(San Francisco Chronicle) More than a thousand of California's elite cannabis growers and aficionados gather in rural Northern California this weekend for the second annual Golden Tarp Awards — celebrating one likely future for the plant's farming.
Cars and tour buses are coming from across California — including Los Angeles and San Jose — to the $30, one-day event in Redway, CA — which includes community judging of 75 of California's best "light dep" cannabis strains, music, food, and educational panels.
"Light dep" stands for "light deprivation" — a weed farming technique rapidly gaining marketshare nation-wide. Cannabis usually germinates in the Spring and is harvested in the waning days of Fall. The Fall harvest cycle crashes prices, sucks streams dry, and creates a juicy target for marijuana eradication teams.
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Light dep farmers make more money and deal with less interdiction by finishing as early as May. They do this by using tarps to black out sunlight from reaching their crops. These scheduled blackouts trick the crop into thinking it's Fall so they flower potent, market-ready buds early.