When we first considered producing seeds, advanced starts and clones for other cultivators, we spent an enormous amount of time on research to identify the best process and methodology. For us, as with everything we do, it was vitally important to put out the highest quality product – something that people can count on. Even more importantly, knowing that this product could hold the livelihoods of numerous farmers in its hands made it ever more important to “get it right.” Unfortunately, we were greeted by a combination of cannabis-lore and “proprietary” practices that left us with more questions than answers. So, we started experimenting with the little solid information we had available.
After numerous trials, we found our ideal timeline and process. We built out a female stock and male stock from our preferred phenotypes and chemotypes and dialed in our greenhouse facilities to meet the actual demand of today’s market. In the spirit of transparency and authenticity that seem all-too-foreign in our industry, here are the details on our post-harvest process:
After cutting stalks 1.0″ above the grow medium, plants are flipped upside-down and hung on nylon string to dry for 10 days. Temperatures are maintained between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity averaging 60%. Light deprivation shades are closed during daylight hours to limit direct exposure to the sun.
Cherry Wine hang drying. Supplemental lighting turned on for photo only. Photo taken 4.14.2020 on iPhone X.
Supplemental lighting is turned off. We also utilize 6 ceiling cage fans and 6 oscillating floor fans to maximize air circulation, reducing the risk of mold and mildew.
Cherry Wine hang drying. Photo taken 4.15.2020 on iPhone X.
Once moisture content of the drying plants reaches approximately 9-10%, they are removed from drying lines.
Cherry Wine being removed from drying lines. Photo taken 4.15.2020 on iPhone X.
Each branch is cut along the primary stalk and collected in a tote.
Cherry Wine after being removed from drying lines. Photo taken 4.15.2020 on iPhone X.
Floral and leaf material is then stripped from each branch and separated to maintain purity. This can be done using anything from large scale mechanical farm implements, to homemade notched PVC, to a gloved hand.
Cherry Wine being bucked by hand. Photos taken 4.15.2020 on iPhone X.
Because floral material, chaff/trim, seeds and stems/stalk have very specific and unique uses, we find it vital to take the time to isolate each in an effort to maximize the profitability of our farm. All bucked branches are preserved for animal bedding, fuel pellets and ethanol production.
Cherry Wine after separation of leaf and floral material from stem/stalk. Photo taken 4.16.2020 on iPhone X.
Chaff/Trim and Flower
After removing the leaf and floral material from the stems/stalks, we further separate pure floral material from chaff/trim. Seeds are removed from both groups separately to preserve their purity. Chaff/trim is processed to produce approximately 8% cannabinoid content per dried pound. Floral material is sold into states where it is legal to package and sell smokeable flower at approximately 16% cannabinoid content with 1.5-2.0% terpene content. Kief, available in trichomes stripped from floral and sugar leaf material during seed separation, is also collected to isolate the purest cannabinoid content from the plant.
Cherry Wine leaf and floral material separated from eachother. Photo taken 4.17.2020 on iPhone X.
Seeds that are separated from chaff/trim and floral material are run through a seed separator 2-4 times at differing levels of air pressure to isolate only the highest quality seeds and minimize levels of non-seed and inert material. They are then sifted to remove residual stems, sticks and buds. After separation, seeds are placed in a cool, dark environment with temperatures ranging from 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels <50% until they are packaged and shipped to the end customer.
Cherry Wine seeds prior to final sifting. Photo taken 4.17.2020 on iPhone X.