Why do we love growing Hemp?
We love growing Hemp within our crop rotation on the farm as it has numerous benefits, including:
- It is deep rooting, so helps to improve the structure of our soils thereby making them healthier and also reducing the need for heavy mechanical intervention in preparing the soils for the next year’s crop, providing savings in diesel and machinery costs.
- It produces a large amount of biomass which is then returned to the soil and subsequently decomposes to return valuable nutrients back to the soil. This additional biomass helps to improve soil structure, but also increases the level of organic matter which encourages the free movement of nutrients through the soil so that the roots of the next crop find it easier to extract nutrients in order to grow with greater vitality and robustness.
- One hectare of industrial hemp can absorb 22t of carbon dioxide and can grow to 4m high in 100 days making it one of the fastest carbon to biomass converters available. The biomass can then be used to create biochar that can be fed to livestock which increases their health and reduces methane output. Their manure then returns carbon to the soil to lock it in for thousands of years.
- Hemp is useful for reducing weeds such as black grass, brome grass and shepherd’s purse that are difficult to control.
- Hemp yields 4x the output of trees for paper.
- Hemp can replace most fossil fuel products from fuel and lubricants to paints and varnishes.
- Hemp is a hardy plant and is naturally resistant to insects, pests and predators. On our farm, we apply no Agri-chemicals (pesticides or herbicides) and it is therefore free from toxins, and also loved by pollinating insects such as bees.