Soil Is The Secret
Each plant at Verde Natural is grown by hand in living soil which gives each flower a unique vibrant flavor, one you won't find in other flowers.
An All Natural Diet
Bold flavors means keeping the soil loaded with tasty bites for the plants to eat. Our farmers hand feed each plant a diet of the finest kelp, alfalfa meal, worm castings, limestone and other natural food sources every week.
Locking in the Flavor
Our specialized slow cure is the key final step to locking in those bold natural flavors developed from the plants eating an all natural diet. After being hand trimmed the flowers are then dried and placed into buckets where they're fully cured, very much like a bottle of wine.
From The Garden
The soil is living, meaning there are thousands of microbes milling around. Microbes are beneficial microscopic bacteria that aid the cannabis plants with nutrient uptake from the soil. Cannabis plants have evolved over thousands of years to actively communicate with these microbes. With living soil, you are allowing the plant to naturally choose when and what it eats, whereas in a hydroponic or synthetic system you force-feed the plant. Plants reach their highest potential, in terms of terpene and cannabinoid production, when you allow them to feed naturally. This is what gives each flower its unique smell and taste.
We keep our soil alive after each harvest. Soil at Verde Natural is recycled after each flower harvest. Most grow facilities will throw out their soil after every single harvest, primarily because they've riddled it with synthetic nutrients that kill off all the beneficial microbes we just talked about. Our goal is to keep these microbes alive. We don't use harsh synthetic nutrients to feed our plants. Instead, we use pure organic nutrients sourced from the earth allowing the plant to eat a clean diet and produce tasty flowers.
In most instances, after the plant is harvested, the soil is fairly depleted of nutrients. Once we remove the root balls from the soil, the remaining stalk and roots of the cannabis plant, we test the soil and record what the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels are. From there we add organic nutrients based on the soil's needs. These nutrients consist of bat guano, alfalfa meal, granular humic acids, worm castings, limestone and kelp meal.
The Flavor Saver, Hand Trimming & Curing.
Hand trimming is slowly becoming a lost art, even with cannabis in the early stages of legalization. Not at Verde Natural though! Hand trimming is important because a trimmer has more control than a machine. Hand trimming maintains potency and flavor in your flower.
Machines tend to strip away a majority of the trichomes where terpenes and cannabinoids live, which defeats the purpose of using cannabis. Machine trimmed cannabis can easily be identified by its symmetrical pine tree shape and flowers will look more or less the same in the jar.
Properly cured cannabis flower is something that very few people know about. You don't just cut down and consume flower. Cannabis flowers need to be cured over the course of two to three weeks to bring out the wild and exotic smells found across different strains of cannabis. Verde uses a "hippie hang" drying method, where the flowers dry at room temperature on some hanging racks. Once the flower has dried for a set number of days, it moves over to bags. From there it will cure for a few more days and then will move to five gallon buckets, where it will finish the curing process.
The number of days needed to cure each strain varies, much like a wine varies from grape to grape. Once the flower is in the buckets, you need to pay attention because you don't want too much humidity nor do you want the flowers to get too dry. Buckets are checked every couple of days in a process known as "burping," to ensure a proper balance is maintained. Tedious as it may seem, proper curing is crucial to bring out the flavor and smell of the flower.
Cultivators, want to learn more?
A Day In The Life
Are you a newbie who wants to dig more into growing with living soil? Check out our Youtube series "A Day in the Life". The short series is a great starting point with "how to's" on the basics of growing with living soil.
Did you finish the series and still want more? Verde Natural just launched its Meetup series, "It's Alive," this January. The series covers the latest innovations in soil growing techniques and will host a wide range of experts from Verde farmers to cultivation celebrities like Jeff Lowenfels.