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Chapter One

The younger folks got in toward the end of last night and are all up at seven, being driven around the dusty grounds of the property in the early morning sun. They are still wearing their city garments – tight pants and sexy shoes –  as they rearrange over the earth and dry rock. They talk energetically to each other, protecting their eyes from the splendid sun gradually taking over the mountain, warming the chilly mountain air and effectively let us know our day has begun.

This season, new younger kids are continually showing up at the property. It’s July in southern British Columbia, and the first round of the year’s pot harvest – over a thousand pounds of it – is hanging in the sheds or laid out in cardboard boxes, all ready for us to begin trimming into attractive little nuggets.

From now until Christmas, we’ll cut and trim up to 16 hours per day, consistently. We’ll sit the entire time, breaking sparingly for sustenance, and to the use of the washroom – but only when we absolutely must. We will be smoking the whole time – consistently and progressively. Indeed, even with 30 of us, we’ll be pushing to complete everything before the end of the year.

The younger kids are new; they don’t have the foggiest idea about any of this yet. In any case, I’ve worked in enough of these scenarios to realize that to the extent trimming weed goes, this place is still pretty sweet.

I call our place the Farm, however, it isn’t our own. It’s Jim’s. Jim’s homestead is two hours from the closest city and an hour and a half from the nearest service station. If you hike towards the finish of a long logging street, high in the mountain hills of Northern BC, you will stumble upon our little piece of heaven. It’s difficult to get to, purposely, and there isn’t much nearby movement. No autos would try to journey in this far, which alleviates any unnecessary visitors. This is all by design because Jim produces his weed illegally. There’s no telephone and no internet. Most evenings the only sounds you can hear are wind, coyotes, and the always constant background generators.

Way down the road, the seasonal stream of newcomers begins to flood in. Each one of them is searching for a place simply like our own: explorers; drifters; retirees; hippy kids; all moving together in a great migration. Then there are the flower child couples holding cardboard signs in the air with just a pair of scissors drawn on them. “Trimmigrants,” the signs say. The local people protest.

The greater part of cannabis producers in BC still works illicitly. A huge number of master growers, gardeners, trimmers, and helpers, who originate from everywhere around the world come here to work, in the weed capital of Canada. All hoping that in-between harvest season, gambling sessions, and correctional facility time, they can amass a little retirement fund with untaxed, unregulated wages. Indeed, even to someone like me, who has more notches on their belts than they wish to count, the hazards appear to be justified. And despite how difficult it is getting here, I still feel fortunate, regardless of the possibility that I am violating the law.