Our last harvest - ankle deep in the soil and overjoyed
Up to our necks in hemp, so there we were in wind and weather, beaming all over our faces. In the greenhouse, our harvest is more flexible. In the open field, the hemp harvest is due every autumn.
The young plants are planted outdoors every spring, at the summer solstice they are in full bloom and usually in October our hemp can be harvested (more on the topic of hemp cultivation).
We still do this traditionally by hand, because this way we can select the best leaves of the elongated female hemp plants right away to get the highest quality. This time, most of our ALPINOLS team, most of whom actually sit in the office, helped out and lent a hand.
First thing in the morning at 7am, we took the train from Zurich towards Kerzers in the canton of Fribourg to our 15 hectare fields. Armed with a pair of plant shears, rubber boots and thick jackets, everyone from the founder to the intern trudged through the muddy paths - today of all days it had already rained all night. That hadn't stopped anyone. On the contrary, we were looking forward to the day in the open field where our hemp would be harvested.
None of us is used to real physical work, but since we all consider ourselves rather athletic, we were confident. To anticipate: most of us complained about considerable muscle soreness one day later! Fortunately, we didn't know anything about that at the time.
The expert explained to us that only the most beautiful stalks with the valuable leaves are important for harvesting. For the hemp harvest, they are cut about the length of a forearm.
One plant has dozens of such stems. We worked our way from plant to plant and from stem to stem. You become very quiet and at some point you only hear the sounds of nature, the snapping of the wet earth under your rubber boots and the metallic sound of the stalks being cut. Harvesting hemp - like a little meditation.
hemp upon heart
After the first two hours of work we were all quite frozen. Nevertheless happy from the good air and the unmistakable hemp smell. Hemp is good for the heart. With red faces and hot tea as well as a sandwich in our hands we stood in the field - breakfast at the hemp harvest. At the same time, tons of baskets with our green gold were already being picked up by trucks to make the hemp harvest ready for the CBD extraction.
One plant yields about 10 vials of our CBD oil. It still takes time until the CBD oil is bottled. That is, of course, first harvest vigorously further.
Quite exhausting, we had to find out after about 7 hours of field work. The mud was now so high that it slowly but surely penetrated into the rubber boots and our pants were heavy, soaked by the rain.
And yet, we all agreed, "We want to do this again next year!"
The hemp harvest has made us happy - admittedly, standing in the field every day would be a completely different story for most of us. We can't quite imagine that, because we love our actual job too much.
Helping out now and then, feeling the power of the plant, putting the good stems in the basket and sorting out the bad ones instead of putting them in the "little pot", that's what we like to do again.