Growgirl: How My Life After The Blair Witch Project Went to Pot

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The star of the international cult sensation The Blair Witch Project shares the high points of living on a marijuana farm post- Hollywood.

At age thirty-four, Heather Donahue's life went to pot. Literally. After starring in The Blair Witch Project-the tiny indie film- turned-blockbuster that Roger Ebert named one of the ten Most Influential Movies of the Century-she became a household name. But the afterglow of the movie waned, her acting career stalled, and she feared the day ...

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Growgirl: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw

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Overview

The star of the international cult sensation The Blair Witch Project shares the high points of living on a marijuana farm post- Hollywood.

At age thirty-four, Heather Donahue's life went to pot. Literally. After starring in The Blair Witch Project-the tiny indie film- turned-blockbuster that Roger Ebert named one of the ten Most Influential Movies of the Century-she became a household name. But the afterglow of the movie waned, her acting career stalled, and she feared the day her epitaph would read, "Here Lies the Girl from The Blair Witch Project." Determined to start a new life, she left most remnants of the old one in the desert, meditated on things for a few days, then followed her brand-new boyfriend to her brand-new life- growing pot.

Growgirl is Heather's year living in Nuggettown, California, among "The Community"-a collection of growers, their "pot wives," and the reason for it all: "The Girls." They help one another build grow rooms, tend to their crops, and provide a glimpse into this rarely seen world that's currently the source of much intrigue and discussion. Though her relationship hits rocky territory, Heather's new life brings unexpected solace, and she's surprised to finally find normalcy in the least likely of places.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Love—and a stalled Hollywood acting career that wasn’t going to see another Blair Witch Project—prompted Donahue to make the career leap to trying to grow medicinal marijuana for a year in a remote California community at the base of the Sierra Nevadas. In her quirky, kooky year-in-the-life account, she writes hilariously of meeting “Judah” (“a sleepy, blond Barney Rubble–skateboy hybrid”) at a silent meditation retreat and resolving, after a smoky visit to his elaborate grow room in Nuggettown, to rent her own house in the neo-hippie growers’ community and try her hand at cultivating “the Girls,” as the luxuriantly sticky female pot plants are called. Despite Judah’s claim of making “sixty thousand every eight weeks,” in the first year she sank a fortune into equipment for the “bloom room,” procured with the (paid) advice of other veteran growers’ in the town, like Judah’s friends Ed and Zeus; they explained the perimeters of California’s Compassionate Care Act and SB 420, such as that you grow only for the patients you have prescriptions for, and no one can grow more than 99 plants. Donahue chose to grow in soil rather than hydroponically, from cuttings and ganga plantlings given by the menfolk’s aggressively blithesome “pot wives”; she also managed to grow vegetables and raised chicks and a puppy, Vito, with some success, even after the pressures of production got to her. Wry, with a nuanced distance from the events, Donahue offers an unorthodox gardener’s take on the growing season. (Jan.)
Tad Friend
“Everything contained within this “Fish out of water” memoir rings true and reads fiercely and crazily entertainingly…. in constructing a book that is both a gentle polemic and a deeply felt, richly developed, personal memoir, Heather Donahue shows herself to be an author with talent, skill and a unique rich author’s voice in which she can wrap them.”
Kirkus Reviews
The life of a medical marijuana grower. From actress to pot grower, Donahue chronicles her search for meaning in her life. Her acting career on hold after starring in The Blair Witch Project, the author purged herself of that former lifestyle and became a member of "The Community" in Nuggettown, Calif. A close-knit group due to the nature of their work, The Community swirled in and out of Donahue's life, offering advice, a helping hand and love. Detailed tips on raising marijuana place readers in the grow room that the author built and maintained, and where she learned the subtle care that "The Girls" (marijuana plants) required to produce fine buds. Interspersed with accounts of her sex life are reflections on the Divine Feminine, love and the meaning of life. Written in a semi–stream-of-consciousness style, at times funny ("Jesus, doc, I just lost my house, I lost my job, I have no fucking health insurance--is there something I can take for that? Yes, sir, here's an eighth of Chocolope, a Family Guy DVD, some saltines, and a tub of caramel. Call me when you need a refill"), sensitive or filled with obscenities, Donahue's narrative also includes descriptions of her real vegetable garden (to ward off suspicious neighbors), chickens and an adopted puppy. Evident throughout is the author's increasing paranoia and dilemma surrounding the growing of a controversial, semi-illegal plant versus her need for self-sufficiency, money and pride in her product. An intimate look at a woman's yearlong search for her place in the world while maintaining a marijuana grow room.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592406920
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/5/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Donahue is an actress and writer best known for her starring role in the 1999 cult classic The Blair Witch Project. She has been featured on the cover of Newsweek, in People, and on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Daily Show, and CNN. She lives in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Fun and Interesting Read!

    Growgirl is a tale of a woman's struggle to reinvent herself and be the woman she wants to be. She is a woman who wants anything but to be confined: confined to be the girl who was in The Blair Witch Project, confined to a life of having her voice quieted, confined to social norms and career expectations. She decides to purge herself of her past, and all constraints, and start her life again in a way that speaks to her. It is in this time that she meets Jonah, a northern California medical marijuana grower, at a meditation retreat. Her heart follows him to the community of Nuggettown where, by circumstance and introspection of her own needs and feelings, she becomes a "grow girl." But that is not all she does. Heather embraces life as a country girl and lets her inner Hippie free. After it is all said and done, Heather follows her passion for writing and decides to share her experiences with the world. The result is a collection of experiences; sometimes joyous, sometimes sad, but always interesting, that help mold her perspective and change the course of her life. Heather Donahue's story is one that brings you laughter, tears, smiles, the despair of disappointment, the transcendence of hope, and inspiration in every chapter. Her story is genuine, full of feeling and told in highly relatable prose. However, she does not only seek to tell her story in this book, but also to pass on some of the wisdom she has learned along the way, of which there is plenty, as well as to convey some insight into the world of medical marijuana. She articulates her story in an easy to read style, but it is not lacking in thoughtful metaphor and vivid imagery, and I could often feel myself sitting in that house in the woods with her. Heather Donahue is creative, funny, caring, and real; more real than most of us ever allow ourselves to be. Growgirl is a must read for anyone who ever dared to be something different (especially those of us fellow right-brained girls) and also for anyone looking for a story you just can't put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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