The Harvesters: Pot-trimming season in Humboldt County
Every fall, young people in earth-toned clothes, with backpacks slung over their shoulders, descend on Humboldt County in search of work. Some offer their services on bulletin boards (“Have my own camper/living set up. Ready to start when you need me!”). Some stand by the side of the road and hold signs illustrated with leaves and scissors; others pantomime cutting. The pot harvest has come in, and local growers need trimmers.
About 30 minutes east of Highway 101, down a gravel road and up a rutted logging path, is Tumblweed and Jane’s home — a dirt-floor clearing with a tarp roof and tarp walls stretched between Douglas fir logs and a one-room camper. Tumblweed (his biker name) is 35 years old and has a shaved head, a handlebar mustache, and calves inked with metal tattoos. Jane (a pseudonym) is a foot shorter and 12 years younger and exudes energetic competence. Tumblweed and Jane are preparing their first harvest, and marijuana can be found everywhere. It dries from ceiling wires and sits in trash bags. What has already been trimmed and is ready to sell is tucked in turkey bags and stored in the camper.
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Photo by Maureen Drennan