AEssenseGrows: A Symphony of Precision Agriculture

by | Jan 17, 2018

Written by Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a cannabis writer and B2B content marketer living in British Columbia, Canada. Her focus on cannabis tech, scientific breakthroughs, and extraction has led to bylines with Cannabis & Tech Today, Terpenes and Testing, Analytical Cannabis, and Grow Mag among others. She is the owner and lead-writer of Sea to Sky Content, which provides content and strategy to the industry’s biggest brands.

Vice President of Marketing at AEssenseGrows, Phil Gibson described during an interview with Cannabis Tech this week,

“Today we are simply playing Chopsticks, but tomorrow, it could be Chopin or Beethoven. There are full symphonies of possibilities with what we can do.”

Gibson should know, he brings 30 years sales, marketing, and channel experience to AEssenseGrows. In fact, he holds 8 patents for web technology and is the creator of WEBENCH, an online design environment now owned by Texas Instruments. Now with AEssenseGrows, Gibson is working to simplify indoor, precision growing systems to help farmers achieve the maximum yields, especially in the indoor cannabis space.


Cannabis Technologist Interview with Phil Gibson, Vice President of Marketing at AEssenseGrows.


Gibson believes grow operators should be able to load up a grow plan or recipe for specific strain or crop, then allow the system to take over and manage the conditions of the crop from germination to harvest including monitoring and adjusting environmental controls like irrigation, nutrient recipes, oxygen, humidity, lighting, and others.

Today with AEssenseGrows’ vertical, stacked AEtrium-SmartFarm growing system and the Guardian™ Grow Manager software, Gibson explains how their system could revolutionize cannabis cultivation.

|AEtrium System Aeroponics|

Aeroponics is the most advanced version of hydroponics today. Rather than dangling roots in a water/nutrient bath, the plant roots are dangling in open air (effectively infinite oxygen) and sprayed with an appropriate nutrient combination. With no resistance to expansion due to soil, the roots of the plant grow very quickly, and photosynthesis is accelerated which results in 40% faster plant growth than in soil. In fact, Gibson stated some plants can grow nearly an inch an hour.

In addition to increasing growth speed, the aeroponic system also presents cultivators with significantly reduced costs. The AEtrium grow systems are closed-circular systems which only use about 5% of the water and 30% of the nutrients, presenting a significant reduction in resource costs, as well as an environmentally responsible approach for large grow operations. Gibson goes on to explain how large soil-based grows may export 1-2 tons of soil each week, which is a significant source of labor and resource costs for many commercial cannabis growers.

Besides being efficient and environmentally fiscal, the AEtrium system provides a small footprint which is scalable for very fast growth and keeps your facility immaculately clean. As a closed system without soil, there is no dirt or grime buildup. The system is cleaned with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution every other day and can be turned around same day from harvest right back into production with new clones. With this quick and easy turnaround, cultivation facilities can harvest up to 6 times a year, with twice as much yield in the same square footage they already have.

|Guardian Grow Manager Software|

Besides revolutionizing how the cannabis plants are grown, AEssenseGrows brings innovation to how the crops are managed. Gibson’s team has harnessed the power of the AEtrium system, combined it with all the complexities of an indoor grow operation, and simplified it with an easy to use, web-based interface which monitors and manages the entire process, room by room, seamlessly.

Guardian Grow Manager simplifies nutrients, trace elements, and lighting keeping it all in unison as the plants grow. Precision sensors in all platforms are constantly sampling and dosing the recycled water mixture and analyzing how the grow is performing based on that particular recipe. The sensors have a range of values, and if a measurement comes back outside the preferred range, the system automatically doses the results back into range.  If the alert is not corrected automatically, the software alerts the operator with a detailed text message telling them exactly where to go and what to do to correct the issue (which nutrients are needed in which room and at what station).

This holistic system links together all the different functions of the grow operation and allows them to be monitored and controlled from simple dashboard which conducts a symphony of instruments including lighting, water, nutrients, temperature, and air flow. This data is captured so it can be replicated or used as a baseline in a test room so recipes can be evolved and perfected. The possibilities are truly limitless. 

|The Future of Precision Cannabis Cultivation|

As the market shifts, consumers are seeking out specific edibles, topicals, and cannabinoid profiles which AEssenseGrows’ AEtrium system and Guardian Grow Manager software may provide the precision solution needed for this advancing market. Gibson explained how recipe development in precision agriculture is already altering how foods are grown and how these same kinds of recipes may be used in the future to optimize cannabinoid and terpene production for specific uses. As AEssenseGrows expands into the cannabis space they are hoping to help growers analyze their options and grow crops based on specific outputs desired.  Gibson stated he foresees huge profit opportunities and enormous growth potential in the cannabis sector future.

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