Watch out NorCal and Oregon, the storm is a comin'!
For office-workin' folks, this means feeling warm and cozy indoors while hearing the rain ping-ping against the windows outside. For farmers, this means, well...
Time to prepare! Here are some tips from Clean Green Certified's program director, Chris Van Hook, on how to keep your crop safe:
Get that air circulatin'
If you are growing under plastic or in a greenhouse, get the sides opened up as much as possible before the rain hits. Increase circulation by raising walls and pulling plastic off. Even during rainy periods, you want to keep the circulation going-- do not close up entirely or you will have a bad increase in humidity levels.
Choose your keepers
If at all possible, select-cut your largest most productive flowers before the rain hits. Taking down your prize buds will save the best product now, get it safe and allow for smaller buds to grow in. Larger buds are also the most susceptible to humidity accumulation.
(Photo from Fish Rock Farms, a Clean Green Certified farm in Mendocino, taken by Carrie Mayfield)
De-leaf your plants!
Now is time to de-leaf your plants. Heavily de-leaf as much as possible-- take out your yellow leaves, water-heavy leaves, large green leaves. Having leaf matter on your plant will both decrease circulation and make your buds more susceptible to water damage.
Beware the powdery mildew!
If you have powdery mildew already, de-leafing will help remove powdery mildew. Put de-leafed leaves in a plastic bag-- don’t just throw leaves on the ground because this will increase humidity (like when you throw your clothes on the ground and then you find mold on the walls-- personal experience living in humid Humboldt County). Leaving powdery mildewed leaves can also contaminate your site.
Get the help you need
Make use of your network to get some extra hands out. If you have a collective, put your collective members to work. If you're Clean Green Certified, make use of our network to get some help!
Prep your Post-Harvest
Make sure that your drying room is well constructed and run dehumidifiers if necessary. It seems obvious, but really make sure your product is properly dried before packaging. If you are putting your product away in plastic bags/tupperwares/glass jars, consider putting in some O2 and or food grade oxygen and moisture absorbing silicon packets.