We recently celebrated Earth Day, and all the Wendell Berry quotes and nature photos got us thinking about one of the reasons we love growing hemp so much.
Hemp is one of those plants that isn’t just great for personal use- the environment loves it too. Its wide variety of uses, ability to be easily recycled, and low waste are things we can all feel great about. But what about growing it?
Growing hemp is an incredibly rewarding job, especially when you look at it in terms of sustainable agriculture. Let’s look at a few ways this plant is good for the planet even before it leaves the ground.
- Industrial hemp has a large tap root capable of penetrating deep into the soil profile to pick up required water and nutrients. These roots can recover nutrients that might otherwise be missed below the root zone and enter the groundwater. In addition, the deep roots open up the soil and prepare it for future crops.
No Pesticides Needed
- Hemp grows well without pesticides or herbicides. It’s more resistant than other plants to pests and disease, making it especially resilient. Of course, some insects are naturally drawn to the plant (smart insects, right?) but they can be controlled naturally and rarely cause large crop losses.
- Hemp is versatile, and can be grown in many different climates. This means wherever you are, you can probably find a local grower and avoid importing it from far away.
Hemp Gives Back
- Hemp crops give back to their environment by returning nutrients to the soil and sequestering carbon dioxide. It also takes up relatively little space, produces more pulp per acre than trees, and is completely biodegradable.
- Hemp nourishes nutrient-depleted soil and helps reverse the effects of erosion, making it a great choice for crop rotation.
- Hemp cleans contaminated soil. In 2001, German researchers found that hemp was able to extract lead, cadmium, and nickel from a plot of contaminated land in Chernobyl.
So basically this plant is your super chill and resourceful friend who always brings something to the party, AND helps clean up.
There are a ton of different ways this plant is great for the planet once it’s harvested, but we’ll leave that for the next installment.
We hope you enjoyed Earth day, preferably with some hemp in hand!