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Holland's hemp history

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sohel View Drop Down
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  Quote sohel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Holland's hemp history
    Posted: 01 July 2009 at 20:41
To expand your mind you need to learn new facts and develop new modes of thinking that will make the information that you already know more useful. Solving the following problems requires a combination of world knowledge, mathematics, common sense, logic, and science (chemistry, physics). This is not an IQ test. There is no time limit.
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  Quote Darifan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2009 at 20:58

Hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by man. The history of hemp in Holland also goes back for thousands of years. The stalk of the hemp-plant produces one of the strongest natural fibres that were used to make things like rope, textile and paper. Also the seed of the hemp-plant contains high-grade food oil that was also used for lamp oil, the production of paint and (green!) soap.

The Dutch Golden Age was also the golden age of Dutch hemp in Holland. Without hemp there would not have been too much golden age in the first place. A seafaring nation with ships going around the globe is a nice thing to be; however, to be able to build such ships, many tons of hemp was needed. Next to wood, hemp was the main component used to build a ship in those times. The replica of the famous 17th century Dutch ship 'Batavia' contains about 21 kilometres of rope. The sails are made of hemp and hemp-fibres were also used as part of a caulking that made the hull watertight.


Only after Czar Peter the Great learned about shipbuilding in the Dutch 'zaanstreek' (an area in the north of Amsterdam where a lot of ships used were build) -- and as it seems also about hemp production -- did Russian hemp start to compete with the Dutch. This was the beginning of a slow decline for hemp, a decline that continued into the 20th century when modern machines and artificial fibres finally conquered the market. The farmers, especially in the middle of Holland and along the big rivers, lost their winter-time work (peeling the fibres from the stalks) and started to make their own cheese. The hemp-market in places like Gouda became a cheese-market and Holland became a cheese-country.


The most towns and villages used to have their own ropewalks for the production of hemp-rope. These long lanes (now often a shopping street in the middle of town) were right along the city wall or just outside of it. Some places specialized in the production of hemp-rope, for example the city of Oudewater (near Gouda) was a real rope makers' town. The famous Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter worked as a young boy turning the wheel of the ropewalk.


Generally it is thought that linen is only produced from the flax plant but in the past and way into the 20th century, linen was also produced from hemp. The male plants were used for making linen and sails because the fibers are finer then those of the female plant. Or the coarser fibers of the female were used for making more heavy canvas (from "cannabis") and rope.


The hemp was grown on small artificial islands right next or close to the farm. The water level could be regulated with little dams, and to protect the plants against strong winds a line of pruned willow trees was grown around the outer edge of the plot. These characteristic small islands can still be recognized in the countryside today in the middle of Holland and along the big rivers.


Hemp-stalks are harvested and then put for a while in water to start a rotting process, called 'retting'. Bacteria start to break down the connections between the bark fibers so they come loose from each other. This also happens when the stalks are left on the field for a while and rain or dew regularly wets them. After this, the stalks are dried and the fibres are peeled off the stalks. They can also be broken in a special device called the 'breaker' so the bark fibre comes lose from the inner wood core. Windmills were sometimes used for this process.


After breaking, the bundles of bark fibre are cleaned further by first hitting them with a flat piece of wood to clean off the last pieces of remaining wood core. Then the fibers are combed on various sizes of 'hackles'.


The clean bundles of fibres are spun to fine yarn to be woven into textiles by the weavers. The production of hemp-linen and heavy canvas is very labour intensive, to make 1 meter of cloth takes at least 25 hours of work. A long time ago, canvas and linen were not cheap products. This was the reason why many painters could not afford the canvas for their paintings. A good way to deal with this is by making a painting of the weaver and his family, on an available wooden panel. These paintings were then traded for canvas. This is the reason why there are many paintings of weavers.


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Darifan View Drop Down
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  Quote Darifan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2009 at 21:01

The Ministry of Environment & Forests is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government, for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes. MoEF oversees all environmental matters in the country and is a permanent member of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.

The Ministry is also plays a pivotal role as participant of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The principal activities undertaken by Ministry of Environment & Forests consist of conservation & survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife, prevention & control of pollution, forestation & regeneration of degraded areas and protection of environment, in the frame work of legislations.

The main tools utilized for this include surveys, impact assessment, control of pollution, regeneration programmes, support to organizations, research to solve solutions and training to augment the requisite manpower, collection and dissemination of environmental information and creation of environmental awareness among all sectors of the country's population.


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  Quote sarah louise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2009 at 12:46
Weird isn't it? When I was first introduced to the brain in a classroom, I was told that it was the one thing that did not regenerate... the neurons you are born with ar there for life and know I find out it's a crock! 

The adult brain does, in fact, contain stem cells and the production of these cells is enhanced by voluntarily exercise, taken in company. Integrating them into the cns is where the cross words and maze puzzles become useful.


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  Quote Ganja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 11:19
I heard that recently too - that your brain does grow new cells.

It's also been suggested that cannabinoids in the brain aid in the formation of new cells. The early experiments were done with huge amounts of cannabinoids introduced into rat brains (much higher concentrations than could be achieved by smoking), and seemed quite promising.

There's also the fact that the human brain has an endo-cannabinoid system. I would not be at all surprised if this system helps in the upkeep and regeneration of the brain.
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  Quote sarah louise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 18:07
Yeah I saw it on a science show on telly a couple of weeks back. I think it is weird how voluntary exercise needs to be pared with company in order to see benefits in the brain.


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  Quote within Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2011 at 04:59
Nowadays hemp is mostly used in the production of biodegradable plastics. But the problem with hemp is that its cultivation is not profitable. I am from France and my uncle used to have huge hemp farms. I remember running through these farms when I was a kid. But at the moment he is not growing them because the profit is very less.   
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  Quote martiniGR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2012 at 21:39
Why is the profit low? Hemp grows without any costs. if the profit is low this means the price is low, question  and demand. But prices go up and down in dutch "the pig cycle"works with all agri products.
If the price stays low you should develop new products , selling a raw material , gives not much profit, what gives much profit is your unique sellingpoints or products.
BTW all products have lower margins in this crisis. Except chocolat and drugs.
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