I am Xarabethe, a newcomer to cannabis growing and CannabiSL. I primarily role-play as an Amazon Warrior here in Second Life, and recently our tribe took up growing cannabis as a way to enhance our roleplay experience, bring more fun to our lands, and meet new friends. It has been an amazing first few months, and Gleaux asked me to share our experience here on the blog. It’s a pleasure to do so; the CannabiSL community has been overwhelming in their support of our tribe’s venture, and we look forward to being a part of the group for years to come.
Before we get too far along with this story, let me tell you a bit about us and the lands we call home. Starhaven is one of five medieval-themed roleplay sims that comprise The Havens, which has been around for nearly a decade. We are a tribe of Amazons warriors, who protect the Havens from enemies and serve our Queen, whose palace lies in Moonhaven. The Amazons train in combat of course, but we also have fun with the everyday tasks that make role-play fun: hunting, gathering, crafting, and of course: farming. We in The Havens love sharing our lands with visitors, and several CannabiSL growers have already come by to see us. There is a landmark to our visitor hub at the end of this story…please feel free to drop by and say hello.
Like most roleplayers, we are always looking for ways to add more “fun” to our experience, and one day our attention became focused on a high plateau on the extreme western edge of our sim. This hilltop had stood empty for quite some time, but its unique character really cried out for some creative energy. We took a look at our various resources, and realized that we were lacking a dedicated farming area, and that a few more necessary elements of Amazon culture could also reside on that high piece of ground.
It was about this time that one of the Havens’ residents suggested we try growing cannabis; she had been growing at her home for a while, and thought it would be a fun way to increase activity in a near-deserted area of Starhaven, and also open up some roleplay trade opportunities between the sims. After the initial chuckles and bad jokes subsided, we realized that it was quite reasonable to believe that a tribe of primitive warriors certainly would have taken advantage of the natural resources available, and cultivated cannabis and hemp for various uses. Our tribal Healer, sister Atli, conducted some research and found that cannabis was indeed widely used in ancient times. Further, sister Sigrun determined that our garden should be named for the Greek goddess of the harvest, and thus Demeter Ridge was born.
We needed more than just cannabis for Demeter Ridge, though: we placed a vegetable garden in the centre of the plot, and sister Atli had the brilliant idea to add a “sweat lodge” near the extreme western edge. The sisters use this simple hut for spiritual revitalization…whilst enjoying relaxing steam from the hot coals enhanced with the aroma of their latest harvest. Of course, we also added a statue representing the goddess for whom Demeter Ridge is named; click on the statue and learn about both Demeter and how cannabis was used in ancient times.
Once the concept and basic design for Demeter Ridge was in place, we needed to decide which cannabis varieties to grow. Since Starhaven’s theme is medieval, we had to forego some of the stunningly beautiful graphic Limited Edition designs in favor of the “natural,” but still very colorful older LEs (Limited Editions). Indoor varieties were out of the question, as there was no electricity for lights in those days. One exception to this philosophy was Mandala, whose beautiful foliage and awesome mutation potential grabbed - and has held - our attention. Another was Andromeda: not only is it stunningly beautiful, but any plant named after a character in Greek mythology just seemed to be a natural fit for Demeter Ridge.
After growing a generation or two of base standard varieties (Panama Red and Purple Haze in this case) to get comfortable with the harvesting and planting processes, we selected Royal Caramel as our first LE to grow – thanks to some great advice from a prominent CannabiSL grower. Our mentor explained how to breed a pure LE male with base (Standard) plants to produce more of the LE foliage variety, and we embraced this idea with enthusiasm. That practice continues today, and we are hoping to help revitalize interest in some of the “heirloom” varieties that still carry their own unique charm.
Needless to say, once we started growing cannabis on the ridge, interest in that area skyrocketed, as residents from across the Havens made the journey up the hill to see what the crazy Amazons were growing now.
Other sims within the Havens have started their own cannabis farms, and the Amazons regularly trade with and support growers in those lands. In the future, we hope to help establish gardens in each of five sims, featuring varieties which reflect the unique character and personality of that particular land. In Starhaven, we are hoping to experiment a bit with placing different effects on some of the “heirloom” varieties, and focus our energy on growing dwarves and giants of our favorite strains.
We are also hoping to create notecards that describe the role-play therapeutic effects and various uses of the varieties of cannabis we grow…again, in hope of enhancing the roleplay experience in The Havens.
In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to all of the wonderful members of the CannabiSL community who have helped make this such a fun and rewarding experience. I have chatted with many of your personally about how much you have meant to us, and please know that my words came from the heart. It has been an amazing first few months, and we hope that some great times lay down the road.
Link to the Havens Visitor Hub: