We’ve participated in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Innovative hemp program for three growing seasons now, and our 2017 plot of hemp will be certified organic. Have 3 years of hemp been lucrative? No. have we learned something? Yes.
Weeds have been our problem, a big one. Our fall crop will be organic. We planted in a field that has had no chemicals on it in three years, so the weed seeds are there. We planted in early June into a clean, well tilled field, cultivated as best we could, but still the hemp did not compete, and weeds came...and came strong. We resorted to hand weeding, to some avail.
We also are using hemp fiber in the chinking and insulation on the log cabin. Again, check facebook, and we’ll get some picture up here soon.
Hempcrete, a mixture of lime and the woody core of the hemp plant, is the sort of product we like to try. So we mixed up a batch for use in chinking on our log cabin, and have left it exposed.
"Thats good stuff!" says our highly-skilled Italian Mason. We think so too.
Hempcrete can be used for construction and insulation. It is not a structural material, but is an insulator with thermal mass. Its weight is 1/8 that of concrete.
Like other plants, hemp absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. Theorectically 156kg of carbon can be absorbed and locked up by 1m3 of hempcrete wall [Wkikipedia]. Futhermore the carbonation of the lime during curing adds to this effect as lime turns to limestone
We plan to use hempcrete wherever we can, and will have more opportunities for the community to see and use it.