On a sunny afternoon, I met with Doug Wiker, owner and operator of Spokamsterdam in the small town of Rockford, just outside of Spokane. Sitting on 200 acres of tranquil land, Spokamsterdam is a Tier III grow located on top of rolling hills.
Doug has been growing in greenhouses on these hills since 2014. However, the windstorm in November of last year knocked his greenhouse over, forcing him to grow indoors until he rebuilt. He now grows in greenhouses, hoop houses and outdoors.
His greenhouse is one of a kind. It uses an automated light deprivation system of Doug’s own design with supplemental LEDs. Doug has applied his own ingenuity to make the entire place uniquely his own. He sources his soil and nutrients locally. He has become an accepted member of his farming community, although Doug admits it did take the neighbors some time to get used to his crop of choice.
As we walked through his garden, we discussed his current strains—he is growing about 1500 plants of 12 varieties. His favorites are the Columbia Gold, Elephant and Dutch Treat. The strains that survived the storm are incredibly hardy, and he is now trying out some auto flower which he thinks will be successful. It is hard to believe he does it all with eight full time employees. “We’ve learned growing is a lot like traditional farming,” Doug said to me as we discussed some of the obstacles he has overcome. “Sometimes things go right, sometimes things don’t. You have to keep getting back up.”
“We’ve learned growing is a lot like traditional farming. Sometimes things go right, sometimes things don’t. You have to keep getting back up.”-Doug Wiker