Reaping what I’ve sown – Marty’s grow report, chapter 9

Reaping what I’ve sown – Marty’s grow report, chapter 9

Martin Jud
Zurich, on 09.02.2021
It’s harvest time: give me today my daily hemp! First up, it’s snip and dry and then on to the marijuana fermentation process 10 days later.

What’s that smell, I hear you say? It’s me reaping my reefer! In the process, I’ve found something I enjoy consuming on my snipping breaks. Little bits of «shit» that taste absolutely lovely when vaporised. Yum!

I’m excited, even if it’s placebo pot I’m inhaling. The taste reminds me of a fruit-flavoured chewing gum with a generous dash of cannabis.

Some of these resin crumbs are already dry and ready for tasting.
Some of these resin crumbs are already dry and ready for tasting.

Strictly speaking, the knobbly bits I’ve put in my vapouriser for tasting aren’t shit. Just like the regular buds, the individual calyxes on the stem and branches are infused with the best cannabinoids and flavours. Conveniently, some of them are already dry on harvest day. For the sake of completeness: the term «shit» is used for low-quality hash. And I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain the term hash. But have you heard this one: What do you get when you eat too many hash brownies? A pot belly. Now that’s a dad joke that gets me every time. Hopefully, that made you smile even if you’re a stoner without any stash. Or a stoner sitting in front of a pile of CBD buds, like me.

By the way, I’m a pretty relaxed guy without CBD in my bloodstream. Maybe that’s why it’s having zero effect. Nevertheless, in terms of taste this stuff is dope.

My stuff, my precious.

However, my senses might be playing tricks on me. After all, I’ve been exposed to wafts of ganja for hours. Over time, even the best of smells becomes too much. Or you become numb to it. Which reminds me of our school trip to the sewage plant back in the nineties. How time flies... I was a right milksop back then – a true greenhorn.

Today, my green is bearing milky trichomes.

Harvesting takes about eight hours, not counting breaks.
Harvesting takes about eight hours, not counting breaks.

I keep on harvesting and hope the neighbours don’t knock on the door asking to borrow some eggs. Having said that, my Mota CBD Rich Auto weed wouldn’t get me into trouble as it contains well under one per cent THC. It is therefore totally legal.

Too bad THC weed isn’t legal. I’m pretty sure that most people who’ve been bashing my beloved weed for decades are happy to occasionally raise a glass to good health. Or bad. I still get wound up by the fact that alcohol, a neurotoxin, is legal. While hemp, my beloved cannabis, which has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years, is still demonised by backward thinkers.

Enough is enough. Legalise it already! Chop chop! I’ll even go down on my knees before the authorities, the pharmaceutical giants and the cotton industry if need be. But enough of my rant and back to my scissors.

Harvest time already?

To the naked eye, the four female cannabis plants have changed very little over the past week. A handful of leaves turned yellow; a few buds have the odd reddish petals.

After 103 days, the buds of the four females are mainly bearing milky trichomes after 103 days.
After 103 days, the buds of the four females are mainly bearing milky trichomes after 103 days.

In chapter eight, I pointed out that my goal was to harvest buds with as many milk-coloured resin glands as possible. Looking through the microscope yesterday, on day 103 of the plants’ lives, told me that this day had come.

The rare, reddish petals...
The rare, reddish petals...
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If the stigmas (flower hairs) are brown, they’ve wilted.
If the stigmas (flower hairs) are brown, they’ve wilted.
If the hairs are white, they can be fertilised by pollen.
If the hairs are white, they can be fertilised by pollen.

And so, I started harvesting last night. I was giving the buds a haircut and processed a total of three plants until very late at night. Each plant takes me about one and a half to two hours to cut. It’s the last female’s turn today.

Rewind to last night and I’m starting to have doubts after about six hours of cutting. Did I pick the right time to harvest? I start thinking about the different opinions regarding the perfect time for harvesting THC grass. Some growers prefer to wait until 50 per cent of trichomes are no longer milky, but the colour of amber or cola. By the way, you should avoid harvesting any later than that.

The delayed harvest not only beefs up the buds but also changes the ratio among the cannabinoids. This leads to ganja that makes you more body stoned. In other words, lovers of cola-coloured trichomes also love their couch.

Be as it may, I’m harvesting buds with many milky and few cola-coloured trichomes. That’s just my preference. If this were THC grass, it would give you a headier high compared to cola pot. In addition, the smell or taste is at its strongest at this stage. But only if it’s been dried properly. A later fermentation will add an extra dimension to the whole thing.

Life after harvesting

It’s important to use a clean undersurface when you’re harvesting. And clean scissors. Disinfecting them with alcohol beforehand can be a good idea to reduce the risk of introducing fungal spores or the like. Gloves are essential or you’ll end up with sticky fingers in a matter of minutes.

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The harvest involves removing everything that doesn’t sparkle and placing each bud on the drying tray. When drying them later on, it’s important that the buds are exposed to as much air as possible. For this reason, I reduce the larger buds in size.

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Apart from ditching the fertiliser, which I did weeks ago and should be done at least ten days before the harvest, I have made no other preparations. Neither did I expose my plants to darkness while depriving them of water for 48 hours, as some people do, nor did I harvest exclusively in the morning. It is said that there are more cannabinoids in the morning, as they’re produced in the dark. However, I believe that this quick measure is a drop in the ocean compared to several weeks of flowering. A drop of cola I’m happy to do without.

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Right, the harvest is finally completed. I’ve filled the trays and stacked them in the dark. They’re back in the tent where the diagonal fan is running several times a day and filtering the smell thanks to its activated carbon filter. When it’s not on, there’s still a cloud of fragrance wafting out of the tent. Therefore, I place a second fan and activated carbon filter in the tent and turn it on when needed. Actually, it’s now running all the time. I got the second fan plus an extra tent to prepare for a potential partial harvest.

During the first two days, I’ll be creating a breeze eight times a day for 15 minutes. Initially, the grass is more humid and the risk of mould is greater. After that, the timer turns on the fan four times for 15 minutes per 24 hours. It’s very important that the buds dry slowly and protected from light. At least ten days is ideal. During the drying process, up to 70 per cent of their weight is reduced by removing water. What’s more, chlorophyll (leaf green) is broken down, which can produce an unpleasant taste for the consumer.

To ensure good conditions in the small storage room where my tent is, I make sure that the temperature stays just below 20 degrees. This isn’t a problem as the room has no floor heating. All I need to do is close the door. I also make sure to air the room daily to keep humidity levels down. However, if the drying process should be too fast in next few days, I will counteract this by placing a damp cloth on the bottom drying shelf. I added an extra one under the nets filled with ganja for this purpose.

In total, I filled five drying trays with an area of 69 by 69 centimetres with buds. Three of them are completely full. Two are well over half full. I wonder how much this all weighs?

I can't wait to put this bud into a jar when it’s dried.
I can't wait to put this bud into a jar when it’s dried.

My final grow report will provide the answer. It will also talk about refining the grass. And taking stock. What’s my grass worth? How much did I spend? How high will the electricity bill be after 103 days of 18-hour 400-watt NDL lighting and 24-hour ventilation?

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Martin Jud
Martin Jud

Editor, Zurich

I find my muse in everything. When I don’t, I draw inspiration from daydreaming. After all, if you dream, you don’t sleep through life.

DIY + Garden

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