Grants Pass, OR
The leaves are falling from the trees and the air has the damp, cold bite of the coming winter. But after 36 days of relentlessly long hours, our crew at Alter Farms successfully completed the 2017 harvest!
Southern Oregon experienced the most beautiful and dry October it has seen in years. This outdoor season has the potential to produce a great bumper crop for all outdoor cannabis farmers. With this bounty, I predict we shall see a very flooded market.
A large harvest tent was erected for processing the cannabis. Working 16-hour days, our dedicated crew successfully handled the volume of material coming in. Starting on one end of the tent, they weighed everything — stems, all flower and leaves — before moving to breakdown, mold check, fan leaf removal, hanging, weighing the waste and tracking specific phenotypes.
I’m happy to say our drying rooms handled the drying and curing of all the incoming flower.
After the flower is dried to that perfect place to facilitate the curing process, it comes down from hanging and goes into our curing bins for the next step. Determining when the cannabis has hung long enough and is ready to bin is critical.
We are in the curing process now and this step is essential in producing high-grade cannabis. The stems need to be able to be snapped, but with just the right amount of moisture left inside. This allows the flower to tease out the internal remaining moisture and enable the cannabis to rehydrate just a bit so it will continue to release its gases for a smooth smoke and maximum aroma.
Successful curing takes extreme rigor and attention to detail to ensure proper humidity, temperature and, of course, identifying when each cultivar has reached that perfect place to go to market or to be capable to withstand long-term storage. This is one of my most cherished responsibilities on the farm. I experience great joy in smelling each cultivar’s individual aromas as the chlorophyll decreases.
As anxious as we are to see our 2017 flower on retail shelves, we know as experienced growers there has barely been enough time to process and test the flower, much less to cure it appropriately.
Now that harvest is over, looking out on the empty field offers the feeling of a clean slate and the beginning of a new cycle. All root balls are pulled from the soil and every T-post and irrigation line is stored away until next season. Our beds are dressed and the cover crop is sown.
It was a massive undertaking to get from the start of harvest to completion and field prep in just 36 days. We could never have accomplished such a feat and maintained the known Alter Farms quality without our very large, committed and experienced rock star crew.
We are energized by the excitement of seeing a year’s worth of cultivation come to fruition with beautiful buds and a sense of accomplishment.