An Interview with Agua Das
By Thomas Ivory, Jr.
The man known as Agua Das is nothing but legendary. He is a man who has been around, grown with, processed thoroughly, fueled efficiently, sold profitably, worn stylishly, ate deliciously, and anything else Industrial Hemp, for over 25 years.
A true American entrepreneur, Das is more than chef for Hemp I Scream! (hempiscream.webstarts.com) ice cream sandwiches, he is engineer of bio-fuels, he is farmer of sustainable agriculture, he is politician for individual rights, he is ethical business-man.
An infinite source of information of spiritual wisdom and a realist for Industrial Hemp, Das is Agua Das.
He was happy to step out of the kitchen, or the lab, or the farm, to answer a few e-mailed questions.
(NOCO) You have been working with Industrial Hemp for a long time. When and how did you get started in the first place?
(Agua Das) I began pressing Hemp Seed Oil in 1990 with sterilized seed because it is exempt without changing any rules.
I began teaching how to spin hemp yarn because mature hemp stalks and the fiber made there from is exempt.
(NOCO) Your Hemp I Scream is delicious and comes in many flavors. Why did you start making ice cream? And what brought you to Red Rocks Amphitheater and hemp festivals as a vendor?
(AD) Even though there are thousands of uses of Hemp, someone said that NO ONE COULD MAKE ICE CREAM OUT OF HEMP. Hmmm… let me think about that.
So I had my first Hemp I Scream by New Years going into 1994. It was a smile of the angels that brought us to Red Rocks; never heard so much live music.
(NOCO) Hemp I Scream is in stores all over Colorado and across the United States. You deliver the ice cream yourself. What adventures do you have? And who are some unique people you get to enlighten about Industrial Hemp?
(AD) We just delivered a freezer full of Hemp I Scream! to Seattle. I love the water and the bay. I can’t sell to anyone I can’t deliver to. I need all the help I can get. We have used everything from direct delivery to shipping frozen pallets to bio regional distributors, look for us at Seattle Hempfest and Arise. High Sierra… We are EVERYWHERE!
I had an amazing conversation with a Denver Sheriff’s deputy who said he did not care that there are thousands of things that can be made with hemp, or that prohibition was a racist conspiracy of silence to promote a racist agenda….
He said he wanted us to win legalization and stop arresting people for pot. In the name of public safety! …because he had never been hurt in a fight with someone who was too stoned.
(NOCO) You are an engineer as well as a chef. Can you please explain what is a gasifier? And how, with Industrial Hemp, can this machine make households truly sustainable and off-the-grid?
(AD) A gasifier turns solid fuel like hemp stalk pellets into a gas that can run an engine. At 8000 BTU/lb, a ton of hemp hurds can replace 100 gallons of fossil fuel and prevent a ton of CO2 greenhouse gas. And make electricity to freeze Hemp I Scream!
(NOCO) How can Colorado grown Industrial Hemp fibers (both bast and hurd) enter the market place today?
(AD) We need to learn how to work together better. Building hemp businesses around good ideas using high hemp content is the way to start. Make hemp products that are better than what they are replacing at least two ways. Avoid defining hemp as the problem, hemp is the solution. We all need to pledge to set aside a portion of our income to advancing hemp first hand. Don’t quit your daytime job till your hemp job pays the bills. Be ready to take a whipping with dignity. As Ghandhi said “First they ignore us, then they get tough on us, then we win.”
Pick a project that does not leave you waiting for someone else to change the rules.
(NOCO) How long will it take the United States’ Industrial Hemp industry to be operating at the same level as other countries like Canada?
(AD) It all depends on our effort: mild, medium , or extreme!