Episode 11: Kootenay Craft Cannabis

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GROWING EXPOSED EPISODE 11: Kootenay Craft Cannabis:

Everyone is familiar with Craft Beer. Craft Breweries create specialty brews in limited numbers and are consumed with the intent of enjoyment; their bold artistic designs and unique aromatic and flavour palettes create an experience in a bottle. But, this show is about cannabis, and with recreational legalization happening in Canada in the year of 2018, growers are putting their green thumbs into the fine art of Craft Cannabis cultivation.

Season 1 Episode 11

In this episode 

This episode, we take you to beautiful British Columbia, Canada, right in the heart of the Kootenays. Since the early 70’s, this pristine, snow-capped mountainous region has been a key player in Canada’s billion dollar Cannabis industry. Resident of Nelson, BC, and host of our Garden Sage segments, David Robinson takes on the title of Garden Tour Guide and shows you around two beautiful craft gardens, while giving some valuable tips about hydroponics retail and the secrets behind breeding cannabis.

If you want to grow in an area with an annual winter snowfall averaging almost 6 feet, you will need a pretty good shelter for your plants; particularly a highly insulated building, like our first garden. In this garden, David shows us around the mother and propagation rooms. Taking control of your destiny in your garden and managing your own genetics is one of the most powerful ways to avoid purchasing “problems”. A lot of times, when gardeners take cuttings from other gardeners, they also receive unintended guests such as disease, pathogens, and pests. By keeping rooms that strictly house “mother” plants, we can keep them in good health, and be responsible for our genetics.

As a cannabis consumer, you have breeders such as Greenhouse Seeds to thank for all the varieties you have to choose from. Controlling our genetics allows us to guide nature and create new strains, such as more potent cannabis for medicinal uses, hybrid strains, or phenotypes high in CBD; there are so many possibilities at your disposal when you take genetics seriously.

Healthy mothers provide high quality and consistent genetics through cloning. Cloning is done by trimming a tiny shoot off the mother plant. The cuttings are soaked in a rooting hormone to encourage rooting and are placed in rockwool medium inside a clone tray. Once all clones are safely secure inside the cloning tray, the lid is placed over them, the vents closed, and they are put in a high-humidity environment where they will root for 7-14 days until they are ready for transplantation into the vegetating room.

In the veg room, this grower uses a perlite mix to avoid over-watering. The run-off allows the grower to easily test the pH and ppm so they can figure out the exact amount of nutrients they need to be fed. This grower uses double ended 750 Gavita light kits running at 700 watts in both the vegetative room and the flower room. The flower room is kept air conditioned and plants are given ambient CO2 through a fan.

Just like craft beer, craft cannabis is grown in small batches, with the maximum amount of love poured over each plant. Cultivating boutique flower is an art form and there are no shortcuts. Let’s join David as he explains some of the methods this craft grower uses to grow colas that dwarf any “craft beer can”.

Cut the plants down to 1 foot tall, switch the light cycle to 12/12, and this is what you get, a sea of massive colas bigger than beer cans. Every plant will eat about 400 ppm each irrigation cycle. When you check your run-off, you really get to know your plants and take them to the next level. Unfortunately, not everyone does this. Instead of expecting your plants to conform to a feeding schedule, you are reading your plants and intelligently reacting. By just checking run-off, this grower can take his garden to a maximum level of performance.

Before we head into another grow room in British Columbia, lets go visit a town in the Kootenay’s called Nelson. Full of outdoor adventure, artists, heritage buildings and more, Nelson is home to a hydroponics store called Pacific Northwest Garden Supply.
This is a special store, because when David Robinson is not in the garden, this is where you will find him. David opened PNW Garden Supply Nelson in 2003. David puts his passion for growing into every aspect of his life. He is a born teacher and his life’s work consists of helping others. Now let’s head inside in industry as we get an exclusive look into the world of hydroponic retail.

Cut the plants down to 1 foot tall, switch the light cycle to 12/12, and this is what you get, a sea of massive colas bigger than beer cans. Every plant will eat about 400 ppm each irrigation cycle. When you check your run-off, you really get to know your plants and take them to the next level. Unfortunately, not everyone does this. Instead of expecting your plants to conform to a feeding schedule, you are reading your plants and intelligently reacting. By just checking run-off, this grower can take his garden to a maximum level of performance.

Before we head into another grow room in British Columbia, lets go visit a town in the Kootenay’s called Nelson. Full of outdoor adventure, artists, heritage buildings and more, Nelson is home to a hydroponics store called Pacific Northwest Garden Supply.
This is a special store, because when David Robinson is not in the garden, this is where you will find him. David opened PNW Garden Supply Nelson in 2003. David puts his passion for growing into every aspect of his life. He is a born teacher and his life’s work consists of helping others. Now let’s head inside in industry as we get an exclusive look into the world of hydroponic retail.

Customer service is extremely important to David. When you walk into PNW Nelson, they offer you a beverage; coffee, tea, V8; whatever you prefer. You are a guest in their store and they want you to feel welcome and valued. As always, the customer comes first. But shopping for growing equipment in a hydroponics store isn’t always easy. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can end up spending a lot of money going in the wrong direction.

The staff’s knowledge of the workings of gardens and various systems, electrical, growing is top-notch. So much in fact, growers will bring samples from their gardens to help diagnose problems they’re having, whether it be pests or nutrient deficiencies and seek advice on the direction they should take to combat these issues. Even if you’re looking for extractions, they sell equipment for that. This tight-knit community is supportive of one another in their efforts, and the insight the staff at PNW Garden Supply is valuable to growers. If you ever have questions about growing, feel free to stop by a hydroponics shop and ask their friendly staff any growing-related questions you have. Forming a relationship with your hydroponics retailer can make all the difference in the turnout of your crop.

It’s time to head back to the flower room, as we visit a grow room loaded with strains like Girl Scout cookies, Rockstar and Pink Kush. Here, David explains the mechanical system that allows growers to run 2 sets of lights off 1 set of ballasts. This classic system, called a flip flop, turns off the lights in one room for 12 hours, while automatically flipping another one on for the remaining 12 hours of the day, making full use of the power that is available.

In this episode of Growing Exposed, we learned about the art of cultivating craft cannabis, the behind the scenes of hydroponics retail, the flip flop system and how all the strains you love are born. For more Growing Exposed, and for behind-the-scenes, tune in at GrowingExposed.com and make sure to follow Growing Exposed on Facebook and Instagram.

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