Well, it's been a heck of a first season so far. Field days are here now and the time has just flown by. After our last blog we left you with the promise of information on the project we had procured our seed for. We have pictures and stories. There's that and plenty more in this end of summer newsletter.
We got the seed and came up with a plan. We ordered wagons and built them with wooden decks sealed with hemp oil. We cleared out enough space in our barn to fit 4 wagons and build the framework for our lights. Once the framework was complete and the lights were hanging we started making soil blocks.
We finished planting our seeds and they germinated in about 3 days. The lights seemed to work well and they looked pretty cool. We barely had enough room in our barn to fit all this stuff but it was satisfying seeing it all come together. These are some of the best pictures we got of the lights.
The plan we had come up with was working. We rolled the plants outside in the morning in the shade of an oak tree and when the sun was beating down on them by noon we put them back into the barn. We even set up a little office by the plants so we could watch them grow. They grew well and finally the day came to transport them to the field. Once we finished planting with the help of many friends, our job was done.
So we completed our project and finally got some free time to visit other farms. We attended a field day in Wisconsin which is where these photos were taken and got some time to hang out with our neighbors who are also growing hemp. The photo with the rooster is actually right in our front yard. We are back ready to assist and educate Illinois farmers full time for the remainder of the 2019 season!
While we were growing plants we also ordered a few bags of hemp hurds from a bulk supplier. Experimentation began shortly after it arrived. Rachel has begun hosting hempcrete workshops and the next one is scheduled in Indiana on October 5th. There will be take-home hempcrete kits available for sale after the workshop. For details see our new event calendar.
As you might have noticed, our site has been updated. We've added a new calendar that will make it easier for you to keep up with events by adding them with just one click. Mostly visual changes were done aside from the calendar. Let us know what you think about the new look on the forum and what other features you'd like to see added to the site. If you notice any bugs you can report them to Chris on the forum as well or through the IHGA email. Go check out the calendar now - there are quite a few things on the schedule for this month!
Hemp was also a big topic at the Ag Policy Forum listening session with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and members of the Illinois Congressional delegation on August 28th. Rachel asked about
encouraging growth of the hemp fiber market, as opposed to the CBD market.
“I’m hopeful we can develop a lot of uses for fiber because otherwise the productivity of the American farmer will crash this market for CBD oil before it gets off the ground,” said Perdue. If you want to hear Rachel's question to Sonny, click here.
Now that you've caught up with us, we'd like to thank you for subscribing and becoming members on the site. If you have the time please give us an update of your own hemp adventures this season on our forum and include pictures if you have any and look for more regular newsletters again starting next month!