Growing hemp is our favourite thing to do!
Regardless of the many wonderful uses for hemp, one of our favourite (and most magical) will always be growing homes (or as the regular folk may call it, "building" homes)
The hemp crop is one of the most magnificent, fast-growing, and durable crops one can grow. It's so impressive that just 1 hectare of hemp can produce enough hempcrete for an entire house! Imagine how much hemp could revolutionize the building industry and the number of benefits it could provide for everyone.
We have always been huge advocates and supporters of the hemp industry and utilizing hemp for all of its incredible benefits. We started farming in 2016 right here in Margaret River, Australia, and our first-ever harvest followed shortly after.
As first-timers, we knew we had a lot to learn, and over the last six years, we have seriously expanded our knowledge and production to farm top-notch hemp. We started small, being able to hand-harvest our crops, and have now grown to over 70 hectares in collaboration with four other local farmers.
We have come a long way from hand-harvesting here at Magaret River. We cranked up production, dedicated time and resources to learning everything there is to know about growing and harvesting hemp - and were able to expand quickly!
We are big believers and practitioners of regenerative farming practices, that has the added benefit of helping farmers reduce pesticides, herbicides and other nasties used in other crops.
This allows us to produce high-quality, multi-use hemp - although we are currently focusing on hemp housing. Additionally, the process of turning our hemp into building materials has seriously improved.
Up until recently, we had to send our hemp interstate to be processed due to a lack of equipment and a processing facility.
This increased production costs and expanded the project's carbon footprint. However, in recent years, that has all changed.
Let's take a look at some of the improvements we have been able to make over the last few years. These improvements allowed us to process and harvest more hemp, decrease our costs and decrease our overall carbon footprint - making it a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly project:
We’ve come a long way from our first harvest. The first time we took to growing Hemp Homes, harvesting our crop was a very hands-on process – and we mean that literally.
Rewind to 2016.
When it came time to harvest, we had to bring some friends and family on board to help us pull each plant by hand. This was a tedious process that took well over a week of day-in-day-out work – and we swore never to do it again!
Then once we’d harvested, we had to send our yield interstate for processing, after which it was sent back to us and used to make the first Hemp Home through Hemp Homes Australia.
Despite how fantastic hemp homes are, hemp plants actually have a considerable amount of beneficial properties and other uses!
So, how exactly can hemp be used to build a house? Well, the hurd and fibre that is gotten from a single hectare of hemp are enough to make one entire house, as well as additional byproducts.
Even though that alone is seriously impressive, hemp has even more commercial uses to offer. We also farm the following parts of hemp plants:
That's a whole lot of commercial benefits from one plant! Just to completely blow you away, hemp actually has even more benefits to add!
Hemp farming can be hugely beneficial to farmers and their land. Hemp is a rotational crop that can alternate between their stable crop and hemp.
Rotating hemp on the land will improve soil nutrition and save money by not needing to add soil enrichment ingredients too!
Hemp clearly has a considerable amount of benefits, and the discoveries that can be made in the future are endless. Hemp housing is a huge step forward for an eco-friendly, energy-efficient solution to a saturated housing market.