Now's the time to harvest your outdoor marijuana plants that have been growing since April and trim those beautiful buds.
I spent the last week at an undisclosed New England location getting my hands sticky.
A friend has a modest grow, about 15 plants, a mixed bag of Jack Herer, Grape Punch, Skunk Hero, Haze, Blueberry Bubba Kush and 10th Planet.
Since it's a northern climate, many of the plants turned various shades of purple; hence I called it the purple pot farm.
Trimming is pretty simple. All you need is pointed scissors (known as pruning shears), a diligent approach and plenty of spare time.
There's wet trimming and dry trimming. Both techniques were employed at the farm. Wet trimming is what you do right after harvesting. Cut the leaves back as much as posssible. Then hang the branches in a dark room or closet and several days later the buds will start feeling crispy. Trim some more. Then place the buds in jars and check them regularly for mold.
The key to harvesting is knowing when the flowers are ripe. Use a loupe to close up on the flowers. You'll see hundreds of tiny trichomes (resin glands). They look like mini mushrooms with heads on top. At first they'll be clear, then milky and finally a touch of amber. That's when to clip your plants.
Don't harvest all the plants at once. Stagger them. Then you'll have fresh buds to smoke while you're happily snipping away.
Thanks to my friend, I returned home with some of the fruits of our labor. I'll be smoking organic, homegrown cannabis for the foreseeable future.