Flowers are generally what most Northwesterners associate with “Skagit Valley”. The endless fields of colorful tulips mix with various farmlands that stretch across the horizon. Facing west gives a view of Skagit River with the bay behind it. On a clear day look northeast to the foothills to see Mt Baker framed in a valley. In the middle lies a ~100-year-old barn that looks as sturdy and classic as the day it was built. This barn based operation is making a strong case for Skagit Valley to be famous for another type of flower-cannabis.
Freya Farm is taking the right steps to become a cannabis landmark. The multigeneration family owned acreage is farmland and barn to the untrained eye, but to cofounder & creator Erik it is a landscape with an incredible vision. Speaking with Erik, we learn that he is a trained mechanical contractor and designed the systems himself. In case you’re not familiar, mechanical contractors engage in plumbing, piping, heating, refrigeration and air conditioning work. Mechanical systems in a cannabis grow operation are critically important to control temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, water & nutrient flow, and other small factors that can make or break a harvest. The Novel Tree pushes a hyper competitive quality-based market so having a well-designed and operating mechanical system is even more important to assure peak quality. Every little detail counts for that perfect final bud that cannabis connoisseurs like ourselves are looking for. Erik gave us a tour of the systems they designed and implemented which were all very carefully thought out and well built. Without exposing their secret sauce, they have great control over their various elements of their isolated grow environments for various cycles of plant development. The best farms we have seen each have their own styles of doing this, and Freya Farms is particularly well-done.
Chris and Matthew are Erik’s partners as co-founders and owner-operators. Chris is the man from Oaksterdam, a famous cannabis college located on Telegraph Ave in Oakland, California. This is a hot spot for cannabis knowledge sharing. They operate as a university, offering classes coverings topics such as business, horticulture, law, sciences, history, and culinary arts. Chris brings a ton of knowledge to the grow at Freya Farm and is credited with rescuing from oblivion and naming Freya's delicious XJ-13 strain. Matthew has been around cannabis cultivation as far back as he can remember his hippie parents began growing in the early '70s. He is an all-hats leader with a background in operating a design/build firm. He played a crucial role getting all phases of the project designed and built and is our main point of contact for Freya Farm. Together they manage a team of awesome folks, equally passionate about cannabis. Vibes around the shop were all positive and you could tell the people enjoyed being at work in the barn.
Not only are we inspecting the grow operation systems, but we are also evaluating the ganja buds! Freya Farm had impressive cannabis for us to check out in various stages of development, from clones to finished buds and extractions. All plants looked vibrant and healthy. The dry and cure process is done patiently in a climatized room, hung right for maximum flavor. The mother’s room had excellent and unique variety including Purple Haze, Acapulco Gold, LA Confidential, plus many more.
Generally, we want the flowering room(s) to be the highlight of the tour. This is the place where you truly observe how the plants express themselves in the grow environment they’re in. Other phases are obviously important, but there’s just nothing like being in a grow room surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of gorgeous cannabis flowers. Looking across a sea of chunky dense colas at the Freya Farm flowering room brought us a feeling of joy-very healthy plants supporting large, heavy buds with tremendous trichome development. Walking through the garden, we noticed more unique strains not currently offered by anyone else. Erik pointed out a small lot of a strain recently developed by Crocket Family Farms, one of most respected cannabis breeders in the indurstry. We are excited to see many exclusive offerings from Freya Farm including Strawberry Banana and Tangie cuts. They were both featured in High Times this month as inducting Crocket Family Farms into the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame.
Freya Farm has a very bright future in cannabis cultivation and we’re excited to welcome them to the family of Novel Tree partners.