I’m no Bible-thumper. I’ve been in recovery from organized religion since I stormed out of Sunday school at 17, renouncing Catholicism forever. I like to think of myself as an atheist with a tendency for making mistakes. I never really bought in to any of the jibber jabber from the “good book,” and its existence, I think, has probably caused the world more harm than good.
On the other hand—and this is where my faith gets a little convoluted—every time I eat a piece of fruit, I can’t help but think: Is there something to all this God business that I’ve been missing? In my younger years, I vehemently stood against anybody spewing religious gobbledygook. But now, if I’m honest, all it takes is some good pineapple and I start second-guessing my stance as a non-believer. It’s possible, after all, that I’ve been wrong all these years about the magnificence of nature being a coinkydink. Speaking of nature, that’s precisely where weed comes from.
Get a little high and hang out outside for a while and even the most diehard atheist starts to get inquisitive. I’m no exception. The web of the world all seems too perfect to chalk up as a fluke. Earth has all the right elements to sustain life and if its crust, core, temperature and planetary alignment weren’t also spot on, no life would exist. Due to this flawless order, though, plants thrive like no other, producing the oxygen humans need to breathe while we exhale the carbon dioxide they absorb to survive. Photosynthesis is wild! So, are we to believe that all this perfection manifested through a random boom billions of years ago? Sure, scientists, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, have an explanation, but logic doesn’t necessarily discount the possibility of divine intervention.
Now, for those of you who thought you were about to read a cultivation article and not some long-winded rant questioning the existence of a higher power, I assure you, we’re getting there. It’s just that long before we had sophisticated grow techniques, plants still thrived.
On A Quest To Grow Porch Pot
Every year, my partner and I display a variety of plants and flowers on our front porch. It’s a jungle out there. This year, thanks to a spur-of-the-moment trip to Home Depot, we added a jalapeño and tomato plant to the mix. Why not, right? Humanity, in my opinion, would be better off if more of the population grew their own food instead of relying on the monsters of mercantile. So, we tossed a couple of starter plants into some pots, covered them with soil, hit them with the garden hose and have been watching them grow ever since. And grow they have! I was pleasantly surprised to see our porch produce maturing so rapidly. I mean, I’ve only seen fruits and vegetables cultivated in a garden, not in a clay pot, so witnessing these plants coming up so vibrant and producing yields with no more effort than a daily blast from a hose has been exciting, not to mention encouraging.
Because if these plants grow that easily, perhaps cannabis would too. And if it did, well, it goes without saying that it would be a game changer. We’d never have to pay for weed for the rest of our lives.
Now, I’ve always heard that if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow pot. Sure, there’s a wealth of ins and outs that go into cultivating commercial cannabis, but was it possible for the average person to grow a single pot plant outside on their porch and have it produce an admirable yield? I felt like it was. If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed in my limited experience as a horticulture hobbyist, it’s that plants, just like humans, want to survive, no matter what. If plants have the basics—sun, water and dirt—they flourish. Even if humans don’t give them any attention at all, some still find a way to prosper. If there was a God, after all, he, she or it didn’t intend for farming to be super-perplexing. That, they understood, would never work. They knew humans would struggle to survive if food required the use of too much intelligence. Nope, no matter if it was a tomato plant or cannabis, our creators wanted cultivation to be simple.
Growing Weed Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
Still, many cannabis growers act like only a rocket scientist can grow the stuff. The snobbishness of the scene has scared a lot of people into thinking that cultivation should be left to the professionals. Without the right lighting or the proper ventilation system, any amateur’s crop is destined to be junk. So don’t even try. Well, forget that. Although agriculture tends to get overly scientific, it is rudimentary at the core. “There are some complexities to growing cannabis,” a grower from Indiana told Cannabis Now. “But it’s not overly as complicated as people make it out to be.”
A lot of the growers we talked to, both professional and novice, confessed that cannabis is actually “fairly easy” to grow outside in the same way one might do with a tomato plant. I knew it! The trick, however, is getting a decent yield. That requires “a lot more work,” the Hoosier declared.
Only I didn’t want to do more work. I just wanted to let nature take the wheel, the same as it had with my jalapeño and tomato plants. I wanted to grow a porch pot. To simply put a seed in some soil, water it and let the sun (or whatever God was at the helm) do the rest. At the end of the season, I wanted to harvest something off the plant that might perhaps get me stoned. And if I could do that, well, my skill level for cultivation wouldn’t have anywhere to go but up. I could always learn more, pick up tricks of the trade and get better at producing pot, but for the time being, I wanted to see what yields could be attained through the bare minimum miracles of nature.
If you ask Renee, a cultivator from Washington D.C., extra care is good, but at the end of the day, it’s just a plant that wants to grow.
“If a patient were just looking to grow for personal use, it could be done using a larger pot to help the plant grow bigger and some good old eggs shells and molasses,” she said, adding that the yield may vary. But massive yields don’t always appeal to someone looking to grow a personal stash. “I have had first-timers be super happy to grow a plant that only yielded maybe 14 grams or less,” Renee said. “The plant would still achieve its potency potential. Just consider the fact that cannabis is basically like a weed that can grow anywhere without much intervention.”
That’s precisely what I wanted to hear.
Several cultivation beginners confirmed that simply relying on nature for nugs has produced excellent results.
“I’ve grown for the past two seasons and did nothing more than plop seeds in the ground and water as needed,” explained a grower named Dustin. “I have no idea what I’m doing but I grew some strong, tasty weed. I think cutting, trimming and curing it was the hardest part. And that wasn’t even that hard. Growing it was simple.” Other amateurs agreed, going on to say that it’s easier than they thought. “I have better luck with weed than with tomatoes,” a man named Alex said. “If you have the right strain for your local conditions, it will do well, even without your help, as long as it is in a sunny location and has its head and shoulders above any neighboring plants.”
Nature Shouldn’t Be Against The Law
Unfortunately, while nature wants cannabis to grow, law enforcement doesn’t. It’s still mostly illegal in the US to grow this plant for personal use. A nation built on “In God We Trust” doesn’t seem to trust its creator’s decision to give us cannabis, a plant that has provided millions with therapeutic relief. Therefore, the only real problem with growing a little porch pot is the risk of getting busted. The plant may go unnoticed in its infancy, but once it starts getting bigger (and it will get big and bushy in most cases), the odor wafting from your porch might be enough to warrant a visit from police—and that isn’t good. In the state of Indiana, the location of my urban jungle, cultivating any more than 30 grams is a felony punishable with jail time and steep fines. So, until the laws change, I’ll have to be content with tomatoes.
For those fortunate enough to live in a legal grow state, porch pot is alive and well. Residents such as Tim from Massachusetts—a place where growing six plants is legal—are enjoying the farm-to-lung lifestyle. “My entire neighborhood smells like weed. Everybody grows it,” he said. “I don’t typically like gardening, that’s my wife’s thing, but I really like growing weed. It’s easy and fun for the whole family.”
In the end, regardless of whether we subscribe to a higher power or exist with skepticism and contempt—a place where I’m undoubtedly most comfortable—it’s tough to argue against the magnificence of nature. Just plant that seed in a pot, give it access to the elements and try to have a little faith.