normally no problem. But for some reason I became completely disoriented and got vertigo, and found myself running off the tracks and plunging through space repeatedly. I was hoping to finish with a perfect 60 and two star rating, and ended up with a lousy 52 and a C, just for getting vertigo at the moment where I needed to keep it together. Duly noted – when using this weed, take the bus.
So I think I’ve found my brand – Jager. Which reminds me, Roky Erickson from the 13th Floor Elevators has a son named Jager, and considering the Elevators have already come up once, it seems worth mentioning, because there is no such thing as coincidence.
This December, Bloomfield promise the launch of a new kind of vaping system, a cigarette case-sized device that holds four small pens and charges them simultaneously. I saw one of these during our visit, and it is an elegant looking thing. They promise to offer all their strains in both flower and naturally-extracted oil. I think it’s great – as well as inevitable – that California consumers are going to have the opportunity to make a choice in favor of natural, sustainable products, and that folks like Bloomfield are making sure those products are some of the best that can be found.
Final Rating: Four and twenty birds of Maya baked into an atom you.
You can visit Bloomfield at Virtual Reality Elevated, this Saturday night, November 18, in the DTLA Arts District. VIP ticket buyers receive a curated gift bag. LA Beat readers get 20% off ticket purchases at Eventbrite by entering the discount code “LAbeat20”. Get your advance tickets here.