Garden First is one of those cool second-wave cannabis companies that was born out of firsthand experience with the shortcomings of the first wave. Weed has evolved, and so the processes to cultivate it have to evolve, too. Garden First was founded to refocus the whole production from the ground up, filtering every decision through two questions: “Is this what’s best for the garden?” and, “Is this what’s best for our people?” With everything, they prioritize the garden first and the employee experience before any other considerations.
This attention to detail shows from the plants’ very beginnings. Garden First has a 6,000-square-foot warehouse outside of Corvallis, OR, with separate chambers for every stage of the cultivation. There’s a dedicated mother room and nursery where individual plants start their lives in 4-inch cubes of Rockwool. They’re inspected every day until they’re large enough to move into their 7-gallon pots in the separate vegetation room. Daily inspections continue and twice a week, the plants get a little trim off the top to maximize branching and bud output.
Garden First has an intensive trimming and training process to maximize airflow and light penetration to every part of the plant, allowing thick buds to grow further down the stem than a lot of canopy grow methods allow. As a result, they might have 80–90 plants in a room and expect a yield of about a pound per plant. Once they’re harvested, the plants go into a self-contained drying room that’s kept consistently at 63 degrees and 50–60% humidity. HEPA filters regularly scrub the air for particles and contaminants. Here, the plants are cured upside-down to ensure all of the delicious cannabinoids and terpenes are concentrated in the buds. After drying, the buds are trimmed off and stored in the same climate-controlled room within custom breathable bags.
This obsessive attention to detail is how Garden First is able to produce such remarkable strains like Chiesel and Grease Monkey. And their values don’t stop there. Garden First has as its second first priority the team as a whole. They focus on cultivating a company culture that is safe and inclusive, supports work-life balance, and offers long-term profit sharing opportunities to reward the investment of hard work. The people at Garden First value honesty and respect, and work to elevate each other in their work.