DISPATCHES FROM THE FARM: SUMMER EDITION
By Rory Coulter
It's time to get out into the field — it’s summertime on the farm and everything’s in full swing! Remember those 10,000 seeds from our Spring Dispatch? Well, they’re 10,000 strong plants now — reaching for the sky! We chat with Farmer Jonathan about the royal treatment they receive, the amazing folks out lending a hand, and the greatest challenge a seasoned farmer faces.
Ned: Hi Jonathan! How are you and the fam?
Jonathan: Hello there! The family and I are good. School is out for the kids and the farm is in full swing. Lots of folks have been through to lend a hand and we ended up with a super crew this year.
Ned: How was spring on the farm?
Jonathan: Spring on the farm is always a good time. Lots of things are happening and like the hemp plants, the to-do list seems to grow by the minute. All of the field work was done in May and the irrigation infrastructure was brought to life. We had great seed germination in the greenhouse this year. It's always amazing to watch 10,000 seeds sprout up and begin to fulfill their purpose in life. As you might imagine, this is a crucial point in the whole process and constant attention and care sets us up for success as we move into the field. The plants do 99% of their growth in the field, but spring in the greenhouse is when they require the most nurturing. As always the seedlings received royal treatment and were ready for the field in 5 weeks time.
Ned: What will summer be like on the farm?
Jonathan: After planting, summer becomes a time of observation, problem solving, and maintenance. I'd like to say that we just kick back and watch the plants grow but that’s not usually the case. The hemp plant goes through a long vegatative growth then begins to flower in August and into the fall. Certain needs have to be met during each phase and knowing when and how to meet those needs is one of the great challenges a farmer faces. Hopefully, we will get out and enjoy all the great places that Colorado has to offer this summer as well. A little camping, hiking, and climbing is in the near future for sure!
Ned: What will you be working on in June? What stage will the plants be at?
Jonathan: June is when the plants go into the ground. All of the preparations that have been made in the spring come together for one purpose, getting the plants into the field. We have a formula for this that is ever evolving, and as long as everything is in place, the transition will go well. As of a few days ago, 10,000 plants were planted in the ground, and as of today 10,000 plants are standing strong, already reaching for the sky.
Ned: What will you be working on in July? What stage will the plants be at?
Jonathan: July is when the plants experience rapid growth. The field seems to change daily and things really take shape. This is when we encourage lots of growth as bigger plants yield more flowers. We like to see them big, green and healthy as they head into the flowering stage where they begin to focus their energy on producing the resinous rich flowers that contain all the life enhancing properties we have come to appreciate.
Ned: What will you be working on in August? What stage will the plants be at?
Jonathan: August is the month of plant maintenance, monitoring, and fixing. This really is the time to appreciate the field as there is nothing quite like standing in a field of flowering hemp. This is also about the time when we start to prepare for the September harvest. The harvest is truly epic and we maintain a strict tolerance on how the hemp flower is dried, cured and processed. We really strive to preserve the essence of the plant which translates to a super high quality product that eventually makes its way into many of Ned’s products.
Ned: Anything new or exciting going on?
Jonathan: Although we have been doing this for awhile, things are always new and exciting on the farm. Every year presents its own unique challenges which have to be met in new and creative ways. No two years are the same and adaptability is the name of the game.