After spending decades making films and sitcoms, actor-improviser-musician Jim Belushi is blazing a new path.
The Wheaton native has become a marijuana farmer, harvesting his crop on a 93-acre farm along the Rogue River in southern Oregon. His agricultural efforts will be chronicled in the new reality TV series “Growing Belushi,” which debuts Wednesday on the Discovery Channel.
The show — which features family and friends, including Dan Aykroyd and The Blues Brothers Band — centers on efforts by Belushi and his cousin Chris to build the business. It’s a change for Belushi, a Second City and “Saturday Night Live” alum who starred in such films as “K9,” “Curly Sue” and “About Last Night,” as well as the long-running sitcom “According to Jim.”
“The thing about unscripted TV is you shoot a lot of hours,” he said. A nine-day trip to Colombia yielded 29 hours of film, which they had to edit to 40 minutes.
“That is the worst because there are so many good jokes we have to cut,” Belushi said.
Belushi fell in love with Oregon years ago after he and his family visited a friend’s estate.
He purchased 13 riverfront acres not far from his friend’s home. After a friend and neighbor died, Belushi bought her land, increasing his spread to more than 90 acres.
It served mostly as grazing land for a neighbor’s cows until Oregon legalized recreational marijuana about five years ago.
That sparked Belushi’s decision to establish a marijuana farm.
“My family thought I was going…