It was around 7:30 when I found a spot at the counter in the House. The full name of the place is the ‘Hash House.’ Some of the regulars call it the Finger-Hash House because of the amount of growers who dine there. For me, it’s a just great place for eggs and toast while you wait for the fog to burn off in the Mendocino County morning.
I’ve spent the past few nights in Mendo looking at the amazing harvests that is starting to come in. This year looks to be stellar. Some buds I saw clocked in at around two to three O.Z.’s each.
The place is crowded with locals in the standard knee-high rubber boots, overalls and the best outdoor hempware that you could barter for. Some of the younger kids at a table in the back whose eyes were basically still super-glued shut, had errant leaves and small nugs stuck to the threads of their worn sweaters.
The morning chatter reminded me of the farm town I grew up in Minnesota, but instead of explosive conversations detailing the joys and sorrows of growing soy, corn and wheat, there is only one commodity that is spoken of this morning, but like always, never by name…
A guy name Wally burst in through the door finding a place at long table with three other guys and two women already deep into their granola and organic chicken sausage and vegan omelets and the news of the day.
“Y’know those two kids I told about yesterday, that couple in their early twenties. They both were wearing those matching Dead jackets. Y’know, he had really short hair and she looked like a pierced-bobby-pin that needed a burger. Had a bad vibe about them,” Wally says sitting down at an open chair.
Maxine, a real estate agent apparently by the name of her company that’s written on her vest says,” What happen?”
“The little pukes ripped me off.”
I was waiting for a ‘How?’ from the table, but it remained respectfully silent.
“I’ll tell you how they did it,” Wally said almost calming down. “So we give them product to trim obviously weighed. All they have to do is give us back the manicured buds and the larf, the lumber and whatever in two separate bags. Then just like you guys, I weigh both bags to make sure we have the same weight that left, coming back, minus some to the air, if you know what I mean. Well the kids return the bags with the same weight, if not a gram or two over. That’s when I got suspicious.”
A fellow with a gray beard in a New Riders sweatshirt wonders, “Did they pack and stack?”
Wally puts his head down in shame and nods.
“Yeah, during their smoke breaks, they smoke cigarettes, that should have been a sign along with their bad vibes…anyways, when they went out for a smoke, there was a bag of stems around back. They were taking the older stems and putting into their refuse bag for additional weight. They must have gotten an ounce or two before I broke up their operation.”
“I had to let one of my trimmers go because they were drinking. No forties, no drinking. I told them but they don’t listen,” Maxine the real estate agent said as she added raw honey to her tea.
“That’s nothing. Had to let this kid go because he was taking too much acid,” a man in his sixties said over bites of challah French toast. “I didn’t mind him doing the acid, but he was trimming my buds down to nothing. They get into too much while on the barrels.”
A woman in jeans and an expensive 5th Avenue coat complains, “You have to feed them, vegetarian, vegan and some want meat. The other day I had to buy a new cast-iron 10-inch because someone cooks a chicken leg in a vegan pan. They get to roll as much as they want during the day. They get breaks and a decent share, and they are STILL only trimming about two hundred grams a day. Slow! Huh?” The woman blows her nose in disgust. “Shit, we used to plow through a pound a day with dull pair of Fiskers.”
“I have anywhere’s from five to twenty trimmers at any time working,” one of the gentlemen says. “And it’s hard to keep the good ones. They show up without shelter or food. Barely have shoes on their feet and they want work. You give them a chance. Let them into your home and your operation, and you can never tell who are the good ones and the bad ones. They all look the same. I mean, everyone’s a vegan and listens to Bob Marley and John Lennon. How am I supposed to tell who gonna rip me off?”
“God, it hard to find good trimmers these days,” the table sighed.
Next to me at the counter a lad in his early thirties whispers to his buddy who’s trying to capture a piece of sausage on his fork.
“Dude, I hit a goldmine. Y’know that old guy at the table over there. Don’t look, dude. He dumps his trim over at Blind Eagle’s Canyon. All you got to do is climb down the two hundred feet or so on the rocks, and there is bags and bags and o’bags of trim sitting there in garbage bags. Had to been thirty of them. Lot of larf and stems but some had small nugs too. I gonna make hash out of that shit. The bud is killer.” The lad quiets even further to his friend. “If he’s throwing that shit away…he must have some incredible bud that he’s saving…”
Because everyone grows and most are doing it legally, I did talk to some growers directly.
Me: Has this been a good year?
Growers: In some ways, the buds are getting bigger and stronger. Like every year, it’s been getting better. But on the other hand, this year, mold and fungus was huge problem. I know growers who lost their whole harvest after bringing it in.
Me: Who gets your WEED?
Growers: Depends. If Prop.19 passes, most of it stays here in the state. If 19 doesn’t pass, hello 40 and 80.
Me: 40 and 80?
Growers: Highways 40 and 80. The original gateway drug. That is how everything gets to St. Louie, K.C. Colorado. The stopping points where everything gets divided and sent elsewhere.
Me: Is there a party where you guys celebrate your great WEED.
Me: (ouch) Okay
Growers: What there is…is a harvest celebration. We’re outdoor growers. We have one growing season. We’re not indoor growers that can lose a crop and make it back in a month. We get one chance. And with that chance, you can lose your harvest to nature like mold, bugs and fungus. You can lose your crop to the Man or to a greedy neighbor or outsider. And then you can be stupid and over or under-water, because basically you didn’t pay attention to your babies. And that’s what they are, your children. So, at the end of the harvest, we don’t have a party, we have a celebration of thankfulness and gratitude for another year that we can do this.
Me: Can I ask where do you show your gratitude and appreciation?
Growers: The two places that you could come to are…
Me: YESSSSSS (imagine my ears growing like megaphones)
Growers: In November, there’s the Medical Cannabis Cup. This is where the growers first show their stuff to the City. About twenty or thirty of us will be attending that celebration.
Me: With product, right?
Growers: Every strain will be in ten-gallon jars. We’ll have pre-rolls too for tasting.
Growers: Then in December, there’s the Emerald Cup, up at Area 101. We couldn’t even describe that to you. Its twenty-six hours of controlled madness, with music and food.
Me: For the past two nights, I’ve been going to grows, hot and drying rooms, and trimming stations. I’ve never seen WEED this big and bountiful before. Am I making this up?
Grower: I don’t know about some of the other guys, but I hear that the WEED that the people from Los Angeles who are buying our stuff at two or three, are getting ten for a pound in 213 and 310.
Me: Seriously, ten thousand dollars?
Growers: Ten large. Ten Thousand American dollars for what we are selling to them at between two thousand and three.
Me: The POT’s that good?
Growers: This may be the best year ever. EVER.
San Francisco 4th annual
Medical Cannabis Competition
(The Patients Choice)
November 14th, 2010
Club Cocomo, San Francisco
2PM to 10 PM