Seshata Sensi

JOURNALIST, CONSULTANT & PHOTOGRAPHER

Fire Friday: Israel – Making the Desert Bloom with Cannabis

Source: Dope Magazine

Israel is pretty dry, unless you’re right on the coastline, in which case it’s unbearably sticky. Wherever you are, it’s also usually extremely hot in the daytime, and in the desert regions it can also be punishingly cold at night. Unsurprisingly, all of these conditions can be somewhat hard to tolerate—and not just for humans, but for plants like cannabis too.

Much of Israel’s present territory is taken up by a vast desert known as the Negev, which dominates the southern half of the country and stretches down to the northern edge of the Red Sea. The Negev is incredibly arid, receiving an average of just over 30 mm of rainfall per year, and very, very hot in the daytime–we’re talking records of up to 115 degrees.

But that hasn’t stopped Israel from embarking on an ambitious campaign to “greenify” the desert and turn it into a productive and developed region. Already, there are vast plantations of date palms, cherry tomatoes, watermelons, olives and peppers scattered across the desert, and the area given over to agriculture has steadily increased over the last 40 years or so.

Even cannabis has been given its place in the hot, burning sun here in the Negev. Teva Adir, one of Israel’s main medicinal cannabis providers, has a grow operation situated within a kibbutz known as Elipaz, 20 minutes south of the city of Eilat, where owner Geri Kolin has been busy finding out how to make cannabis thrive in the fierce desert climate.

In general terms, cannabis loves the intense sunshine of the Negev, and many strains also thrive in its extremely low relative humidity–but ultimately, it’s a plant that drinks a lot of water.

I ask Kolin about the inherent environmental sustainability of the concept. Surely turning the desert into a verdant utopia…

Please click here to read this article: Fire Friday: Israel – Making the Desert Bloom with Cannabis

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