The Harvest


Our friends at Good have a post up with striking images by photographer Mathieu Young. These photos were shot during harvest time (last year) in California's Mendocino County region, where an awful lot of marijuana is grown.

"On the one hand it seems like an illicit activity," Young told Good. "But on the other hand, you have a bunch of people who are living off the land, which is beautiful."

Picture Show: The Harvest [GOOD]
Full gallery here, in larger rez: The Harvest [ ]


  1. A whole lot of those folks “living off the land” are basically serfs for the Mexican drug cartels, who live under constant threat of murder by their overseers — one infamous incident left an entire border village dead as part of an intra-cartel settling of scores — and whose use of pesticides and toxic chemicals have ruined entire ecosystems in Mexican and United States public lands. I don’t find that kind of life particularly lyrical.

    1. “A whole lot of those folks “living off the land” are basically serfs for the Mexican drug cartels, who live under constant threat of murder by their overseers”

      Uh, yeah, in Mexico. Mendocino is pretty much white. 89% white, as a matter of fact, according to . They can’t enslave Mexicans that aren’t even there.

      As for the claim of pesticides, no pothead worth their salt would purchase marijuana with pesticides in it. Organic or nothing. Pesticide pot might look okay, but it smells bad, tastes bad, and gives you a wicked nasty headache. There is no market for it. Organic or nothing.

      Not that I’m an expert or anything.

  2. “But on the other hand, you have a bunch of people who are living off the land, which is beautiful.”
    ——Unless you wander onto their field accidentally and they chase after you with assault rifles! Give me a break these are paranoid assholes with guns, legalize it and then we can Liv3 off the land instead of buried in a shallow grave.

  3. Wow! ad hominum aside, some ignorant comments here. For starters check the numbers: Mexican marijuana imports are dropping thanks to homegrown.

    Thanks for clearing up that growers avoid using pesticides – that’s true.

    Assault weapons – dude WTF? Look at the pictures, they’re growing under glass. You wander into my home, I’ll probably do the same thing to you. It behooves one to protect one’s property- in their case some very valuable property. I’m not getting a nuts vibe here.

    All that said, those are some beautiful colas! Nice work crew!

    1. They are growing in a poly tunnel in those pictures, not under glass and from the pictures the property they grow on is not fenced in (there are gates across the road, but that’s it). I can’t comment on the claims about assault weapons, but it seems perfectly possible to innocently stumble across this particular one at least when hiking or otherwise out and about.

    2. That is one person growing under glass, many grow out doors, a sampling of one Nice guy is not a cross section. Have you ever found a field your self? I have, and have been fired upon and chased so I’ll let you wander around like a smurf in the forest. Me I don’t like being shot at, and please don’t tell me “stay of their land”, crap. A great many pot growers (if not most) grow on other peoples land; so if their plants are found there is not link to the grower.

  4. +1 to anonymous above me. A distinction needs to be made between growing on federal land, which as I understand it is often Mexican mafia (yes, even in Mendo), and growing on private property, which is usually old cranky paranoid hippies.

    And yes, they are super super paranoid. But yes, there’s beauty in their frontier off-the-grid lifestyle.

  5. (Commenting system went wonky; apologies if this is a double post.)

    “Mendocino is pretty much white. 89% white, as a matter of fact … They can’t enslave Mexicans that aren’t even there.”

    These are professional operations. Mendocino’s large amount of nearly-inaccessible public lands is perfect for the cartels, who have shifted growing operations as far north as Idaho and as far east as Tennessee to evade border enforcement. The plantation minders are generally brought up from Mexico as well, from the villages near the existing Mexican fields. I won’t argue that the minders are saints (unlike the Mexican plantation workers, these guys are kitted out with assault gear, and take potshots at bears and cops alike), but they’re disposable as far as the cartels are concerned.

    As far as country of origin, seven out of eight marijuana arrests in Mendocino are of Mexican nationals. Keep in mind that Mexican nationals in the US, licit or illicit, have a considerably lower per capita crime commission rate than US nationals. This is no coincidence.

    As for the assertion that “[N]o pothead worth their salt would purchase marijuana with pesticides in it” — well, the majority of pot used in America comes from cartel lands, and is grown with a witch’s brew of pesticides, herbicides, and fast-grow fertilizers (Mendocino has the highest rat poison sales per capita of anywhere in the nation). I’ll go ahead and stipulate that you can tell the difference, but given that the cartels still make up to 80% of their income from pot wholesaling, it’s obvious that most users can’t.

    Nobody wants to admit that their lifestyle is harmful to others — if I had the courage of my convictions, I’d be a vegan — but just because marijuana is not intrinsically harmful doesn’t mean that the economic superstructure that’s grown around it isn’t. (See: tobacco, alcohol, agribusiness, financial derivatives.) I know that I sound like an early-Bush era PSA, but each dime bag of pot you buy (regardless of the source) really does support, directly or indirectly, some of the most vicious people in the world. So if you’ve got to smoke, at least grow your own. And go ahead and agitate for legalization: they might be evil, but I’d rather the tobacco companies have the market than the folks down Sinaloa way.

  6. it’s gotta smell beautiful in there.
    would be great to do the same without any of the threat though

  7. every dime bag you buy supports “the worst people”…

    What country do you think you live in, toadie? The paramilitaries(police or otherwise) that kick in doors are *worse* than the farmers they supplant…
    Cartels succeed *because* hippie grandmas are all serving mandatory minimums already. Hard tactics were assured in response. knock down the hippies and leave a field of gangsters.

    Buy gas, kill Nigerians. Buy diamonds, kill Kenyans. Buy food, starve Jamaicans. This commodity is not special for it’s intrinsic harm. It is special because liscence to hurt people is granted around it. And if you buy domestically grown weed, your money goes to an American. If Johnny PSA thinks it matters if its not a nice American he can join the Taliban. We are in a war and if he’s against us he’s with the terrorists, rite? If we don’t fix our economy we will not have a new american century for long.

  8. If it is so likely you will get killed stumbling onto pot fields then why don’t I hear more stories about that happening? It seems like if it is that prevalent I would’ve heard about it. Care to back up your claim?

    As so pot being bad because it is illegal well it is the law that needs to be changed then. Just like with prohibition, the law is what creates the crime. No one suffers because I have a beer now so let other people have a joint.

    My only problem with pot is that it is mainly smoked. Smoking anything is pretty much bad for you. Lungs full of fumes and particulates are not healthy.

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