What is Hemp?

It is believed that Hemp has been grown in various areas aro­und the world for over 12,000 years mak­ing it one of the ea­rliest plants to be cultivated. Its popularity is due to its myriad of different uses, inc­luding; food, textil­es, building materia­ls, fibres, ropes, paper, and of course, tea and CBD oil.

A license from the British Home Office is required in order to grow Hemp in the UK, and only specifically pre-approved varieties are permitted to be grown which are genetically low in THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in Cannabis.

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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.