Grower Interview #1 - Chris
Grower | Oregon
Name: Chris/Emerald Fields
What state do you work in?: Oregon
How long have you been working in a legal grow? 8 years
Do you grow Retail or Medical Cannabis?: Medical
How long have you been in the industry and growing?: I've been in the industry to some degree for over 15 years, growing for 7 years.
How did you go about getting into legally growing cannabis?: I have a family member, Liberty Gardens, that is a medical grower. As he started to grow he needed help. I helped for a year before I decided to venture out on my own.
How did you react to your first day working? Was it mind blowing?: To me it was hard. I had spent so much time hiding what I did from society. I've definitely operated in the black market before there was a legal outlet. It took me a while to get used to the transparency.
What does an average day look like in the grow? What are your tasks?: I have my gardens operating as automatic as I can. That means an average day is checking on my nutrient revisers, adjusting those as needed, checking each plant to make sure it's at its optimal health, removing any fallen leaves, pruning, and cleaning. There's also days where I need to make nutrients and take cuttings for clones.
What makes your grow more special than others?: I don't think my grow is any more special than any other. What sets me apart as a grower is my dedication the the quality of my product and the passion I have for my plants. I prefer a quality over quantity approach and you'll see that in my product.
What is your opinion on nutrients and pesticides? Are there any major misconceptions that you would like to answer?: I prefer a synthetic nutrient regimen. If done properly there's no residuals and you'd have a tough time trying to distinguish between my flower or someone else's organic flower. I actually mix my own nutrients. I buy the basic 'magic' ingredients you'll find in the most popular brands in bulk and mix them myself. It saves me tens of thousands of dollars a year this way, I know exactly what I'm putting into my plants, and I have full control over what strength the nutrients are. I really don't have much to say about pesticides. We've all used them at some point. I work very hard to maintain a garden that doesn't promote pests. I do have a very safe and effective method for dealing with pests should the need arise. I can't divulge that information here, though. Its my secret.
Do you have an all time favorite strain? If so, why is it your favorite?: I really enjoy Cecil Kush (Green Crack). It's a great medicine for many different things, it's a very forgiving plant, and she's a very good yielding strain. She has great genetics and the smell/taste are incredible
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into the cannabis industry?: Do your book work. Read about cannabis. Research all things cannabis. Know your cannabis. Show your passions for the plant and industry. Be honest and transparent. Ask questions to those around you already in the industry. Start somewhere, like trimming, just to get your foot in the door, but most importantly is don't give up. I had to work very hard, take scary risks, and sacrifice much to get where I am today and I never gave up.
The cannabis industry is new and obviously has a lot of improving to do. Where would you like to see improvement in the industry?: I would like to see a lot more research and development happen. We've been using many of the same techniques and methods for decades. I would love to see more growers growing in a more sustainable way without having to give up yield or quality.
How well do you see the difference in Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica strains when growing? Please explain.: I see the differences immediately. Sativas and Indicas grow so differently. The plant structure is noticeable right away. Same goes for the hybrids. It all depends on the dominate genetics, though.
Any advice for recreational growers? What would be a good start up set?: No advice really. I feel like we'll see a lot of the medical growers also enter the recreational market. A good set up is anything you can afford. You can always upgrade.
What’s the largest amount of flower you have harvested in one day?: Hmmm...72 ounces.
Where do you see the cannabis industry in 5 years? Booming! As more and more states approve medical use and outright legalization the industry will obviously grow. I see the Federal Government possibly realizing that it's time for common sense. I see a market where states will be able to do commerce with other states regarding cannabis.
Do you use cannabis more so Medically or Recreationally? Explain please.: I started using recreationally but ended up with nerve damage from an auto accident so I Have been using medically for 17 years now and it's a miracle drug for my condition.
Have any hobbies? Any examples you would like to share?: I make a living by doing my hobby.
What are you most grateful for today?: My son. Without him I'd have no reason to work so hard and be the gentle father I am.