This is it…the climax of the season, when we reap the rewards of 6 months of hard work, prayers, and a little luck. The hemp flowers are ripe and bursting with delightfully fragrant terpenes and many leaves are yellow, red, or purple and starting to die. Yesterday just before daybreak was a chilly 37 degrees when I ventured out to the field to take the first plants in. Why daybreak? That’s when the terpenes are most intense, after a long night and before the sun is up.
We hang them upside down, then later when it gets light we remove individual branches, trim most of the leaves, give them a quick and careful dunk in fresh water to remove any dust or pollen, and hang everything from the rafters of the drying shed. After drying for about a week the flowers will be separated from the stems, carefully trimmed by hand, and cured for 2 months in glass jars. A painstaking process for sure but the only way to achieve premium results.
The last couple nights have been the chilliest of the year, in fact this morning there was a light coating of frost on the ground but the plants were fine. They can take a light frost OK but a deep frost or prolonged freeze is bad news for the flower. It’s a bit of a race at this point–hoping to get everything in before a serious frost (or a nasty nor’easter) arrives but some of the plants could use a little more time to ripen. Fingers crossed!
Days have been classic New England fall weather with cool temperatures, deep blue sky, and brisk breezes. We’re approaching peak color, which anyone who’s spent time in New England in the fall knows is indescribably beautiful.
It’s been a terrific season all-in-all. Things got a little dry the second half of the summer but then the rain returned after Labor Day and I was able to bridge the gap with a little irrigation. Had essentially zero pest issues and only a handful of tiny spots of botrytis (“bud rot”–the hemp grower’s worst nightmare) that I was able to immediately remove on my daily field checks. Very pleased at the health and vigor of these plants.
Grateful for all our blessings and looking forward to sharing this wonderful medicine with people.