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

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

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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

The Myth of How to ‘Fix’ Poverty

The Myth of How to ‘Fix’ Poverty

Most development strategies today are based on or towards ‘the good life’ or the lifestyle modeled by affluent Western societies. According to the ‘catching-up development path’, poor countries all over the world could easily attain ‘the good life’ by “following the same path of industrialization and capital accumulation taken by Europe and the USA and Japan.” Basically they mean that they’re just behind and they need to catch up. However, history has proven that the catching up development path has never attained its desired goal. This is due to many things, but the most obvious is that underdeveloped countries have been at a disadvantage ever since colonialism.

Underdeveloped nations did not become impoverished by chance or by natural circumstances: a structured colonial system drained these countries of resources and independence which disadvantaged them almost indefinitely. They were made dependent on their metropoles and in turn lost their own social and cultural identities.

Continue reading “The Myth of How to ‘Fix’ Poverty”

When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

 

This is a podcast I listened to about 3 and a half months ago, a while into my year in India and when I was feeling the full affects of post break up syndrome, homesickness, and I guess some sort of teenage angst..

The best part about this podcast was this realization that I heard while listening.. they mentioned not only about what loneliness does to a person, but also what loneliness can do for a person. Loneliness is a gift.

Listen to it here.

 

 

 

You’re Here

You’re Here

nearsilver

Working to find ground in a place so different from home felt like an endless renovation, constantly finding new means of support, inspiration and materials. Yet, I’ve managed to find just enough of all those things now and thankfully, it was just in time.

I woke up this morning and looked out onto the city and the only heavy thought that could cross my mind was “This is Pune without out them.” It was the loudest thing in my mind, screaming at the top of it’s lungs. I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be that way for the next couple of days but that’s okay. It’s a small price to pay because you now know exactly what it was that I was talking about. You know what I mean by the systematic chaos, you know what it is I see, where I live. The stories I told you…

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The Geography of Home

The Geography of Home

There is so much wisdom in every person you meet. You can’t live every life style, but you can learn so much from meeting and talking to people who’ve lived a different life than you. A 19 year old Indian medical student, an old married couple who lives three flights above you, a religious guru who you also call ‘Mata Ji’ (mom) – all of these people at different stages in their lives have some completely different insights about what happiness in life is. But there is one uniting factor among them – their attachment to their home.

Every Indian that I ask says that their country is not a happy country. They point out the gap between the rich and the poor, they point out the corruption and the instances of poverty. But interestingly enough, they all say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Continue reading “The Geography of Home”

Wanting to Wander

Wanting to Wander

So I think I have a problem. I’m 16 with the dreams of a 22 year old, and I can’t wait those mere 63 months to pursue them. There’s nothing I want more than to get lost on a different continent, explore the ancient past and my future.

I wake up every morning and spend hours everyday dreaming of destinations and planning itineraries for unlikely trips. It’s something thats always picking my brain and straining my bank account. I deprive myself of simple luxuries at home, for the sake of putting that small currency towards my travel funds.

and then I think

Is travel really worth it? Is it really what I want? What’s so great about the rest of the world? People who live in Italy, or New York, want to get away from their homes as much as I do from my small town. Who’s to say that a treehouse in Thailand will feel any different than a plain house in Carson City? Are my dreams of the globe better than the reality of my desires?
I have so many things to do and so much to think about. I want to learn 27 languages and visit hundreds of countries. According to the rest of my species, I MUST go to college. I MUST be successful and I must be happy with ignoring what I really want to do until I’m at the ripe of 65, and retired.

HOW does this make sense? Why do people deal with this and blindly accept societies norms? Why aren’t people doing what they want to do?

People have an average of 28,325 days on Earth. The first 15 years of life (5475 days) people spend with their parents, growing and learning, attending school, and approaching adulthood. This leaves us with 23,360 days. Now think of how much time a person spends sleeping; one third of their life-span. Now we are left with 41 years. Take into account the time you’ll spend eating & drinking, working, commuting or traveling, watching TV,  doing chores and shopping, caring for friends and family, bathing, going to church and charities. You’re left with 10 years. How much of your free time have you used up already? Have you gone anywhere? Have you done anything? Are you happy? 

All I know is that my ten years will not be wasted. They’ll be spent seeing the world, and happily living out of a suitcase.