Flash Gordon and the Hydro Expo

Flash Gordon was down there at B.C. Marijuana Party Headquarters, 307 West Hastings, visiting Marc Emery at the helm at the seed desk in the newly renovated and now spacious seed office, and had popped into Urban Shaman where Chris Bennett was minding the store to give Rene Boje and baby Shiva some down time.
So when he overheard a very excited hempster showing off his hempen bag of give-aways and prizes from the hydroponics grow fair, holding a red plastic grinder above his head, Flash was outside for a smoke.

He hastened to the opportunity of what was officially called “The 4th Annual Vancouver ‘Maximum Yield’ Indoor gardening Expo” at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre at the Pan Pacific Hotel with its stylized sails. (www.hydroponicexpo.com) (www.maximumyield.com).

Flash recalled how the last two Takers Bowls (www.tokersbowl.com ) had arrived on the same weekend as the grow show, and that a large number of guests from around the world and United States had made the sojourn to the exposition.

This year – according to the excited baseball capped hempster – there was hardly a crowd at all and they were just giving things away left right and center to get rid of them. This years Expo was the largest so far with most innovative technology available. Dutch Master Wholesale and Quality Wholesale had done a good thing for the whole network, sponsoring this weekend event. This, the second day, it was open to the public.

Flash was a bit dazzled and culture-shocked leaving gritty Hastings for the vaulted ceilings and splendid carpets of the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was fun however to go up to the marble desk, ask the whereabouts of “the hydroponics show” and be courteously directed to ball room B.

Knowing so very little about growing, each growers conclusions’ seemingly contradicting the other, Flash was in rough shape, not knowing even which questions to ask these experts about their gadgets and tricks.

There was a wet bar set up and as this was the final hour of the exhibit half drank wine glasses and beer were in peoples hands and on table tops. Some exhibitors had set up canopies and outdoor furniture one even with a trickling fountain. One team dressed in orangey-red overalls like super Dave Osborn had enormous enthusiasm and team spirit.

Next to their exhibit was Tom Noakes of www.PlasmaponiX.com with his bags on the wall reminiscent of rusty the rooster’s home on the friendly giant. He greeted Flash with enthusiasm and a twinkle in his eyes behind his Chris Kringle glasses.

The one thing Flash thought he could actually really use was The Aardvark. You know helping a friend trim by hand is fun, finger hash a treat too, but 6 to 8 hrs later you get a little bleary? Here was their solution straight out of Holland (where all good ideas come from). It cuts as accurately as scissors at machine speed, no mess and can fit any vacuum cleaner. You just empty the vacuum for your leftover trim. R C van Hoult (www.ard-vark.com 1 800 825 42 88) demonstrated the whizzing wonder to Flash who had never seen anything like it until he went to the other side of the fair and saw the “Big Red Shredder”, more of an industrial size compared to the wand, and rigidly in place but similar blades and cutting action . What’s more they gave him a t-shirt said (www.cangroinc.com) “BioBizz: just because organic is best! Refined in Holland over 12 years.”

There was also General Hydroponics, well represented by several distributors and the Aeroflo2 floranova, floramagic, floramato dry floralicious, koolbloom, rare earth, chi, diamond nectar, diamond black, cocotek, caps, liners, baskets, planters and rapid rooter rain forest series reservoirs controllers and pumps plus carbon filters. (www.generalhydroponics.com)

Doktor Doom insecticide was also available (www.doktordoom.com) or Guano Kalong (www.guanokalong.com) offered 100% natural “bat guano”. There were various grow set ups like www.bonzaigardens.com‘s that allows you to stand the wheel up for easier access to water reservoir with removable propagation trays, 120, 240, or 360 plants. Sylvain (sly) Cyr of www.odorchem.com the odorchem manufacturing corp. offered ONA odor neutralizing agent.

Green Planet Hydroponics offered karbo boost that reduce strain on food production and delivered the formula for the ‘ultimate feeding program”, www.cangroinc.com promoted biobizz “just because organic is best!” and their products root juice, bio grow, alg-a-mic, bio-bloom, top max and fish mix and their formula.

The ‘Dutch solution for growth and bloom’ www.canna-hydroponics.ca which “since 1985 has been used as the reference point for research and horticultural standards in the Netherlands”. www.greenair.com 800 669 2113 was not to be out done with their high tide organic seaweed and mineral mix from bio-genius and certified organic. www.americanagritech.com and its Botanicare micro garden plant energy product show how it could be done.

Then there was the original power grow system with “no heat, no smell and no power” from www.powergrowcanada.com and www.powergrowusa.com. 1 888 647 5577 presenting their single 600 flower power and dual 600 heavyweight. There were also the Air Scrubber ACF combos and air scrubber filters “superior air filtration for all hydroponics applications with activated carbon scrubbers”, precise filtration, Elicent advanced performance housing.

After having so few show interest compared to last years estimates for the event the salesmen were trying hard to make a lasting impression when Flash mentioned he writes. “Its Elicent advanced performance housing” he explained. Flash, having no idea what they were talking about thought they were saying “illicit”.

Flash indicated that he was a deaf mute when it came to grow and grow technology and they might as well be talking ‘computer’ and they let him go but he promised to mention them in his yarn. Flash got the impression this represented a renaissance in filtration as far he could tell.

Others appeared to disagree www.atmosphere.com profilter reversible carbon filters they believe increase your efficiency with the 3 r reversible system. Innovative design: Reversible, Refillable and Reusable/ Revised Rebuilt Refined! Well that’s 6 R’s but you get the idea. Ranging from 45 cm to 150 cm. Or, there is always vortex powerfans, the “wind of change” also by www.atmosphere.com in case you want to blow some hot air. “Quality proves itself!” declared Canna brand, the solution to growth and bloom highlighting their vega and flores and canna coco series. Rhizotonic, cannazym, mononutrients pk 13-14 trichoderma trichoderma powder tri 003 which suppresses undesirable micro organisms and their ph series. Many reps were there.

Desmond Hodges of www.heatexchanger.ca. Venture lighting was nicely lit up.

www.alphache.com‘s Francis van Duesan was helpful as was Bill Stroud supplier of products to the gardening and greenhouse industry. R & M supply.

Betty Storey of omega garden Inc www.omegagarden.com was helpful as was Ted Hall of Lets Grow island garden distributors.

At Arista Wholesale Garden and Supply [email protected] they were too busy to chat.

www.westernwaterfarms.com home of nutrilife products was friendly / the ballasts and grow lamps of sun master were bright and interesting.

Gro Dan offered www.hydroponics101.com to flash as place to study up.

Broad- leaf grow gear Inc from www.broad-leaf.com had a website too.

A francophone exhibitor from distributions de la plante Inc had made it out west 1 866 578 25 25.

www.biofloral.com account rep Dan Wilson was on the ball. Adam Richards of green planet hydroponics mentioned earlier is right here in Vancouver on E Hastings.

www.4oakton.com Erik Perez represented Oakton instruments.

Out of the interior had come Russ of www.extremegrowing.com sales rep involved in future harvest developments.

Reinhold manufacturing also had a rhino like presence out of maple ridge.

and Dix from Abbotsford its production manager on hand.

Robert B Ruhl thought he had the perfect grow lights www.growlights.com.

Metanaturals.com was there too, but Flash was tired of seeing pictures of flowers and fruits and seeing petals trimmed off of daisies. “She loves me, she … zzzzzzzip guess not”. He wanted to hear people talking about bud. He took a peek into a shed marked “reefer room”, discovered it was a fortified shed for inside your house: self contained, not a room, with people toking reefer Ross Rabagliati style. Flash eyed out the $5.00 Cesar salad and over-priced sandwiches and noticed one of the directors of Advanced Nutrients sitting alone at the table nursing a drink.

“I just wanted to compliment you on your outstanding exhibit and thank-you for investing so much in the community. That certainly is a good way to get a business going,” Flash gushed.

The Advanced Nutrients exhibit really was above all else and beyond description. The first thing that caught Flash’s eye, besides Dr. Hornby enthroned on one of the two or three leather couches talking to a hippy elder whose long grey beard betrayed his age, was a model, the kind of model most men have to pay to see, leaning over and autographing gigantic posters of her half naked self perched on the hood of stylized Advanced Nutrients decaled brand new black hummer with one leg high and erect in the air.

Under her bountiful image were adverts for advanced products: Scorpion juice, viral inhibitor, organic tarantula beneficial bacteria, organic-B vitamins and organic iguana juice bloom.

She signed Flash’s poster “Hugs and kisses, Kristy k” and the much more valuable one for his housemate Atom says “hugs LICKS and kisses”.

As if this wasn’t enough of a spectacle Flash caught an iguana out of the corner of his eye and realized it was perched on one shoulder of young lady as equally beautiful and unattainable as Kristy, and climbing up her other arm was a live tarantula. Below her, it turned out, she sat on a glass case of scorpions and tarantulas!

Not five feet from this parked there in ball room B was The Hummer itself decaled in Advanced Nutrients colours. “Oh yeah we got three of them …” someone told him.

Pete Brady was on hand interviewing the Advanced Nutrients brass.

Dr Hornby said Pharmer Tom had been by the previous day. Flash had been to most every exhibit more than once, picking up info like bread crumbs along the way. The Dutchmaster product information kit was very informative too. www.dutchmaster.ca and nutradip instruments could make it all high tech www.futureponics.com.

Flash was tired and they had begun breaking down the exhibits. He slipped out the glass doors to have a smoke on the deck. Some exhibitors were smoking what smelled like good eastern hash and seemed disgruntled – perhaps with the turn out. Its all a mater of timing it with other cannabis events, thought Flash, but congratulations to those who came out of the grow closet to hold your heads high at this public event, and for adding so much to our community, making it possible to overgrow the government.

Flash was shuffling by Waterfront station on his way back from the hydro show and a clean cut East Indian fellow grinned at Flash ear to ear.

“Flash?” he asked like an old friend recognizing another after a long separation.

“High!” Flash replied, not having any idea who he was, though he obviously recognized him. “I’ve seen you on pot-TV, I’m a fan of your work!” he exclaimed.

Now it was Flash grinning ear to ear. “Did you go to the grow show?”

“Yes I did,” Flash’s unknown fan replied. “It was fabulous!” he said, showing off his hempen bag of goodies.

“Well THANK YOU!” Flash said, taking his leave. “Drop by headquarters soon.”

He had thought it might rain … but it was a beautiful day in Vansterdam.