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Nik McCalligan, Eden Water Technologies:

“Our automated fertigation system gives growers the ability to focus on what’s important: the plants”

“Everyone is starting to realize that automation is imperative to run an efficient growth. The more parts of your grow that are automated, the less labor and stress you have to endure as a grower,” says Nik McCalligan, President of Eden Water Technologies. The company provides full-service water treatment specifically for the cannabis industry. “Some of our specialties include automated fertigation, irrigation, and designing efficient piping systems. We have especially received a lot of positive feedback from growers using our automated fertigation system: The Paragon. Growers are able to focus on their plants, as they are no longer stressing over hand watering, mixing batches, or cleaning tanks. Moreover, the system frees up a lot of space in your facility.”

The Paragon
So how does the system work? McCalligan explains that The Paragon is an automated, on-demand fertigation machine. “By using quality products, we are able to produce consistent and reliable batches of irrigated water to the plants directly. We accomplish this with both unmatched flexibilities as well as unmatched footprint. The user inputs their recipes into the system, then programs their crop schedule as they see fit. The Paragon is based on ML/Plant (milliliters per plant), not based on one-minute intervals, so your plants receive exactly what you want them to every time. With up to 300 unique recipes per day based on 18 nutrient injection points, the grower can perfect his process. With 99% accuracy, the system gives cultivators the ability to set it and forget it, so they can focus on what’s important: the plants.”

Solving challenges 
For growers, there never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish all the needed tasks at hand. Luckily, The Paragon takes away a lot of labor. “You can simply set it and forget it. This means more hands-on attention to the plants and other parts of your facility” Another common challenge is the use of batch tanks. “There’s constant maintenance involved with them: mixing, cleaning, checking EC and pH often, and so much more. With the Paragon, no batch tanks are needed. Your recipe goes straight from your nutrient stock into the machine, then directly to the plants, all with minimal maintenance needed,” McCalligan explains.

Moreover, by incorporating a flush of clean water into the recipe, clean water is left in the pipes. According to McCalligan, this can greatly reduce pathogens and biofilm building up in the piping system, thus keeping them away from the plants. “Giving the plants what they need and keeping the nasty away can increase your yields substantially while also helping you pass any state-mandated testing.”

There is also never enough space in a grower’s facility. “Tanks and other systems take up a lot of room in a building that typically isn’t going to get any bigger. With the Paragon only taking up 8 square feet of your facility, it leaves a ton of space for plant production. Isn’t that really what we are here for after all?”

A unique system
According to McCalligan, The Paragon fertigation system differs from the rest in a lot of ways. “We built this alongside some of the best cultivators in the world, for cannabis specifically. We have installed other systems, asked questions, solved problems, took critiques, and did a lot of R&D to get The Paragon to where it is now and working so efficiently. Being able to ask a grower what he wants from a fertigation system has been the most valuable information to us.”

Moreover, the system is made to last. “The parts inside are durable and reliable. Our peristaltic pumps are 99% accurate and made with stainless steel. A lot of other systems use plastic parts and stuff that can be found at a local hardware store. We also offer our customers a critical parts package with their Paragon purchase. That way, if something that is critical to the system running breaks, they will be able to replace it immediately and with ease. If any problems arise that the customer is unsure how to fix, they can call us directly.”

Convincing growers 
While there are many benefits to their system, the company struggles with convincing people to trust new technology. “A lot of growers out there have been using the same method from the start, and they may not like it, but they understand it. They dedicate so much time to their fertigation that they can’t imagine spending any time learning something new. Certainly, the experience they have had with our predecessors has left them with a lack of trust.” Therefore, The Paragon is built to be user-friendly and easy to learn. “We have trained a whole team on how to navigate the program, make recipes, calibrate the pumps, maintain the components, and more in less than 3 hours.”

Overall, the company does notice that there is currently a major demand for automated solutions. “Everyone is starting to realize that automation is imperative to run an efficient grow and to be able to monitor it all from afar. The more parts of your growth that are automated, the less labor and stress you have to endure. It can also take out the element of human error. You can leave your building or even go on vacation, knowing you programmed everything to do exactly what you wanted it to do while you are gone. Some systems can even be remotely operated, like The Paragon. You could be sitting on a beach far away, sipping a drink with an umbrella in it, and you can check on those systems from your phone. Who doesn’t want that?”

For more information:
Eden Water Technologies