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Weed Ed | Sacramental ganja cultivation 101

Published:Sunday | January 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Looking to strengthen organic growing practices in the midst of a global ganja movement, The Source Farm in St Thomas will be hosting a monthlong workshop on sacramental ganja cultivation and permaculture. The workshop will be led by experts in the field who are passionate about ganja cultivation that is based on the environment's natural ecosystem.

Nicola Shirley-Phillips is a director of The Source Farm and says the workshop is centred on cultivating ganja in an organic and sustainable manner that preserves the relationship between man and nature.

"When we're growing plants for medicine, there has to be a reverence for the earth and the plant. It's a sacred process that we have to be conscious of and ensure that there is balance in the environment," said Shirley-Phillips.

Weeks one and two of the course will focus on permaculture design and the importance the layout of the land plays in balancing the plant environment. Weeks three and four will focus on sacramental horticultural practices, such as understanding soil composition, organic micronutrients, and companion farming.

"If you don't have a happy and healthy soil, there will be insufficient nutrients for the plant to absorb," said Shirley-Phillips.

"If it's medicine, it should be organic. Much of the marijuana cultivation taking place around the world is driven by profits, and we have a lot of evidence in other industries of what happens when we chase profits over everything else," she added.

The workshop runs from February 17 to March 15 and will cost interested participants US$3,300, which includes meals, accommodation, and all course material. Applications can be made at

The Source Farm's cultivation practices extend beyond ganja cultivation. For the past four years, it has run a programme called One One Cocoa and has trained more than 50 farmers to produce food crops organically and sustainably.