Police discovered a cannabis farm after being tipped off by an anonymous note left on the windscreen of a patrol car, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
Officers acting on the information later visited a property in the hamlet of Bloxholm just off the A15 near Ruskington and immediately smelled cannabis.
Prosecuting, Julia King, said Raymond James, 41, who was living in the property at the time, claimed the smell was from a cannabis spliff he had just thrown on the fire.
But the strong aroma led officers to query his response and James, previously of Torrington Road, Lissington, then took them into the cellar where they found cannabis plants being grown.
Miss King said 75 cannabis plants were found in electrically heated trays with special lighting installed.
A search of the property and outbuildings led to the discovery of more sophisticated cannabis growing equipment as well as nearly £3,000 cash.
James, who now lives in Margam, West Glamorgan, South Wales, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on January 10 this year. He was jailed for 18 months.
Judge Michael Heath told him: “In my judgement the only justifiable sentence I can impose is one of immediate custody.”
Defending, Jonathon Dee, said James was homeless when he was offered accommodation at the farm.
He said that at the time James was in debt to a loan shark and agreed to grow the cannabis to clear his loan.
Mr Dee said: “He is a nervous and anxious individual who has lived a fairly wretched life with spells of homelessness and spells of alcoholism.
“He had been out of trouble for nearly 20 years but he was in a fairly desperate situation.
“He owed money and was told he could repay it by doing this.”
Mr Dee said since his arrest James has moved to South Wales where he now helps care for his elderly parents.