It starts with popping multiple seeds of a single strain. From day one, we record variables in the plants and begin to cull phenotypes that do not meet our specs. Further down the plant's life cycle, potentially winning phenotypes are graded for their aroma, flavour, and general bag appeal. Our entire team contributes to this process, and everyone has an important part to play in the development and selection of each of the OGEN phenotypes you see in the market today.
Marley and her team oversee all the OGEN mother plants, each mom has roughly a 6-month lifespan. Though there are a few different cultivars in our mother room, they each have strain-specific processes and feed. There are multiple mothers per strain all at different stages in their life cycle, this ensures each mother plant is able to be cloned healthily, while also having the necessary time for revitalization between each lot!
Once the clones have been taken from the mother plants, Megan's team begins by transplanting them into a deep-water culture (DWC) system where pH and other metrics are closely monitored on a daily basis. Clones are rotated regularly to promote good light distribution and have roughly 5-10-inch-long-roots by the end of the ~21day cycle.
Directly from the DWC system, our veg virtuoso Riley and his crew transplants each clone directly into a 6x6 rockwool block where the plant will live until it is harvested. During this phase, the team works diligently to train the structure of the plant to promote an even canopy height for consistent bud development later on. This is roughly a 14–21-day cycle depending on the strain, the room environment in our veg rooms emulates the light cycles from springtime.
Flower rooms feature a single cultivar - each environment and process from the veg stage onward is continually specialized for each of our phenotypes. Moody, our flower wizard, coordinates with his teams to perform defoliations regularly, which promote a clean environment and lots of light penetration to develop consistent buds.
Harvest time comes after a minimum of a 14-day flush, the anticipation of the latest lot is electric feeling for all our teams! Carson's team then carefully cuts away the supportive trellis before each plant is cut down, weighed before being placed under a covered rolling rack to journey to the dry rooms. The whole plant weight or “wet weight” is tracked to give us a baseline metric to compare weight post-dry!
Carson takes the racks of harvested plants and hang the whole plant in our dry rooms for 10-14 days. During this time about 75% of the plants weight is removed through water loss, the room is kept at a cool temperature to help preserve the terpenes while the plant is dried.
After a stint in the dry room, the cultivar enters the cure stage - the whole of the plant is bucked down into smaller sizes and placed into our cure containers. These are monitored for relative humidity (RH), temperature, water activity and moisture percentage, and burped, daily. Burping is a process that allows oxygen to replenish the environment while allowing moisture and CO2 to escape during the curing.
All OGEN buds are hand-trimmed, no machines or automation is used ever! Each of our expert trimmers hold all of our strains by the stalk to ensure they don’t touch the actual bud itself. This handling process, including a lowered room temperature is all to help preserve the quality of the bud that was solidified in the cure stage.
Every OGEN is container is hand processed, by using tongs and forceps, we reduce the handling of the nug – hands are warm and can severely impact the quality of the bud if not handled properly. This can have a huge effect on bag appeal which is a big focus for the packaging team.
Our irrigation and environmental team have a number of monitoring and control systems that are consistently tracking and checking on the status of our plants. Each genetic we grow has a specifically formulated growth parameter recipe in order to push our strains to their fullest potential. Focus is placed on differing irrigation strategies, a variety of light spectra exposure, CO2 levels, precise temperature, and humidity controls, and introducing various products that elevate our plants health.
Our facility was built in two phases to the highest production quality grade we know how – sanitation and proper maintenance are imperative to our process. When it comes to growing a consistent quality product, clean and safe environments are a must!
The average production life cycle of cannabis from clone to shelf is roughly 6 months – that means we need to plan about half a year in advance to coordinate new products in market. Between multiple strains, grow rooms and provinces, it takes a lot of planning to coordinate the whole process from start to finish. Elvin and Denis are the logistical minds of OGENs planning and make sure we’re growing what you want and shipping it to where you can get it!
We strive to always improve our processes in a way that pushes the industry forward by finding new and better ways to do things! Our supervisors and leads are part of the Process Improvement Committee or as we call them, the PIC team!
Each of them are a specialists in their stages of production and by all coming together, we make educated decisions that cascade throughout our entire production process.
It's usual for us to have around 30 different experiments going on at once! Each using intensive data and benchmarking to show us if our hypothesis' are correct or if we need to take the idea back to the drawing board.
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