Marijuana Harvest: Maximizing Quality and Yield in Your Cannabis Garden addresses in detail the critical stages of harvest, curing, and storage. Even the best-grown, top-shelf buds can be ruined with improper practices at any of these final stages.
While these topics are usually relegated to a couple of brief chapters at the end of cannabis growing guides, Marijuana Harvest is Ed Rosenthal’s new book devoted entirely to them. The text portion runs 213 pages and covers a variety of related topics from harvest to finished product.
The introduction by co-author David Downs sets a tone that is informative yet easy to follow. The writing isn’t overly technical or academic, and a conversational voice carries through the pages.
Planning is often an important part of success, and the book devotes an entire chapter to harvesting strategies. A garden that only requires minimal effort the week before harvest may have a staggering amount of work to be done the weeks of and following harvest. By using strategies such as those suggested, these influxes in labor demand can be planned for and accommodated.
Harvesting cannabis plants when they aren’t at their peak is lost potential that can never be regained. The chapter on ripening describes in detail, and shows with illustrating photos, the physical signs to watch for to determine harvest readiness.
The discussion on trimming runs the gambit of hand trimming versus machine trimmers, and wet trimming versus dry, with the pros and cons of each addressed.
Drying cannabis too quickly can impart unpleasant flavors, but drying too slowly promotes mold growth. The book explains strategies for avoiding both.
Curing has a strong influence on flavor, and both contemporary and traditional methods are discussed. I found the section devoted to water curing particularly interesting, as it is an older practice that is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. It involves soaking the buds in a water bath (changed daily) for a few days.
The method is not without risk, as a mistake, especially during drying, can easily ruin an entire batch. Even if successful, water curing leaves the buds looking mistreated and ruined. It dramatically reduces “bag appeal” regardless of the quality of starting material.
However, when properly done, it creates a surprisingly smooth smoke that has an extremely mild flavor. While the process removes much of the personality of flavor, it has uses where that can be an asset, such as in the case of cooking if strong cannabis flavors are not desired.
My overall impression of the book was that it covered its chosen topics well and in an easy-to-understand method. There are a few points here and there where my personal opinions differ, but that can be expected as many experienced growers will have picked up their own methods they are comfortable with over time.
The information given could well save an inexperienced gardener more than the purchase price of the book in a single harvest, and it makes some points of value for even a seasoned grower.