Thursday, July 1, 2010

Contemplating Hemp on Canada Day!

Yes, it's Canada Day, our national holiday celebrating the birth of this wonderful country! And I'm thinking about hemp! As an old (sort of) hippie chick, I've been wearing hemp clothes for years; really, like decades. I introduced Farmer Man to them; Farmer Man can kill a t-shirt in one growing season, well, he can kill numerous t-shirts in one growing season. Doesn't matter if it's the cheapie from the box store or a high-end performance shirt from one of the 'lifestyle' stores - Farmer Man can trash it. Hemp, though, wears fabulously and just gets softer with each washing. Farmer Man has some that are two years old and looking good!

Manitoba has been very progressive in allowing cultivation of the hemp plant. It is really an exceptional crop for the Prairies: grows quickly, doesn't have any known pests and diseases, doesn't require much water or fertilizer. Hmmmmm, hardy, reliable and doesn't require much inputs - it's almost the perfect plant. And so useful - you can make fabric, rope, paper and it's an extremely nutritious food source and is great for skin care, as well. Did I mention it's almost the perfect crop plant? Now, before anybody freaks: yes, it's related to marijuana, but it has minuscule amounts of the active ingredient that makes marijuana illegal.

Hemp as a food is awesome! The oil is one of the best sources of Omega-3 and 6 Essential Fats. It is not for cooking, it can't take high heat, but it is beautiful and nutty tasting as a salad dressing. Hemp seed, as a snack like sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, is yummy and imparts all the health benefits. Hemp flour, hemp protein shakes, hemp seed butter: they are all yummy and good for you! And the best part, for me, is that they are local! Hemp foods can replace many of the things that come from 'far, far away', as we pursue a more local diet! There is lot more great info at Manitoba Harvest. We ordered a starter kit from Manitoba Harvest and we're enjoying it immensely. Some of there products are also available locally at Two Farm Kids, and the products are carried at health food stores and natural stores across the country.

I've been looking for something to replace my off-the-farm income; I've been thinking about getting goats and making soap and cheese. However, goats require infrastructure like extremely good fences, so it's not immediately possible. So, maybe I'll become the hemp queen of Brandon. I found an easy recipe for lip balm (which I'm addicted to) in the charming magazine The Herb Quarterly. Hemp oil can replace some of the other carrier oils used in cosmetics. Hemp soap is excellent for the skin, I've used hemp lotions before and enjoyed them immensely. Hemp flour can go into the homemade bread! Hemporama at Aagaard Farms!


  1. My dad (many years ago) said it was too bad hemp products were banished because of the hippies. He told me the best ropes around the farm were the ones made from hemp.

    About your goat infrastructure, instead of raising the goats - could you just purchase the milk you need for your products? Might be a lot less trouble.

  2. Banished 'cause of the hippies?????? I could find goat milk, but not easily fresh unpasturized, which is what I would prefer. My local big grocery store does have a goat milk, heat pasturized, which is not as good!

  3. HEMP is amazing. I love hemp products of all types. I have a hemp bag/purse thats been kicking around for almost 10 years.. not a rip or tear in sight.

  4. many years ago i tried smoking a hemp
    t-shirt..sort of worked!...regards to the Farmer Man...