Back in Spain after a long stay in Holland.

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After 20 days in Holland it felt good to be back home, although I had some nice times in Haarlem and Amsterdam. My plants look great, Adrian and Maruska have done a good job keeping them green and growing.
They grew indeed, most of all the fem seeds on the left, they almost catch up with the regulars, which are a month ahead of the fems!
I will make up for being almost invisible for the past weeks, I was too busy working in the Indica and talk to many friends and customers. I also bought me a small video cam, some movies will be put on here soon.
See ya!

Posted in The Good Life Farm Project. | 2 Comments

We are in the spotlights today…

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Our shop is the scene of a Dutch movie today…. The movie is called ‘Lover or loser’

I will extend this report when back in Spain.

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Feeling at home in the coffeeshop…

The last week I have been working on the Indica coffeeshop, it needed some maintenance and a face lift.
So far, I have fixed all broken things, and re-decorated the interior a bit. I want to get the decoration done before returning to Spain for a week, after that I will be back for the last part, painting the shop.

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I re-installed the Verdamper Vaporizer, together with a Volcano they take care of the vape.

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We set up a nice cabinet of bongs and Graviton buckets, for our customers use.

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The place looks nice with a few rays of sun in.

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Mr.Lunk and myself installed a juke box computer, for endless music in the shop, we rigged up Indica yesterday.

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Today we equipped the Sativa with a Juke Box system as well, the dealers have no more worries about stuttering CD’s and such. Great solution.

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Now I am smoking a nice joint of Blue Cheese, it has been another hard day’s work….

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Million Marihuana March Amsterdam.

I have been too busy to post the last days, sorry for that…

Last Saturday I went to the Amsterdam version of the Million Marihuana March, with Wilco from Birdy coffeeshop and Mr. Lunk. It was a nice day to start with, and we managed to find a parking spot right next to the Musemplein, where the event was held. This years event was organised by Jackie and Bret, I say they did a great job!!

I designed a special T shirt for the event, making a statement about how I feel about the coffeeshop situation.

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There are only 730 coffeeshops left in the Netherlands…..  We, the coffeeshopowners and workers, are the only cannabisdealers in the world with an address, a registration in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, obligations to pay taxes, email, telephone and all kinds of other bills. That makes us sitting ducks, we cannot move, like all other cannabis dealers in the world, so we are the target of the police, the Tax Office, crooks and even of cannabis smokers around the world. That’s what the shirts say…

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Evert was there with his Verdamper, he vaped the crowd, as usual, with his collection of Verdamper Vaporizors. Evert is a true cannabist, I consider him a real friend and activist. There were several stands, the Cannabis College was well represented, I smoked one behind Mila’s stand, some Dutch writers offerd books about cannabis and policy, the main attraction was the newly founded Cannabis Consumers Federation. Wilco, Mr.Lunk and myself signed up as members, we are cannabis consumers in the first place. We gathered a couple of thousand signatures in our cofffeeshops, in support of the CCF’s first petition.

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Inhaling some really nice Jamaican vapor, from a special little stash of Ricardo, the owner of Anytime n Alkmaar, home of the vaporizors. Jackie is having a go on another Verdamper, while Bret looks on Smiling in the back ground. I will post some video footage in this post later.

Here is some video footage, shot by Mr.Lunk.

Photo credits: Wernard Bruining.

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Testing the Electric Shisha.

Yes, I know, you have already seen it in action on the Punto Cup, but the testing was fun as well. Besides that, this is the proper explanation how to operate this device. We were in fact test dummies on this ride, but we all volunteered.

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The apple tobacco comes with a warning: Smoking kills! It actually looks and smells like pieces of apple, but it contains 0.5 % of nicotine, as the wrapper states. After this positive message we started to load the Shisha up for a nice test run.

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It is important to get the water level just right, so we test bubbled until we agreed the water resistance was O.K.

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We used apple tobacco only to test how much heat we would need to get vapor or smoke out of the Shisha.

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The device has an adjutable heating unit, I will show a pic of that once I have taken it. We filled up the Shisha with the water deposit and the bowl and  started puffing. It took some time for the apple backy to get started, as we expected, but after it went off, the taste of the sweetest apple came out of the mouthpiece.

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Now we added some Cheese, always combines well with apple…

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After a few tries we knew the heat control had to be set on 5, so the apple and cheese would release a nice vapor, going over that level started the mix to burn.

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Just when the heat was a bit too high, Ruud hit the Shisha. You can see thick smoke flowing through the glass mouthpiece, Ruud coughed until he drooled, we were on the floor laughing. No pics of Ruud coughing, I was still shaking when he ran out for fresh air.

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Mark joined us to get his high on the Shisha, straight from the swimming pool, looks funny.

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Test results: A very useful device to get as high as a kite, with the sweetest taste! It also caused the munchies, we went straight to Mari’s across the valley for some nice tapas. (spanish bites or snacks)

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This is Spanish style Russian Salad, ‘Ensalada Rusa’ .

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Gambas Pil Pil, prawns in boiling olive oil, with a spicy touch. This tapa only costs 1 euro, I will make a report on this special tapas bar later. After this, we went for a nap, can you blame us?

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Dutch cannabis smokers roll up with tobacco.

I have been aware of the disgust and awe of most American cannabis smokers towards the Dutch way of mixing tobacco with marihuana in their joints for quite some time now, but never felt the need to start explaining how that came to be. The recently applied smoking ban in the Dutch leisure industry, which includes the cannabis coffeeshops, made me do so at last. By reading some comments on forums I visit I found out that a lot of Americans think a tobacco smoking ban for coffeeshops is a good thing, they smoke their joints, reefers or bongs with marihuana only, or mix the marihuana with hash.

First of all, not only the Dutch mix marihuana with tobacco for their joints, it is more a European habit, I do not know of any EU country where marihuana is being smoked “pure” in joints as a custom. I do not know how this mixing started in the UK, France or Spain, I think I know why the Dutch smokers started mixing their tobacco with marihuana. My grandfather used to roll up his own cigs from ‘roll up tobacco’ and rolling papers, like most men of his generation, as did their sons after them. It was the working-class smoke, real cigarettes where far more expensive, only those with higher wages could afford themselves filter cigs. When hash came to the Netherlands in the early 19-sixties there were no bongs or hookah’s around, nor  blunts or filter tips. The only logical way to get it burning and to be able to inhale it was to mix it in the hand rolled cigarettes the Dutch were already used to. There were some changes over the years, we started using filter tips, to prevent tobacco or hash being sucked into ones mouth, and we started using bigger papers, because the filter tip ‘ate’ about an inch of the smoke able part of a joint.

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There was no change when we started to switch from hash to sinsemilla grown marihuana in the mid 19-eighties, we just crumbled the bud(s), mixed the grind with tobacco and rolled it up in a king-size Rizla with a cut-to-size filter tip. Eventually, the few people that started smoking bongs or pipes mixed their hash or marihuana with tobacco to fill their bowls. I have tried that too, but that is too gross for words, the few times I smoke on a bong or a pipe I do not even think of using tobacco. Until today, the vast majority of Dutch cannabis consumers roll up joints with a mix of cannabis and tobacco, it turned into a traditional habit, or a habitual tradition. Maybe this may make you understand why Dutch coffeeshops are so upset about the tobacco smoking ban in coffeeshops, it hits practically all of our regulars.

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Like after so many previous restrictions on ‘coffeeshopping’ we will survive, it does not make people give up smoking cannabis, so they keep on buying cannabis in coffeeshops. The coffeeshops unable to install a separate smokers area are empty all day, customers buy cannabis and then leave to smoke it elsewhere…..

It is very sad to see the coffeeshops losing their social function in Dutch society, one of the main reasons to visit a coffeeshop is to meet and smoke joints with like-minded people. Our present government is completely out of touch with reality, and by far the most hypocritical bunch I have had to condone as my leaders. We have been told the Health Minister may reconsider the tobacco ban for coffeeshops. We  were asked to fill in an online questionnaire about the consequences of a tobacco ban for our businesses, so we did. Furthermore, the newly founded Cannabis Consumers Federation has gathered more than 30.000 signatures to support their petition to Health Minister Klink, which will be offered to him on May 9, I believe. So far, the tobacco-police are not really frequenting coffeeshops, Let’s hope they stay away forever.

I hope our American fellow-cannabists understand why we keep on mixing our cannabis with tobacco, it is our way of doing it, a Dutch smokers tradition. We can live with it, can you?

Nol van Schaik.

Willie Wortel coffeeshops, Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Posted in Nolumns. (No shit columns) | 3 Comments

Here we are/Aqui estamos: Smoking fiesta!

I had bad luck yesterday, when I was about to go to the judging forum, my bike would not start, and Maruska took the car to go to the beach. That is why I had to go today, I have not missed out on this event so far.

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These are the first four samples we were presented….

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This one was harvested a tad early, not strong in smell, taste nor impact.

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In the meanwhile, we started up the Shisha, to give it a proper workout, we already gave it a test run yesterday, I will report on that later.

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Next one to sample…

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Alex was the first one to have a go on the electric shisha, we baptised her Hot Betty, having a proper toke…

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Well done , Alex!

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Adrian, my assistant in testing and tasting went next, he was delighted with the taste of the apple tobacco in the bowl, with some fine bud on top, of course.

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Manolo, from the neighbouring table, fell for the taste of the fruity bud blend right away.

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This is the bud we used in the shisha, Kalimist x Cheese, a hybrid from a local breeder, tastes like nothing else, great impact.

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This is the apple ‘tobacco’, a moist substance made of apples. This is the stuff  being burnt in the Arabic hookah’s. This is not my best picture ever, I will replace it with a better shot.

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This is Antonio, he has been loading the bowl all afternoon, a die hard…

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Tommy is another die hard cannabis consumer, he knows how to grow too!

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Next was a complete growers crew, the green smokers, Fumata Verde.

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Even the band was high, they had been inhaling apple and cheese fumes too.

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Every now and then we gave the shisha a break, to let it cool down. Meanwhile, we smoked a few more test joints…

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The Green Smokers team asked me to take their picture, so I did. I asked them if I could use the pic for my website, they said yes. Unlike other cannabis competitions in Europe, nobody minds having pictures or footage taken, Spain is far more liberal than most other EU countries, cannabiswise. These guys will be searching for this pic here…

 

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Sebas is about to announce the winners, the cups were clocks in a wooden stand, something different. The overall prize was 3000 euro’s , sponsored by Djamba!

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Oscar, the man in the wheelchair, was one of the expert Judges, he was especially invited for the purpose, and to hand out some prizes. I took pictures of Oscar picking up his trophy in the 2007 Barcelona Highlife Cup.

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Another grinning grower picking up his prizes…

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About 120 people attended, Sebas did a good job, although I have no pics of the food (too busy eating!) I can say it was excellent and in abundance!

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When Sebas called out the name of the overall winner he jumped up in the background.

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The Winner posing for pictures, together with the organizing crew.

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Overall winner Pablo poses with Fede, he goes home with cups and some nice cash. The party was great, the high and the food too, I am sure I will be in on next years edition. Salud.

Posted in Judging cannabis competitions. | 1 Comment

Judging cannabis in Malaga today.

Sebas invited me to come judge the entries for the El Punto Cup, a competition organised for his clients. I have been judge there for 3 years now, always a pleasant job. The party part is tomorrow, I will report here on both.

I will paste a few sample pics from last years Highlife Cup in Barcelona.

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I am off to smoke some growers pride today…hasta luego.

Posted in Judging cannabis competitions. | 1 Comment

Grow update 1.

Time to come up with some pics, you will note a nice difference, after a week of rain and some sun, the sun really came out now, my green buddies love it.

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Lovely sight! Look at how all leaves are turned towards the sun, trying to catch every possible ray in them.

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These are 3 Sour Diesel plants, from seeds I was given by Rezdog a few years ago. I kept them in the fridge, they all came up, good genetics, good storage, good bud!

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One of the Basic Diesel plants, also from Rezdog. This bud is a sweety with a nasty punch, you must love her. It is one of the better yielders.

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A Blue Mystic plant, from a really old bag of Nirvana seeds, old school strain and material, hope it will still show good. Used to be a nice little creeper weed.

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White Widow, I will try to find out from which breeder, these seeds come from a local grower. The plant looks vigorous and promising, I just hope it does not turn up male.

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Apartments ready, website coming up….

I have been to tired to post here the last couple of days, made some pics though. Well, we are as ready as can be for our clients, we still have loads of things to do, but that is meant to nice things up even more.

I will put a few pics of the ‘before and after’ state of the first two apartments, the others will follow once their inhabitants left, so I can take pics there.

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This is how it looked like after skinning it, the walls of the building are 60 cms thick, made up from rocks and pebbles.

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This is how it looks now, all our apartments have a theme, this one displays hemp fibre products.

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Hemp products all over…

A few pics of apartment Palmera, named as such because of the big palmtree in front.

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This is how it was…..

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This is the entrance now.

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The theme here is cannabis comsumption.

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A view on and from the terrace. I hope to get time to finish the website in the next days, we want to really get going now!

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