Ceres Seeds a brief history
From 'The Big Book of Buds' by Ed Rosenthal
Ceres Seeds is a 100% homegrown Dutch seed company. Its history goes back to 1988 when its owners started their first seeds and cuttings. There is a famous childhood story of one them, buying cuttings and growing supplies at Positronics – with his grandmother! The Ceres Seeds team were learning the ropes back then. In the early 1990s, they worked for the old, infamous Dreadlock Coffeeshop, as well at reputable seed companies like the Sensi Seed Bank, where they learned how to produce and cross strong, healthy plants, and how to know good cannabis when they saw it.
Ceres’ original seeds came from the imported Jamaican, Thai, and Colombian weed that formed the stock of many coffeeshops in Amsterdam before the modern varieties took over. With a little help from their friends throughout the Dutch cannabis industry, Ceres Seeds also acquired some Indica-dominant varieties that had been in already Holland for many generations.
In the late 1990s, seed companies started popping up everywhere. The Ceres Seeds team was surprised that many of these companies were making F2 varieties (hybrids crossed with hybrids). They decided to get serious and jump in the game, with their own (F1) varieties. They approached breeding with the simple philosophy of easy, reliable and 100% stable strains. Ceres started with landrace genetics that were available from Sensi, plus the strong indica seeds they had collected over the years in Holland. “Then,” says Ceres, “we remembered the old sativa seeds from all those baggies of weed we had smoked ten or fifteen years earlier. We started testing, growing, experimenting, selecting and reproducing using the best seeds from all our collections.” In 1999 they made the big step and started Ceres Seeds. They took the name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture and motherly love. Her name derives from the Proto-Indo-European root “ker,” meaning “to grow,” which is also the root for the words “create” and “increase.”
Ceres’ first F1 variety, White Panther (A.K.A. White Smurf), was introduced in 2000. With the invaluable help of the well-known “Smurf” name from an established local coffeeshop, this variety won two awards at the High Times Cannabis Cup that year. This gave Ceres the encouragement they needed. Ceres continued to work on their prize stock and launched the www.ceresseeds.com web site, adding other varieties such as Northern Lights x Skunk #1, Ceres Kush, and White Indica to their offerings. Ceres also designed their packaging. This design has become somewhat of a standard in the cannabis seed industry.
Home to Ceres Seeds in Amsterdam, is the shop Hempshopper. Hempshopper opened its doors on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal in 2004. From here, Ceres Seeds helped produce the first Grass-A-Matazz in 2005. The Grass-A-Matazz is a Jazz ’n Grass party, featuring the legendary John Sinclair. It is held during the annual High Times Cannabis Cup, and represents the blues and jazz roots in cannabis history. At the second Grass-A-Matazz party, Ceres presented their new variety Fruity Thai. The following year, this strain won Second Prize at the Cannabis Cup in the Indica category.