"I was reminded, again, why we grow cannabis in soil if the choice is there: The taste is so damn good. I vaporize, not combust, so I can say damn in a cannabis column.
Let’s say you were alone on a desert island and not trying to supply the world with supply. If you had all the stuff you needed to construct and operate a primo hydro system as well as all the things you need to grow in soil, is there any doubt as to which system you would use to grow your cannabis?
Taste is, of course, a key reason. You probably don’t need me to list the others. Of utmost importance to me, and hopefully you, is the ability to grow organically. I use the small “o” because I know Jeff Session would arrest the USDA if they allowed for Organic certification for cannabis, but you know what the heck I am talking about.
Our industry uses “Clean Green” and other forms of acknowledgment that growing without chemicals is a different and desired thing. I think if I put you back on that island and asked you what you would rather ingest, organically grown or conventional hydro, the answer would in all cases be the former.
So, why are so many cannabis grows, stuck in deserts throughout, say Denver or Boulder choosing to grow their cannabis using a soilless system instead of using soil? Since there is no denying that there is a profit motive in the industry, the answer is pretty clear. It costs less to produce what is essentially the same product, at least to many people.
Now, aside from the fact that growing cheaper cannabis rubs me, a liberal kinda guy of advanced age, the wrong way as it sort of sounds like big, corporate greed over the collective and individual health which is not supposed to be what this industry is all about, it implies that growing in soil is too expensive. It isn’t. This is a myth. Not only can you make a profit selling organic, indoor grown cannabis, you can make a damn nice profit off it.
The prime example in Colorado and probably the country is the operation run by Rudy Ellenbogen and his dedicated crew at Verde Natural. This 25,000 sq foot facility is all the proof you need to understand growing indoors with great soils and organic nutrients is the way to go. You don’t even need to taste the product to know.
I am not going to reveal numbers, but you can trust me, the numbers work just fine. The added benefits are the happiest workers I have ever seen. This might have something to do with that bacterium in soil that improves mood, but just as probable is the feeling that they are farmers and not chemists. They are fighting the Monsanto types, not supporting them with purchases of hydroproducts. And the cannabis they are producing is unbeatable when it comes to taste.
Let’s hope that as more and more states become legal, that more and more indoor growers will come to understand that growing in soil is not only possible but preferable. They better. As newer and additive hydro facilities get larger and larger, the current business model for smaller facilities fails. Great taste, however, differentiates and protects smaller facilities. Soil growing is the very best way to gain this protection and maintain a profit.
It’s not like Rudy Ellenbogen and his crew won’t help. Having succeeded in their dreams, they are ready to help others duplicate their system. It would be a damn good idea. Oh, oh. There I go again with the damn..."
by Jeff Lowenfels
Photo credit: Jon Tyson