Unforgettable Characters at EIHA

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Man, what a bunch of cool kooks showed up for the European Industrial Hemp Association’s 12th annual conference last week — in Wesseling, Germany, itself a rather kooky place.

Harvey & George

Take Zuckerman’s new friend Harvey, former art-school owner, renowned ceramic muralist, world traveler, inventor and general raconteur. Harvey’s got this newfangled hempcrete binder, you see — which is news to my new friend George, who’s been mixing hempcrete for about a quarter of a century. Zuckerman would like to get those two into a debate over the merits of various binders for hemp construction. That burning topic.


Riding in from the Great American West was Rowdy. Just came over to rustle up some ideas to take back to the high plains, where water is a problem and, well, Rowdy’s thinking maybe hemp is part of the solution. Apparently beer’s something of a problem, too, out there. Rowdy says the last local bar has shut down – but he’s philosophical about it all: “Hell, we just get a bunch of beers together at somebody’s house and do a barbecue,” Rowdy says, pushing his cowboy hat back to wipe his brow in the bright Wesseling sunshine. “Cheaper anyway.”

Enigma Farms

Cruising the banquet room, Zuckerman stopped to spread some cheer at the Enigma Farms table, where business partners Enig and Emma were holding court on the superior qualities of blue grass as well as hemp. Blue grass apparently makes the horses run faster. And as for hemp, well, we all know Kentucky’s done left the gate. Zuckerman’s got ’em in the Great American Hemp Race at 5:1.

When Danie and his brother arrived, the jol got a lot jollier. Jislaaik bru! That Danie’s got some ideas about how to grow hemp as part of a pinwheel rotation crop arrangement, and boy do they need those hemp houses way down there where Danie’s from.

Stir, and let it rise

Finally, the highlight of the formal program was when this guy Roberto levitated the entire hall full of about 250 people just with a stirring speech. And they say industrial hemp can’t get you high!

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