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All Green Podcast Ep. 11- Interview with the Director of Marketing and Sales at Greenflow Canna; Sammy Prantera

All Green Podcast Ep. 11- Interview with the Director of Marketing and Sales at Greenflow Canna; Sammy Prantera

In this episode of the All Green Podcast, Michael dives deep into the world of squid fertilizer. 

Listen in as they learn more about a family-run lawnscaping business in Wales that uses nontraditional methods to trim their customers' grass. 

Michael had the opportunity to sit down and interview the Head of Marketing and Sales at Greenflow Canna, Sammy Prantera. Greenflow is a multifaceted recreational market startup operating within three different pillars of business; cultivation, micro-licensing, and Seaborn Organics, their organic squid-based fertilizer brand. Sammy teaches us about the inspiration behind the squid-fertilizer, some really unique features about the product and some awesome partnerships and projects Greenflow is working on. 

Michael: All right, all right, all right! Thank you so much for listening to the All Green Podcast. This is Michael Ghazal, the Founder and CEO of Eco Four Twenty. I'm so excited today because I'm here with a good friend, Sammy Prantera, he is from Seaborn Organics; Greenflow Canna, and we're really excited to talk to him about eco-friendly agriculture and fertilizers and a whole bunch of things. So thank you so much, Sammy, for coming on.

Sammy: Thank you, Michael. It's an honour to be here.

Michael: And before we even start, we're gonna have a whole introduction of Sammy, but we are just going to talk about a random story today. So we brought up random story about goats and we just want to see what does Sammy think of it? So basically, this is a family farm in Wales that has over 200 goats that they rent out. And these farmers instead of lawn mowers cut their grass with goats. So yeah, what do you think of that? Sammy? Have you ever heard of that? Is that something that's useful?

Sammy: Yes. Oh, yes. I have heard of that before, I am actually half Scottish and that's how originally they maintained the golf courses in Scotland. So they would have sheep on the go.

Michael: I had no idea!

Sammy: Yeah, they would trim the grass and they wouldn't have to pay for any cutters or that sorts so

Michael: You don't have to use oil for the lawn mowers, right? Like is that the eco friendly part of it?

Sammy: It's a sustainable way to run a golf course. So yeah, I always love that idea and Scotsman are generally always trying to save money. So I think that is also a contributing factor.

Michael: They can get a spot that's different, you know, like I always thought if it was really bumpy, like my backyard is really bumpy because you run a lawnmower over and it's just hard to use. But goats would just kind of eat the grass over that. So that in itself is unique. I know my grandfather's lawn used to be on an angle. So can you imagine like a lawnmower like, you know, 30 degree angle, trying to push a lawnmower up and down? I did, I had to do that. Like from 12 to 18, I think until I gave up and I was like, Let's pay somebody to do it.

Sammy: You paid your dues.

Michael: Let's get a goat like I could've just hired a goat in the backyard. And I just think it's an eco friendly way to do that. Is that something that would ever catch on in Canada? You think?

That's a good question. I know like sheep and goats are very abundant in the UK. Like everywhere you look, there's big grassy hills and tons of sheep roaming. So to bring that to Canada, I think it's a great idea. And I would love to see more sustainable practices. But they need more population, the population just not as high. But hopefully that can change.
herd of sheep standing on grass field

Michael: I think once you just get them to try it once or twice and compared to a lawnmower, but even just the startup costs, like you have to get a farm to have 200 goats to be able to do this, like one goat might not be enough- it would be the fattest goat ever. And animals have been used in agricultural practices for many years, you know, whether it's like with farming of cows and other animals like using ox to help pull stuff. So I think it could be cool to use animals in this way. Yeah. I don't know what animal I would use. Like if you could have any animal help with gardening? Like what would you do, you think?

Sammy: Oh, that's a great question, Michael. I'm going to be a little bit bias, and I like the ox actually, with farming because it has to do with regenerative farming. And I'm gonna get into that a bit later because I think through regenerative farming and organics can essentially save the world.

Michael: That's true and exciting to hear about and the future of farming. You know, I'm excited to hear more about that. So let's go into that a bit. You know, like first, Sammy, give a good introduction for everybody who might not have heard about your company or what you guys do and your background of everything.

Sammy: Absolutely. So I'll start from the beginning. I was born and raised in St. Catharines, which is technically the Garden City of Niagara. I then went to the University of Waterloo for school. I took honors recreation and sports business and I minored in business entrepreneurship and technology. I took that at the Conrad School of Business in Waterloo there. I was a busy student. I also was a student athlete. I played football on the scholarship there for four years, at my time at the school, and I also created a business. So I started the Motive Network Incorporated with my roommates, and since then we've grown it on Instagram and we're coming out with an app that basically showcases things to do and places to go for students in the area.

Michael: One I'm thinking that appealed to me when just viewing it on Instagram is a lot of beautiful reels and video production that you made. Not to shout out, advertise, but you should check it out because Sammy's Instagram videos are phenomenal. I think really, it makes me want to go see that outdoor- you had one where it was just like outdoor nature, like a hike? I think it was it made me want to go do that hike and I don't even like hiking that much. I did enjoy it.

Sammy: Well, thank you for that. I appreciate the kind of feedback. Yeah, we work really hard to make quality videos on our Instagram to engage everybody and highlight local areas and spots to go hang out in. But at the same time, we love bridging the gap between small businesses and students and creating content with them as well. So since we started it in 2019, we have now gone into Communitech, which is which is a startup incubator with the school there. And I've also been recognized by University of Waterloo and asked to speak on a panel about students and startup success.

Michael: That's really cool. We have a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs on this podcast, just listening and always would love advice on how to start it and start a business through COVID I can only imagine it is a really difficult challenge. Like you have to adapt and change so many different things while doing that.

Sammy: Absolutely. You go through a lot of diversity and many pivots, but when there's a will, there's a way.

Michael: And how did that lead you into working with Greenflow?

Sammy: So my entrepreneurship background actually helped me a lot. When I moved back to St. Catharines, I was looking for a job. And I was, luckily enough, I was actually passionate about the recreational industry. And I was looking in the area and through a mutual connection, I found Greenflow. And I'm now the Director of Marketing and Sales for Greenflow. And I'm like a multi use tool. So we're a startup, and we do many different things and we wear many different hats. So I say that I'm the Director of Marketing, but that's why I also sneak in sales there because I do a lot of the sales and operations as well.

Michael: It's so hard to have a title, you know, when you have a small company and because, like you say, one day you might be doing the sales, the next day, you need help with building the website and changes stuff. And how has that been being able to get to wear many hats with a company like this has it been an exciting time for you?

Sammy: It has been exciting, every day is different, brings new challenges. But I think that's what I like about it. And I'm really happy and lucky to have experienced mentors with tons of knowledge and full careers. Actually, I'm the youngest in the company by about 20 years and they really see the potential in myself, and they're grooming me to hopefully take over the company one day.

Michael: Just to get that kind of mentorship and knowledge is so important. I think if I could say one thing about any small business owner or entrepreneur; it helps so much to have a mentor who has been there before, who's had those issues. If you imagine just doing something out on your own, you're just completely in the dark, versus having someone there who's maybe done something similar, or can connect you with somebody who's done something similar. That just is night and day. So, I highly recommend anybody try to get a mentor, like that's amazing that you've been able to work at a company and then get the same mentorship internally too, so just shows the good training that they do as well at Greenflow.

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely.

Michael: How has the experience been operating in such a new industry? You know, like, it's obviously growing and so new, but like, how has that experience been with Greenflow?

Sammy: It's really a dream come true. Like I was passionate about the recreational market, and I was looking to get an opportunity, and I found a perfect fit. You know, and especially with the organic fertilizer line, I'm happy to be a part of a positive change in the industry that I'm passionate about.

Michael: It's cool to have a product that you believe in, you know, not to discount alcohol or other things. But if you're selling alcohol, it's like, you're selling poison to people, you're selling issues to people. But I feel like if you're selling a fertilizer, if you're selling these products, it's like a positive thing, like things you're doing are helping people and the environment, which is so much in our ethos in itself. And it's one of the reasons I'm here because I love the company for that reason alone, you know, you're making positive changes for the better in small ways. And then you're even forcing other companies to be like, "Oh, wow, we can have an eco friendly fertilizer. Why do we have Miracle Gro?" Why do we have a smaller company that might have issues?" and it's really cool to be able to have these small businesses that are pushing the envelope like you.

Sammy: Yeah, definitely, we're happy to say we're at the forefront of the organic push and movement and it's a great place to be, you know, helping change the world for the better.

Michael: And can you even just go a bit over what Greenflow does? I know it's interesting that you have that organic fertilizer group but also, you know, other partnerships that you're working on and everything like that.

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. So Greenflow is a multifaceted recreational market startup, we have three different pillars of business. We do cultivation, we do micro-licensing, and we also have Seaborn Organics, which is our organic fertilizer brand. And what's unique about that is it's a squid based fertilizer.

Michael: Tell us about it. I got to know now, what is squid based fertilizer? And a lot of people might be beginners, you know, like a lot it's their first year growing; what is a squid based fertilizer?

Sammy: So we actually take the leftover squid from calamari consumption. 52% of the squid gets thrown out or is regarded as waste after fished for calamari. And originally, the fishermen were disposing of it, they were throwing it out. And we thought to ourselves, what can we do with this waste product instead of discard it? And so we actually partnered with one of the largest squid fishermen on the East Coast, and they spent lots of money on R&D research, and then worked with the University of Rhode Island's horticulture expert to come up with a superior squid based plant formula.

Michael: And to be able to like have it have no salts in it like, it's very natural, like, I think it's really cool to be something that is eco friendly option, in a natural way, like, so is the idea that they would take the squid and like some is used for eating, but is the stuff going to be used as chum it'll be used for like dog food, I guess like it's not used in an eco friendly way, you guys are able to convert it to something eco friendly.

Sammy: The history was that they were throwing it back into the ocean- 50% of the squid, throwing it back into the ocean.

Michael: That seems like a waste of materials.

Sammy: Yeah it's terrible. And then, after some time, more regulation started to kick in and they had to pay to dispose of it because it was a biohazard and it wasn't native to certain environments.

Michael: Wow.

Sammy: So they thought instead of paying to get rid of it, what can we do? And that's when they did the R&D research. And now we're happy to stay with that we're repurposing that waste and now bringing it and conditioning soils, improving soil health and plant health all over.

Michael: That's phenomenal. I think that's such a cool thing to do. It's like, not to say these fishermen wouldn't have made the changes on their own, but just having the option available to them. If they didn't know that this was available. You're right, they might still be dumping it in the ocean, they might still be just paying to throw it out in dumpsters. And that alone is just, I guess, creating landfills somewhere else. So if you can use it to be for farming and gardening- that's a fantastic thing like all on itself. And you know, one thing I just want to even share with everybody is this is not sponsored in any way, you know, they did not pay us to come here. We're just doing this for fun. The only sponsor of our podcast is Eco Four Twenty, the best filters in the world and eco friendly products. But these guys are not sponsored.
I bought their Seaborn Organics fertilizer on my own, and I used it and I enjoyed it. It helped really great when I'm literally at my parents backyard, we have this bush that they complained a lot about. And they for years never fertilized it barely watered it, they just complained like "Oh, I can see my neighbor's." These last two months, I've been using it regularly. You see it fuller, you see the branches bigger, you literally can't see our neighbors anymore. So it provided the privacy that we needed. It's just really cool to see it, like the difference is night and day. And you need to provide food for plants just like you need food for us. And I think it's really cool. Like if we're going to do that, why can't we do it in an eco friendly way? So I'm all about that. And I love the Seaborn Organics, I highly recommend them on its own.

Sammy: Thank you for that. I appreciate it. And yeah, that's the nice thing about our fertilizer is it is an all purpose fertilizer. So it can be used on all types of trees, plants, shrubs, grass and plants. Now we have seen amazing results with recreational plants. And that's why we do have a focus in the recreational industry, but that's not to say you can't use it on anything else that grows which we're happy to say.

Michael: I've also used it on potatoes, like I'm growing my own backyard potatoes, about 30 different potato plants. Truthfully, we just did it, COVID was coming. We knew like "Oh, food scarcity is an issue", so me and my brother had a fun project. We started trying to grow potato plants and now it's our second year doing it, it's been a fun thing. But obviously last year I didn't know about this squid juice and now I do and again it's improving a lot better, you're seeing more. I use no fertilizer last year at all but now to be able to use this kind of good easy fertilizer and I like that there are measurements that Sammy will go over. But I kind of eyeball the measurements you know like I don't have to worry about over-fertilizing like I've done with other ones before- I've done it with Miracle Gro and it kind of burns a bit and I just noticed that you can overfeed it and with this fertilizer and it would still be successful. You know it doesn't burn the leaves. It doesn't ruin. So I just thought that was really cool.

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. So our fertilizer is a 2-2-2 NPK liquid concentrate. So the nice thing about the 2-2-2 is it's general fertilizer, you can use it on the whole lifecycle of the plants. And it's also called a complete fertilizer, because it has that NPK value that nitrogen, potassium phosphate, as well. So it's got everything you need for your plants to thrive.

Michael: And this is like the main ingredients, like when most people would look at any brands, they have those three ingredients, why are they so important? Like, what is it about NPK? That is like, why isn't you know, there's 100 elements, right? Like, why is it these three that are important?

Sammy: Well, those are the macro nutrients your plants need to thrive. And what's nice about our product is the squid is a great source of nitrogen and phosphate. So the proteins in the squid are high sources of nitrogen and phosphate and then we also add phosphoric acid to help stabilize our fertilizer. So that shelf ready.

Michael: I think it's really just fantastic that you're able to get these kinds of nutrients directly from a natural resource, you know, the idea that squids are regenerating, right? Like it can be renewable. And so if you sustainably source it, you should be able to sustainably get fertilizer. And it's interesting, you know, there's a lot of talk about even the government limiting fertilizers. Did you hear about that in the Netherlands? And I think in Canada, they're even saying like, well, if they're going to struggle with that kind of fertilization limitations, there needs to be companies out there creating more types of fertilizers out there. So you're even solving that problem in itself?

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. It's a great time to be a new organic fertilizer brand. The demand is increasing internationally, because of all sorts of factors. As well as the price to increase. People are really looking for alternative options and yeah, we're happy to say that we're great, sustainable, eco friendly option.

Michael: Has the price of just all fertilizer overall, has it gone up with inflation? Like, you know, how wood went up so much significantly? Like, how is the fertilizer market been? How is that situation?

Sammy: Oh, it's flown up, like everything, and farmers are definitely being affected.
michael ghazal eco four twenty sammy prantera seaborn organics greenflow canna

Michael: And they're the ones buying, I would say millions of dollars, where it's like, if you have acres and acres of farm, you need like truckloads of fertilizer to come right in that way. And imagine just doing truckloads of chemicals. Like, right? Just a whole truckload of chemicals, spraying it on all of your peppers and vegetables and being like, "alright, we're good, job done." Like, I feel like it's cool that there are eco friendly options out there to give them these kinds of options to do. And can you explain about bioavailability? I don't know exactly what that means. Can you explain that? So the plants can somehow absorb like this fertilizer better than like chemical fertilizers and inorganic ones? Is that true? Like, how does that work?

Sammy: Yes, absolutely. So what our fertilizer does is it's technically a soil conditioner. So you can put it into the soil, and it increases your microbial activity, which then increases your nutrient uptake to your plants. Now, we've seen that on a few of our studies, but they're universal throughout all of the plants. And we also have, before going into bio availability, I just want to go back to the uniqueness about our product. We have a protein in the squid called "chitin" which is in the animal kingdom and some shells, but it's prominent in the squid. And it's been assessed to increase yields and act as a defence mechanism for plants. So those are some unique benefits of a squid based fertilizer.

Michael: Whereas like a normal one wouldn't have any of that.

Sammy: Exactly. Yeah. So I just wanted to throw that in.

Michael: That is an awesome addition. And I think it's like, it's important to have these kinds of additional nutrients because it's not just about the NPK. There's 100 micronutrients.

Sammy: Absolutely. And we're packed with not only macronutrients, but micronutrients as well. Yeah. And we can provide those upon request,

Michael: That's really cool that it's able to do that. But then again, be a low number so that you're not burning the plants with hundreds of different nutrients of it, like I've seen some NPKs that were like 18-18-21, and that's actually the one that I've used previously before. But now, I'd much rather use a lower one so I know that I won't burn it. I won't overdo it kind of thing. And I just thought that was really interesting. But then again, that might be bioavailable right away. So like, I feel like when I would use this Seaborn Organics product the next day, it's like immediate- you can see the plants kind of perking up versus other plants. I feel like it doesn't do that when I've done it with other random brands, if I'm being honest,

Sammy: So that's the great thing about our fertilizer, it is bioavailable right away, and you can see initial results from hours to even 24 hours, you can see a big jump in your plant's health. But at the same time, it's a slow release fertilizer and that it stays in the soil for weeks and even months to come

Michael: Because of the microbes in there growing within it.

Sammy: Exactly.

Michael: Because basically you're introducing living micro-organisms into into it kind of thing. I think that's just a really unique way to do it. Because I like, not to attack Miracle Grow again. But it's just like they're not adding living things to it right? It's just the chemical that then feeds the plant. But if you can then add a living thing to it. It's regularly growing in there. And I mean, soil in itself always will have microbes in there. So if you're adding positive ones to it, like, that's really amazing and just like another benefit that you would have of this product, so yeah, thanks. One thing I really wanted to compliment your company on is, and I recommend everybody does it is, I really like your usage page on your website. Like some other companies would say, "indoor plants use this much outdoor plants use that much." But the truth is, is there's 100 different indoor plants 100 different outdoor plants, are you doing vegetables? Or are you going to do - like potatoes need different than hay versus different than grass?

Sammy: No doubt about it, Michael! And there's actually 50,000 farms alone in Ontario that sell over 200 different commodities.

Michael: Oh my gosh. I didn't even know there's 50,000 farms in Ontario alone. And think about how many across Canada even that's just one province. There's a lot of farmers and every single one of them- what is the percentage that use fertilizers, you think it's 100% like all of them need?

Sammy: Majority definitely use fertilizer, some sorts, definitely.

Michael: They can't all just like only do their own compost, that'd be a lot of like compost to make. So they must-and you guys can even enhance the compost in that sense anyways. So it's like, every single farmer in the world, if anything, if they don't use it, they would benefit from a fertilizer too. So it's a lot of potential partnerships that you guys can have as well. And yeah, I just love how even you guys have if you're doing a lawn This is how much you should use and mix with if you're doing shrubs, which is what I did, I directed it based on on that. I liked that I could you know just eyeball it and pour it and not have to worry about overdoing it.
But I liked it at least there was a guide on shrubs. So I knew that versus indoor versus outdoor plants. So I liked the exactness and you even had one for hay pastures, which I thought is really cool. Like farmers use this for hay and can benefit in that way. I just think it's so detailed as well. Can you explain about a compost enhancer? And how could it be working? Is that with the microbes and everything? Can you explain specifically how people can use it for compost?

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. So there's two aspects. One is that it's increasing the microbial activity, which I mentioned earlier. But another thing is that it's also adding new microbes to help break down the organic matter. Okay, so when you introduce some new microbes into an environment, it's helping break down that matter. In like, in a time sensitive way, increasing the way

Michael: Would you do the compost and then put it on right away? Or is this as you're building the compost kind of thing? So you kind of create the compost, you know, they would have it in their garden like in the corner? Is it? Like can you put it in to help create compost to break down faster for example?

Sammy: Absolutely.

Michael: That's so cool. Because I know a lot of people leave their compost in their back, but it could take months to break down. But if you're introducing even just a bit of this mixed in with water, it seems like now you're helping it break down in a matter of weeks or months rather than six months to a year.

Sammy: It's absolutely aiding in increasing that breakdown process.

Michael: That's so cool. I'm literally going to use it alone, for that reason. I think it's really cool because I wanted to make my own compost like the amount of you know, banana peels, the amount of random, not trash, but things that are organic waste that I hate throwing it out and putting it in those like green piles, I'd rather use it myself on my own property, it would be cool to be able to do that. So that's just a fantastic way. I love that Sammy. Now, I know squid juice is still a really small startup and you know, going up against larger household brands and just even as a small business, what are the ways that you guys can try to stand out from competitors and really just stand out as a small business?

Sammy: Great question. I think one of our main selling points is that we're we are repurposing a waste product. That's our wow factor. So everybody knows calamari but they don't know the things that come with it; the garbage the excess that's leftover.

Michael: I had no idea until you just told me. I'm not even joking.

Sammy: Exactly. So the majority of the squid is throw out. 48% of the squid is edible and 52% isn't so we take those squid byproducts and we repurpose them into 100% organic fertilizer. So I think that's unique about us is a lot of fertilizer products are using different types of things, but they're not essentially taking what would have been thrown out and then applying that to your plants. So we're happy to say that we're doing that. Another unique thing is I told you, we live in the Garden City, and we are local solution, we're sustainable options. So I mentioned how many farms there were in Ontario, and there's 4000 Organic farms in Ontario and growing.

Michael: That's amazing. So 4000 out of the round, 50,000 are organic.

Sammy: They're already organic, and that number is increasing every every year. And yeah, we talked to companies that are saying, "Oh, we're so happy, we discovered you because we're trying to source from all these different countries and shipping and everything," it's just, it's not a sustainable practice. So I'm happy to say we're a local solution.

Michael: And you are able to ship from here too, as well. So if somebody were to order, even if a farm wanted to contact Sammy or reach out, they can deliver it locally. So you don't have to worry about international shipping, even import and taxes is a huge pain. Anytime we import products, you know, the government has to always take their hand in it, it's a lot easier to deal with a local company like that. So I just love that you'd be able to even supply them in a short notice too, you know, sometimes you just run out of fertilizer, but your crops aren't going to wait for you. They're literally in the ground. So you need the fertilizer. I think that's really amazing.

Sammy: Absolutely. And I think the squid, protein benefits are another thing that really makes us stand out that I mentioned earlier, the chitin and the benefits that come along with that. We've also had some feedback that we are a terpene enhancer, as well as a flavor enhancer to some plants as well. So whether that be the flavor on the tomatoes, or the terpene profile on a recreationally grown plant, it can really make a difference.

Michael: That's really cool. And would that make it taste better? Like if you're actually eating a tomato, it could make it taste better. Or like if you're consuming something, it could actually taste better. Is that the idea?

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. It can make things sweeter. And, for instance, I'll get into a little bit later when we talk about our grower. But it can really push your product over the top from say, a 2 or 3%, terpene profile to over four or five.

Michael: I'm not good at math. But that's 100% increase of like before and after. Right. Like that's a huge increase. And I do know that all of these brands, they're promoting it so much in their marketing, like "Look at our terpene it's at this percentage", and to be able to have it enhanced in that way is very, very cool.

Sammy: Yeah, and I think because of our product, it really does all in one. So there's lots of separate products on the market that's like "Buy to increase your yield", or "Here's a defence mechanism" or "Here's a terpene enhancer", we're really happy to say that we have it all in one.

Michael: Yeah, I definitely got a free sample from a couple years ago, and it was six different containers and they had a book of how to use it. And I was like, "Oh, God, this is stressful." And I had five different containers out on the floor. It was just messy. And to be able to have a nice all in one like that. I think that is a great marketing standout too, because then anyone from advanced to beginner can use it.

Sammy: Exactly. So yeah, your home grower can use it all the way up to your master grower because of the benefits. So yeah, it's great. We're happy to say that we're catering to everybody.

Michael: Yeah. And I mean, I'm really excited, it leads into the next question, are you able to mention any high profile or cool clients that you work with? You must have a lot of great partnerships and cool, exciting things you're working on.

Sammy: Yeah, absolutely. We have tons and I'm really happy to mention our master grower Stel, you can find him on Instagram "@maesterebers"

Michael: We will definitely tag that into it as well. So we will be able to link him in our podcast as well for everybody.

Sammy: Fantastic. So he has worked with many large cultivation companies in the space. And he's really dialled in. He's, he's known in Toronto for growing some of the best plants around. He's kind of in that market where the artists and producers are looking for the bag that's over the top, you know from flavor, density, strain.

Michael: He makes it like a work of art.

Sammy: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. We're really happy to be partnered with him because he's so passionate about growing plant genetics and organics in general. So yeah, we're really happy to have him. So he is officially powered by squid juice.

Michael: I love that! I love that! And that's such a cool marketing thing alone, everytime he would post things and do that, he mentions your fertilizer, that's awesome!

Sammy: Definitely! He really credits the Squid Juice to bringing his product from already an amazing product, to just even over-the-top in terms of terpene profile specifically. People have mentioned, they're like "Woah! What have you done?" And he's happy to say that he's now working with Squid Juice. I think that's great. We also have some really big companies trying out our fertilizer right now. We have WholeHemp, who's doing a trial for us that we're really excited to hear about. We're also working with one of the largest sod farms in Ontario. We also have lots of international deals in the process as well- I can't mention too much about that. But, we're excited to say that we're working the micro- and macro- in terms of sales. So we're catering to the home grower and retail, but at the same time we have international deals that are dealing with fertilizer by the tonnes.

Michael: So you have anywhere from four plants to 10,000 plants, 100,000 plants.

Sammy: Exactly.

Michael: That's what's cool about your adaptable product, it really is able to cater to all of those numbers. I admit, I only have a very small amount, like 4 plants, versus an LP would have a lot more. Just to go back a bit to the sod company, I think that's so exciting and interesting because, number one, sod is everywhere. Everyone wants a clean lawn, a perfect lawn, and it costs thousands of dollars to always have that upkeep. I know my parents have never had a nice lawn, but the year that they did was when they replaced that and the sod was all perfect. I just think if you're able to have those customers, then they're doing it in an eco-friendly way, too. Isn't that amazing for giving them the option as well?

Sammy: That's the goal, is to increase organic use and production. So right now a lot of sod farms are using synthetics, and we're in the process of transferring them over to organics.

Michael: And just so everybody knows, what a sod farm does is they'll literally grow grass for you. So they'll grow grass to a certain level and then they have special machines that can actually take the soil and the grass, without damaging the grass. And then that's where they'll sell rolls of grass, like as you would see in a Home Depot or a local store, you can literally buy this grass and it comes from these kinds of sod farms. You might not even know it but your sod could be organic and that's such a cool thing. Companies like Greenflow are helping them grow grass better, basically, so I think that just needed to be described because it's so awesome in that sense. I guaruntee there are people doing it in that synthetic way now, and some people might now know.

Sammy: Definitely, and they're reusing the soil so to actually have an organic fertilizer that's a soil conditioner, to increase the soil health. You're gonna reap the benefits annually, year-after-year.

Michael: They probably make a lot of money, too. Like they grow more, sell more. I love things that are just wins all around, you know? Better for the environment and better for companies and better for you guys. You know, there's a lot of strong leaders in this industry, there's a lot of people who inspire me. But I'm always curious who inspires you in the industry or around the world, right now?

Sammy: There's so many inspirational people in the industry and around the world. Somebody that I'm really going to have to give credit to is Vandana Shiva. She is a doctor, she is an Indian activist, she is a physicist and she is one of the main activists for organic farming and regenerative farming in India and across the globe. She's the main reason there's no GMOs in India and she's got tonnes of other accolades. I just wanted to give her a shoutout, I think she's changing the world and she's a great face for organic farming.
Another company I would like to shoutout is Kiss the Ground, I just watched their documentary on Netflix as well, it's all about organic and regenerative farming so people are now stepping up their game. They're saying sustainable is great, but can we go one step further and go regenerative?

Michael: And please explain to people who might now know what regenerative farming is, can you explain a bit about it?

Sammy: Yeah, sure! So basically regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices, among other benefits, that reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. Resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. So essentially what it is doing is it's improving the environment. Sustainable is saying, "Oh, we're being this much more sustainable," but how can you actually improve the surrounding environment with the practices. 

Michael: I didn't even know that. I'm learning that as people go. I think that's so exciting and interesting. Say they're just doing normal farming, they're like "How can we get it to 0?" but this is actually, "How can we get it to +5? Can we add things to it?" 
Sammy: Exactly. So the key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only does no harm to the land, but it actually improves it using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and environment. 
Michael: And that's exactly what Squid Juice is, because it's adding to it! I think that's really regenerative and for someone who literally had no idea what regenerative is, why aren't all farms doing that, right? It's that soil that's there for the life of that farm, so if they can add it better, I'm all for that too. To do it in an eco-friendly way rather than chemicals. 
Sammy: Absolutely, I think there's a huge need right now. Yeah I would definitely recommend watching that on Netflix, "Kiss the Ground". Woody Harrelson is actually in it, he's a great activist and part of it.
Michael: How cool is it that they're getting Netflix in on this? That's mainstream, you know? Organic farming is not just on the sides anymore, on the cusp. It seems like modern people, and modern companies and modern industries are starting to realize this kind of farming and eco-friendly products in the growing space is important. 
Sammy: Absolutely! And Vandana Shiva, she said 40% of the climate crisis can be solved with organic, small-scale, regenerative farming. 
Michael: Wow. There's so many types of plants that should have this kind of thing. I've heard almond growing uses a lot of water, and I wonder if they take eco-friendly steps if they could also improve that too. That's a huge stat, 40%!
Sammy: 40%! It's massive. I actually just watched her pre-screening of her documentary that was out for two weeks that you can donate to and then watch. It's called "The Seeds of Vandana Shiva" If you want to watch the trailer on Youtube I would highly recommend watching it once it is out. They're trying to decide what they're gonna do with the rights and who they're going to distribute to so hopefully it will be available sometime soon. 
Michael: I love these educational videos because they're documentaries but you learn a lot, right? You're actually learning how to better yourself. 
Sammy: Absolutely! I think the world really needs more organic and regenerative practices and "Kiss the Ground", actually highlights a lot of the global problems. They had a lot of scary facts, there's only 50 seasons left of soil that can be used for farming. 
Michael: Like if we don't add stuff to it?
Sammy: If we don't add something to it and if we use our current practices, there will be no living soil left to use within our lifetimes. 
Michael: Yeah that's like 80, I'm gonna be 80 so, I need to eat when I'm 80 still it would be nice if we don't ruin all the soil. Like you said, it's not about sustainability anymore, it's about adding to it in a positive way. I love the idea of adding, you know, microorganisms to the soil in a positive way. 
Sammy: Definitely. So we're actually working with a "Kiss the Ground" affiliate here in Niagara. And he's working with the Squid Juice and we're really happy to say that we're a part of the regenerative movement now. 
Michael: That's exciting. Well you're convincing many listeners, you're convincing me Michael. Learning about regenerative farming as well and what small steps we can do. It doesn't always have to be 0-100 right away. You can just do 0-10 and slowly build up. A lot of farms even, people don't realize gardens and farms take years. You can't just build a farm or a garden in one year. Many times you're planting it and it takes many years or seasons to grow through. When you grow an apple tree or orchard, it's not just one year. It's an ongoing process, constantly. 
Just from a marketing standpoint, we get a lot of small businesses here, are there any strategies of marketing that you found worked? Or anything you wanted to share with people. For us, I've loved Instagram, it's worked well, but is there any other marketing strategies that you would recommend to our listeners? 
Sammy: Yes, definitely! In terms of marketing strategy we really like to listen to the people. We have Seaborn Organics as our organic fertilizer brand, but everyone seemed to call it "squid juice". That's all we'd hear at these exhibition shows and growing shows, so we really adopted the name and we're running with that. 
Michael: I love the marketing even. They have branded shirts that say "squid juice" on them with an awesome photo of a squid, I think that alone is you listening to the people, listening to feedback. 
Sammy: Exactly, so getting something that people can identify our brand with and really pushing that home. So we're working on getting some squid-based content. 
Michael: You guys gotta get a pet squid somehow. 
Sammy: I would love to be able to serve calamari at one of these shows and be like, "Here's the whole squid! We have the calamari, we have the fertilizer."
Michael: *laughs* That's genius. You need a VIP ticket. 
Sammy: Yeah I think there'd be a big line-up at our booth if we had some fresh calamari.
Michael: And then the garbage is all the leftovers that would've been. "This would've been thrown out and instead it can be used positively." That's really cool. 
Sammy: Exactly. Some exciting things we have coming up for our marketing is the GrowOp awards, we have recently been nominated for three awards coming up. The nominations are still going on and hopefully we get through that to the voting process, up until the show in September. 
Michael: Even just being nominated for these awards is a great accomplishment in and of itself. So tell us about those awards and what they are and how people can help as the listeners. 
Sammy: Definitely. So we're up for three awards, the first one is "Product of the Year", the second one is "Environmental Impact Award", which I'm really happy about, and the third one is "Best Nutrient and Biostimulant Product". We've created a buzz in the industry and we are the new organic product on the market and we're happy that people are starting to recognize that. 
Michael: Absolutely! And honestly out of all the growing organizations and companies, I think this GrowOp conference is one of the best. So to be nominated by them is already fantastic. By the time we air this we will encourage people to help vote for Sammy and Greenflow as well because I think they're a fantastic company. Again, not sponsored in any way, it's just us meeting them at these shows and loving their products and everything. We're huge fans at Eco Four Twenty and we will add links in the bottom of the description to help anyone who wants to vote for Sammy and Greenflow. 
Sammy: Thank you for that, that's much appreciated. Something else I am also looking forward to is we will also be sponsoring and hosting the after party for the GrowOp awards. 
Michael: That's exciting. You gotta do calamari there! 
Sammy: *laughs* Definitely! And you know, it's a recreational event so I'm putting the emphasis on the consumption lounge. I really wanna make sure that people have a great time there so we have some fun things up our sleeves. 
Michael: And this is in Niagara Falls, right?
Sammy: Yes, this is in Niagara Falls. 
Michael: Do you know the date for it?
Sammy: Yeah, it's September 12th. 
Michael: Okay, September 12th. And this is like, after when they win the awards and celebrate, I like it. 
Sammy: Absolutely, and I will keep everyone updated on the details as we finalize them. 
Michael: And it is a conference that's open to everybody, so I really would encourage people, like if you enjoy growing if you care about farming in anyway I think this is a fantastic event where you get to meet so many people from so many different industries, I highly recommend that as well. Sammy, where's a great place that people can connect with you guys and learn about you, like social media channels? How can we help connect you with our listeners?
Sammy: So we're on Instagram under Seaborn Organics, so please go check us out there and give us a follow. We'll be posting much more, we just created that account. There is also our Facebook, we have a Greenflow page and the best place to get more information about our products or place an order is our website (
Michael: That's exciting and hopefully maybe we'll convince you to do a giveaway or something like that I think it'll be a great thing for our customers and we have so many people who are users of our products and I also think they could be users of your products too because it's such a nice product, I use it myself and I love it so I highly recommend the squid juice as well, from Greenflow. I love the marketing that you've even listened to customers and incorporated "squid juice" into your brand. We'll put a link to it with a photo- it's so cool that they're listening to customers because I know so many other companies would be blind to that. They'd say, "Nope, this is what we wanna call our company, this is what we wanna go with." and they'll be stubborn, but to be able to adapt and change is exactly what we need in Covid times. 
Sammy: Yeah definitely, we love listening to people and making sure their voices are heard and going back into the lab, and R&D and going from there. At the end of the day, it's a partnership. 
Michael: Absolutely and honestly, you guys are making it an amazing partnership. I'm exciting to keep working with your product to see how it goes on the shrubs, maybe it'll overtake my parents house, we'll see how it goes. That'll be my dreams, so instead of my parents only seeing the neighbours they'll barely be able to see their own backyard. Sammy thank you so much for coming onto the All Green Podcast and talking to us and we're really honoured to have you. It's been a pleasure and we can't wait to connect more with Greenflow. 
Sammy: Thank you so much for having me Michael and Andrea, I really appreciate you guys and everything that you do for highlighting sustainable eco-friendly products around the world, I think it's amazing. 
Michael: Thank you so much for listening to the All Green Podcast, we hope you have a great day. 

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