I call weed peace now. Whenever I can remember. It makes a pretty great juxtaposition if you ask me, and it keeps me focused on what I’m doing with my life. If you’ve been keeping up with my tales on the bloglin then you probably know I was back out for the annual outdoor cannabis harvest this year. I didn’t want to be at all. I wanted to be in the Bay working an almost normal job, getting my life together, and makin tunes with my homies. But, as fate (or some cruel omnipotent Curb Your Enthusiasm enthusiast) would have it, it wasn’t in the cards for me this year. After spending the last year hustlin hard to barely scrape by, and live in an art studio with no bathroom, or kitchen, I was ecstatic when I landed a decent-paying job as a consultant and delivery driver for Northstone Organics. I thought to myself, “See Zach, you make your way in this world eating shit, but then things work out. Now you can get yourself a proper home.” And that is exactly what I set about doing.
I packed up all my shit into a storage unit, moved out of the studio, and started looking for a place while I stayed with friends. About 2 weeks into my home search the DEA raided Northstone, and I went from employed and finding a home, right back to unemployed, broke, and homeless. There was only one thing I could think to do: Trim World Peace. It’s not glamorous work, you gotta invest money to do it right, and the payout is totally unpredictable. And, unfortunately this was a bad year for the outdoor cannabis crop, but I wouldn’t know that for another 6 weeks yet. So, on pretty much a moment’s notice I packed up 2 duffels with all my camping gear, all my trimming gear, documentary equipment, and some clothes, and I got on a Greyhound.
It was a huge bummer for me. On one hand I was just plain bummed about my life. The degree to which money, and firm ground to stand on evade me can be discouraging to say the least. And this was just the latest in an ongoing series of major setbacks that have come to characterize my time in California. It doesn’t feel good to dedicate your life to actions and ideals, and have those actions ideals lead you astray. I mean, I’ve definitely been on my path the whole time, and it’s obvious in retrospect. But as all the shit goes down, I just wind up feeling like some fucking bum who is dedicating his life to some childish pursuit with no real import to anyone who takes life seriously.
Then on top of that I had to drop everything I was involved in to go camp on a mountain for 5 or 6 weeks. And if that wasn’t enough I had booked a ticket to fly to New York for Halloween. Halloween is my favorite time in New York because everyone cuts loose. I haven’t been back to New York since I left in the Summer of 2010. I miss a lot of my friends, and to top it all off, I couldn’t get any kind of refund on the ticket. Cool. Geez, looking back on it like this makes it seem pretty shitty—which it was—but I didn’t realize I guess. I was just trying to stay positive, and knowing that I’d be seeing friends in Humboldt was enough to not bother with gettin bummed. I aint no sissy.
Hit the jump for more!
I got into Humboldt super late on a Sunday. The Greyhound departure got delayed for a few hours, but my favorite driver was definitely doing the driving (I think his name is Sergei or something. He’s this super bossy and gruff Russian/Eastern European dude with a wild thick accent who drives the route up to Humboldt), so I just tried to appreciate that and not stress. After all, I did have a nice supply of fine cannabis at my disposal, and I was smoking on it. A lot. I smoked a joint at the terminal with a few dudes, all of them people that I would not normally have wound up talking to. The ride was uneventful, and getting in at 11:00 PM meant food choices would be slim. However, in the time since last year, Wildberries Market had started staying open until midnight. So, at least I wouldn’t have to go to bed hungry. At least.
I woke up the next morning and frantically scrambled to continue sending emails, making phone calls, and sending text messages in order to tie up as many loose ends as possible before I left. I made a bunch of music in a flurry because I didn’t wanna have to go so long without releasing anything. And lucky for me Silky Johnson was able to mix and post the Prostitute’s Yard Sale record we did. My HR2306 project went on hold completely, along with some super rare Main Attrakionz projects, a handful of freelance writing gigs, 1 EP, 2 albums, and the list goes on. It sucks because everything was really in place for me to be leading a stable life, and it all fell apart with that DEA raid. I spent the day working way harder than I wanted to as I prepared to detach from civilization for the next 4-6 weeks. When I woke up the next morning at 8:00 I had an our to eat and do any last minute shit before it was off to work: for an untold length of time, in a location with no specific location, with food of unknown quality, and so on.
I had been staying in Arcata, and it wound up being a 2.5 hour drive South and East for our first job. I say first because the trim scenes are finite, and being able to wrok the whole season is uaually the result of bouncing around to a few scenes. You show up, and you get in, but it could be at any point in the overall completion of processing the crop. You might show up at the beginning of a great scene with great flowers the whole time. Or you might show up at the beginning of a scene, with shitty flowers, and work in hopes that the flowers will improve as you make your way through the crop, but they never do. You might show up at a scene that lasts for 3 weeks. You might show up at a scene that lasts for 3 months. You might show up at a scene where all the food is provided. You might show up at a scene where you’re responsible for all of your food. You might show up at a scene that’s all vegetarian, or all canned foods. You might show up at a scene with no running water. You might show up at a scene with 50 people. You might show up at a scene with 10 people. Point being, you never fuckin know. It’s a fucking crap shoot of crap shoots in the fucking crap house of all crap houses. Trimming is not for you if you can’t go with the flow, and further it’s not for you if you’re not comfortable letting the flow take you dangerously close to the mouth of shit’s creek with not even the notion of a paddle in sight. But all that stuff aside, it definitely has its ups.
You get to work on your own schedule (at most scenes you can get away with not working a day here and there, and no one is fronting if your’e taking breaks), you’re spending little to no money, you get as much peace as you can smoke, you get finger hash, and you usually get to meet some pretty cool people. Me and my homie wound up catching a ride to the scene with a dude who was the equivalent of a corner boss. He wasn’t in charge of anytihng, but he was responsible for a lot of shit at the scene. We rode 3 deep in the cab of his old school Toyota pickup, and basically just talked a bunch of dude shit the whole time. In the Emerald Triangle all roads lead to some dirt road when you’re trimming. And the road we were on was no excpetion. Eventually we dipped off of the highway we were on and meandered down some small country roads until we arrived at the foot of a mountain road, where our driver hopped out to unlock a gate, and then we slowly made our way up, around and over. The thing we drove on was only called a road because cars drive over it. It was mostly dirt, rock, and rather sizable grooves carved out by rain waters. 4 wheel drive is a must, and being tall like me means your head is bouncing into the roof.
In all cases though it’s the same story, the road will lead past a few other properties—most of which probably have a scene of their owwn—and eventually you dump out at a group of tents, possibly a cabin, a nice clearing, and a bunch of people trimming peace. I promptly made my way to an empty hoop house—hoop houses are kind of like greenhouses. Imagine a bunch upside down U’s driven into the ground with a translucent tarp stretched over them. Plants grown in these structures are afforded extra protection from the sometimes harsh weather conditions—and set up my tent there. After my tent was set up I gathered up my scissors (for trimming), my rag (for cleaning my scissors), my glove (to mitigate the buildup of copious amounts of resin on my hands), my coconut oil (it acts a solvent to dissolve the resin buildup on the scissors), some peace to smoke (getting really high helps me stay focused), and my vacuum sealed thermos of tea (hot tea helps me work better too). I made my way down to the flat where everyone was working and and kicked off the 2011 trim season.
Stay tuned for parts 2, and 3 coming very soon. And head over to my flickr to peep the whole photo gallery from this year.- Zachg