Interview with our Grower!
This month we are talking to our in-house hemp grower, Robert. Here is a write up of our latest interview:
Q: Can you tell us a little big about the growing space?
A: We have two hoophouses that give us approximately 3,000 square feet of growing space. That allows us for around 215 plants and not a whole lot else since they get pretty wide. Each hoophouse has exhaust fans and hanging fans to circulate air, irrigation systems with filters for watering the plants, and shade cloth over the top to keep it from getting too hot during the warmer months. Neither structure is heated, so we do not grow a crop over the winter dur to freezing temperatures.
Q: What can you tell me about the strain of hemp you last grew for us?
A: The strain featured in these pictures is a sativa dominate hybrid called Midwest. The plants were started from seed and then transplanted into the grow pots. Because they were not clones, there are some genetic variations amongst the plants, which is normal for having seed grown hemp. The plants grow short and bushy, which is perfect for these hoophouses, given they are relatively short in nature.
Q:What is a typical day in the life of a grower like?
A:I typically start the day early to get to the greenhouses before it gets too warm, maybe around 7am. I do an initial walk though of the greenhouses to check the plants for things like pests, disease, nutrient deficiency, growth, and how much water they need. Every couple days i then mix nutrients and water the plants, pull off yellow leaves, check the water filters, fans, and security system. Early on are planting days, later on are harvest days. Basically everything in between is regular plant care and maintenance.
Q: What is the most challenging part about growing hemp?
A: I think the most challenging thing about growing inside a greenhouse or hoophouse is monitoring the temperature and air flow. A sunny day in March can have temps reaching the 90's in the greenhouse, and plants really don't like to function above 92 degrees.
Q: What is your favorite part about the growing process?
A: My favorite part has got to be the flowering process. Once the daylight goes to 12 hrs of sunlight and 12 hrs of darkness, that kicks off the flower initiation for all the plants. Then they begin changing so quickly and growing new flowers what seems like overnight. The flowers get crystals and turn white and purple and look and smell really great!
Thanks for reading up on the interview! Stay tuned for next month's blog!