Trimming is the final stage of marijuana production, when harvested and cured buds are manicured, then weighed into pounds and packaged for transport and sales.
It typically involves removing buds from stalks, and cutting away remaining leaves and stems to remove the portions of the plant that aren’t smokeable, and to produce nicely shaped buds. This is typically work that is done by hand, accomplished with the use of scissors and many long and meticulous hours.
Trimming is usually accomplished by workers, termed “trimmers.”
Read More: 3 Interviews with trimmers
During this time of production, there is an increased need for workers. It may take a handful of people to run a farm, but due to the meticulous nature of trim work it takes significantly more to process the end product. While executed at a much faster rate, trimming is reminiscent of bonsai– the goal is to shape and manicure each bud, but at a large scale of production. How much sale-ready product a trimmer produces depends on skill, experience, and the attributes of the marijuana, but the standard of production for employers is typically a pound per day minimum. Many farms produce pounds that number in the hundreds, so a typical way to accomplish the task of trimming is to host a work crew for several months.
The prevalence of marijuana grows in Hayfork means there are a lot of temporary positions for trimmers. Some locals trim, but there are also a good number of transitory workers that arrive at harvest season (often referred to as “trim season”) in search of work. Some have a variety of seasonal jobs and a transient lifestyle, but many supplement other jobs and incomes with trimming in order to make ends meet. Many farms import people they know to come work with them, but the industry also operates on word of mouth, which is how most jobs are gained.
Over time Hayfork has developed a big enough reputation as a place where work is accessible that new arrivals come to town without a job lined up, and hustle for work at establishments or post up on the side of the road with signs seeking work. The end result is that a large amount of farms host workers, drawing a sort of temporary imported population.