Alternate Methods

Course Curriculum

In this course, we explore outdoor farming and greenhouses as alternate ways to grow cannabis. First, we talk about farming infrastructure and the unique challenges it presents. Outdoor cannabis cultivation operations can only adapt to nature, not control it. This course explores how this fact creates additional pressures for outdoor cannabis farmers and how those pressures influence every decision a farmer must make when setting up a new outdoor cannabis farm. We outline the key factors you should investigate when researching a potential site — questions about the climate, the soil, the water source, and the infrastructure in place. Then, we discuss the ways in which your site influences almost every decision you make, from crop cycle timing to field layout and day-to-day plant care practices. We also review ways in which farm equipment and advanced fertigation systems can improve the efficiency of your outdoor operation.

Then, we move on to greenhouses. Greenhouse cultivation can be a very successful approach to growing high-quality cannabis, but this production methodology has some potential drawbacks. In this class, we’ll first explore some of the pros and cons of greenhouse growing and examine some of the most commonly used greenhouse structures and the different kinds of covering or glazing applied to the structure’s exterior. Then, we examine various strategies for maintaining optimal growing conditions in a greenhouse setting. Finally, we take a brief look at some cultivation techniques used in greenhouses and explore how they differ from the techniques of other methodologies.

About Our Self-Paced Electives

Self-Paced Programs are asynchronous, meaning you may log on and complete the courses anytime, anywhere that is convenient for you. You can access the course online as soon as you enroll.

Programs consist of reading materials developed by our expert faculty, accompanied by videos, texts, and recommended resources.

All self-paced programs include live links to a wealth of information that allow you to dig deeper into subjects of particular interest.

Each program also includes a Virtual Video and Resource Library with corresponding recorded lectures from our faculty.

Self-paced students receive access to virtual field trips, grow labs, the Oaksterdam Alumni Network, and more.

Completion of all requirements results in OU certification.

Alternate Methods


When many people consider growing cannabis, they think of indoor operations where most aspects of the environment can be highly controlled. Yet, there are other ways to grow that can be more environmentally sustainable, as well as extremely satisfying. In this self-paced virtual course, we explore everything you need to know about outdoor farming and greenhouses and the unique challenges they present.


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