How We Harvest Our Hemp in Vermont
From seed to shelf, we put care and thought into every step of our process. We breed our seeds, harvest by hand and extract CBD from hemp using coconut oil, allowing us to optimize quality and efficiency. At harvest time, we rely on our local farming community to get our mature hemp plants harvested and dried as efficiently as possible. Vermont has a short growing season which gives us a narrow window to harvest our mature plants before they expire. It takes a small army to make harvest happen in time. Here’s why we choose to harvest the way we do.
We Hand Harvest Hemp for Quality Control
Rather than relying on a combine harvester, we hand harvest every hemp plant. In 2019, we at Sunsoil farmed over 100,000 hemp plants and cut them all down by hand. This method allows us to spot harvest only the plants that are ripe and healthy at any given moment – and gives us a chance to visually inspect every plant for signs of rot, mildew or other issues. Hand harvesting gives us exceptional quality control and ensures only the healthiest, best quality plants in our field make it into our products.
With such a short seasonal window for harvesting in Vermont, timing is everything. Our hemp plants produce a large percentage of their CBD-rich oils during the last 1-2 weeks of growth, and we take care not to harvest any plant before it’s fully ripe. Spot harvesting helps us avoid the risk of harvesting our plants too early and ensures we have an exceptionally high yield of CBD per acre, reducing our overall footprint.
Drying and Breaking Down to Maximize Quality
Once we pick the ripe, healthy hemp plants from our fields, we load them into our trailers and take them to our drying barns. We only use new drying facilities made with non-pressure-treated, natural wood. This helps preserve the natural aromas and flavors of our hemp plants, preventing them from absorbing any unwanted odors in the barns and ensuring the finished result is the highest quality it can be.
After our hemp plants are dried to about 5% humidity, we break them down by hand, separating the leaves, buds and small sticks from the large stalks. This is another people-powered quality control step in the Sunsoil process.
By visually inspecting each plant, we take extra care to ensure the finished product is of the highest quality and integrity possible. Once the plants are broken down, we put the materials into food-grade storage containers, ready for whole-plant infusion.
Hand Harvesting is a Community Effort
Harvesting by hand is a team effort. In 2019, Sunsoil hired over 200 local farmers to help us harvest over 100,00 plants in just under a month.
We couldn’t have made it happen without the help and support of our local farming community, and in return, we were able to provide much-needed seasonal work to Vermont farmers. Our people provide hands-on quality control that is one of the reasons why our process is unique.