Life is beyond busy these days. It used to be time consuming enough to be just a cannabis farmer, but now such a farmer must also know how to run a business, establish a brand, follow politics, acquire all the necessary land and business permits, and make sure their lawyer and accountant know what they are talking about. To be honest, the fear of not having every piece of paper properly filed or every inspection completed on time is just as scary as hiding from the helicopters hovering overhead like in the old days. Now it is the IRS or BoE or who knows who else is out there salivating while keeping an eye on our every move. What was I thinking when I envisioned a mellow life in the countryside?
Yet the cannabis harvest at this time of year takes precedent over all. Total focus must be on The Girls: preparing them in the garden for their big cut day, harvesting them before dawn with headlamps, hanging them to dry and start their slow curing process. I admit that I am not the one out in the garden with Swami in the morning. He is also in charge of hanging the plants for drying and then limbing them when they are dry enough to be wrapped in brown Kraft paper, labeled and brought in. My job has to do with the curing and trimming process. I’m responsible for recognizing when the buds are perfectly ready – dried just right to the edge of being dry but still so full of resin you could be deceived and think it is still wet. When ready, they go in their paper wraps into plastic tubs to continue their cure in the cold and dark until their trim day arrives.
Every year the process evolves and gets a little smoother and cleaner and more efficient. It’s all a learning experience for everyone here. And every year is different. The tremendous amount of rain this year has naturally encouraged mold so extra care must be taken to get rid of what is there and not let it spread further. Clearly, we are not the only ones in this predicament around here as weather is all-encompassing. But it’s a challenge. In comparison, last harvest season was absolutely perfect, with hardly a drop of rain until the end of October. But hey – it could be a plague of locusts coming through, like in “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck – one of my favorite books. It is important at times like this to remember the resiliency of humankind.
My respect for all farmers has multiplied exponentially since moving here to Mendocino County and becoming part of a farming operation. I look at my fruits and vegetables differently now too, aware of the many steps and challenges it took to get them to my table. Compared to indigenous cultures or those very few who actually live fully sustainable lives now, we have developed into a civilization that takes our blessings for granted. We think nothing of having tropical fruit in the dead of winter and complain if an apple is slightly blemished. Try stopping and appreciating each morsel you put in your mouth, and ask yourself, “how did this make it to me?”
Once again, Madame Cannabis is the best teacher of all. She is here to open our hearts and minds and to relax our tired bodies, so that we can stop and deeply smell the roses around us. Or the cannabis terpenes. Even during this busy harvest season, it is imperative to stay calm and accepting – to go with the flow. The vibe the farmers and their crews put out during the harvest and trimming process transfers directly to the plants and their effects on future patients. So welcome the rain, ask the mold to move on to another space, and keep your space clean and conscious.