Mankind's Oldest Agriculturaly Domesticated Crop

Hemp - The Ancient Fiber & Grain Crop

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a fiber crop that has been grown abundantly throughout agricultural history. Known as humanity's oldest agriculturally domesticated crop, hemp is perhapsle the most versatile crop on the planet. Producing nutritious, life-giving grain rich in essential Omega 3 fatty acids, it has been a staple food for most of mankind's history. Further, its stalks produce multi purpose fibers which were historically used for ropes, sails, clothing, and so much more. Civilization itself probably could not have survived and persisted without this magical crop. Now, in the 21st century, we, also, will need hemp to survive. Chanvra is here to help re-introduce this life giving crop into our everyday lives.

Hemp Enters the 20th Century

For almost all of it's long history of human cultivation, hemp was used only for its nutrient rich seeds and strong, versatile stalks. It was only very recently when the concept of cultivating hemp for its flowers was introduced. This is how we came to acquire the familiar psychoactive and medicinal forms of cannabis; CBD, marijuana, etc. All of these products are made from the flowers of the cannabis plant. To call these products hemp- or to compare hemp to marijuana- would be similar to calling corn whiskey, or saying that corn must be whiskey. While these products certainly have their place- for cancer patients, for instance- the problem with growing cannabis for flowers is that this method of cultivation directs all of the plant's energy towards producing these flowers. The result is that the plants grown this way have relatively weak stalks, and generally produce no seeds at all. The Chanvra Cooperative offers only hemp materials that have been grown in the traditional fashion that produces strong, versatile fibers. This natural form of growing hemp is sometimes called industrial hemp but an even better word would be natural hemp, since this is the natural style in which the plant likes to grow.

Hemp is a bast fiber plant. Bast Fibers have long stalks consisting of two main layers: an outer layer and an inner layer. Each of these layers perform different functions in the plant's life cycle. Once the plant has been harvested, these different layers have different applications. The Hemp Core- also known as hemp hurd or hempshives- is the inner layer of the hemp stem, and is extremely absorbent. The Hemp Bast is the outer layer of the hemp stem which is also absorbent but which has some moisture repellent properties as well, which are useful. Click on the images below to learn more about each parts of the plant and how you can use them.

Hemp Enters America | The Struggle Begins


Hemp played a key role in the development of the American colonies, and one of the first laws ever passed in America actually required farmers to grow hemp. In the days preceeding and following the founding of the United States of America, many of the founding fathers- including George Washington- grew hemp. Thomas Jefferson in particular saw hemp as a centerpiece is his agrarian vision for America. Jefferson developed early designs of decortication system, which handles the otherwise labor intensive process of separating the two main layers of the hemp stalk. This was a major breakthrough. When hemp later became "illegal", it was ultimately the work of the same capitalistic powers who- through unreasonable taxation that was proving to impoverish the common population of England- forced the Founding Fathers to declare their independence. When Washington's forces won the physical war, the financial war was only just getting started, and 150 years later, hemp as a natural resource was attacked to slow down the young United States and force it to participate in the globalist, capitalist, oligarchical system. The liberation of hemp in the 21st century is a positive turning point, but the struggle is not yet over.

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