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Cake & Caviar's Aquaponics Marvel: Where Cannabis and Salmon Converge

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Cake & Caviar's Aquaponics Marvel: Where Cannabis and Salmon Converge

Cake & Caviar's Aquaponics Marvel: Where Cannabis and Salmon Converge

If one were to imagine how an ideal cannabis cultivation system would look like, one might picture a sustainable and waste-free process that maximizes efficiency and minimizes environmental impact. One that harvests life in both cannabis plants and aquatic creatures, creating a symbiotic relationship between them.

This is precisely what Habitat Life, a cannabis company based in the Shuswap region of British Columbia, has managed to create using the nutrient-rich waters of their aquaponics system. Through this innovative technology, they have been able to responsibly and sustainably grow coho salmon, while also using their waste as a nutrient source for their cannabis plants.

Designed to function as a closed-loop, the Habitat aquaponics system captures water, nutrients, and CO₂ from the salmon farm and feeds it into the cannabis cultivation process. This creates a circular and sustainable production cycle that minimizes waste and disrupts the environment as little as possible.

The resulting product is Cake & Caviar, an exclusive line of certified organic cannabis produced by Habitat Life that is unrivalled in quality and sustainability. This award-winning brand has captured the hearts of cannabis connoisseurs in Canada, and it's easy to see why. Not only does their cannabis have a unique and exceptional flavour and aroma profile, but it's also grown in a way that respects the environment.

To learn more about this innovative and environmentally friendly approach to cannabis cultivation, we had the pleasure of speaking with Kayla Mann, the Chief Revenue/Financial Officer of Cake & Caviar and Habitat Life. In our interview, she shared insights on their aquaponics technology, their commitment to organic certification, and their plans for the future of sustainable cannabis cultivation.

 

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Kayla. Can you start by introducing yourself and what you do at Habitat Life and Cake & Caviar?

Thanks, Chester, I’m honoured! On paper, I am the Chief Revenue and Financial Officer, but basically, everything past production is in my court (sales, branding, accounting, etc). I am a big advocate for cannabis as medicine, used in moderation and what keeps me grounded at Habitat is how we grow… which is sustainably and certified organically using aquaponics technology that we developed in-house.

How did the concept of a closed-loop aquaponics system for cannabis cultivation come about, and what inspired Habitat Life to adopt this approach?

Back in the day, we raised bison and grew cannabis. When raising bison, which is a very sustainable livestock species, it’s easy to talk about the benefits. From top grazing to pasture rotation, there were many ways we were able to keep the land rich and diverse and provide a nutrient-dense, sustainable product.

Now when looking at how traditional cannabis is grown, we could not keep that messaging. We were inspired to find new, sustainable ways to grow cannabis that better worked with mother nature as intended. This is where the aquaponics idea formed.

How does the aquaponics system work, and why is it beneficial for cannabis cultivation?

Aquaponics is a technology that harnesses the symbiotic ecosystem of nature to grow both seafood and crops. There are many benefits for cannabis cultivation including nutrient production on-site and cost offset by fish sales/production, strong trichome development, faster crop cycles, less waste (no coco or soil to replace) and more.

What challenges do you face when it comes to using an aquaponics system compared to traditional cannabis farming methods?

A lot of the challenges are in the initial setup, we spent 4 years in R&D, in which we had significant support from the government to develop due to the sustainability opportunities this brings to growing.

Growing in water, as anyone who’s operated in deepwater culture/hydroponics, poses risks of problems arising faster (due to faster uptake of nutrients versus medium-based growing, etc) so keeping the right ratio of nutrients in a naturally-produced nutrient system is where we’ve been focusing our efforts. Further, each new strain added to the system takes a while to hone in but when she’s dialled, she’s dialled!

Cake & Caviar has gained a reputation for producing high-quality cannabis with unique flavour profiles. How do you achieve this?

Blueberry Lemonade

From our long-standing genetics bank, which was collected over 15 years by our founders and their days as medical growers. I truly believe that organic methods of growing bring out better flavours as well. So all the hard work related to getting certified by the Canadian Aquaculture Standards is well worth it as shown in the output. 

Can you describe the flavour and aroma profile of Cake & Caviar flower, and how does it differ from other cannabis products in the market?

We try to keep very different flavours on the menu, but many of them are crossed with one of our greatest loves pre-legalization which was a Cake cross. At the end of the day, we want something for everyone so whether is the Blueberry forward BC Blueberry OG or the high-terpinolene Lemon Loaf or Blueberry Lemonade, we want something for everyone.

Delving deeper into the specifics of the product, which strains have proven to be the most popular among consumers?

Gunpowder Milkshake

Our BC Blueberry OG x Platinum Cake cross, Blueberry Yum Yum, is by far our fan favourite and sells out almost instantly every time we package a batch and get it out. Unfortunately, like many Blueberry strains, she’s not our highest yielder so we have to balance that with other strains which makes it a little harder to come by in some jurisdictions.

Your Blueberry strains have definitely been a hit with our members. What new strains or products can we expect to see from Cake & Caviar in the future?

We’re about to drop our Gunpowder Milkshake which is a Platinum Cake x OGKB cross which puts you on your ass and is our frostiest bud yet. We also just launched Blueberry which is our cross of Blueberry Yum Yum and Lemon Loaf. The perfect summertime feels, very citrusy on the nose but the blueberry (and other fruits) cake on the pallet.

How do you see the future of sustainable cannabis cultivation evolving?

Considering how much power, water and medium are required to grow cannabis, I hope everyone finds ways to make their operations more sustainable, however, it's not easy. Traditional farming has been kept as it is for a reason, but if you put the work in, you will reap the benefits.

Our system recycles 99.7% of water, next, we will start looking on how to be more sustainable with power, and so on. It’s a process, nothing happens overnight but if teams commit to a better future, I promise you can taste the difference.

It must have been an arduous process getting Habitat Life and Cake & Caviar to where they are now. Knowing what challenges you had to overcome in adopting this innovative aquaponics system, would you do it again if given the chance?

I would, because we’re so much more than just good weed, we’re building a system that is wanted in many countries already, and for overall food production, not just cannabis. How special is that!?!

Lastly, what are the future plans for Habitat Life and Cake & Caviar?

International! We just launched in German pharmacies with Waffle Bites and our first batch that we shipped to Germany sold out in two days. It’s wonderful to see patients that care about our growing methods. Further, with our vast genetics locker, we’re looking to launch C&C Craft which will feature Cake & Caviar genetics grown by other facilities to make our genetics more available across the country, and more consistently. 

 

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