10/11/18: The Harvest (Part 4): The Final Cut

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One last look at the garden

It’s the middle of October; a time of transition when the days get noticeably shorter, early sunsets give the landscape a golden hue, and agricultural communities celebrate the fruits of their labor with harvest festivals.  October is a time for reflection on the impermanence of  life; crops die for our sustenance as we reconnect with our living friends and family for holidays that celebrate those we have lost.  For the outdoor cannabis grower it is a race against time as our plants begin to rot away; the end of the harvest has come.

Sherbet: Dead Flowers

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last week these buds were almost ready to be picked, today they are almost unusable

Last week I made the decision to give my Sherbet and Gorilla Glue one more week before  I make the final cut on them.  All three plants had the dreaded bud-rot creeping up on them and it was just a matter of time before the rot spread through the whole plant killing it; the trichomes were not entirely mature and I really wanted to get a few prime smoking flowers this year so I delayed cutting.  A week later, I regret my decision.

Both Sherbet plants (which had been largely resistant to the rot) are dead with the majority of the buds rotten.  Each dead bud is absolutely covered in beautiful trichomes; if I lived on-site I could have saved them but I live 2 hours away from the garden and only get to visit for a day or two at a time.   The rot and mold on the buds makes these innappropriate for smoking or converting to butter or tincture.  In theory I could use these buds to make hash but it is a messy, time consuming process and with such little material to work with would not provide much reward for the effort.  I salvage what buds I can, give my plants one more look, and then rip them from the earth and throw them into the compost pile with their fallen brothers-in-arms.

Gorilla Glue: The Last Plant Standing

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the last bud of the season

With the two Sherbet plants gone, all that remains is the Gorilla Glue.  Gorilla Glue is named after a brand of adhesive; the idea being that the trichomes are so sticky that they cause trimmers to get stuck as if someone had glued them together.  Fortunately, I have not noticed this phenomena as my trimmers and clippers have had no problem with this plant.

Gorilla Glue (officially “GG4” for copyright reasons) is the only sativa-dominant plant I have grown this year.  As expected, it was the largest and heartiest plant in the garden and my early estimate suggests that it will provide almost half of this years total harvest. Despite the oncoming bud rot and my severe pruning of the plant last year it still has several large lollipop buds and even some colas!  I pull out my trusty Bonsai Hero Testarossa clippers and plow through the remaining larger buds, then resort to hand trimming for the smaller lollipops; two hours later I make the final cut signaling the official end of the harvest.

The Next Steps

The end of the harvest marks the beginning of the drying, curing, and processing phases.    These are “passive” activities that require very little hands-on work which means the majority of hard work is already done.  Now it’s time to take a rest, research new recipes for processing, and start thinking about what plants to grow next year.

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