GLW Growing Like a Weed – Spokane, WA
Fred Renteria, head gardener for Spokane-area cannabis farm Growing Like a Weed, says he never expected all this to happen to him. Just a few years ago, Renteria was living at a 30-year-old winery with a now-ex-girlfriend, dabbling in medical marijuana production. Now, however, he’s in charge of bringing some of the best cannabis products to the Spokane area.
GLW hit the market in 2016. “The place used to be full of wine,” Renteria recalls. “There were about 30 truckloads [to take away]. To this day there is still stuff on the property that’s wine-related.” But the hard work clearing the picturesque, 50-acre site paid off, and now Renteria and GLW have made a real name for themselves. How? “Dirt,” he maintains. “No matter what you’re growing, you’re going to have the most flavor from dirt. A lot of people try to use synthetics to bring out flavor. We don’t do that.”
Process is key at GLW. Each individual plant is evaluated and given what it needs, says Renteria. “We go on plant health,” he describes, “how a plant looks. We have no predetermined schedule. We go off only what the plant tells us.” This arduous process creates, according to Renteria, the best flower. And to help the plants along, Renteria gives them doses of homemade compost tea, among other boosters. “Anybody that’s gardening, [compost tea is] an everyday process,” he notes. “But with marijuana, not a lot of people do that. They’re used to going to a grow store and just buying a bottle of something.”
And while Renteria can’t claim his farm is officiallyorganic, GLW is pesticide-free and only uses “beneficial insects” to keep their plants healthy and protected from predators. “A healthy plant,” he declares, “offers the best taste and the best product. And that’s what we care about. For us, it’s quality over everything. The weed business can be very trendy, but at the same time you have to have the staples that people love.”