4 in 20: Meet 4 Shelter Craft Collective Growers in 20 questions
Welcome to our new Shelter Market blog series, 4 in 20. One of the best things about craft cannabis, other than the exceptional quality of the bud, is the people behind the plant. For our inaugural post, we sent out questionnaires to four growers from our Craft Collective and distilled down their top 20 answers. Read on to learn more about the folks producing your favourite flower.
1. What was the first cultivar you grew?
Hearst Organic: BC Skunk #1, grew one plant in my kitchen.
2. What is your background in growing cannabis?
Hearst Organic: I’ve been growing cannabis my whole life for self-consumption.
3. What is your preferred consumption method?
Organnicraft: Smoking J’s.
4. What is a standout cannabis experience for you?
Prairie Grass: Every year we celebrate Valentine's day together as a family, this also happens to be the day we received our cultivation and processing licence! The boys cook us a delicious dinner and the ladies all observe with joints in hand! For some reason, forks are replaced with fingers, and cooking with cannabis enhances alllll the flavours!
5. What is your favourite cultivar to grow and/or consume?
Prairie Grass: We have been experimenting with cultivars that provide an uplifting and creative experience. Right now a favourite of ours is Subcool’s Strawberry Daiquiri! It tastes like a bowl of fresh strawberries and leaves you with an uplifting experience and enough energy to clean the house, have a workout AND bake a batch of bread!
6. Why do you grow cannabis?
Verte West: It started with seeing the benefit the flower was having with medical patients (that were very close to me). This was definitely the driving factor that convinced me to continue in this industry. Today I get to enjoy the benefit the flower has for myself, from being a tired parent of two crazy kids.
7. Do you wet or dry trim, and why?
Hearst Organic: Dry trim, to better capture the terpenes from the plant.
8. What growing method do you use, and why?
Organnicraft: Soil, it’s what I know and it's the most resilient.
9. Do you use organic or non-organic inputs, and why?
Organnicraft: Both, as there are benefits to both types of inputs.
10. How do you judge the quality of your plants?
Organnicraft: Colour, vitality, smell.
11. What drying method do you use, and why?
Prairie Grass: Whole plant hang dry. We believe this leads to better terpene profiles and a slower more controlled dry which preserves moisture in the bud and leads to a tastier end product!
12. What advice can you share with home gardeners who are new to growing cannabis?
Prairie Grass: Do your research on an easy to execute nutrient program and try to plan for a time of year that you can cultivate outdoors. Soil is much more forgiving than a potted plant!
13. Where do you grow your plants, and why?
Verte West: Indoor: having complete control of my climate lets me sleep good at night.
14. What do you use for starting material, and why?
Verte West: We usually start with seeds and will clone off the “best” genetics. We have also used tissue culture when ordering genetics from other companies.
15. What advice can you share with people looking to transition to or start in the legal market?
Hearst Organic: Plan carefully and try to work with what you have.
16. What has been your biggest challenge/failure when growing cannabis?
Organnicraft: The ups and downs of the legacy market, and the shift from legacy to legit. Doing the same thing (growing) that I have always done but in a new challenging way.
17. Without giving away your secret sauce, what growing techniques set you apart?
Prairie Grass: Most importantly, we have Mom sprinkle her love on the plants! We have an incredibly dedicated cultivation team that understands that the smallest details matter! We truly pour our lives into caring for our plants and the process. Our growing methods stem from our farming background and the experience that we have taken from four generations of farming on a large scale. You learn from every mistake and improve because of them, attention to detail is key in the process and being able to identify improvements and perform plant care with purpose is something all of our team members strive for. On the farm we don’t have the ability to control our environment and growing indoors has given us the ability to provide our plants exactly what they need to thrive, their success is dependent on our actions and we take this responsibility in earnest! If you’re listening, plants have something to teach all of us and we are here to learn!
18. What has been the highlight of your career as a licensed grower so far?
Verte West: Having an empty vault. LOL!
19. What is a misconception people have about growing cannabis?
Verte West: That growing fire is easy. It takes a repeatable day in day out process, with incremental improvements - that seem to last a lifetime.
20. What is the legal cannabis industry getting right, and what would you love to see as the industry matures?
Verte West: I think the safety of the products in the market is great. Hopefully, in the future, the industry loosens up on some restrictions and gets the price of cannabis to retail lower.
Featured Craft Cannabis Cultivators
Hearst Organic is located in the small French community of Hearst in Northern Ontario. The greenhouse and shop are the province’s first micro-cultivation site and are built around the priority of doing things right, and bringing true craft cannabis to Canadians in small batches. Their promise is to strive for quality over quantity.
Today’s answers were provided by grower Joel Lacelle.
See Hearst Organic products on Shelter Market.
Organnicraft is a craft cultivation facility located just outside Vernon, British Columbia, and is staffed with some of the most experienced legacy market individuals in the Okanagan Valley. They produce a mix of high-end California Exotics and a few BC staples brought in from the legacy market, allowing for premium cannabis and large yields in small-batch rooms. Within the facility, every task is carried out with strategy and passion leading to white ash, tremendous amounts of resin, insane total terpenes, and high THC.
Today’s answers were provided by grower Chris Cagnoni.
See Organnicraft products on Shelter Market.
Prairie Grass is a family-owned and operated craft cultivation facility located in Southern Alberta. This passionate team combines four generations of farming experience with the co-founders’ medical backgrounds in pharmacy and nursing to create products that support patients and showcase the unique properties of the plant.
Today’s answers were provided by growers Olivia Penner and Rebecca Thomson.
See Prairie Grass products on Shelter Market.
Verte West is a small-scale cannabis producer on Vancouver Island. The team comes from the legacy market, and have brought their experience and passion to the new legal cannabis world in Canada. Verte West focuses on unique tall plants with flavour profiles that require attention, and sometimes longer growing times that other growers may shy away from. Their goal is to consistently produce high quality craft cannabis by hang drying, hand trimming, and employing local help. Verte West is self-funded, locally owned and operated. They don't have a board or fancy VP's, just a band of brothers focusing on growing great cannabis. Today’s answers were provided by grower Tyler Hass.
See Verte West products on Shelter Market.
Editor’s note: Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Check out our craft cannabis forecast and the other growers in our Craft Collective.