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Hawaii, fabled land of Paradise, where exotic fruit can be picked all year 'round and the weed is so sticky that you can't roll a joint with it. When Ed Rosenthal went there one March, he expected to see the small but well developed buds of the winter crop. But his friends on the island of Maui were actually smoking Colombia and were happy to see his homegrown. (Not everybody grows in Hawaii). Outdoors, cannabis must be planted in remote areas or it will be stolen). Rather what Ed found were the magic mushrooms of Hawaii. Ed Rosenthal, noted horticulturist and marijuana advocate spent the 80s and 90s writing for High Times magazine and devoted his work to the legalization and growing of marijuana and studying other various drugs.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Mushrooms
After spending a week in Maui and coming near the end of his stash, they went to Kaui, the Garden Isle. Ed's friend and he were not two miles down the road in their new Rent-a-Car when they stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. After a long wait, about three minutes, Ed asked the hitchhiker if there was any weed to be had. The hitchhiker said that there might be, but that good quality marijuana was so expensive that he and his friends just got high on the mushrooms they picked and then he asked Ed, “Do you wanna go pick some magic mushrooms now?” They turned the car around and proceeded into the interior past lush vegetation (the common houseplants, only these were gigantic and healthy) and gorgeous waterfalls twisting in and out of the warm spring sun.
After forty minutes and five or six rainbows, they pulled the car over by a gently sloping pasture. Even from the road they could see the magic mushrooms of Hawaii–little white specks sticking up from lumps in the field.
The pasture was protected by two barbed wire fences which Ed and the gang quickly scaled. Once they were in the field they couldn't be seen from the road or other pastures. Luckily for those city slickers, the cows were in an adjacent field. Armed with brown paper bags, they walked up and down the field checking out the turds. They found the magic mushrooms on partially dried paddies. They ranged in size from about an inch to three inches across. Some of the paddies had only one or two fruit but others had bunches growing. From the broken spikes they found on many of the paddies it was obvious that others had been there before Ed, his friend and the hitchhiker.
When the pasture was picked out and their bags filled, they vacated the field. Since they had two filled bags, much more than we needed for one day's trip, they made preparations to preserve some for later. Three years earlier, a local gatherer had shown Ed an Islands' method of magic mushroom canning using honey and plastic or glass bottles. Some people prefer to make juice from the mushrooms using a blender, but Ed found the ink blue-black liquid uncomfortable to drink, so he canned his whole.
The canning process always begins by washing the mushrooms; remember, they grow in cow shit. Then they put a half-inch of honey in the bottle, an inch layer of mushrooms, more honey, another layer of mushrooms and so on till the container is filled. Make sure to pat each layer down so that the air is removed. Ed’s friend pondered whether cows eat magic mushrooms and pass some contentment to milk drinkers. (Do milk drinkers made better trippers?)
After an hour of work they each ate about five big mushrooms. They tasted almost like ordinary table mushrooms, but psilocybe mushrooms come in color. It took about an hour to get off. The first part of their trip was spent hanging out digging the incredible beauty of their isolated mountain retreat. They were staying in a private park nestled in the shadow of a lone mountain with camp cabins, breathtaking views, cooking facilities, and a Japanese fura steaming hot bath.
Welcome to Paradise
Later, they decided to hike up the mountain along paths blazing with color from strange plants and flowers. On the way back, they took a shortcut through an intense jungle of nearly impassable vines and bush. They got back to the park, took a fura bath and started to come down as the sun set over the mountains, turning the whole scene golden, with red-streaked clouds and crystal sparkle. The magic mushrooms of Hawaii welcomed them to paradise.