Season 3 Episode 13
by Jeremy Deichen
The Intersection of Cannabis Cultivation and Salmon Fishing in Sooke, at BC Cannabis
The beautiful coastal waters of Sooke, British Columbia, are known for their world-famous salmon fishing. However, there is another thriving industry in the region that is just as fascinating – cannabis cultivation. In this episode, we will explore the intersection of these two industries and take a closer look at the micro-cultivation facility, BC Cannabis Inc., and its legendary grower, Albert Eppinga. We will also learn about the challenges Albert faced when transitioning from the black market to the legal market and the secrets of his Super Tight Garden.
As I embarked on my journey to Sooke, British Columbia, I had two main goals in mind: to experience the world-famous BC salmon fishing and to explore the thriving BC cannabis cultivation industry. As I arrived in Sooke, I was immediately struck by the natural beauty of the coastal waters. The blue-green hues of the ocean were mesmerizing, and I couldn’t wait to cast my line and see what kind of fish I could catch.
Exploring BC Cannabis Inc. and its Legendary Grower, Albert Eppinga:
Later, I visited BC Cannabis Inc., a micro-cultivation facility that was renowned for its high-quality cannabis strains. I was introduced to Albert Eppinga, the legendary grower who had spent years perfecting his craft. Albert had grown up on the island of Haida Gwaii, where fishing had been a way of life for centuries. He had started growing cannabis in the black market but made the difficult transition into the legal business.
Overcoming Challenges of Transitioning from the Black Market to the Legal Market:
Albert’s journey from the black market to the legal market was not an easy one. He had to navigate numerous rules and regulations and had no experience running a high-tech enterprise. However, with the help of Shaye Donald, a design consultant at Hawthorne Garden Company, he was able to overcome these challenges.
Overcoming Challenges with Efficient Design by Hawthorne Garden Company:
Hawthorne Garden Company is a team of experts in efficient growing methods. They design everything from lighting, benches, irrigation, and fertilization to maximize every square inch of cultivation spaces. One of the challenges at Albert’s BC Cannabis was the limited space available. They had to be innovative and efficient with their design, taking into consideration airflow, lighting, and other factors.
One of the essential elements in the efficient cultivation of cannabis is water. At Albert’s BC Cannabis, there was no municipal water or well available, so the team had to rely on water delivered by a truck. They had to be efficient in their water use, which is where Grodan Rockwool came in handy. Grodan Rockwool has a great air to water ratio, which is useful when doing drain to waste. This method minimizes the potential of pathogens in the room.
According to Shaye, Grodan Rockwool is like a race car. It’s high performance but can be easy to crash. However, with the right practices, the results can be like a Formula One driver. At Albert’s at BC Cannabis, redundancy was in mind right from the start. Two pumps were installed, one for each room, with a bypass. In case one pump fails, turning a couple of ball valves ensures that water is still supplied to either room.
The design at Albert’s at BC Cannabis allowed for different zones with different irrigation lines, depending on the needs of the plants. This is useful in ensuring that each plant receives the right amount of nutrients and water. The design was also plug and play, making it simple to operate.
As I reflected on my journey, I was struck by the intersection of these two seemingly unrelated industries. The art and science behind efficient cannabis cultivation were fascinating, and the beauty of the coastal waters was awe-inspiring. The journey had been an enlightening one, and I left Sooke with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty and entrepreneurial spirit of the region.
Growing Exposed is an online series and online platform that documents the world of cannabis cultivation. It explores the art and science behind growing cannabis, featuring growers from all over the world and their unique approaches to cultivating the plant. The series also delves into the challenges and successes of transitioning from the black market to the legal market, as well as the innovative technologies, products and methods used in the industry.