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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 U.P. Growers Conference and Cup - by Grubbycup



     The first annual Upper Peninsula Growers Conference & Growers Cup was held in Daggett MI on the 20th of June 2015. General Admission tickets were $10 and VIP passes were sold for $100. The overall winner of the event was a Cindy 99 entry by the Cloverland Provisioning Center.

     I live in California, and Mike kindly flew me out to act as Master of Ceremonies for the event. I had such a great time that I’m not going to even try to be unbiased about it. While I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the trolls down in the Detroit area a handful a times, and I’ve even taught a class in Flint, this was my first visit above the bridge. I found the people to be friendly, the pasties tasty, and the scenery beautiful (I also found the mosquitoes annoying but I’m not one to complain too much).

     The event was held at Hooligan Bob’s, which was spacious enough to wander off a little for a bit of quiet for those so inclined. Sponsored by the UPGC Labs, the four main areas of the event were the conference tent, the vendor tents, Uncle Bob’s (no relation to Hooligan Bob) Pigs R Us food truck, and the music stage.

     The ticket price included access to a three hour gardening class taught by Grassroots University. Also included were Detroit Nutrients and Organibliss who later each gave a seminar on organics. Yours truly helped fill in empty spaces (such as when the starting speaker showed a half hour late) by answering growing questions from the audience.
    
   Vendors included representatives for smoking supplies (Da’Vape Escape), seeds (IDK farms), glassware/lampworking demo (Nuggy’s Tobacco Shack), a dispensary (Cloverland) and even a masseur along with many others.

     A friendly (citizen owned) drone soared overhead taking pictures and video before being grounded by a light drizzle and equipment issues.

     The emphasis was on traditional buds over concentrates. Overall I found the area weed to be excellent, with local flavors tending more toward earthy and spicy than rocket
fuel-ish or sharp citrus. One nice side effect of the emphasis
on flowers was the conspicuous lack of medical personnel treating overindulgent dabbers seen at so many contemporary events. While there was plenty of cannabis consumed, the crowd was by and large well behaved and mellow (and even mellower as the day went on).

     Awards were given for the top 3 in each of the categories of THC lab results (supplied by UPCG Labs), Judge’s Choice (awarded by the judge’s votes), and People’s Choice (chosen by the VIPs). Then the results from each were combined to select the overall winners.

     The highest THC awards went to Chicago Sour, El Alquimista, and Cindy 99. The Judge’s preferred El Alquimista, Cindy 99 and Headband (my favorites were El Alquimista, Headband, and a Super Lemon Haze that wound up not placing in the judge’s section ). The VIP’s liked Cindy 99, Headband, and the Super Lemon Haze the best.

   The overall winners were Cindy 99 for first, Headband for second, and El Alquimista for third. The judging was very close, with only a point or two seperating some of the scores (I know, I helped add them up).

     The food truck had pretty standard event fare: sandwiches, hot dogs, and nachos, but the food was good, and the only complaint I heard was from one person that felt that the sandwiches were a bit overstuffed. Personally, I’ll take an overstuffed sandwich over an understuffed one any day of the week, but you can’t make everyone happy.

     The event’s band “Anything Under the Sun” was not only good, but post 20s friendly, which I appreciated. Rumor has it they may be back next year.

     During cleanup I was impressed with how little litter was strewn about after the event. I think it not only speaks highly of the quality of attendees, but absolutely deserves a shout out in this article.

     It was the first year of an event, and had a couple of opportunities for learning experiences (mishaps), but overall seemed to go smoothly from my perspective. I’ve been to bigger shows, but to be honest I seem to have more fun at the smaller local events with hundreds of people than I do the huge crowded mega shows with their thousands. I’ve already agreed to be at the event again next year, and I am looking forward to it.

      For information on next year’s show, visit
upgrowerscup.com or call (906) 723-3073.



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