Hemp; The Plant That Does It All

Hemp; The Plant That Does It All

Hemp; The Plant That Does It All

People may read the title of this article and roll their eyes. And though hemp may not be able to cook our dinner or make our beds in the morning, there is a lot this plant can do. And I like to think it even has the potential to help save the world.

Thanks to this “miracle plant” it can actually help keep farmlands healthy for a longer period of time. Hemp returns nutrients back into the soil and leaves it in better conditions for the next crop that will be grown in the same soil.

Hemp is versatile in the things it can do and in the places it can be grown. Before getting into the things hemp can make, it’s important to note that it can grow all over the world. It thrives in different soils, climates and can grow in small places. This means farmers can decrease their land usage without compromising their yield or their finances. This is important especially when we’re talking about paper. Paper is used for nearly everything and our rain forest is suffering because of it.

It is estimated that we are losing 19 million acres of rain forest every year and though not all of it is for paper, a lot of it is. It takes 10-20 years for trees to grow in order to use it for paper, but hemp is ready for fiber harvest in as little as 60 days. Not only that, but hemp has a higher cellulose concentration than trees, which in short means- sturdier paper. This means we can have better paper without the need to ruin our rain forest and the animals that reside there.

Hemp even has the potential to help the world’s climate problem. For every acre of hemp, 10 tons of CO2 is absorbed. This process is called: Carbon sequestration. In the 1700’s the United States of America made it mandatory for all farmers to grow hemp. It seems to me that this may be a law that should be reinstated. Though, I don’t think hemp is the save all, I do think it has the potential to do our planet a lot of good.

Last season at Plenroot Farms we grew 1,600 hemp plants! That’s a lot of absorbed carbon!

And even after all of that, hemp still has countless more uses. Cooking with hemp is more common than you may think and I’m not talking about psychoactive edibles. The seeds from hemp can be eaten as is or can be made into cooking oil, flour and/or nutritional supplements. These seeds carry so many benefits for the human body. It provides us with healthy fats and essential fatty acids, great protein and high amounts of vitamin E, potassium, iron, zinc and more.

On top of that, hemp is used in making thousands of products, some of which include, but are not limited to: hemp fabric, paper, oil, soap, bio fuel, clothes and more.

In 1941, Henry Ford made a car out of hemp fiber and better yet, made it to run on hemp oil, not gasoline. If car manufacturers started to make their cars to run on hemp oil, once again, I’d like to believe we’d find ourselves in a much better situation than we’re in now, climate wise. Not only that, but Ford found that the hemp plastic he used to construct this prototype was not only lighter than steel but could withstand ten times the impact.

For many reasons it’s important to stand with hemp. Too many people see it as a drug that fuels crime and mischief, but standing together with this do-all plant seems to be the best chance we have at changing the world.