Harvesting & Sustainability
By. The Guru
HarvestingÂ is one of the most enjoyable times in gardening. The most important part of harvesting your medical cannabis is timing. The timing of the harvest will have an effect on the chemistry of the plant; as a plant matures its chemistry changes. There is a window of time when the chemistry compounds begin breaking down, primarily THC, CBN and CBD. If being used as a medicinal herb, these slight differences matter. Which particular combination of chemicals is the most desirable is a decision that you develop over time and with experience. If harvested early with a few pistils turned color, the buds will have a more pure THC content and will have less that have turned to CBN, CBD. The lesser psychoactive substances will create the bouquet; find what is right for your needs. Do this by taking some buds every two days up to harvest. Forget the needs of the experts; decide based on your needs and what you come to like yourself. Keep in mind most experts did not start out growing medical herbs. Most were looking for that cerebral stoney-ness associated with the high, and buds weigh more when fully ripe. Now if you are new to growing, you need to start with knowing you will be inpatient, you will want to harvest early. So use a magnifier to see the capitated stalked trichomes THC crystals on the buds. With experience you will get to know how much clear, off white and brown will give you the peak of floral bouquet. Do not harvest too late, potency will decline. Watch your plants and learn to spot the peak floral potency that meets your needs. Once you have cut, try to cure out of the sun as it will reduce potency. In a nice dark ventilated space hang upside down, keep temperatures down for a nice slow cure. Over the course of a week or two, when the stems are brittle enough to snap, put in a sealed glass or Tupperware container, burping out old air and turning the buds for a week or so. You can also use brown paper bags. This helps slow down drying out too fast to give time for an even cure. This will get most of the chlorophyll out and the smoke will be less harsh. Keep times and dates of taking cuts so next time you know the time frame for your needs, with your variety. Remember some varieties take from 8 weeks or so to 16 weeks or more. Take your time to get the chemistry right, after all you are now an herbalist that can heal and help yourself.
The Guru would like to say this; do not listen to the so called experts, it will be for your needs, not that of the expertsâ€¦.
A Note from the Guru on Sustainability
We have found that social and environmental responsibility goes particularly well with being part of a sustainable movement. To the western mind, â€˜doing goodâ€™ is associated with sacrifice. When I talk to people about ethical reasons for sustainable practices I sense a subtle resistance-something like â€œwhat is this going to cost me?â€ or â€œwhat do I have to give up?â€ even when there is total agreementÂ about the importance of the issue. On the other hand the response to sustainable design principles is overwhelmingly positive; people click. There is an immediate recognition of the common sense benefits ofÂ a sustainable approach without having to attach morality to it. This plants the seed for a new way of thinking where what serves me also serves a greater whole. We can have a grass roots movement that starts from this seed. The ideal of green sustainable living is planted in our minds. We do not have to think about it we just live it. The seed is now a plant, a plant doesnâ€™t think about being sustainable it just is on its own. The nice thing is we donâ€™t have to makeÂ a heartbreaking choice we just have to make the choice and it does start with you! Today you have the power to be a leader, just start. Just think teaching children sustainable farming and crafts, involving them in reforesting the surrounding area or any of the many other inspiring projects rooted in both socially environmental and sustainable justice. Empowering disadvantaged groups of people and simultaneously enriching a sustainable environment. You and I can make sustainable life become part of the mainstream without dilution by corporate spin. Letâ€™s not let traditional capitalists lead the way, let it be a grass rooted movement with ethics created by you and me.Â You know where to start. At home grow your own food or make sure what you buy is sustainable. Look for water-saving tips and more in the next issue. For now just start doing the things we know we should be doing and living a sustainable life one day at a time.