We usually harvest our outdoor crop in late September to early October. On harvest day we wait until afternoon. This gives the plants time to dry after the dew in the morning. We want the plants to be as dry as possible when we pull them. Try to never cut plants in the early morning or if they have been rained on recently. After cutting the plants we put them on a wagon that has plastic tarp on it. We transport them to the barn, where we drag the tarp into the barn and are ready to hang. In the days before harvest we have already hung lines through out the barn as well as setup several fans and air movers. Our team hang whole plants, upside down and spaced out so they are not overlapping or crowding. We ensure that sufficient air flow can get to all levels of the barn and to all plants. We try to take advantage of the warm outside temperatures in our region, using that 70 to 75 degree air. The barn is well ventilated and we setup (2) 48 inch air movers on both ends, as well as using several other fans spaced between the rows.
The amount of time to dry cannabis can vary. It can take as little as 4 weeks or as many as 6 to 8 weeks or longer. Factors include, but are not limited to, outside air temperature, humidity, rainfall, and ventilation, among others. We are trying to ensure our flower buds are never moldy or mildewed. We maintain air flow, moving plants and fans around as necessary. We are trying to slowly reduce interior moisture in the plants, for a dry not brittle bud, without losing consistency and trichomes. Ultimately the goal of drying your cannabis buds, is to lower the interior moisture level gradually to around 12%. This helps insure that flavor, terpene profile, consistency, and shelf life, are at the pinnacle. Our bud tenders are constantly inspecting the flower and plants for any foreign material, comparing and monitoring, color, nose, and especially moisture. During their inspections they like so sing Journey as they meander through the rows, “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. Just kidding, but that does hold some truth. In checking and and making sure the plants and the drying process is followed, our tenders do feel and squeeze the buds to check for tackiness and moisture. Some tenders even break a stem, listening for an audible snap. Hearing that snap means there are dry and ready for the next step. However, when science and old school collide, we test some of our buds at the lab, that snap and 12% moisture (measured with a hydrometer) usually go hand and hand.
Ensuring that our buds are at a 12% moisture level, and not wet inside the bud, we can start the process of removing the flower bud from the stems and rest of the plant. At Evercure Farms we only use buds only, buds only (I’ll say it again BUDS ONLY!). We like to compare it to OJ (the juice, not the glove doesn’t fit Juice). Orange juice is made out of the fruit. Not the leaves, branches, bark, and root (I don’t even want pulp in mine). We gather the plants and white super sacks, and then we star processing. We strip or shuck by hand. We are using our fingers and hands to run down the stem or branches and the buds all pop off in succession. We shuck into the super sacks. They can hold hold approximately 150lbs of material. Depending on size and weight, several plants have to be stripped to fill the sacks. Once the sacks are full, a humidifier packet is placed inside and then the sack is tied shut. These sacks are then opened and rotated every so often to assist with equal humidification.