As a family, one of our favourite uses of Hemp is for growing Hemp Homes. Did you know that just a 1-hectare plot of Hemp can build an entire Hempcrete house?
Hemp is the perfect building material for the Australian climate, and we’ll get into why soon!
To demonstrate the magnificent potential of this crop, we started farming Hemp right here in Margaret River, Australia. Our first harvest was in 2016, and we proceeded to expand our operation as we learned more about how to better farm Hemp. In 5 years, we went from hand-harvesting & interstate processing to mechanical harvesting with local processing. Within the same time, we went from a one-hectare bumper crop to 70 hectares and collaborations with four local farmers.
Read on to learn more about our Industrial Hemp farming operation in our picturesque region of Australia!
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.
We’re proud to say that even after having to hand-harvest, we didn’t give up. Since then, we have continued to expand and optimise our Industrial Hemp farming practices. We are now growing 70 hectares of Hemp as a multi-purpose crop (we’ll talk more about that later). But mainly, our focus is on increasing Hemp homes.
Our farm is 100% organic, and we’ve partnered with another local farmer, so we have access to even more Hemp. For a while, we had to send our Hemp interstate to be processed. This reduced the profitability of our overall operation and increased the total carbon footprint of the project.
It’s 2021 now, and this year we finally acted to change that. We made two significant changes to how we farm & process Hemp!
The hurd and fibre from a hectare of this one single crop have the potential to build an entire home, along with endless byproducts. Aside from the Hurd that we use for building materials, we also yield;
…All of which have individual commercial applications.
That’s five different core materials from a single plant! And that’s just the potential economic benefits.
Hemp crops have many benefits to the farmer, particularly for rotational farming. Our farm will only ever grow Hemp, but there are options for farmers who grow crops like sugarcane, corn, and potato to alternate between their staple crop and Hemp. Doing so will offset soil depletion and end up saving money on artificial soil enrichment. This is because Hemp returns nitrogen and Co2 into the soil during growth. It can also be grown 100% organically, meaning there are no nasty chemicals left behind.
If you’d like to read more about the environmental benefits of Hempcrete, check out the blog we wrote about it!
As you can see, we’ve come a long way – but there’s still plenty of distance to cover! Our farming, processing, and building operations are only going to get larger. In the following year, we plan to offer processing services to any farmers in Australia (particularly hopeful Hemp farmers in Western Australia) so they don’t have to send their harvest interstate. For a local Hemp industry, processing must be available for growers. A big thanks to the government of Western Australia for enabling this undertaking.
Do you want to learn more about what we do here? Head to our YouTube channel and watch the whole video series today! Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe & turn on notifications.