Growing Premium Hemp for CBD at Boot Ranch Farms
August 20, 2020
What do you think of when you hear “farm-to-table CBD”? Some picture bucolic rows of hemp blowing with the breeze, a rustic barn creaking on its timeworn foundation? At Harvey’s we want you to think about the farm – the dirt, the seeds, the hand cultivating, the natural fertilization and the love that goes into each harvest. All Harvey’s premium CBD products are grown by Harvey Craig at Boot Ranch Farms – and here’s a glimpse into how we do it.
When growing hemp, which is used internally in the body, it is very important to grow a clean, high quality, full spectrum female hemp plant with desirable terpenes (essence oils). Doing all this and maintaining a THC level below 0.3% is the key in producing the best hemp for CBD products which maintain long term benefits for people and animals.
This process has come a long way from the traditional means of growing hemp for fiber and seed on large-scale industrial farms. That being said, I will focus on giving a basic understanding of the plant and explaining methods used to grow for high quality CBD products.
[Picture Above: Sunset at Boot Ranch Farms where Harvey Craig specially grows premium hemp for our CBD products]
Hemp is an annual and has a male and a female plant. As a general rule of thumb, hemp will produce about 50% female and 50% male plants when grown from seed. In early season during long days of light, the plant remains in vegetative, or growing, state. The main job of the male is to create pollen sacks, which in time are released and float through the air as a fine white powder with the purpose of pollenating the female plant. As the days get shorter, the plant is then naturally triggered into the flower, or budding, stage in which females will produce seed. In fact, cross pollenating male and female plants of different genetic backgrounds is one of the main ways hemp has evolved over time. As the cold months approach and the frost hits, the plant dwindles and returns to the earth.
The female plant produces an oil on its leaves and buds, and the main purpose of this oil is to attract the pollen released from the male plant. This oil is the gold that the CBD industry craves! Good farmers have developed ways to help create this oil in states that are highly beneficial for long term medicinal use. When the female plant gets pollenated, it will then veer away from creating oil and focus on producing seed throughout the budding stage. By depriving the female plant of pollen, it will instead focus on creating oil throughout the budding cycle. This is why it is so important to grow only female plants. Many tricks of the trade have been developed to help prevent the female hemp plants from getting pollenated and also to understand the state of the oils on the flower for harvesting at the optimal time.
Most CBD hemp farmers use a very tedious process called “cloning” which are clippings from a healthy female “mother plant” that are rooted and then transplanted. By cloning a female plant, you are assured that the new plant will also be female. If growing from seed, it is hard to tell which plants are male until pollen sacks develop. This normally takes a few months and once males are found, they must be destroyed or far removed to prevent pollenating the females. One male plant can pollenate acres of females – which is devastating! Samples from young plants can also be sent to labs for gender testing, though this has not been cost effective when growing thousands of plants.
It is our belief that the most important part of this whole process is maintaining soil health from one season to the next. This is done by using practices such as: rotating crops; using mulch and natural fertilizers rather than readily-accessible manufactured fertilizers; maintaining cover crops; using “no till” methodologies; growing organically without harsh pesticides; etc. So much of our farmlands’ soils have been destroyed through large scale industrial mono-cropping and that must end. This is also why we prefer to support small farmers instead!
All Harvey’s products are crafted with premium, high-quality, CBD oil. Don’t waste money on cheap, processed CBD products. Harvey’s farm-to-table CBD products are different – find out why.