A lot has changed since 2016. I’ve taught a few methods to cure leaves over the past few years, and seen people trying many things. Everything from ethanol wash to freezing them.
The curing method I am rolling forward with is now solidified. It will be the only thing I teach going forward.
Method : introduce heat, 140 degrees to 165, for 7-10 days. The longer, the browner the results. This denatures the proteins in the leaf, the chlorophyll taste is defeated in relatively short time, and its ready for long term storage and use within 2-4 weeks.
I am using vacuum sealed bags, and at home I prefer to use a sous vide cooker and let it run for 10 days with the vacuum pouch of leaves submerged. In production, if you have the power and space, ovens work just fine. Spaced rack ovens with racks of vacuum sealed leaf bags.
After 10 days, the color turns spinachy olive green, there is a funky smell to it, and its ready to remove, and place into permanent storage. Right now, this is going to be stacked cardboard. Perfect breathability, weight heavy enough to flatten, almost perfect for the job. Humidified rooms would be ideal as well.
I will be making a video series describing the process soon. Im documenting it.
I intend to process a giant batch of leaves once a year in the fall, and make them available on the website. I have a terrific organic outdoor grow that is pesticide free that is supplying the leaves for me. They use tree frogs, lady bugs, many things, but they don’t use sprays. Which is rare, and utterly perfect for my wrapper leaf needs.
This year, only cured leaves will be available. Next year, if I can arrange it, I will provide bulk raw leaf (for YOU to cure), as well as pre cured leaf.
I wanted to undercut everyone currently offering pre cured leaf, but the reality has sunk in. Curing leaves is WAY more work than curing buds. Not even comparable. Much more labor, and electricity. And, a perfect pristine large fan blade is more rare that you might think. So, there is no way around charging a premium price for these pre-cured leaves. The process requires washing the leaves, drying them, putting them into vacuum bags, heating them for a week or more, taking them out, peeling them apart, placing them into cardboard stacks, and waiting for a few weeks. Lots of labor and love.
As a result, I would like to offer both bulk raw pesticide free leaf, at much lower rates, as well as premium pre-cured leaves.
After harvesting about 1000 lbs of raw leaf, I expect to get about 30-50 lbs of cured dry leaves.
This will be a once-a-year stock event. Once I sell out, it’s gone until next harvest. Pricing will be posted when the leaves are ready to ship.
Fun times on the horizon.