Homegrown ganja blooms for farmers

Ready for transplant to a bigger pot. -
Ready for transplant to a bigger pot. -

Yes I'm a ganja planter

Call me di ganja farmer

Deep down inna di earth where me put di ganja

Babylon come and light it up on fire

Me a chant

Yes I'm a ganja planter

Call me di ganja farmer

Deep down inna di earth where me put di ganja

Babylon come, yo yo

Marlon Asher (2006 Ganja Farmer)

Three months after the passage of legislation which decriminalised the use of marijuana and allowed people to plant their own crops, the homegrown herbs are beginning to bloom.

Novices as well as experienced farmers rushed to germinate their own strains in their backyards, no longer having to conceal their crops from police or nosy neighbours.

For days, amateurs hovered over their four seedlings as they sprouted from the ground and followed the advice of online bloggers, agriculturists and friends.

And as with any kind of farming they encountered mishaps. If it weren't the pesky mole crickets which snapped the heads off, wrong choice of fertiliser or potting soil, or even too much water.

Darren Mahabir, a farmer and bee-keeper, said he decided to try his hand with four plants even though he was not a smoker. He said he got the seeds from his friends who are recreational marijuana smokers and soon enough he applied his knowledge and research to cultivate the plants.

Mahabir said there were at least three main types of marijuana species and it was difficult to determine a plant's gender by simply examining the seeds.

To be certain, the genetics of the plant had to be determined, he said.

Activist Nyasha Sadlow, who runs an online blog, BudwiseTT, said the experience of growing her own plants "has been refreshing."

She admitted she began growing her own crops since 2018 and the paranoia of watching over her back for the police still lingers.

Marijuana activist and blogger Nyasha Sadlow with her four marijuana plants. -

"Sharing my experience with people who are not as experienced is the fun part about it. It's all a learning experience and a teaching experience for me.​"

Sadlow, 22, said she began using marijuana medicinally to cope with a compromised immune system and was grateful for the opportunity to teach her relatives and anyone else how to grow their own herbs.

Barrackpore farmer Malachi Mead started growing his own crops to save money.

"It safer for me and financially better. No one likes to go on the block. It is not only marijuana on the block."

Mead said so far he spent about $150 to buy chemicals and hopes to produce a large enough supply to last him for a considerable period.

"It is not that technical, once you take your time and use the proper grooming and proper chemicals.​ I watched a video online and they grew well.​"

He advised the plants needed to grow in a clean environment and people should avoid touching it incessantly. Mead said while the law allowed for people to grow four plants, it was not guaranteed that each seedling will survive or that the four seedlings were female.

He suggested a revision in the law to cater for such scenarios so that the efforts of growing his own can be more feasible.

Freeport farmer Kevin Samlalsingh stoops next to his homegrown marijuana plants. -

Freeport farmer Kevin Samlalsingh said he planted his crops shortly after the legislation was approved and would be ready to harvest in the next month and a half.

He was anxious for the regulations to be approved so he can get his seeds or seedling from a legal source.

Samlalsingh said he was an experienced grower and did not think first-timers would get a bumper harvest in their first try.

"You could end up with a useless tree if the lights from your house shines on your plant," he said, adding that for the buds to form they needed total darkness.

Samlalsingh, 41, said it was cost prohibitive to grow such a small number of plants indoors using artificial lighting and suggested "it's best to grow natural."

None of the first-timers or experienced farmers were clear on what they should do when their plants are finally ready for harvest and they get more than the 30 grammes legal amount.

Some said they would share freely while others hoped to harvest in batches but none intended to dump excess produce.


"Homegrown ganja blooms for farmers"

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