And So It Begins…

During 2022 we officially became Cannabis sativa L. growers. While Cannabis sativa L, is  also known as hemp, it is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% of THC AKA Tetrahydrocannabinol.

Given that we were granted a growers license at the end of May, we scrambled to find viable seeds for the season’s grow.

What a rush to the finish line!

To begin with, we had to identify and prepare a sunny-spot. Fred and his trusty excavator carefully prepped the area. Being that cannabis leaves are very appealing to the local wildlife population, several safe-guards, such as fencing all had to be sourced and erected.

The field: Before it was prepped. Lots of work required to get it flat e.g. removal of trees, rocks, leveling etc.

Seedlings are planted into their pots, summer day. Fred stands near one end of the field admiring the field of dreams.

4th July 2022

Seedlings transplanted into their location for the season.

The Long Hot Summer

Thankfully, our seedlings took a month to grow into the appropriate size for planting. As a result we were able to work diligently to research and install an irrigation system. (In any case, you don’t want to have to water lots of plants three-times a day by hand)!

Albeit a rush to get everything for the grow situated, the seedlings got moved from the greenhouse, to their new home on July 4th.

Of course, farming isn’t easy, especially during a hot summer coupled with extreme drought and 100+F consecutive dog days of summer. In essence the plants require more water and in this situation watering three times a day.

By and large we were concerned that the well would run dry. At any rate, we became very conscious of our water use, e.g. short showers, limited dish/clothes washing machine runs, no car washes etc.

Water Preservation

To ensure water conservation, we grew our plants horticulturally, that means: in special pots. This ensures that optimal amounts of water and nutrients are absorbed by the plant and not wasted in the surrounding soils.

Nevertheless, we got through the oven-like summer, spending hours scouting our cannabis field. Generally we loved spending time checking on the plants, it is after all very therapeutic. (Furthermore, as the plants grow soooo quickly it is a rewarding process).

Fred amongst the large hemp plants on a sunny day


Regular monitoring of every plant. Every day. Fred in action.


Meanwhile, the hours spent scouting during the summer paid off, we didn’t get inundated with pests. Checking leaves for spider mites, thrips, aphids, corn borers, caterpillars, beetles etc. took time, but who wants plants/flowers crawling in pests? We don’t!

JinG the cat (golden colored cat) lounges in front of a recently planted seedling in the hemp field.

JinG our Trusty Companion

Great rodent and bird deterrent.

Lots of Rain and Damp

As we moved into September, the rains came. What’s more, the rain continued, day in and day out. In short, continuous rain is an alarm bell for farmers, especially when the crop is flowering/maturing. Not only does rain bring continual dampness, but it also create conditions conducive to molds/fungi. Namely, Botrytis and Powdery Mildew.

In reality, we spent hours in the rain, ensuring that any damage to any plants would be mitigated. We did have one casualty, we called her Queen Elizabeth, (due to the death of the UK Queen around that time). To summarize, spending time outside in the rain and damp isn’t that much fun.

Fred and Natasha stand dripping wet, in a foggy, damp hemp field. Natasha has cutting tools in her hands.

Fred and Natasha In The Rain

Rain puts a dampner on the whole process.

Early Frost

However, we (and the plants) survived the damp phase, only to get hit with early, hard frosts at the end of September. On the whole, plants can maybe survive a couple of gentle frosts. In this case, the frosts were brutal. To be sure, early frost is definitely a significant farmer’s fear.

Not to mention, that we were running around like headless chickens, trying to erect pop-up canopies to protect our plants from the cold.

Close up of ice crystals on the flower bud on the hemp plant.


While pretty, frost can cause severe damage.

Ice crystals form on a hemp flower bud.


Ice Crystals Form on the Flower Buds Eek! Immediate action is needed to prevent damage.

Natasha and her mom trimming leaves from the hemp plants, during the harvest, autumn time

Natasha and Mom

Croptober - means lots of trimming and even more trimming.

Trim, trim, trim

Unquestionably, one of the more time consuming aspects of growing cannabis plants is the trimming of the large fan leaves. Blimey this takes hours.

(To that end, we were lucky as my parents visited from the UK and mum helped out as much as she could tolerate). In this case, it seemed like a month-long process. Indeed, once the leaves were trimmed, the plants were hung in a controlled environment and dried.

Natasha's dad wearing his cap, trims a leaf from the hemp plant.

Natasha's Dad Trimming

Rare event - dad (82 yrs old), trims a few leaves.

Respect for Farmers Everywhere

By the time Thanksgiving came round, we had finally trimmed the flower bud from the dried stems and stored them in our curing tanks.

On account of the uncontrollable weather, we have to say our respect goes to the farmers who work tirelessly under wildly, ungovernable heat/rain/frost to get their crops to market.

Glistening flower bud

Flower Bud Close Up

Once dried the flower buds are cured - how wonderful they look!

Let’s Do It Again

At any rate, even after all of the potential challenges and risks, and the fact that there is a glut of mass-farmed poorer-quality hemp flower out there, we have planted this year’s seeds…Follow our progress here, on Facebook and Instagram.

Fred holds us a hemp plant that has just been cut, he carries it in his hands, the plant is bigger than he is.

Fred and A Rather Large Plant

Fred carries the plant to the controlled drying environment.