Our Marijuana Grow
Or, how the 2008 Financial Crisis pushed us into crippling debt and illegal activities so we could save our family farm.
We were content, living in sunny Hawaii, designing and drawing house plans. But in 2007, our business began to lose momentum. We looked for a new opportunity (we certainly weren’t thinking about growing marijuana; it hadn’t even been a cloud on the horizon).
We knew not everyone needs a new set of house plans, but everyone needs to eat. We knew we wanted to do something with food…. but what?
Then we discovered aquaponics, and got super excited! We borrowed $250,000 and built a huge aquaponics farm. We wanted to live more sustainably, and be able to work at home, to be with our kids. That loan, along with our hefty mortgage, put us just over a million dollars in debt.
But we weren’t worried. We’re hard workers, and we’d always been able to pay our bills. But we didn’t realize that our architectural business slow down in 2007 was just the first sign of the looming Global Financial Crisis.
Suddenly, in late 2008, our house plans business went from slow to ZERO, overnight. And the farm wasn’t making any money yet! After our first year’s operation, we looked at our books and realized we’d spent all our loan money on a theoretical aquaponics technology that came from a university. It worked just fine, but lost money. This was OK for the university, because they have their salaries and costs paid. The fact that their technology was untested and unproven in the real world did not matter to them. As one of the first to test it, we were unpleasantly surprised to find that it lost a lot of money for the grower.
We couldn’t pay our bills or our mortgage. But thank God for our aquaponics systems – at least we were eating well, with lots of fresh organic vegetables and fish. Otherwise, we would not have been able to feed our kids in those dark days.
We were terrified that we were going to lose our home and farm, so we made the stupid choice to break the law and grow a really high-priced crop: marijuana. We were busted by the DEA after seven months of failed experiments, because growing marijuana in our raft systems DID NOT WORK! If you’re thinking of learning how to grow marijuana in aquaponic raft systems from us, forget it; it doesn’t work.
And if you’re thinking “It’s legal in my State”; you need to be really careful about that one. Hawaii has been very progressive about marijuana. At the time we were caught by the DEA, the amount of marijuana we had at the Hawaii State level would have produced a misdemeanor charge and a $75 fine for us. A fellow arrested by the State police (about 6 months before we were arrested by the DEA) had 37 pounds of marijuana and several hundred plants; he got a six-month suspended sentence because he was a single Dad with a child. It’s still illegal on the Federal level (even in Colorado and Washington!), and they can arrest you any time they want.
Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit? ….. Anywhere he wants. That’s the Federal Government.
Humiliated, we stood before a Federal judge…. and were horrified to discover we were looking at serious prison time. We’d gone straight from the frying pan into the fire!
Fortunately, all our Aquaponic Friends sent letters to the Court on our behalf. We were overwhelmed by the support they expressed in the hundreds of letters we received. These were NOT letters supporting our growing marijuana, by the way. They were letters supporting the work we’ve done in sharing our cost-effective and profitable greenhouse and aquaponics technology with all these people. Read them if you wish; we cried frequently when we did.
Ten years later, we’ve recovered from that stupid mistake. Susanne and I have each done our Federal prison time (just three months!), and will be felons for the rest of our lives. We learned some incredibly valuable lessons, though:
- How to build aquaponics systems for less than one-fifth as much as the University system.
- How to get Aquaponics USDA Certified Organic (we were the first in the world!)
- How to get Aquaponics Food-Safety Certified (also the first in the world!)
- Best of all, we discovered how to grow 10-150 times as many plants in our aquaponics systems as the University systems we learned from.
We turned adversity into triumph. Today, we’re widely acknowledged as leaders in the field of aquaponics. And we’ll never lose sight of our true mission again, which is to develop and share cost-effective aquaponic and greenhouse technology with the whole world.
The most important thing we learned is that it’s critical to start your commercial aquaponics venture SMALL, and not take on crippling debt.
HOW TO SUCCEED by starting small is what you learn in our world-class, 100% guaranteed DIY packages.
You also get the hundreds of other lessons we’ve learned in the past twelve years, including all the SECRETS that allow commercial aquaponics to be wildly PROFITABLE.
We give you everything we know, with nothing held back. No upsells. No gimmicks. Just powerful, tested and true information, being used by thousands of our students, all over the world. And, we also tell you all the mistakes we made, so you can avoid them, and get it right the first time.
Take Me To The Friendly Table Top Aquaponics Systems