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They call him Mr XX and the grow-professor, SpeesCees or just 'tall one'. Even in a subculture that counts a more than average number of colourful characters, Cees Hendriks is a remarkable figure. Farmer, breeder, discoverer, adventurer and even entrepreneur, Cees is it all. We may even forget some roles he has played in life. Even if he is officially registered as an entrepreneur, Cees has never been a businessman at heart – for that he is too much of a die-hard hippie. Transparency, simplicity and respect for Mother Nature have always been basic values for anything Cees undertakes. To copy things numerous others had already copied from one another would hurt his pride. His ambition has always been to do things that had not been done before, and this mission seems to have succeeded. No Mercy doesn't create things because everybody else does them. The No Mercy philosophy dictates that new products should really add something to what's already there. And to do that you don't take risks. To create innovative products you can stand behind, you need time – and rigourous testing by top growers. In spite of that critical attitude he developed several essentially innovative products that sometimes were copied, but never surpassed.
A Dutch Moroccan
When Cees started No Mercy, he already had half a life behind him. It was an adventurous life in which cannabis had always been the common theme. In his younger years he took off for the Moroccan Rif Mountains, where he served his apprenticeship with the makers of legendary Moroccan hash varieties like zero-zero, Ketama and caramello. In other fields he did things nobody else did as well. He was a guerilla grower long before anyone had even coined the phrase; after his Moroccan adventure he set up a guerilla grow on a tropical island that defies all imagnination. Hopefully one of these days we can seduce Cees into a talkative vein about this episode...
A larger audience got to know Cees as SpeesCees. The column he wrote under that pen name appeared for 8 years in the popular Dutch cannabis magazine EssensiE, and was devoured by his readers. He wrote no holds barred, without taking into consideration commercial interests – something that was – and is – not obvious in the small like-knows-like cannabis community.
From theory to reality
It was in the seventies when American cannabis pioneer Mel Frank had to admit he hadn't succeeded in making female seed. Until long after Mel Franks time creating 100% female seeds was considered the Holy Grail of cannabis cultivation, but something that was considered only theoretically possible. Naturally Cees was hellbent on turning theory into reality. In 1996, after 14 years of tedious drudging, he succeeded as the first one ever to do the 'impossible': creating 100% female seeds. Miraculously it didn't take long for the competition to do the same thing, even though Cees seriously questions their claims. As far as he's concerned misleading marketing for feminised seed only creates confusion. As long as people don't distinguish between 'female' and 'feminised' consumers are deceived, that's the long and short of the issue in Cees' opinion.
No Mercy goes Nepal
Another one of those indisputable 'truths' was the use of guano as a natural fertilizer for flowering planst. While it had been known for years guano was an ideal biological fertilizer for flowering, nobody ever made the effort to actually find out how well natural guano was absorbed by plants. Everybody repeated everybody elses' information like a parrot, but only after No Mercy researched the issue it became clear it was useless to give guano to a fast growing annual plant like cannabis, unless it is thourougly fermented in a special way – a technique Cees generously shared with his SpeesCees readers. Only after the usual extensive testing No Mercy gave the green light to releasing its Guano Extract. No Mercy was one of the very first companies too that realised the importance of bacterial cultures for creating a healthy soil in which plants thrive. In this category No Mercy Bacterial is still an unparalleled product. Speaking about soils... In 2003 Cees departs for an expedition to Nepal to undertake field reseach on the soil conditions in the territory from which the cannabis plant originated. The expedition resulted in knowledge which up to that point was missing from cannabis literature. Later on these discoveries would be applied in No Mercy seedling and cuttings soil and the new grow medium Hydrodensa.
In between all adventures Cees steadily worked on several cannabis varieties. Strains such as No Mercy Special, Double Fun en Royal Queen have been highly regarded classics in an ever expanding genetics landscape were nobody can see the forest for the trees. In recent years the market has been flooded by new seed banks, releasing new varieties almost yearly. To release new varieties every year, like some cannabis H&M, No Mercy considers pointless – to create stable strains, untainted by feminised genetics takes years – something consumers often don't seem to realise.
Respect for Mother Nature is the starting point for the 12/12 system Cees developed. The ever more popular system is aimed to be an alternative for the cuttings culture – without compromising yields. The 12/12 systeem allows for more efficiency of available means, saves electricity, and produces bigger yields than traditional grow methods. The trade-off is that the seed-based 12/12 system requires some 34 plants (meaning at least 34 seeds). Condition for acceptance of the 12/12 system is that the outrageous seed prices have to drop dramatically. And even if Cees has to eat his hat, he is determined to follow his own course of action and offer No Mercy seed at prices that make the competition go weak at the knees. And don't you make the mistake of thinking a cheap deal equals a bad bargain and No Mercy genetics are just average genetics. No Mercy Seeds proves you don't need exorbitant marketing budgets, fancy stands at fairs and posh office buildings to create high quality products.
You may say Cees Hendriks is a living cannabis legend, even though he would never use those words himself. Even so, where do you find a living legend that is approachable these days? When dealing with No Mercy Seeds you don't have to wait for weeks to get a reply to your e-mail or phone call – if you even get one. Nearly every day you can reach out for personal contact, information or advise - by telephone, mail or a personal meeting. To borrow Cees' words: Just stay cool, high and take time to fly, but most of all, don't forget to take time to check the abundant information on our website. We bet the penny will finally drop for you too.
Cees doesn't take anything for granted and doubts even undisputed 'truths'. In 2004 he heard that as early as the fifties scientific proof was found that plant roots absorb CO2. Complete nonsense, was the conventional wisdom at the time. CO2 is only absorbed by leaves - end of discussion. The only 'little' problem was that the proof was stored in some university building in the remote Russian city of Orenburg. An epic journey ensued, in which heroic efforts were made to recover the valuable scientific proof from obscurity. Later on a No Mercy co-worker wrote his Agricultral University graduating thesis based on that very same knowledge. No Mercy famous CO2 tabs were the tangible result of the ground breaking rediscovery.
Photo Gallery by SpeesCees