Hemp - The Ancient Fiber & Grain Crop
Hemp Enters the 20th Century
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.