Updated: Apr 24
My first day on the job turned out to be day #1 of the fall harvest on the farm. I was walking into the warehouse when a truck full of people pulled up. Gentry leaned across from the driver's seat as the window rolled down. He told me that they were heading to the farm to start harvesting the Kush E1 Hemp. I was in for a treat.
If I had been even a minute later, I would have missed the excitement. Spending my first day with Top Shelf twiddling my thumbs in the office. Instead, I got the privilege of seeing firsthand the fruit of months of planning and hard work.
After traveling west from St. Louis for the better part of an hour, we arrived at a rather unassuming plot of land. Getting out of my vehicle, the first thing I noticed was a sweet scent on the air. I got a quick tour, as everyone went about their business. I grabbed my camera and started walking the fields.
Having never seen hemp in the ground before, I couldn't help but be amazed at how large the plants had grown. I learned that plants grown outdoors are twice the size of those grown indoors. The plasticity of the plant was evident as I traversed the rows. Each strain had a distinct shape and average size.
More plants started to come down. The care that was taken to ensure the highest quality yield possible was clearly evident. Each plant was given a cursory inspection for damage, pests, disease, and mold. The healthiest plants were then harvested by hand. Working in teams, it didn’t take much time before the rows started to clear out.
The hemp was then taken to the barn for further inspection and initial hand trim. The team gave me an explanation of what mold does to hemp and what to look for while trimming the plants. They even let me have a go. Understandably, I was the slowest trimmer there. Watching the other's work, I could see how skilled they all were, finishing 5 plants to my one. Feeling the resin The curing rack filled up fast.
I wasn’t able to witness the curing process in full. It typically takes 3-5 days to dry the hemp plants. I did get the opportunity to take prime buds, trimmed and untrimmed to the studio. Beautiful and diverse, I had so much fun taking pictures of the Kush E1, the KLR Grape, and the KLR Gas. I could see the difference in the tricomes and leaves within 24 hours.
As the Kush E1 came off the fields, I found myself standing in admiration for the high quality of work. Everyone was incredibly knowledgeable. They all brought so much passion to the table. I still have a lot to learn about the hemp industry. I’m looking forward to learning about every aspect of the Top Shelf Hemp Co. process.