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  • Karel Ancona - Best Cali Hemp

Best Cali Hemp, End of October Update!

The thing about being neophytes in the hemp industry is that sometimes we’re hit with the unanticipated and unexpected. As I write this, we are still in the process of harvesting and drying and processing our Shasta Candy, which has by the way, come in from testing with 17.7 percent CBD.

Our First Lady came in at 10.49 percent and Gold Hill at 7.71 percent. We’re quite happy with the results! That said, our timeline for harvest hit a bit of a snag recently when we woke to a 12 degree low. The plan had been to pull down the cutting that had been hung to dry the prior week and due to lowering temperatures had taken longer than usual to dry. Milford is inherently a dry climate so unlike growers in Oregon for instance, where high moisture in the environment requires that heating systems that are integral to drying the hemp are employed throughout harvest season, is not something we would necessarily need and therefore had not installed..

Drying and curing hemp properly is critical to its overall quality. These processes of drying and curing kick off chain reactions that change the chemical compounds and intensify the hemp’s overall effects during use. Even though this cutting was on schedule to be pulled, this one-day temperature change froze what little moisture remained in the stems, rendering it too “wet” for pulling and bucking. Drying reduces moisture by 10 to 15 percent, which determines the crispiness of the bud. Somewhere in the 12 percent moisture range is considered optimal. Anything more and quality can be compromised. Ideally, drying temperatures should fall within 60 to 70 degrees, but a study conducted in 2018 by The University of Vermont showed that CBD yield was only impacted by temperatures greater than 80 degrees. Lower temperatures were not problematic. Therefore, the delay in drying time here at Best Cali Hemp was more a concern of staying on schedule than how quality would be affected. The placement of radiant heaters throughout the facility got us back on track within a day.

But while we’re here, let’s take a look at what comes after drying - curing - and why it matters. Not every grower cures their hemp, but not doing so yields less than optimal product. The time given to curing is well worth the end result it produces, as milky white trichomes are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also develops deeper aroma and flavor.

Since Best Cali Hemp’s commitment is to produce that which it name implies, we see our processes through to the end. And we’re open to learning as we go, which, given our yields has shown us we’re on the right path. Like so many instances this season, little things have cropped up - no pun intended - that required an immediate shift in order to move forward successfully. “This has definitely been a learning curve and each situation has been dealt with head- on and thankfully has come in as positives,” said Katrina Shockley, BCH chief operations officer. “This allows us to be better prepared moving into next season as we work toward our commitment to providing quality products to the market and our clients.”

Adaptability and commitment are key to most things in life, and farming of any crop, including hemp is no exception. Here’s to looking forward! We look forward to taking each of you on this journey with us.

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