Trail Blazin’ Productions
Present day: “S*$t. F@&k. Mother F@(* #(@& @(#&$ @(# AAAARRRRGGGGG!!!!”
Four months ago: “Come here sweet little girls. Come to Mama.”
Veg Mom talks to the plants every day. She treats them like her children. It’s haircut day, and Veg Mom is gently taking clippings from all the moms in Veg 1.
She carefully cuts about 100 clones from our huge mamas, picking the straightest, the strongest and the healthiest. These Harlequin girls must be the best of the best as we rely on them for our first round of high-CBD, Department of Health “General Compliant” cannabis. They spend about a month in the clone box, growing long white roots and reaching for the ceiling.
Approximately a month later, Veg Mom selects the best 84 clones. These little ladies have made the final cut to move to the next phase. Gently transplanted to two-gallon pots and later seven-gallon pots, they spend the next six weeks filling the pots with their roots, gaining strength in their stems and producing healthy leaves.
Veg Mom spreads them out and rotates them evenly, ensuring they all receive the same care. Kind of like with kids, you don’t want to favor one more than the other, so making sure they all receive the same opportunity to thrive is essential. On Veg Mom’s days off, she leaves detailed chart notes, like a nurse at a hospital, to make sure the other gardeners know the best means to care for the plants.
On moving day, the gardeners load the Harlequin ladies onto wheeled trays, four per rack, and roll them to their respective flower rooms. They’ll spend a week adjusting to their flower room before an additional eight weeks of tender care.
Our team is made up of the happiest people we can find, as drama and negativity affect the plants. With this particular harvest, I was called into the room multiple times by different team members. “Just smell it!” they chimed, or “The energy in the Harlequin room is palpable,” they would say. And they were right. It was a perfect harvest.
Halfway through the last week, almost five months from taking the initial clones, we came to work, looked at the environmental control monitoring system and noticed that the humidity was high. Juddy (my best friend, husband and business partner) checked the controls in the room and found that the line set was frozen, which means the coil was also frozen. He quickly turned off the air conditioning and dehumidifier, so the ice could melt. Unfortunately, this caused a puddle to form in the middle of the room, increasing the humidity again. He fired up the air conditioning, got the room to the right temperature range and checked the pressure on the line. The pressure was right, so, out of options, he called support, which told him it was a clogged filter (even though the filter looked clean). Juddy removed the filter and went home for the night.
The next morning was like Groundhog’s Day; the same stuff, all over again. Doing our due diligence, calling support when nothing else seemed to work (and trust me, Juddy can fix ANYTHING), temperature and humidity swings, etc. It was a circus! However, Juddy in his ultimate wisdom was able to stabilize the unit. Pre-harvesters came in the next day, and we harvested two days later.
Which brings us back to the present day: “S*$t. F@&k. Mother F@(* #(@& @(#&$ @(# AAAARRRRGGGGG!!!!”
Upon starting to trim the Harlequin, our trimmers found botrytis. The extreme swings in temperature and humidity in the last four days of an almost 180-day process resulted in too high of a vapor pressure deficit, which led to the smallest amounts of botrytis in the biggest, densest buds. The labor to separate the usable flower from blast material is too high to make it viable. This makes the entire harvest — the perfect harvest up until the last few days — not suitable for flower and the entire crop must be turned into a concentrate which, in money terms, means it’s lost slightly more than 50% of its value.
Welcome to the life of a cannabis farmer.