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Two Homies from L.A. on the advance

Don (30) and Aaron (31) from DNA Genetics have brought a couple of excellent US genetics to Holland since 2002. In the past two years, they gained many awards at diverse cannabis contests and reached a climax when winning the sativa category of the High Times Cannabis Cup 2005 with Martian Mean Green.

They came to know each other in the early nineties. Don had just moved to L.A. and was smoking on some schwag weed, he did not have any contacts. But then he met Aaron by chance, and he sold him really good weed. They shared the love for good weed and their close friendship started there. Aaron had turned to growing weed at the end of the eighties in Hollywood, or Hollyweed how they call it, when he was 15 years old. This experience left him heavily infested with the green virus, and he never wished to get rid of it again Don was 17 years old, when he grew his first plant. So these two homies have kind of authentic Californian pot teen grass roots. After some time, Don and Aaron began to systematically collect high-grade seeds from friends and family members. These were preserved, but also grown out and crossed, the homies gained initial experience in the field of breeding. But despite of the comparatively liberal cannabis laws in California, they felt unsure and decided to emigrate to the world`s cannabis mecca Amsterdam in 2002, following their passion for the cannabis plant. In 2004, they officially founded DNA Genetics.

However, they think that the US drug war also has a good side to it. Aaron: If you are taking the risk of growing cannabis in America, you want to get the best out of it, no schwag, no crap weed. So you are out for high-end genetics and superior smells and tastes, apart from the high and yield. Now that`s the good side to the American cannabis repression: As a result, growers strive for maximum quality. After they had settled well in Amsterdam, Aaron and Don started preparing their project DNA Genetics. In addition to the genetic reference, DNA has another meaning: Don `n Aaron. The first genetics they put on the market in 2004 was a seed mix called Who`s your Daddy Mix, produced from a certain female plant that had been pollinated with six different daddies. One kilogram of those seeds was given away as freebies by Gypsy Nirvana, a kind of test rocket for DNA Genetics - a rocket that seemed to hit right into the heart of many people, Who`s your Daddy resulted in a lot of positive feedbacks. After this felicitous showcase, Don and Aaron had earned themselves a name and felt encouraged to both proceed and extend their breeding work.

So L.A. Confidential is the variety the homies have set their heart on. This 100% indica is already highly awarded, having gained excellent results at the High Times Cup two years in a row: Third place in 2004 and second place in 2005 (both indica). In addition, it won the IC Mag Cup 2005 (breeder category). The parental Affie strain that Aaron already mentioned, is an old killer afghan variety from Southern California with a fast and hard-knocking, but also psychedelic turn that had been around in L.A. for a long time, much sought after also for its extraordinarily sweet and soft flavour, but never available as seed or clone. The original plants were kept under lock and key by certain growers. A couple of years ago, they finally gave Don and Aaron access to the Affie, however, only in the form of a female cutting. But the homies wanted to have a seed strain that was as close as possible to the Original Affie. So they had to find a related Afghan variety and cross a respective male with the Affie mom, in order to do backcrossings to the Affie over many generations with the best and most Affie-like plant of each generation, thus getting as close to the original Affie as possible.

Don and Aaron make no secret of the fact that not all of their strains are performing homogeneously, different phenotypes are possible and partly common. Aaron: We are not only selling F1 crosses, but also F2s. Because inhomogeneity is not necessarily a major drawback: Some growers also like F2 crosses because they give them the opportunity to do the selection. So they have a wider selection of phenotypes to choose a nice mother from. Don adds: But be sure, Aaron and I will not put out seeds for sale that have not been tested and worked to bring the best possible results. Cannalope Haze (Haze Brothers Haze x Mecixan Sativa) and Martian Mean Green (Sharksbreath x G13/Haze) are two other flagships of DNA Genetics. The 2006 catalogue includes thirteen varieties, many of them consisting of new G13/Haze and Cannalope Hazes crosses, e.g. O.G. Sour Diesel x G13/Haze = Sour Cream, or O.G. Chocolate Thai x Cannalope Haze = D-Line.

Don and Aaron are working with different systems and mediums. For the production of their own head stash, however, they prefer cultivation on soil, because it provides a sweeter taste according to their experience. Hence all plants grown for cannabis contests are also grown on soil. Don: When growing hydroponically, we are using Advanced Hydro pots, but without controler unit, since we found you can regulate your PH better if you do not connect them. We use them each as individual units. We drain the pots completely after the vegetative stage to start all the plants at the same nutrient. This prevents shock and helps kick the plants off to the flower cycle with the proper nutrients and PH. Also if you notice any problems in the room, one of the first things we do is drain all the systems and re-water. This almost always corrects problems. We use Botanicare products we are importing from the US. Completely organic hydro/soil nutrients. Also we use Enzymes and Root from Advanced Hydro, also organic.

One of the DNA Genetics garden I saw, was equipped with sixteen 600 watts lamps, each illuminating about five large plants of up to 1.80 metres height. The minimum vegetative time for the plants in this room was four weeks. The almost ripen plants were stabilised by a lot of yo-yos hanging from the ceiling. Because of the fact that this room was under the roof, too much heat represented a problem, especially in the summer. DNA Genetics apply a system that solves this problem. Don: That is called the Einstine system. It`s a switching system thats works with the temperature. There are two thermostats, one for the exhaust fan and one for the Einstine. I set the first thermostat for like 24 degrees, at this temperature the exhaust fan will turn up too high! (before 24 degrees, the exhaust is on low, during the night cycle). The exhaust on high should hold the temperature in the room for a bit depending on how hot it is outside. The second thermostat is set for like 29 or 30 degrees. This thermostat when the temperature is at 30 or whatever you set it to, turns the lights off in a "Zig-Zag" pattern. So if there are 16 lamps and it is a hot summer day you may only be using eight. These eight will "Zig-Zag" every hour (or however log you set it to). The "Zig-Zag" light system prevents pockets of no light and gives a good grow when you most likely would have shut down for the summer.

Their growing and breeding operations take place in different locations. They try to be smart, not having all their eggs in one basket, since also in Amsterdam, one has to very smart and cautious as professional seed breeder, nowadays more than ever. Aaron: A couple of homies helps us with the growing part, but the actual breeding work is only done by me and Don, no kind of outsourcing here. These homies, some of them being older than us, are experienced growers and smokers, so after having created our first collection, we had our friends come and tell us what they think about the stuff. Their opinion is very important to us. For example, when they experienced the G13/Haze cross, they said Hey man, those things are golden, something very special, stick with those. We respect people who respect weed. And at the end of it all, it`s not about one company dominating every other company and becoming the king. What we want is a wide range of quality seed banks with outstanding varieties and specialties. Amongst the seed banks who are truly into the herb, at cannabis contests it`s not about who`s the best, but rather some of us gotta win something, because it`s all good.

It fits well to this sound view of the seed bank business that DNA Genetics is very honest when it comes to using external genetics for own breeding purposes. Aaron: If we do someone else`s genetics, we say it, you know. Like for example the Martian Mean Green: We got the male parent, a G13/Haze cross, from Soma in 2002. Also the Rocklock: We used Magus Genetics` Warlock as father for this cross and give this information in our catalogue, so it`s okay with Gerrit. After having won the High Times Sativa Cup 2005 with Martian Mean Green, DNA Genetics even said Thank you, Soma, for giving us the golden male G13/Haze in 2002 that made it possible when holding their acceptance speech on stage. An explicit and public gesture of thankfulness that was the first of its kind in the shark tank of Dutch seed banks. Don and Aaron were disappointed all the more, when in November 2005 on their IC Mag online vendor forum they were suspected by a user of having used Cinderella `99 for creating the Cannalope Haze, without admitting it. Completely absurd, in view of the guys` integrity and proven honesty. Don assures: Our Cannalope Haze was bred from nothing else than Haze Brothers Haze and a Mexican sativa. But the snipers had zeroed in on DNA Genetics and finally even managed to cause Gypsy Nirvana to kick them out of the forum it is not always viruses or worms that make internet forums unsafe and sneaky But Don and Aaron now are concentrating on the future: We like to share genetics with other breeders, and for the mid term, we have a conjoint project on the agenda with a certain wellknown Dutch seed bank, however, that is a secret yet Also we should have many strains available in feminized as well in the future watch out!

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