There are signs that the most special time of year has come. The sun dips lower in the sky every day and the temperature drops. The leaves on the plants turn yellow and begin to die. The colas swell to almost forearm size – it must be harvest time!
We’ve curated a collection of harvest content spanning from how-tos to an inside, intimate look at a Northern California grower’s ever shifting harvest experience. We’ve also got you covered on the top strains.
The best time of the year is upon us. October, otherwise known as Croptober to those already in the know, is the month when the annual outdoor cannabis crop is harvested. Soon the marijuana marketplace will be flooded with choice outdoor herb, but knowing just when to harvest is not a straightforward proposition. To answer a question like “When’s the best time to harvest?” growers must take into account a plethora of factors and, ultimately, let Mother Nature take the wheel.
It’s that time of year again!
All of the grower’s hard work culminates in an organized frenzy of chopping branches and moving them to the safety of a drying room. All manner of structures are used for drying, from yurts to containers and attics and spare rooms. Oftentimes harvest is dictated by when the rains come. If they hold off, people will let their plants go in order to get more weight and potency. Early rain leads to a mad dash for the hills and a frenzy of branch-chopping. Whether it rains or not, many of the delicate trichomes are lost at harvest. The best farmers are the ones who can be as careful as possible during takedown.
Climate change is impacting the harvest season of cannabis in California.
Clearly we have yet to fully accept that climate change is real. As the weatherperson is prone to say, “Expect increasing frequency of random catastrophic meteorological events.” In other words, anything can happen. Last year it was the same thing only different. The drought had become such a constant reality that no one foresaw the rains that poured right through October, leaving lots of mold and mildew on cannabis plants in their wake.
In recent years, one of the most exciting things for me to work on has been whittling down the thousands of varieties of marijuana grown outdoors in California in a given year to find the top of the pack. I’m looking for where the real magic happens: when great genetics are put into the hands of above-average farmers.
Harvest season is now in full blast as farmers not only work to get the final sections of late running Sour Diesels and various landrace genetics chopped, but also to find space in the stuffed storehouses for the cannabis to dry and cure.
Veteran grower Nikki Lastreto brings tidings from her latest harvest in this dispatch from the farm.
We’ve all felt it coming and talked about it for years, but this past season, the enforced changes in how we harvest our favorite plant were clearly evident.
The recurring mantra around here has been “Just one more crop the old way…” But that won’t work when you enter the legal realms of cannabis cultivation. For farmers like us up here in the Emerald Triangle, renowned for our autonomous nature, it has taken quite a while to accept the concept of being told what to do on our personal farms — it’s just not our style. But we are trying.