As hemp has become legal over the past few years, people are discovering its therapeutic flowers which are filled with beneficial organic compounds, such as CBD or CBG. Specially bred hemp varieties that enhance these terpenes and cannabinoids are much more intensive to grow than the hemp grown for its fibrous stalks and used to make rope, paper, clothing, etc... While those plants are packed tightly and mechanically harvested, hemp that is grown for the CBD flowers has to be given lots of space, carefully tended, hand harvested, hand trimmed and fine cured to preserve the unique herbal properties. This extensive process of oversight and interaction with the hemp plant is what defines "artisan" hemp flowers.
We invite you on a mini tour of our Earth and Sky Farm where we'll explore the process of growing artisan CBD hemp flowers from seed to harvest. It all begins with carefully selected varieties chosen for their high cannabinoid production and broad range of terpenes that give the flowers their distinctive aromas, flavors, and therapeutic benefits. We use non-GMO organic certified hemp seeds from OregonCBD, an award winning cannabis research and development company who produces seeds with exceptional genetics. This year we planted 3 varieties: Hawaiian Haze, Special Sauce, and White CBG.
The seedlings are started in a controlled greenhouse to provide them with optimum environmental conditions in this critical phase of their lives. We use only organic potting soil, organic fertilizers, and no pesticides. The tender seedlings need lots of loving care at this time to ensure they receive the perfect balance of moisture and nutrients.
Once the seedlings are off to a healthy start, we individually transplant them into the soil by hand. Each plant is carefully placed into its own raised bed and watered in. As the plants adjust to the harsher external environment with direct sun and blowing winds, they again need lots of loving care and attention. Since no pesticides are used, weeds are managed by planting cover crops that nourish the soil and lots of old school hand-weeding.
As the hemp plants mature they require close attention for maximum flower production. Plants are inspected meticulously for any potential male flowers that need to be removed to prevent seed production and any potential pests that can cause damage. Lower branches and bud sites are intently pruned to maximize main flower bud production and to create air flow within the plant to keep it healthy.
The long work of summer reaches a peak as harvest season approaches. Rigorous testing must be done to guarantee the plant reaches its highest level of CBD production without crossing the maximum 0.3% THC threshold set by the federal limits. When the carefully monitored plants reach the perfect balance of cannabinoid percentages, they must all be harvested by hand within 15 days.
The plants are tough and require strength to harvest, while at the same time they must be handled delicately to prevent any loss or destruction of the fragile trichomes, the fine crystalline hairs filled with resin glands.
The plants are then hung upside down to dry in a sheltered space where the humidity, temperature, and air flow can be carefully monitored. We dry our plants in a slow natural process that preserves the maximum amount of terpenes and provides the highest quality flower. When the plants reach just the right moisture content they are partially trimmed and placed in glass jars to cure. The jars have to be opened and closed regularly for the first couple of weeks to regulate the moisture. Once it reaches the perfect point the jars are sealed and cellared for a minimum of 2-3 months.
While curing in the jars, the flower buds develop complex flavors and aromas. Opening the jars after curing releases incredibly rich sweet smells that provide the reward of the long process. But wait, the work isn’t over! Now it’s time for the final trimming, where each bud is individually pruned to perfection. Here’s where the term “artisan" come into these boutique hemp flowers, as the "artist" carefully inspects every flower bud, trimming carefully to leave just the most resinous flowers.
The ultimate reward of this long meticulous process is the highest quality hemp flowers that cannabis connoisseurs seek.
We hope you enjoyed getting an in depth look at the process behind our artisan hemp flowers here at Earth and Sky Alchemy! Click here to purchase some of this years harvest.
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