Farmwork Friday: The Off-Season

Before you can get to the fun bits of cannabis, a lot of work has to go into the cultivation of the plant. Or, maybe you consider that the fun bit? Either way, we’re here to outline what the team at Elyon does to give you the best bud, from choosing the soil to harvesting the plants. Let’s get to (farm)work. 

The buds are curing and the weather’s turned cold. Life on the farm has slowed down but the grower’s job doesn’t simply end at harvest. Here’s what happens in the off-season. 

Winterfresh

Croptober is the best time of year for growers. It is also an incredibly demanding and possibly frenetic time as you race to get all your plants harvested before the weather turns against you. So the end of harvest is a welcome relief. It’s a time to slow down and give thanks for the strains you tended and grew. But it’s also the time to start planning for next year’s harvest. Yes, already. The first step is to prepare the farm for the winter months. It’s time to winterize. 

The grower’s winterizing checklist can be long and tedious. But it’s a crucial part of ensuring the farm remains healthy in its dormancy and functioning come spring. The first on the list is water maintenance. Water is the lifeblood of the farm. In California, it’s a particularly valuable resource so it’s very important that all the water systems are properly taken care of. At Elyon, we shut down the water filtration system and flush out the pipes so they don’t freeze. We also check all of the irrigation tubing for any possible damage, taking inventory of anything that needs to be replaced so we can be as efficient as possible next harvest season. Speaking of taking inventory, we also remove all of the hoop structures and take note if anything is damaged or needs replacing before they go up again next spring. 

Any nutrients that you won’t be using next year? Those need to be properly disposed of. Sounds sexy, right? No. But it is incredibly important for the environment, yours and the surrounding area. That honestly is a bit sexy. Talk environmentally friendly practices to me, baby. 

Cover Me

Let’s keep that titillating talk up and speak cover crops. Not only are cover crops good for erosion control (along with silt fences and straw wattles), but they are also important for soil health. White Dutch Clover is the cover crop of choice at Elyon. Most importantly, it does a good job in nitrogen correction. But it is also helpful in weed control and produces a large amount of flowers, attracting pollinators like bees to the farm. While we’re all about the bud, it’s important to remember that to get the biggest buds, and the Most High, you need a healthy ecosystem. Cover crops are key to a year-round healthy ecosystem. Beans, peas, oats and legumes are also good nitrogen correctors and healthy cover crops to choose from. 

Oh, the Strain

Another important task for growers (and the sales department, marketing team, executives and the rest of the cultivation team)? Choosing next year’s genetics. It’s a company-wide effort but the first task is to evaluate the growing season. Growers need to review data from the past few months. Which plants produced the best yields? What tested the best in cannabinoids? Beyond the healthiest plants, what sold the best? This of course, is where the rest of the team comes in. And the consumer. What strain can’t the dispensaries keep stocked? It all goes into the decision making. We don’t want to grow too comfortable, though. So we’ll definitely decide on a few new strains to add into the rotation. 

Odds and Ends

As much as we wish hibernation existed it just isn’t a thing at Elyon. Although many of our staff are seasonal, the full time employees keep busy straight through to next year’s growing season. Farm projects we didn’t get around to during harvest season, data analysis and budgeting round out the to-do list. It may not be as exciting as Croptober, but it keeps us fresh and ready to get you the Most High next year. 

 

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