HEMP

Right here's how one can maximize your harvest by rising mildly poor hashish

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Light Deprivation – or Light Dep – is an outdoor cannabis growing technique where growers reduce the daily amount of light plants and trick the plants into thinking autumn has come early. It does this with light-blocking tarps draped over tire houses 12 hours a day, which triggers the flowering phase early and allows farmers to harvest their buds and bring them to market a few months before the big fall harvest.

In Humboldt – Ground Zero for Craft Cannabis – the technology emerged in the late 1980s and started in the 1990s and early 2000s. The reason? Farmers realized that they could squeeze two crops, not one, which increased productivity and profits.

Farmers usually grow seedlings or clones under additional light to get a strong start and then place them under light conditions to be ready within two months. As long as they have another batch of clones or seedlings ready to go into the ground, they can do it all again in time for fall.

The benefits of growing cannabis with slight deficiency

Example of a Light Dep greenhouse from Advancing Alternatives.

It can be a game changer for several reasons. "It's a great way to make some cash before the typical fall harvest so you don't wait too long for income," said Rachel Turiel of Herbanology in Mendocino. About a quarter of their arable land is the light dep. Their setup is nothing special: two tire houses made of PVC. The cannabis goes straight into the ground, she said.

Not only is it early cash for farmers, the price of light cannabis is often higher. "People will always want the freshest stuff," said Turiel. "So if someone else sells last fall's harvest and you come along with Light Dep, you will definitely get a higher price."

A less crowded market may not be the only reason Light Dep is getting better price. Jason Gellman of Ridgeline Farms in South Humboldt believes that light addiction links the benefits of outdoor cannabis – "better terpenes and a lower carbon footprint" – to market demands.

"People love this indoor look," said Gellman. "You can grow a big bud on someone in the open air, and it's strong, but it's not purple or covered in powdered sugar." Light Dep Cannabis comes closer to that frosty indoor look while still making use of most of these sun-grown qualities.

If he had his Druthers, he would work completely outdoors, with no light. "I believe that running outdoors leads to a better high."

Is the quality of light cannabis better?

He is not alone in this thinking. "The jury is still undecided if I'm all in on Light Dep," said Johnny Casali of Southern Humboldt's Huckleberry Hill Farms. Some of his estate varieties, originally bred by his mother, do not do well with light waste. "A full run takes six to eight months compared to Light Dep's two or three," he explained. "Farmers often get smaller buds, less THC, fewer cannabinoids, and fewer terpenes." He suspects that cannabis has its fullest expression of properties when grown under the full UV spectrum that the sun offers for as long as possible.

Light Dep can be very expensive for farmers too. If they don't clone themselves, they'll have to buy a ton of clones to put in the ground. Casali clones himself, but if he doesn't, he estimates that each round of plants in his setup would cost $ 14,000. And farmers differ in whether Light Dep delivers more or less than a full-time run.

The process may or may not be very labor intensive. Gellman's garden is small enough that he doesn't mind covering and uncovering tarpaulins. So big is the job for Casali that he built a pulley system that lifts a 500-pound tarpaulin over the plants. As for Turiel, it's a lot easier when her husband – measures 6 & # 39; 2 "versus 5 & # 39; 2" – steps in. Otherwise, "it's a person who runs back and forth to tie the pages before it flies off like a sail". She said.

Hard or not, it's constant. "Someone has to be at home every day to draw plans," said Turiel. She sees this as the greatest disadvantage of the technology. "It absolutely ties you to the country."

Casali agrees. "You can't miss a day," he said. "Every morning I am up at 5:30 am to make my coffee. At six I make plans. And on the other hand, I have to be home in the evening to do everything again."

While some farmers like Casali wonder if the extra work is worth it, others are all there. With Light Dep, Gellman can try a lot more strains than he would otherwise without having to fully commit. And the experiment doesn't end there: this year he's doing a third run, catching up with plants by the beginning of September and seeing what he can get out in a few months.

Turiel is also all-in: "Light Dep keeps it exciting for us."

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Beth Edmonds