It’s 7.30pm on Saturday night and David Bernard-Perron, VP of Growing Operations, is on his way to the Ancaster greenhouse.
Tonight, he’s planning to fog some plants, add a little fertilizer to the grow, and get everything ready for the harvest on Monday. It’s a typical weekend activity for David, and we used this time to ask him a few things about The Green Organic Dutchman, cannabis, and organic growing.
TGOD: How long have you been growing cannabis?
David: I’ve been growing cannabis under the Health Canada system for over seven years now.
That’s not a long time in terms of the legal world, but considering Health Canada only issued its first commercial cannabis cultivation licence seven years ago, that’s about as much official experience as you can have in this legal industry.
What makes growing in the TGOD greenhouse so special?
We were fortunate to be able to build from scratch using only the latest technology and innovations. The result is a greenhouse where we have what every grower, no matter the crop, dreams of – absolute control over the environment.
We control everything from the lighting to the humidity to the temperature. For example, we are able to use natural sunlight, but can supplement that with LED lighting as needed.
Many greenhouses will employ some of these innovations, but TGOD is unique in bringing it all together on one site. It allows us to get the best out of our genetics with every crop.
In 10 words or less, why should cannabis be grown in living soil?
It’s cannabis’ natural evolutionary environment, and where it thrives best.
How do you choose which strains to grow?
It’s a combination of factors. We have our own breeding program where we focus on selecting and breeding strains that are well adaptive to our greenhouse climate, conditions, and organic process as this creates the highest quality product.
We’re also always hunting for new strains, and when we find something we’re excited about and want to share, we’ll grow that. Of course, we’re also receptive to current market influences, so we keep an eye on trends and what people are looking for in their cannabis.
What’s the biggest challenge to growing organically?
It’s not necessarily a challenge, but growing organically adds an additional layer of complexity, and requires the knowledge and skills to deal with that. You really have to know plant science and microbiology to grow organically, and to problem solve in organic ways.
Once you get into the habit of thinking and operating in an organic way, this approach becomes the norm and it just gets more interesting and exciting. Growing organically, it’s not about what we can’t use and can’t do, it’s about all those little extra things that we’re doing because we’re developing organic solutions. That is really exciting and it results in an even better final user experience.
What’s the biggest thing you’re excited for this fall?
I’m really excited to share some new strains we’ve been working on for a long time. We’ve had some absolutely unbelievable results come back from our initial tests in terms of THC levels and terpene profiles, and the aesthetic of these strains is unreal.
We’ve also been working with new approaches for organic growing that genuinely that I’m really excited about. We’re playing our cards close to our chest for now, but I can’t wait to be able to share the results with customers in the upcoming months.
Do you have a favourite cannabis aroma or terpene profile?
There are lot of incredible aromas out there, but I think my favourite would be any instance when two opposing aromas occur within the same strain. For example, there are some strains that have a strong fuel smell, which reminds me of some of the first strains I grew when I first started on the West Coast, but also emit ripe fruit aromas for a strange but awesome fusion of scents.
Many times I’ll smell something new and interesting and that becomes the new flavour of the month. It’s hard to pick just one.
What’s your favourite strain in the greenhouse right now?
One of our newest strains we have harvested recently is incredible. It smells so strongly of melon, rosewood, and fruit that it barely smells like cannabis at all. It grows beautifully, with an immense amount of trichomes and vigorous flowering.
It’s one of the new strains we are yet to name and announce, but I can’t wait to share it with everyone when we do. Watch this space.
The Green Organic Dutchman is committed to providing premium cannabis grown organically in living soil.
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