@latewood Here is my submission
I wanted to start off by saying that not only am I a first time grower (of anything), but I am one of the fortunate few on this forum and in this community who gets to do this recreationally (although, not legally). I suffer from no chronic pain, I am not going through chemo, and I have no illnesses or anything like that that require the medicine we all grow; I simply get to do this for fun and personal use.
I hope I am approaching this in a unique and out-of-the-box way since many growers may overthink this and end up trying to decide on a specific seed, nutrient, or oil that is offered on this site. Obviously there is no right or wrong way to approach this, but my experience limits me to products I can attest to. Since this is my first grow, the only product that I can actually put my official Seal of Approval on, is the actual website/forum/shop. As of today, Nov 28, 2017, I am about halfway through my first grow attempt. Before I started, I scoured the internet looking for discreet ways to grow when I came across your website. For a few weeks I lurked in the shadows, reading and digesting every bit of information I could get my hands on! I started asking questions and quickly realized all the things that make this site great! There are the members, the ease of access and layout, and two benefits, I will discuss further down, I never imagined!
Within moments or joining and creating my first post, I was greeted and welcomed by forum members who were eager to share their knowledge and insight! Their words of wisdom, support and encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to make the leap and purchase my first grow package, with, of course, 2 Mixpacks of ILGM genetics (Fruity Mixpack and Patriot Mixpack). During the next few months I would post pictures to show the progress of my 6 girls, and so many people commented on and liked them. From that, I was also able to discover problems I didn’t know I had. Some of the more experienced growers were able to spot deficiencies or improper technique, even when I thought everything was 100%! They definitely saved my grow more times than I would probably like to admit! The other thing I noticed about this community, was the actual “sense of community.” Everyone here, and I mean everyone, wants everyone to succeed! I have read thousands of posts, and never do I see arguing or name-calling or anything other than sheer support and concern for each other’s crop! In some instances it goes even further and some members have formed actual friendships and are genuinely concerned when they hear of another members misfortune in their grow or personal life. I have never been a member of any other type of forum or any other forum for that matter, but I have definitely read through similar grow forums and I can say, the mods let people talk to each other like trash on some of these forums. Some members are ridiculed and taunted by experienced growers, who at one point, were in the Newbie shoes too! Not at ILGM! Even if someone has mistaken a response for something aggressive, no one ever jumps to conclusions and everyone is always apologetic if they seemed to have come across that way. Having a community like this makes growing much easier and fun! I love the way ideas and thoughts are shared here; I love that we all give props by tagging other growers over to solve problems we read from other posts! If the whole world acted like our community, the world would be a better place to live in! Not to mention, lots of awesome medicines from ILGM genetics!
The next best thing about the website and forum, is the layout and ease of access. Rules and guidelines are clearly stated in conspicuous places and if someone forgets, it is very easy to point them in the direction of the information. When shopping for seeds, your layout is the best I have run across so far. I tried to find other shops to find different strains, but tacky fonts and sloppily programmed pages made it unbearable. Some of them even looked like old Myspace pages which made them seem way more sketchy and less than ideal to conduct business with. Your seed selection has expanded and your filtering options make it very easy to find what you need. Once you find what you need, descriptions are clear and concise and very easy to read. The payment process is super simple and I like the extra safeguards that others may find troublesome to ensure everything goes smooth! And who can beat your guarantees? No one! It is amazing to offer a germination and shipping guarantee! I will never order seeds online, unless they are ILGM!
Last, but not least. Earlier I mentioned there were two added benefits to this wonderful product that ILGM offers. Ever since I started this grow, I was able to reconnect with friends of mine from my past, and come to find out, they are growers and processors as well! During my grow, they have all helped in some way or another. But, the most interesting aspect of this is; I have also been able to share the knowledge I have learned here with them! I actually got to teach growers, who have been growing for a decade, some new tips and tricks! Some of these things seem so simple and second nature to us, like breathing, that we take it for granted. Two of my grower friends, didn’t even know about the ph-ing water and had never done it. They also never let the chlorine denature from city tap water. I even gave one of my grower friends 1 of each of my seeds so we could grow and compare. You wouldn’t believe the differences in our plants! He came over to inspect mine and I am thinking he is about to give me some pointers, when all a sudden the grower of 11 years looks me dead in the face and says “How can I get mine to look like yours?!” If that is not a testament to this site and the genetics, I don’t know what is. Which, brings me to my last point, and the best added benefit of this product; I have found a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I love waking up early with a nice cup of coffee and a nice rip and relaxing in my garden before I start my work day. It gives me a sense of calm, focus, and purpose. I am always eager to see the progress that the plants have made daily.