“Out in the county,” in a small town called Acme, Washington, Clandestine Gardens is quietly creeping up as one of the state’s favorite producers, with sales in the top three per cent of Washington’s 1027 growers. The Tier II facility, once the family mushroom farm, has a refreshingly earthy, relaxed atmosphere with a hint of mystery, given the old-school vibe of their grow.
Owner, Ian Kaplan, brother Ezra, and “brain of the farm” Tim Miller, have been growing cannabis in Whatcom County for years, and they’re well known among locals for producing consistently great weed. They’re joined by Ian’s cousin Kym and a close-knit team of local friends to keep things running. Their main philosophy is simple: grow outstanding weed and get people high. And that tight focus has kept their brand strong and competitive amongst some of the larger corporate farms dominating the scene. “We’re not corporate at all. We’re ‘billies,” Ian says with a smile. “If we wouldn’t smoke it, we wouldn’t grow it.”
Combining old-school experience and lots of experimentation, Clandestine developed a system that works for them. One strategy is their eclectic, constantly evolving strain selection, like 9 Pound Strawberry (9 Pound Hammer + Strawberry Cough) and Galactic Glue (Gorilla Glue + Gobstopper). “Each grow room has two new genetics we’re testing. We harvest every Monday and transplant every Tuesday,” says Ian. “We’re constantly pulling down a room.”
“If we wouldn’t smoke it, we wouldn’t grow it.”
People inspect and place young potted plants gently onto large rolling tables and move them down the hall—out of one room and into the next. With ten grow rooms and two veg rooms, they have their hands full, considering an average yield of twenty pounds per room. But, looking around at the skateboards hanging from the walls, and artwork hanging just slightly crooked, you get the sense this crew works hard, but knows how to enjoy the fruits of their labor.