If domestic industrial hemp use and farming were practiced, applauded and rewarded, we may just be able to change the world…FACT!
Hemp is the Hero of our time...let me explain why,
With our families last months visit to the Brisbane Ekka (Royal National Show) came another thought bubble for me.
I was so very excited to go to the 'natural fibres pavillion', expecting to be inspired, challenged, delighted...I literally jogged there. Only to run out in horror just a few minutes later after being verbally abused by a cotton advocate. Now, I'm no cotton hater (at all, in fact it's organic cousin makes a beautiful blend for our hemp linen) but I am a huge advocate for the much maligned humble hemp plant and it's ability to change our world for the better. So, when questioned as to whether I was an admirer or a maker, I proudly said 'a creator' of hemp based offerings and quickly (& thoroughly) received a barrage of abuse regarding hemp & marijuana...yes a very cluey person who believes you can smoke hemp :(
Now that my back was up ... I did quietly bring up the subject on the cottons crop exhaustive usage of water, toxic chemicals, pesticides, the Murray Darling basin and the governments cover up and quickly left to view the crafters prize area...where I was once again assaulted by synthetic dyes & garish tie dye crafts. Let's just say 2018 Ekka can expect quite a few 'natural fibre', botanically coloured entries from me. Perhaps some of these :
The cultivation of this crop would be a huge win for small farmers (especially the organic & hobby farm ones)..not to mention our planet. We’re talking about industrial hemp here, not medical cannabis, which continues to prove itself and gain acceptance on it's own merits. But...back to hemp.
The benefits to our planet and it's people in using hemp are in plain view and easy to calculate. However, it’s the complex & ridiculous issues of legal and government bureaucracy, (even without THC) that holds the much needed industrial revolution of hemp back.
In the 1930's the hemp industry was set in a very positive direction by the introduction of the decoricator machine. It replaced the previous hand shredding needed to access hemp fibres so that it could be used for fabrics, ropes, twines, clothing, paper, plastic, building materials etc. With this new machine, hemp was now in a position where it could take over most of the competing industries in those production areas mentioned. It should have been a now brainer...shouldn't it?
Historically hemp was a saviour...and everyone knew it.
1st US President and a hemp farmer quoted “Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
Even his diary notes mentions his hemp crops: May 12-13 1765: “Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp.” August 7, 1765: “began to separate the Male from the Female Hemp at Do — rather too late.”
Ben Franklin owned a mill that produced paper from hemp, which allowed the US to have a free press without having to ship expensive paper from England. The much celebrated rope that was used in his lighting experiment was a hemp rope.
But of course you all know something happened to halt this marvelous growth...
a small number of very large businesses with competitive worries used government connections to push through the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 in the US, which of course soon coursed through the veins of much of the world like the poison that it was. Lobbyists of long ago put a halt to what could have made all the difference along with the troubles we are experiencing now. The inevitable marijuana propaganda and the silly lies rolled out and brought about more legislation that would prohibit all hemp farming, including our beloved hemp hero without the THC even though back then there was no confusion between the two species.
Thankfully, commercial hemp cultivation is now legal in Canada & parts of the USA. Whilst 80 years after hemp cultivation was banned in Australia, the industry is just now enjoying a second coming finally in 2017, though still heavily legislated and licensed.
5 Extraordinary Things Hemp Can Accomplish right now
Nutrition Based Care
Hemp seeds and the cold pressed oils are superfoods that possess incredible health benefits and contain all the essential amino acids for easily digested high protein. Hemp is not only high in omega3 and 6, it also provides an almost perfect ratio of the omegas. It's so nutritionally superior you can survive on hemp seeds alone for a long period, can you imagine what this could do to those families facing famine?
It's hero addition to our skincare and beauty creations takes pride of place in our Meraki skincare and beauty range - Hemp plumps up tired and dry skin, with long lasting hydration and will even help the ability of your skin to retain moisture with its use over time. Hemp oil calms your skin, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, protects from environmental pollutants, balances oily skin types and does not clog pores.
See our very affordable Meraki collection here
Ridding ourselves and our planet of toxins from plastics
Nil petrochemicals from plastics are produced with hemp plastics, from plastic wraps for food, bottles and everyday items all the way through to auto parts, with no harmful BPA. Hemp plastics are not only heat resistant and durable they are 100% biodegradable. Euro auto have started to use hemp to manufacture car parts. All the way back to the 1940's when Henry Ford built his historical 'vege car' with hemp and flax it was stronger then steel, it also used hemp biodiesel fuel.
Imagine where we could be now if the hemp industry was left to it's own devices all those years ago?
Hemp improves our soils, our environment, indeed our planet
No pesticides or synthetic fertilisers are needed to successfully grow hemp, you could grown it yourself easily. The dense roots stave off weeds, and the growing process improves the soil’s nitrogen, making the soil even better for other crops in the future, a perfect rotational crop for farmers and the health of our soils, which are incredibly sour here in Australia. The growth cycle of hemp is generally only four months, so the option to harvest two times in one year would create a huge relief for our struggling farmers. Research says that just one acre of hemp produces more oxygen from CO2 and methane than 25 acres of forest. Let's not forget our last little blog about the water savings...our bedsheets save 9000 litres of water per sheet compared to cotton!
See the beauty of them here
Housing construction materials (such as hempcrete) made from hemp fibres have been found to be far superior to most materials used in housing construction in our era. Inexpensive hemp can be made into a huge variety of building materials, hempcrete, insulation, blocks, plastics, board, even carpets, whilst being so much stronger and will last soooo much longer than what’s being utilised now. Did I mention they are also fire resistant?, mould & mildew resistant? rot free? totally non toxic? & good for us and our planet-and all naturally!
Have you any idea how many toxic chemicals and compounds are in our newly built housing?, so much of the materials used are processed with toxic chemicals that are released into our living areas (with our loved ones) for years and years.
Fabrics, paper, textiles, twines & ropes
In essence anything wood pulp can do, hemp fibres do far better. 70% of our worlds forests have already been eliminated...and we pretend we don't know why our existence is threatened. .
Hemp paper can be recycled 8 times, whilst from our beautiful century old trees is only 3 times. The natural beauty we can create with this textile is inspiring, as a little cottage organic hemp creator I'm proud of our pioneering movement even on this small scale, the fabrics are so very beautiful, becoming softer with each use, heirloom fabrics that last a lifetime and are also stain resistant. See what we've created in our new eco fashion Vertex range thus far here and there is so much more to come with new designs being trialed, tweaked and lovingly sewn weekly.
Hemp is indeed the Hero.
The difference this humble plant could make to our planet and it's people is inexcusably staring us all in the face.
Time for the Hemp Revolution!!!
Life tends to bring you just what you need...the universe works like that. The providence of what's required kicks in when you least expect it. I always believed I wanted to be a graphic designer...an artist of such. Many years I spent next to my Grandfather who was a inspiring painter, learning his craft & marvelling at the ease & patience he displayed on every piece.