Hemp Grows Again On George Washington’s Plantation
At George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate in Virginia – Hemp is once again being grown in attempts to portray of our first President’s farm life accurately. The estate is being designed to represent George Washington’s crops as he would have had. The industrial plants that Washington grew would not have contained any THC since they are hemp.
In May of this year, 2018, hemp was planted fort he first time in centuries on the grounds of the plantation. In August, interpreters (the workers of the plantation) harvested the first of the crop and processed its’ fibers to be used later to produce rope and fabrics.
At the plantation, the hemp fibers would have probably been used to make fishing nets for fishing along the Potomac River as well as to make clothing for the slaves that Washington owned at the time.
It was only recently, in 2016, that legislation was passed to allow for limited cultivation of hemp, but there are currently very tight laws and regulations around seed possession and registration of hemp plants making it difficult. Advocates are fighting for the legalization of hemp and hope that the connection between the plant and our founding fathers might sway the public.
Hemp is a potent plant and can be used for multiple different purposes. These uses for the plant are so abundant and essential that many advocates are consistently fighting for the liberation of the plant and more relaxed laws around its cultivation. Beneficial hemp properties include but are not limited to:
- Hemp produces 2 to 3 times as much fiber as cotton annually.
- Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton and will not mold.
- Hemp requires much less water to grow than cotton does.
- Hemp can grow in all 50 states and is frost tolerant, as opposed to cotton, which can only grow in moderate climates.
- Hemp does not need any pesticides, or herbicides to grow. Only moderate amounts of fertilizer are required as well.
- Hemp is capable of producing 2 to 4 times the amount of paper as trees. All paper products can be made out of hemp too.
- Hemp paper will last hundreds of years without degrading, it can be recycled more times than paper made from trees and requires way less toxic chemicals to make than tree-based paper.
- Hemp can also be used to produce fiberboards that are stronger and lighter than plywood, which could reduce the amount of forest cut down for our use.
- Plastic can be hemp-based which are biodegradable and exponentially more environmentally friendly than current plastics.
- Hemp grows fully and is ready to harvest in just 120 days as opposed to trees, which can take years.
- Hemp seeds contain a protein that when compared to the soybean is more nutritious and also cheaper to produce. Hemp seeds can be used to replace any soybean-based product and can also be used to make a gluten-free flour substitute.
- Oil from hemp seeds can be used to make petroleum and diesel products such as fuel, varnish, paint, ink, lubricating oils, and even detergents.
- Ethanol fuel can be converted from hemp. Because hemp produces more product per area than any other plant species, it has great potential to replace corn in the production of ethanol fuel.
- Hemp grows in the wild, and like the industrial hemp that is produced by farmers has either very low or no THC count at all.