Tobias traveled across the Atlantic Ocean from Switzerland, specifically to meet HeadSodBuster after seeing the segment about HappyDayFarms on the television special, “Vice.” HeadSodBuster stops in at Area 101, once a week, for five minutes-max.
HSB happened to be in this exact venue, for his once-a-week visit, when in sallied Tobias, one day last September, seeking him out. How cosmic is that? Tobias was ready for action-he was ready for danger; Not only that he had a California ID and a 215 card as well. The lad had done his homework.
No problem, right? Yes, people do seek jobs and they even seek them from HappyDay Farms. We just don’t hire them because we are a family operation. Oh, hey, sure we need a hand at key points along the way, so we make a phone call here, and place a text there, but there have been no full-time, paid hands here for more than just a minute or two.
HeadSodBuster and BossLady made it clear at some point this past summer, that the last day of market in the ‘Ville was September 30, and that the CSA would be shutting down around the same time as well. There would be no one employed on-farm, full-time, once our two school interns returned to their respective institutions of learning, in early September. End of discussion.
Let’s back the truck up for a moment here, and get some background:
We live in rugged terrain, where there is as much “flat” territory, as you would have found on Mae West. The summers are blisteringly hot and the winters are savagely cold, because we live on an exposed, south-west-facing slope. That’s the direction from which those pineapple express storms, come barreling into our ridge.
Folks come here to work and they go, but they are never the same. You have to really want to be here, to be genuinely happy; there is no faking it. The remoteness, the lack of social contact, the challenging weather and the inexorable workload, all combine to grind one down.
Of all the non-family folks who have spent time here at HappyDay Farms, no one has ever indicated through actions, words and attitude, more clearly, that he was thrilled to be here, than Tobias.
Born in this country, but brought up in Switzerland, Tobias came to HappyDay Farms in the most unusual manner possible, as I described above, and one that defies comparison. I would call it serendipitous, because of timing, but there was nothing chance about Tobias’ arrival on-farm: He set out from Switzerland to find us, after having seen the segment on “Vice.”
[Disclaimer Alert: I have never seen the segment, just as I have seen almost none of HeadSodBuster’s epic film sessions, of which I am inordinately proud. Interminably long story-short: I can’t process what is being said.]
Just to clarify, Tobias has spent time, off and on, in the United States since he was a kid, so it wasn’t as though he were coming here like my non-English-speaking grandfather did from Germany, as a fourteen-year-old,.
Tobias is fluent in English, French and Swiss German and communicates flawlessly, in a most engaging manner. Like HeadSodBuster, he is always smiling, a feature which endears him to us all. His favorite expression, I know you will be astonished to find out is, “Great success!”
Tobias did not set out for California just to work on a cannabis farm, he set out to work at HappyDay Farms. Nothing wrong with that, right? Don’t folks travel across an ocean every day, to try and find employment at a specific business?
The fact is we don’t normally hire folks, we were stopping the farmers markets and CSA In September and we were essentially shutting down the farm for the winter. Somehow, Tobias surmounted the odds.
The thing is, if you see him striding up the long driveway towards the POC (Palace of Chickens), laden down with clippings from brassicas, having just finished giving the rabbits fresh bedding beneath their condos, and he’s perspiring profusely, he will still be “working on a weed farm.”
This is Tobias’ standard response, accompanied by a smile as wide as the Rhine River, which happens to begin in the Swiss canton of Graubunden, in the southeastern Swiss Alps, when asked the question, “Is everything all right?” "Are you kidding?" he will respond. "I work on a weed farm!" Yes, Tobias is that happy to be here.
It matters not how miserable or monotonous a task is, the dude does not get salty. I gotta say, I could get used to that kind of energy. Down at the Emerald Cup this weekend, he spent the vast majority of both Saturday and Sunday, working in the co-op booth, right next door, so I was able to make use of his vast wealth of knowledge.
I, who have been immersed in the culture for going on 35 years, can’t tell Barry White, singer, songwriter, and composer, from Berry White, a cross of Blue Berry and White Widow, nine times out of ten.
Tobias is a rock star, having assimilated vast quantities of pertinent information, covering almost every conceivable aspect of the gentle giant of herbs. What he does not know, he is attempting to learn from HeadSodBuster, BossLady, and SmallBoy, who are the on-site geneticists.
I still think-and communicate-in terms of Sativa and Indica, of which I am a fan of the former. Tobias thinks in terms of terps, cannabinoids and genetics, of which he knows much. Not only does he store the information in his head, he is a master at conveying it to his listeners.
He has an engaging personality, and you have only to listen to the music of his words, to feel yourself wanting to hear what he has to say. I watched it all weekend, beaming as though I had some sort of hand in the whole cosmic mess.
All I did was plunk down $67.00 a month, beginning when I was 23 years old, to buy the 20 acres in the first place. I am still baffled because I was not adventurous enough to go to the Seven/Eleven on the corner by myself, let alone buy a piece of land.
Tobias has crossed an ocean, however, specifically to be here, and we are glad he did. He has returned home for the Holidays, but will be back before we begin to break ground in the spring of 2017.
If he were standing here, he would say, “Great success!”