Last week The Novel Tree team got the opportunity to go on a tour of the Rootworx farm. We got an early start, and drove down to the southwestern tip of the Puget Sound to visit their state of the art facility. This was our very first tour and we didn’t quite know what to expect.
There it was, at the end of a dirt road, a warehouse-looking building, with a few cars parked outside. You would never guess this was a “growhouse”, but we saw the Rootworx logo by the door and knew we were in the right spot. After a couple of knocks, the door opened and we were ushered in, our eyes growing with excitement as we were about to learn the secrets of this weed growing operation.
We were greeted by Ryan and his team, everyone made us feel totally at ease. Ryan is one of the owners and him and his family have been growing marijuana for generations. While Ryan brings his extensive grower expertise, Paul – the other half of this operation – brings the science, planning and process that provides high quality product consistently. Together with Anna, their first employee and “computer geek ninja mechanic”, they run a grade-A operation.
Rootworx products can currently be found in 18 stores, and they consistently turn out product every two weeks. They have four grow rooms, but are currently using less than half of the grow space that is allotted by the state. They have 13-16 strains going at any time, and more than 130 in their seed bank. Ryan is a captivating story teller and we often lost track of time as he was telling us the various interesting ways he acquired some of his strains and seeds.
It is highly apparent that Ryan and his staff know what they are doing. As we entered the first grow room, we were greeted by a sea of plants, all organized in rows. Ryan encouraged us to touch and smell the plants as he described the grow process in detail. We were impressed with Ryan’s vast amount of knowledge, answering each and every one of our questions with ease. What really stood out about their grow rooms were the energy efficient rocket plasma lights, which are the most efficient in the world. Not only do they reduce the energy required to light the grow rooms, but also produce less heat reducing cooling costs.
We went in and out of various rooms, all with different purposes, housing plants that were at different stages in the grow process. Ryan described in great detail the constant care that goes into the plants. Whether it is the special soil they order, or the custom blend of nutrients that Ryan developed, it is a full time job tending to the farm. Also, they are focused on using natural products to fight pests, and take pride in the fact that their products are organic. Even though THC levels get tested for consistency, the Rootworx growers also evaluate plants on taste and yield. All though they have the option to get automated watering systems, Ryan and his team like to take the time to water each plant by hand. This ensures that each plant is constantly looked at and they have a good gauge on their product at all times. Each room was organized and managed down to every detail. Ryan also made a point to let us know that they price their product fairly, because their mission is to provide the best quality cannabis at a fair price.
The same care that goes into the plant, is reflected in all other aspects of the business. It was important to both Ryan and Paul to offer their employees full health benefits and the team seemed very happy and comfortable working together. Their facility produces zero water waste and they are testing a watering system that reduces over watering and water loss due to evaporation. Their facility could quite possibly be the “greenest” in the industry.
After more than two hours, the tour sadly came to an end. We could have easily taken the whole day to listen to Ryan. It was apparent to all of us that Rootworx is dedicated to creating excellent product while being fair to their customers, and staff. They are looking to expand in the coming year, and we are so excited to see what is in store. We love working with companies that share our love for cannabis and have an overall mission to deliver a great product and do good in the world. Ryan set the farm tour bar very high and we can’t wait for the next time we get to hear his stories!