Life in the Pines: My Adventures in the Wild West of Weed

There’s an ongoing joke that the farm should have a reality show – “Life in the Pines”, we’d call it.

Well, it needs to happen. People would love this shit.

When I got here, I was in awe. I had never even seen a cannabis plant up close. Now I was surrounded by more than 100 GIANT ones. Even if you don’t smoke, if you were eye to eye with a weed plant, you’d admit it is a beautiful creation. Just because of how it looks.

Sam, Will and I worked outside among the plants for the first couple of weeks on the farm. We were in heaven from the second we saw the fields. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, our little speaker was blasting and we laughed so often – it seriously felt too good to be true. I had to pinch myself – I’m getting paid right now? and getting paid much more than I’m used to?

I feel like for you to fully understand the rest of this story, I need to set the scene a little bit.

I was living in the wild west of weed, with cannabis cowboys. That’s right, cowboys – as reckless & lawless as the OGs. Only here, their horse power is in huge trucks with turbo exhaust.

And every single one of them grows weed. That old lady at the grocery store? She grows weed. The next five cars you see driving by? Yup. They do too. Even the cashier at the gas station grows. When I got here, I had never even heard of Hayfork, or Trinity County for that matter. But now, it’s someplace I will literally never forget.

Trinity pines has a long and infamous history. It was supposed to be just a normal rural neighborhood when it was built during the logging rush. But over the years, it’s been a breeding ground for all sorts of operations.

Not only have people been growing weed here and in the emerald triangle (three northern cali counties known for producing cannabis) for decades, the neighborhood’s also been home to a host of meth labs & most recently, there’s even been discoveries of opium poppy fields.

There are pages upon pages of missing peoples faces plastered across the wall at the one gas station in town. They say that there’s been incidents in the past where trimmers are murdered rather than being paid for a full season of work. Because who’s going to come looking for a dirty kid right?

What happens in the Pines, really does stay in the Pines. Even the locals don’t doubt that there are unmarked graves throughout the neighborhood. There’s even a facebook group called “Missing But Not Forgotten In Trinity County, California”.

Every person I’ve talked to who knows anything about the weed industry in California has had the same reaction when I told them where exactly I was working –

It’s not uncommon to fall asleep to the sound of automatic gunfire (to ward off possible burglars), or hours of barking & howling from the hundreds of abandoned dogs who were left behind by careless seasonal growers.

If you googled Trinity Pines Weed farms and read the forums and chats about it.. your mind would be blown.

…and here’s little old me, in the midst of it all. Living in a motor home, in the middle of the forest, with some pretty legitimate drug dealers and a couple of dirty kids.

Will, Sam and I were out of our league here. After a couple of weeks, I knew Sam wasn’t getting the same enjoyment out of the farm that I was – he was used to getting paid more than we were currently, and while I could easily bond with the bosses over trap music and sarcasm, Sam was missing his indie folk music. He needed stimulation. He wanted to talk greenhouses and learn about hydroponics. These growers could barely use their solar panels.

(Which, props to Sam, he knew he had goals – and this place wasn’t it.)

But I loved it here, I was free, and at this point, freedom was a mindset I was committed to sticking to. I had already come this far and I wasn’t about to be held back from anything that made me happy. Is that selfish?Probably. But this was an adventure for me. An excursion into a different lifestyle, a different world. In my opinion and experience, that’s the best way to travel. As a chameleon. To become a new person for a bit – or maybe it’s just uncovering who you were most meant to be.

And this was who I wanted to be. I was excited to learn about cultivating, to learn how all these different people in the community had made a livelihood for themselves by growing & selling medicine. It seemed like an art.. and my genuine interest had led to me being offered a permanent position to work on the farm, even nurturing a few plants of my own next season.

Was this going to be my life now? Or would I choose a new chance at love with a fearless world traveler? Before I came here, that would have never been a question for me.. duh? Go for your dream guy.

But, as if this experience hadn’t been weird enough (more anecdotes to come soon), it was about to get weirder. Remember that boss that I mentioned last time? The intimidating one from the grocery store? Well… I guess they’re right when they say ‘you can’t help who you fall in love with.’

To be continued tomorrow ❤️

Love, Little Bird


Tell me your thoughts on my blog! I’m sort of struggling to figure out how I want to continue telling this. Full honesty is a little scary for me

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