O’Neill: The great debate over harvest time (column) • Mendocino Voice | Mendocino County, California, Mendocino Voice

That is our farm pole from farmer Casey O’Neill. O’Neill is the owner-operator of HappyDay Farms north of Laytonville, and a longtime advocate for the Mendocino Co. hashish neighborhood; Extra of his writing will be discovered right here. The opinions expressed on this column are these of the creator. If you need to submit a letter to the editor, please be happy to write down to him (electronic mail protected).

Full new roof with rain on the way in which! We put together buttons and fixtures, and collect instruments and crops for storage. The rain is nice, and with greater than an inch within the forecast, I am excited concerning the moisture coming, nevertheless it’s additionally accelerating efforts as we transfer towards fall. The squash have arrived, some cowl crops have been planted and I will probably be planting a salad combine this afternoon for a wet day germination.

We have begun harvesting hashish in earnest with two huge batches over the previous two days, beginning at 5 a.m. and on and off till the primary rays of daylight start to kiss the vegetation. We attempt to have this executed as quickly as doable to guard the terpenes and improve the standard of the crop. Rain brings a way of urgency with some rigidity, nevertheless it additionally provides a comforting feeling that it is time to get began.

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There’s a whole lot of chatter about when to reap within the hashish neighborhood, Imply Gene’s well-known “Panic Chop” meme at all times involves thoughts once we head out on these early journeys to hacktown. We do not wish to harvest hashish too early, earlier than the plant has absolutely emerged, however it is usually doable to maintain it too lengthy and deteriorate in high quality. The tough factor is that you simply solely know by way of expertise, and it isn’t at all times straightforward to find out the appropriate second to begin.

I’ve at all times mentioned {that a} bud within the bag is price two on the bush, and this yr I added {that a} bud within the shed is price two on the bush. I like to think about it as beginning early and ending on time, that means the general high quality will probably be at its peak if we do not wait too lengthy within the early phases. If we delay the beginning an excessive amount of, subsequent strains is not going to get an opportunity to succeed in dry area till they’re slightly previous their peak.

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I just like the three Cs: is it thick, moist, or is it prepared? I will begin harvesting if I get two of the three, particularly if it is dense and moist, then I am good to go. We’ve got some strains like Bitter Strawberry which are outdated and long-time favorites however will reliably rot on the first trace of rain, not like little rot, however just like the buds of the completely dreaded botrytis bomb conflict.

As a substitute of the concept of ​​panic, I got here to imagine in cautious discount. The primary heavy, late-flowering rain units the date for harvest, and there’s something very primal about that feeling and anticipation. Uncertainty is tough, however submitting to the vagaries of nature is what farming is all about. Some years, bitter strawberries ripen later than others, which implies the standard of the variability relies on the climate.

Now, you may say, “Why hold planting one thing you realize will rot within the rain when there are such a lot of nice issues on the market?” First, I like this pressure a lot that I’ll develop it it doesn’t matter what. I like to combine completely different flavors and influences in my joints, however bitter strawberries make their approach into virtually each joint yr spherical. I additionally like the truth that it comes so early, so it suits properly into our manufacturing plan. Lastly, it is like an outdated buddy who’s been with me for over a decade, part of our farm that defines what I do and who I’m. Bitter Strawberry is a part of what makes HappyDay Farms what it’s, and I do not wish to go away that behind or lose it within the altering panorama of hashish and agriculture.

Profitable farming is about discovering the candy spot between high quality of life, high quality of product and amount produced. I used to be speaking to a farmer buddy and he or she in contrast beginning a hemp harvest to working with a salad combine; A high-value crop with a restricted harvest window that may be affected by pests and climate. You’re making one of the best decisions you possibly can, and with the abilities you have got acquired over time, you possibly can consider your plan of action to attempt for as a lot of the very best high quality as doable.

I at all times select increased high quality over increased amount, which is a part of the explanation I comply with the “begin early, end on time” technique. We’d carry extra weight if we waited longer, however the market demand is for vibrant colours and clear to milky trichomes, not for the amber shade that begins because the flowers transfer in the direction of their finish. It is a superb line, as a result of should you begin too early, you lose out on terpene manufacturing and find yourself with untimely flowering, so we stroll that line very rigorously.

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My brother and I examine the vegetation each day as harvest time approaches, evaluating and discussing backwards and forwards about when to begin. He tends to let issues take longer than I do, so the mild rigidity between course of and observe performs properly with us and leads to higher high quality than we’d produce as people. Farming is a type of observe, a dwelling expertise that we repeat each season with profound studying classes and changes. I’m pleased with the joint effort, and glad to reach at the start of the autumn. As at all times, a lot love and nice success to you in your journey!

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