Green thumbs

Lately I could not help but notice the many instances where law enforcement officers have been able to harvest hundreds of marijuana plants from around the island in various locations. From cane fields to right in the yard of some home owners these plants were discovered, and from the photos, they were being well cared for.

I may be wrong but it seems like St. John is leading the way so far with the most plants and the most areas discovered under cultivation. I always knew St. John to be very fertile land and have been known to be very agricultural territory. Anything thrown onto the soil had a huge chance of growing.

Being from said parish, I know how it used to be when I resided there. Eating watermelon and firing those seeds through your teeth into the yard more often than not produced some very nice vines and later some melons. Tomatoes, peas, and peppers were no different.

With the man power and possible use of aircraft, these secluded spots seem to be easily found. Seeing a big green area in a cane field while flying overhead will be cause for a closer look, especially when it is during the dry season. Those going out on hikes and taking the old trails and tracks and gullies then skipping into a well manicured garden is another cause for concern.

Now that I think of it, I remember as a little boy going with my grandmother to get some sturdy post to aid in erecting a pig pen, and while being as boys should be and going off ahead of my granny through the gully I stepped into a very well manicured garden bed and thought to myself, “what a nice looking bed of young tomato plants”. The speed with which my grandmother hustled me out of that gully with the warning of not leaving my footprints around the area tells me that was much more than a fruit crop.

In my opinion, that cultivation in deep, out-of-the-way areas has been going on in St. John for many years. Whether the cultivators are from St. John I don’t know but they sure do have a green thumb. Maybe these persons need to be given a plot of fertile land in the open and see how successful they will be with another type of crop.

The photos and videos in the media all depicted how healthy their crops were and they sure did not get that way by just leaving them up to Mother Nature. The question is whether these agriculturalist will want to diversify.

With the huge findings lately, it tells me that there must be a demand for the crop. With the never ending work of the law along our shores, it seems that the foreign produce is hard to come by. The thoughtful growers have decided to do what many have been trying to get Barbadians to do, which is produce more local produce and reduce the import bill.

As the other farmers face crop theft daily and seeing their crops taken I guess the producers of the local marijuana must be feeling similarly. They too are having their produce taken without their consent. I believe the police would like any farmer of such produce realising it has been taken to make a report at the nearest police station.

There will always be those who feel they can cultivate without being caught and will eventually get caught and use the excuse of things being tight. Things are tight with everyone these days. Even Sir Charles Williams is finding it tight too. I don’t see him taking his acres of agricultural land and growing crops that the law forbids.

Maybe those in St. John and the other areas that choose to go against the law can try putting their efforts into the legal stuff. Food is in high demand too. It is legal and it will pay you in time instead of having to pay with time behind bars.

A little with content is great gain, so until it is made legal by law it may be better to choose freedom over the possibility of making big bucks that you may not get to enjoy.

On another note, I feel the Government should offer these growers the opportunity to practice their expertise with some food crops and provide them with a place to sell and make a living. They can’t get jobs otherwise or don’t want one so maybe seeing the chance to be legal entrepreneurs will help. At least we know where some of the most arable land is now, so it’s time to get planting, legally.

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