A high alpine weed grower’s unusual harvest

Rob Trotter’s vision continues to deteriorate as he works on his marijuana farm in Gypsum, Colorado.

  • Rob Trotter points to the sky to indicate a weather change on his ranch near Gypsum, Colorado.

  • Rob Trotter smells his plants shortly after their germination phase. Because of the high altitude, the farm can experience frost in the summer, and the plants are kept in a container until strong enough to withstand it.

  • Francoios Nanin, a full-time seasonal head gardener, uses pipe cleaners to hold up plants that cannot support themselves.

  • While transplanting seedlings into the soil, Rob Trotter cleans an irrigation system filter. His entire ranch is powered by a hydroelectric turbine, which he services and maintains based on hearing.

  • A temporary worker carries trays of plants. In 2018, the farm grew 3,800 plants.

  • For 30 years, Rob Trotter has lived with a degenerative eye condition that causes his retinas to deteriorate. In the four seasons he has grown marijuana, he's relied completely on trial and error of his own senses.

  • Linda and Rob Trotter prepare to transfer their plants into the soil. Snow melt from nearby 12,500 foot mountains collects minerals and nutrients to feed the plants.

  • A temporary employee and Linda Trotter carefully put plants in the ground and connect an irrigation system.

  • Rob Trotter quickly jumps out of the way to avoid being hit by one of his Scottish highlanders that got loose.

  • Thirty-five head of Scottish highlanders fertilize the soil at Trotter's ranch.

  • Rob Trotter and a temporary employee weigh a plant before harvesting.

  • Rob Trotter smokes from a pipe after checking on his plants early in the morning.