Whole Plant Harvest
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In this lesson, Cameron teaches you what you need to know about harvesting your cannabis.
Hey, everyone! It’s Cameron. And today we’re going to be talking about whole plant harvest.
The purpose of a whole plant harvest SOP is to really ensure that the plants that have come through the growing life cycle are coming out on the harvest side and accounted for on a plant by plant basis.
So as you already know, plants are individually tagged and they are tagged early on in their life. Now when a plant comes into a harvest room, we need to start subtracting weight so we take a whole plant wet weight. And from that, we start removing green waste from it, and that includes the leaves, the branches, and ultimately, all we’re going to have in the end are the flower buds. And so we need to properly account for that green waste as the plant is broken down and dried.
The whole plant wet weight process really begins in the processing room. And it is where one of the compliance people will be recording the plant number and the whole plant wet weight prior to the plant being moved through the processing room to break it down and remove the extraneous sort of green waste and leaves and stems, etc. And this is all in order to remain compliant with the state so they are able to capture what is being green wasted.
Ultimately, what comes off of the plant by the time all the drying is set and done is about 80% of the original material has gone away and that’s through loss of water in the drying process and all the stem and leaf that gets green wasted along the way.
Some of the tools that are required for the whole plant process and procedure include things like big rolling janitorial bins, smaller things like bust tubs you find in a restaurant. And each of these things are really just designed to make the harvest process proceed more smoothly. You can probably capture about 15 or 20 plants in this big rolling janitorial bins. You can move them into the processing room. and as the plant gets broken down and moved through the system, the bust tubs become pretty imperative tools for people to capture things like leaves, stems, and all the green waste which then is gonna have to be weighed and tied back to that original plant tag number. So we are tracking how much of the plant is being disposed of and how much we’re keeping behind and drying and ultimately going to sell.
A whole plant harvest procedure looks sort of as follows:
The plant is removed from the flower room. It’s cut at the base where the stalk hits the media. Those plants are piled into a big rolling janitorial bin, and they’re then shoveled out to the processing room. As they enter the processing room, the plant is weighed. That weight is associated with the tag that is associated with that plant. The plant is then moved through processing where the branches are sort of broken off the main plant.
They’re usually done in a wishbone fashion so you can hang them on the hangers or whatever the sort of drying process is there. The fan leaves are removed. All the extraneous stem is removed. And all of that green waste weight is captured and tied back to that plant number and then captured accordingly.
So proper handling of the whole plant includes safe and sanitary conditions such as clean gloves. That also means minimizing the amount of friction between plants and not a lot of bumping into each other and other things. You also want to have tight control over your mechanicals such as your temperature and humidity within the dr rooms. And lastly, you just want to make sure that there’s we’re talking about fully dark rooms where light will degrade the overall quality of the plant.
Harvest manager quality control really begins when the plant rolls into the processing room. And their purview is everywhere from that point all the way through the drying cycle so the harvest manager needs to ensure that the tools are up to par with cleanliness standards. The bins, the scale, the mechanicals within the drying room, such as temperature and humidity controls. All of that stuff falls into the purview of the harvest manager.
So when it comes to maintaining integrity and compliance, certainly the harvest manager and cultivation manager will be working in tandem to ensure that the strain integrity is maintained as we’re going to the harvest process. So our rooms will be run with maybe one, two, three, four different strains, and we just want to make sure that we’re maintaining the strain by strain integrity as we move out of the flower room and into the processing room and through processing and in the drying room. Certainly, we don’t want to be mixing strains or cross-contaminating in any sort of way.
Part of the whole plant wet weight and harvest processing breakdown procedure is recording green waste. So once that plant is cut down and the whole plant wet weight is taken, from then on out we are removing from the plant. So we’re removing things like extra stems, extra leaves, so on and so forth. And once all these material is removed from the plant, it’s collected and documented accordingly so that we can maintain compliance with state regulations.
Really the last thing to bear in mind when it comes to the harvest procedure and this whole plant processing is cleanliness. We really need to maintain cleanliness to maintain not only the integrity of our finished product but also to maintain the integrity between strains. So if you have a strain that’s highly susceptible to something like a powdery mildew it maybe didn’t get a full expression in the room. All you really need is a couple of molds on pores to be around and it can get transferred from strain to strain.
And so when we finish up one strain, we sterilize that room and then the next strain comes in so we can really isolate these things and control all the potential variables and definitely mitigate the transference of any undesirable characteristics.
Chlorine dioxide is a cleaning and sanitizing agent that I’ve become really fond of using. It’s the kind of product that you can use throughout the plant life cycle and also after the plant life cycle. You can use it with living plants in the room. You can use it with drying plants in the room so it’s really versatile. It’s really functional and it’s a whole process end-to-end cleaning and sanitizing agent that’s going to really help mitigate any of the IPM problems that you might experience in your facility.
Thanks for joining me with the whole plant harvest procedure. We’ll see you next time!
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