Think it takes a big money to start growing Marijuana in a tropical paradise?
Well think again.
I arrived in Hawaii just as many other people have done before me, with only a few dollars and coins to my name.
Through some hard work and solid connections, I brought myself up from having nothing to building a home for myself in a Hawaiian tropical rainforest, able to grow my own food and marijuana, gather and hunt wild flora and fauna, and enjoy life free from dealing with the daily grind that so many people have to face.
Living this way has benefited my life in so many positive ways, I am going to show you how I made it happen step-by-step without hardly any initial funds.
First things first, find a place to stay…
WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. It is a program that works basically as a want-ad post for farmers who are looking for work in exchange for housing and/or food supplies. They post what they need (the hours of work and type of work), in exchange for what the offer (a place to stay and food arrangements, if any).
In other words… free rent.
It is up to each farm host to decide what they will offer for the work they want done. Some require a little too much work for no pay (40 hours a week for stay and food), and others offer quite an enticing opportunity if you can handle the lifestyle (16 hours a week living in a community).
I initially arrived at a farm with three different properties to take care of.
One was a classic house on the beach, the stereotypical Hawaii – sleeping on the beach under the stars, cleaning up coconut palm fronds, great surf right in front of you, and beautiful sunny weather. I was shown a secret lava tube cave by a resident local that goes underground, leading to a fresh water swimming hole.
The second house was located deep inside a big jungle valley. The valley was full of people growing the local food crop – taro – in wetlands similar to rice patties. Full of bugs and fruit, the valley is a lush place full of life. The oranges grown down there are so juicy that if you peel their skin, the thin flesh of the fruit is not strong enough to support itself and it collapses in your hand. Incredibly juicy and delicious.
The third farm I arrived at was up the mountain (volcano actually) and in a desert rain-forest. The nature part was amazing, but what really hooked me was the people I met there. I remember this man pulling up to my place in his truck; it got me feeling a little startled as I had never seen him before. He comes out with this grocery bag full of small buds and leaves and gives me the whole bag as a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift.
I was then introduced to a community of growers, many who have been up here since the 70’s growing marijuana multiple seasons per year. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity and offered my help and services, as well as my respect to this people.
These good doings in-turn gave me the chance to be an apprentice to one of the major big-time growers in the area. In exchange for help with marijuana work and daily chores, I was taught by a grower who had grown massive amounts of cannabis guerilla style for decades, and also offered a spot of land to build a cabin and grow my own medical marijuana.
I did this as a little 18 year old punk, surely many other people have the potential to do the same.
The Poor Man’s grow
Once you have a place to stay, you’re golden. It better be with someone who is cool with you growing; this is not at all hard to find in Hawaii – you may just have to earn a little bit of trust. If not, the daring fellows can go the guerilla grow route.
Next step is to prepare for your first grow. Let’s say you’re broke. You can do a bare-bones seed in Soil grow for your first crop. It will not be as good quality as if you had created an intricately planned soil mix and pumped them up with additional lighting, but it should get you bud to smoke and hopefully some dough to throw back into the grow operation.
Now you need some seeds. I don’t usually recommend getting seeds from random dudes in Hawaii, but just do it in this case. With a little social interaction, more than likely you will meet some braddah who wants to let you try their strain pro bono. You’ll probably get mixed results due to over hybridized breeding, but many of these strains are adapted to the local grow season and will grow sufficiently from seed without additional lighting.
– For more on grow seasons in Hawaii read my previous post Growing Medical Marijuana in Hawaii –
Try to scrounge some money up for a bag of mixed fertilizer and some dolomite lime. Usually these WWOOF farms are in a community of fellow farmers, so go be a friendly neighbor and introduce yourself around. You should be able to find a little bit of side work to make a few dollars, save up enough at least to provide your plants and soil a little care. You’re playing around if you’re just putting them in dirt with no amendments.
If I had to grow with only one bag of fertilizer, this would be it. Foxfarm’s Happy Frog fertilizer. Organic and filled with a complete mix of the best known natural fertilizers and supplements put into one bag. It also comes packed with mycorrhizal fungi – a key to taking advantage of all the nutrients in your soil and pumping up your micro-life. Happy Frog contains many slow-to-breakdown components, keeping nutrients constantly available for your plants with correct use and application.
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Dolomite lime is an essential additive for Hawaii’s acidic soils. Lime raises the pH of the soil it is added to, and a better balanced pH will make nutrients more easily available for your plant. It also contains calcium, a crucial element local soils are lacking. Seriously, there are only two amendments you really need for growing in Hawaii and this is one of them – don’t skip out on it. This mix is a super-fine powder for a quicker pH buffering effect.
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Key points for your grow operation
- Your grow spot should ideally have at least 5 hours of full sun. This will be crucial as the plants are nearing harvest. If they are in the shade all day, mold and bud rot will be your plants best friends.
- Remember, the sun moves south towards the latter half of long season and north again coming into spring. Making sure your plant has good light exposure during their flowering cycle is a key component to having full-figured buds.
- Amend your soil and plant your seeds – don’t use all the fertilizer at once, it will be too much for the tender seedlings and you’ll burn them up.
- You can add more fertilizer later as your plants mature; sprinkle fertilizer onto the topsoil and lightly work it in, also making “spikes” works well for plant boosts (small finger-size holes in the soil around your plant you fill up with dry fertilizer).
- note: If you are a beginner, make sure to read up about growing marijuana whether through books or online; take a shower for once and go to the library if you have to.
- Don’t pluck off all of your fan leaves before the plant has even started budding. These fan leaves collect energy from the sun and uses it to grow itself.
- Watch out for certain braddahs who come over, look at your plant, and try to tell you what to do with her. Jealously is big around here – many people have told me my plants are “done” well before their due date, just to try and see me have inferior pot.
- Inspect your buds with a keen eye daily, multiple times per day towards the end. Mold can be surprising; blue mold (botrytis) can come in sneakily and start in the inside of the bud, developing into a big problem left unnoticed. Be sure to remove any mold infected buds immediately and clean the surrounding plant matter with rubbing alcohol.
Ghetto style drying for wet areas
Hawaii is a dank, humid place filled with mold spores (in most areas). Drying marijuana is a whole different game out here. Don’t think you can get away hanging your buds in a dark closet without a dehumidifier, or you’ll be like the rest of us who have all made that mistake.
some cheap solutions…..
I’ve made a Wood Stove out of a propane tank by cutting out the front and top using a sawzall. Just buy some cheap chimney pipes and jimmy together a chimney cap with a piece of scrap tin. Fill in the gaps with aluminum foil.
Install this wood stove and keep your room at a lower humidity, as well as provide heat to speed up your drying process. I have dried marijuana through 2 week continuous rainstorms using my handy-dandy propane wood stove. Saved me from going crazy in that much rain as well.
If you can’t do the wood stove, what you can do is break the weed down off the stem, load them in soda-flats (pick these up at any convenience store for free) or scavenged window screen and put them in a car or truck when it is sunny – a nice warm and cozy place to dry your buds, just keep them out of the sun.
If you have a house available for drying that gets sun hitting the roof during the day, try to get up underneath the roof and see how warm it is – a lot of times it will be nice and toasty. Use some string and small nails to make a “net” able to hold your soda-flats/screens full of bud up close underneath the roof.
No car, can’t do a wood stove or a roof? Not the best solution, but better than losing your weed to mold – get a piece of scrap tin roofing up on some milk crates outside in the sun. Protect the sides from wind then put your buds underneath loaded in soda-flats/screens Feel the heat as the sun is shining, you don’t want to cook your weed now, be careful.
Getting your buds too dry too quick will result in your resin turning powdery and you will lose the stickyness to your weed. Don’t get too eager and try to get them express dried, be patient and you will be rewarded.
If you have a friend with a nice solid drying environment, you might be well off throwing him some buds in exchange for using it. Just make sure they’re someone you can trust, and I’d advise sleeping over until the job is done.
Enjoy and Invest
Time to roll up some monster fatties in celebration of your newly harvested home-grown chronic!
If you want to start producing weed quicker and easier, all times of the year in Hawaii, you should really save up for a grow light set up. The LED lights I recommend on my previous post, Growing Medical Marijuana in Hawaii are inexpensive, low wattage, and extremely effective.
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