During the sixties in Holland, most of the cannabis consumed was low grade South East Asian grass and Hashish. During the early to mid seventies, a small number of enthusiasts grew out many of the seeds they had collected throughout the years, plus the already long established Purple and Green Lemon types (these were used as tobacco substitutes during the second world war ) Right about that time, a number of Afghani seeds also made it to Holland. The Dutch met with limited success breeding with these varieties, however, the consumers were not interested in this 'Nederwiet', still preferring their imported Hashish.
In the States where the smoking of Marijuana was already well established, enthusiasts were also breeding cannabis with seeds from around the world. Predominantly pure Sativa types were preferred due to the type of high that they gave, but these pure Sativa types were not indigenous to the States and rarely matured in time. Many hybrids were created from pure Sativa's, mostly from Thai, Columbian, Mexican and South Indian landrace plants. During the mid to late seventies Cannabis Indica seeds were introduced into the States, including Afghan #1, Mazar-I-Sharif, Chitral and Hindu Kush.
Breeders crossed these early maturing Indica varieties with the sweeter but late maturing Sativa's. Some of the earliest Sativa/Indica strains were bred by Sacred Seeds including Skunk#1 (Columbian x Afghan#1) X Acapulco Gold), Original Haze, Hindu Kush and Afghan#1.
In the early eighties these strains and many others such as Early California, Thai, Columbian, South Indian, Early Girl, Hawaiian Indica, Californian Orange and South African landrace genetics were brought to Holland by Sam the Skunkman, one of the founders of Sacred Seeds. Three major players of that time, with an interest in finding superior plants started to grow out the Skunkman's seeds: Eddie, who worked together with the Skunkman for many years, setting up a succesfull seed wholesale business in the early eighties. Eddie now runs the Flying Dutchmen Seed Company and the Cannabis College, Ben Dronkers of Sensi Seeds and the infamous Neville, the previous owner of the Cannabis Castle, who was also experimenting with his own genetics at the time. The base genetics for almost all of the strains that are found in Holland today originated from the Skunkman's introductions and the subsequent breeding work achieved by these pioneers.
The key to breeding superior seedstock is the selection process. Eddie and his partners grew out tens of thousands of each strain to isolate those exceptional plants. Greenhouses of up to 20,000 square metres were used with darkening systems to manipulate the natural photoperiod, with this method two crops a year could be harvested. At first the rejuvenation of fully flowered selected mothers and fathers was a hit and miss task. The Americans were successfully taking cuttings from cannabis still in it's vegetative state, this technique revolutionized the Dutch growing scene. Cuttings could be taken from all the plants during the vegetative period and maintained until the plants were mature and the selection process was carried out. These selected plants have been faithfully maintained ever since by the Skunkman and The Flying Dutchmen.
Today, research and development still forms a large part of our work.
The Flying Dutchmen