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Hermetically Speaking

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by  James Bridges

HERBAGE MAGAZINE

 

Mankind is funny.  It does things to itself for no reason other than to grow and learn from it.  There’s one thing that has always been something that I strive to grow daily.  Foundations.

 

When I had the opportunity to sit and visit with another person on that same level of thought about foundations I believe we both witnessed something rise from that “foundation” as we talked.

 

Fayetteville Arkansas is where Alex Ritter, owner and visionary of Hermetic Flower Company, did most of his growing up.  He left town to join the Navy.  Alex found himself wanting more from his life.  He then decided to grow cannabis in Oregon and that is his Foundation.

 

“We are very unique because we are not just any vertical grow,” Alex was excited to show us around. “We are an organic living soil vertical grow, which is extremely hard to do on multiple levels.  Typically,  if you do see it being done it’s in pots. That plays well with Organics. You’ll see a lot of that, but you’ll never see a full-blown living soil with beds and a two-tier system. It’s just a very difficult thing to do with the weight.”

 

Im Not Sorry by James Bridges

Alex took me to the catwalk areas over the actual flower rooms. “I am attempting to figure out the living soil vertical growth space so that I can kind of dial that in. I think that the future of farming in general is going to be the indoor vertical farming space.”

 

When owning a grow or most every small business you are in a constant decision making model.  You always have to keep the future in mind.  One key is to set yourself apart.  Alex has really been able to capture the uniqueness aspect. However there’s always that one decision that every dreamer/owner has to make.  Sometimes it’s a gamble.  For many, it’s a solid, logical, developed plan for a specific outcome and there is really no other question other than what or who is in your way.  I believe the latter for Alex.

 

“Look at it more as the wheels have already been invented,” Alex continued. “I just have to put it together in my industry. I borrow pieces from other Industries. For example, you see I have the duct box going down the fabric. The duct box is to help push my airflow in to get it spread so my canopy is getting moving. There’s no pockets in there. I borrowed that by watching other growers kind of figure it out.”

 

“I walked into Sam’s Club here and I saw them working on this new duct system and I was like, that’s a fabric duct! I watched how they put it on. I knew we could do this with cannabis. At that same time kiss Organics had recently had a podcast about the duct box. I was like okay… that’s synchronicity.” Alex looked at me with watering eyes. “Another thing I borrowed is how we set up the HVAC system plumbing so that I can get air flow down to the bottom of my vertigo system. You have to be able to get cold air to these hot pockets. I went with a cat water system. It kind of hurts me but makes the efficiency better at the same time it hurts me because it traps all the hot air downstairs creating more hot pockets, but it helps my work efficiency because I’m able to get air. So I had to kind of account for those sorts of things.”

 

Take a box of puzzle pieces and throw them on the table.  Now grab a handful and burn them without looking at them.  Then destroy the cheat sheets and the box.  Now create something that is brilliant and make it look as if it were originally created for that brilliant something and there you will have my description of the process of the perfect piece of artistry.  Alex and the Hermetic team are not far off from this scenario.  Especially the “brilliant” part.

 

Alex took a puff, “I wrestled in high school so, I’m all about my foundation having a strong foundation in the basics. When I look at cannabis genetic profiles everything is a hybrid now. Now I’m thinking of foundations in cannabis. That’s going to be your land races.”

 

I watched the geared shift into GO, “Most medicinal land races have been known to come from mountain ranges. Mountain ranges are probably going to be kind of cool and humid. I started more research about things. I reached into the Hermetic side of things. I try to mimic the Nepal mountain range because I feel like if it’s a good heavy Indica they’re going to come from Afghanistan or Nepal. I want to bring that genetic profile out. I want to manipulate the DNA to make it mimic as if it’s at home but in our more advanced society.”

 

“I grow organically because of the symbiotic nature that the soil has with the plant. Morally and ethically I’m against Hydro Growers. They can just use a synthetic base or soil is medium. There will never be a symbiotic connection of the microorganisms with the plant so you’re always going to be missing something. When you are missing a puzzle piece and you’re trying to fit the wrong piece in there, of course it’s never going to fit. You’re not feeding the plant, you’re feeding the soil. The plant is more of a tool to tweak it a little bit. That’s why some people chase their tail. They didn’t start from the foundation of a soil. Maybe they didn’t know exactly what to do and that’s why they’re having to go grab some Epsom salt.”

 

“I chose hermetic because it’s a spiritual foundation and it’s a spiritual plant.  I need to have both those foundations and any time in any business I’ve always found that if it doesn’t succeed is because it doesn’t have a strong foundation. In my mind I’m building something that’s not just for me. It could be generational or has the potential to be generational so that foundation is necessary. I think this is and I want to make sure that other people have something to go off of. A standard. The Cannabis industry is so young in its legality that we don’t have a standard, we have tradition.”

 

For most independent grows the first year or so could easily turn into a cash cow with no end in sight.  The Hermetic team has quite the experience of their own. Alex came from a commercial setting in Oregon and had a six-month layover that he utilized to plan the operation.  That allowed Alex to come to Oklahoma to see the big picture. He just needed to put the right pieces together.

 

“I started here in December, we got our license in January. I had us up and running.” Alex smiled with sincerity. “It probably took me like four months to kind of get everything ready to go in this rented building before I had my first round out. I mean that’s not long…”

“This is my second run that we just pulled out of here and now I’m dialed in a vertical grow. It’s definitely been a challenge but we have got it done in a year so it’s been really fun.”

 

“We’ve come far. I started off with 8 plants in a 5 by 9 area and now I’m at 21 plants in a 4 x 4 x 8 area. It’s about trying to dial in how you manage your canopy in accordance with plant counts and your veg time in a vertical rack. This is also my first time dealing with LEDs and having a uniform canopy. It’s a very different thing than having to build a canopy.”

 

Someone with this much drive and focus can sometimes find themselves in a social predicament because passion can sometimes be mistaken by the witness. Some with this much passion tend to find ways to create their own pleasant social environments.

 

“I made the business as an extension of myself. All my obsessions here are my obsession with hermeticism and the occult. I can still fill my obsession with cannabis and psychedelics.It’s here. Let’s go to the cactus room. I grow Cactus. The reason I grow San Pedro over peyote is because I can grow this much quicker and more sustainable. Peyote is an endangered species. So nobody should be going and picking that anymore. I don’t know how far Oklahoma is behind with psychedelics as medicine, but it’s coming. I like to study worm castings. I like to study the symbiotic relationship between it when I mix one thing that I’m thinking about and I want to see how it reacts. I’m not unlike a mad scientist. I’m just not really using a microscope all that often. I’m going off my intuition because that’s what got me here.”

 

“I have a nursery agricultural license for San Pedro and is totally legal as a decorative Cactus here unless it’s for the church. If they just come to me and they say that they need San Pedro I just cut it fresh and send it home. I don’t process it. I don’t do any of that. I just grow it.”

 

“I make all of our own compost in house using a special blend. I do a little bit of a metaphysical thing here. We buy fruits that match the colors of the chakras and if it’s not acidic, (we don’t put anything citrusy in here) but everything else I’ll be caught using strawberries, blueberries, vegetables such as eggplants, lettuce that sort of thing. Our intention is that by doing this and formulating it and setting the intention it will affect your chakras. We really focus on the heart and the third eye chakra so that you feel it more throughout your whole body, very loving and more of a psychedelic experience rather than a full-blown heady soup.”A lot of people say when they meditate it’s great for cerebral visions. We kind of do that on purpose through this process.”

 

Every journey starts somewhere.

 

Alex’s sister was killed in a car accident when he was 10-years-old. This sent his family through a depression whirlwind. Fortunately Alex was young enough that he didn’t quite understand what was happening. However he was old enough to know something serious was going on. It was then, even at that young age, he started to really question everything.

 

“Why would a god do this sort of thing.” Alex explained. “My sister was even more into the church than I was. So it is a confusing thing for me. I grew up without my father. That was always kind of something on my shoulders.That really sent me on this quest of  self-realization or searching for God. I found psychedelics at a very young age.  I knew it was DMT when I was in 10th Grade and I was actively looking for it to have an experience where I found my god. I’ve been doing what feels like my whole life in increments.”

 

“I didn’t know really much about hermeticism until I met my wife. She’s Italian and so she kind of has a better background understanding of the Renaissance and Western philosophy than many. I was obsessed with Leonardo DaVinci and Nikola Tesla and I’m into springboarding.”

 

Alex continued. “So I lost my job at my other other grow in Oregon and then it started having visions. I was thinking to myself, alright I found it. It’s been really cool to watch this happen because it’s always been something I’ve been interested in as a kid. I feel good about sticking through it.”

 

“This is who I am. People look at me and ask why would you do a hermetic thing in Oklahoma? It’s because I want to.

 

HERMETIC FLOWER COMPANY – @hermeticflowercompany

 

 

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