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Harvesting industrial hemp

chanvre_beton.jpgBriefly, industrial hemp is a renewable crop with multiple environmental benefits. It grows fast with very few pesticide or weed killers.

Here is an introduction article from Hempline Inc. :

“Hemp is known as a bast fiber plant, meaning there are commercially useful fibers in the stalk. Hemp is an annual plant that must be grown from seed each year. The seed is planted in the early spring once the soil is warm. Hemp grown for hemp fiber requires a well prepared seed bed high fertility, good drainage and soil with good amounts of organic matter. Hemp typically does not require herbicides, pesticides or fungicides when planted early at a high plant population.

Hemp grows quickly and can reach heights of 10 to 12 ft. in 75 to 90 days. When hemp is grown for fiber in Ontario the crop is cut down in August and is allowed to lie in the field to cure through what is called the retting process. Retting involves allowing moisture and heat to activate microorganisms that dissolve the naturally occurring glues in the stalk that hold the hemp fibers together. The crop is turned so the retting process takes place evenly. The hemp stalks are baled once the retting process is complete and stored in dry covered storage on the farms. The bales of hemp stalks are delivered to the processing facility on a year round basis.”

A few links about hemp cultivation:

Commercial Hemp Cultivation in Canada
Technical information about hemp cultivation

Mother Hemp - Hemp Cultivation
Info about cultivating hemp, and beautiful picture of progressing growth of a industrial hemp crop.

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* If your cat licks Shelby The Hemp Mouse face, no worry, it is stamped with food colorant!