Grow Hemp, Make Money

A tip for American farmers: Grow hemp, make money

This was a great Op-ed in the LA Times by author Doug Fine about our favorite plant (hemp):

Farmers I’ve interviewed from Oregon to Ohio have gotten the memo. In a Kansas-abutting corner of eastern Colorado, in the town of Springfield, 41-year-old Ryan Loflin wants to save his family farm with hemp. “It takes half the water that wheat does,” Loflin told me, scooping up a handful of drought-scarred soil so parched it evoked the Sahara, “and provides four times the income. Hemp is going to revive farming families in the climate-change era.”

After decades of government suppression, hemp is once again growing on American farms and we are beginning to once again reap the benefits of real hemp crops grown by real American farmers FOR PROFIT. We are finally moving out of the theoretical debate about what hemp “could possibly do” and seeing the rebirth of the American hemp industry.

In a world devided by the “Haves and Have Nots” where we fight each other over the crumbs of crony capitalism, we are finally seeing “The Left and The Right” come together in the fields of America, where money speaks louder than bloviating pundits and politicians:

Even Roger Ford, a politically conservative Kentucky utility owner, told me his Patriot BioEnergy’s biofuels division would be planting hemp on coal- and tobacco-damaged soil the moment it was legal. Why? To use the fiber harvest for clean biomass energy. “We have a proud history of hemp in the South,” Ford told me.

Across the heartland of America, political parties are becoming irrelevant when all that really matters is once again getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, and more farmers are turning back to the sustainable agriculture of hemp where they can once again grow the food, fiber, and fuel that will feed a rebirth of local industries and manufacturing around the green economy of the future.

Or we could just keep keep fighting Oil Wars like we’ve been doing for the last 100 years and hope for the best.

[cough]

A better path forward is clear. The only question is how long we will continue to protect the fossil fuel paradigm that is killing us like a cancer:

American farmers and investors need our support to catch up with Canada’s and the rest of the world’s hemp head start. Now. As Loflin put it when I toured his family’s 1,200-acre Colorado spread, “I’m planting hemp to show my neighbors that small farmers have a real option as businesspeople in the digital age.”

I’ll let the Op-Ed author Doug Fine finish in his own words:

We’re down to 1% of Americans farming; it was 30% when our world-leading hemp industry was stymied in 1937. The crop is more valuable today than it was then. We should be waving flags and holding parades for the farmers ready to plant the crop that Thomas Jefferson called “vastly desirable.” I know I’m ready. To cheer, and to plant.

His book “Hemp Bound” is available wherever paperbacks used to be sold.

Jackbooted Thugs Stop Farmers From Helping America

DEA Seizes Kentuckys Hemp Seeds Despite Congressional Legalization

The Drug Enforcement Administration has seized a batch of seeds that were intended to be part of the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp industry following congressional legalization of the crop for research purposes.

The DEA has offered a wide variety of explanations to Kentucky officials perplexed at the seizure. “They’re interpreting the law a hundred different ways,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R) told HuffPost. “The only way they’re not interpreting it is the way it actually reads.”

And who are these degenerate, drug pimping farmers?

The veterans group Growing Warriors will also be at the event, said Stansbury. The program helps veterans to re-enter civilian society by teaching them agricultural skills. “If they want to arrest a bunch of war veterans for planting hemp, thats their decision,” she said. The hemp fiber, she added, will be processed and made into American flags.

More proof that the DEA and their failed War on Drugs/Poor People has destroyed far more American lives than terrorism ever will.

The DEA are the jackbooted thugs of our nightmares. They are the epitome of Totalitarian Big Government, using our tax dollars to imprison farmers for growing a renewable alternative to oil.

The updated story notes that after this story broke the DEA released the seeds. Perhaps more publicity will convince DEA chief Michele “Pot is as dangerous as Heroin” Leonhart to resign, and maybe even convince congress that there are better ways to spend the $40 billion a year we spend on the failed Drug War.

For more Drug War facts: http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics

Gimmie Some Water

Is solar-powered desalination answer to water independence for California?

From a sustainability perspective, the upside of the technology is huge. The US federal government is currently pumping in about seven million-acre feet of water into California’s Central Valley every year. Replacing a “meaningful percentage” of that figure – say, 20%-30% – would be enough to have a dramatic impact on securing water security for the area, says WaterFX’s Mandell.

The implications for sustainable agriculture are also vast. After a successful proof of concept stage, Sundrop is now building a 20-acre greenhouse, which promises to produce 2.8m kg of tomatoes and 1.2m kg of pepper a year. As well as making desert land productive, Sundrop maintains that its approach reduces pesticide use, cuts food miles and results in better tasting produce.

The arguments from a climate-change perspective appear especially attractive. Saudi Arabia’s 30 or so desalination plants, for instance, currently use about 300,000 barrels of crude oil equivalent a day. The trend in other Gulf countries, as well as in Algeria and Libya, is similar. “The status quo is not sustainable,” concludes the World Bank, which describes the elimination of fossil fuel use in desalination as “critical”.

My home state of California is proudly leading the way to a sustainable future by building on our homegrown agriculture and technology industries.

The next step will be using the vast power of the pacific ocean for tidal energy and clean water via solar desalinization.

If its good enough for Saudi Arabia, it’s good enough for America!

Too Legit To Quit

Hemp growing going legit after decades-long ban

Hemp’s return to legitimacy could clear the way for U.S. farmers to compete in an industry currently dominated by China. Even though it hasn’t been grown in the U.S., the country is one of the fastest-growing hemp markets.

In 2011, the U.S. imported $11.5 million worth of legal hemp products, up from $1.4 million in 2000. Most of that growth was seen in hemp seed and hemp oil, which finds its way into granola bars and other products.

“This is big,” said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a Washington-based group that advocates for the plant’s legal cultivation. “We’ve been pushing for this a long time.”

Legalized growing of hemp had congressional allies from both ends of the political spectrum. Democrats from marijuana-friendly states have pushed to legalize hemp cultivation, as have Republicans from states where the fibrous plant could be a profitable new crop.

“We are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a statement. McConnell was a lead negotiator on the inclusion of hemp in the farm bill.

Legal industrial hemp is happening, but the DEA and energy companies are doing everything they can to prolong the inevitable energy revolution because it’s in their own self-interests. 

Fortunately for the rest of the American people, the cost of continued prohibition is too high, and the economic benefit is too big, to continue our misguided war on renewable resources.

Tell your congressional reps to stop the Federal government’s war on American farmers and let them grow the food, fiber and fuel we need to thrive as a nation, just like our founding fathers did.

Pentagon Built on USDA Hemp Field

Pentagon Built on USDA Hemp Field

Found recently at a garage sale outside Buffalo but never publicly released, these journals chronicle the life of Lyster H. Dewey, a botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose long career straddled the 19th and 20th centuries. Dewey writes painstakingly about growing exotically named varieties of hemp — Keijo, Chinamington and others — on a tract of government land known as Arlington Farms. In effect, he was tending Uncle Sam’s hemp farm.

What’s gotten hemp advocates excited about the discovery is the location of that farm. A large chunk of acreage was handed over to the War Department in the 1940s for construction of the world’s largest office building: the Pentagon. So now, hempsters can claim that an important piece of their legacy lies in the rich Northern Virginia soil alongside a hugely significant symbol of the government that has so enraged and befuddled them over the years.

Nothing sums up the absurdity of the $20 billion a year War on Drugs like the fact that the brain trust who leads us into one Oil War after another built their expensive office building on a former USDA hemp field.

Instead of simply allowing US farmers to grow the food, fiber and fuel we need to thrive as a nation, we send their children to die for foreign oil we wouldn’t need if they were simply allowed to grow hemp in the first place.

If that’s not the biggest example of a Corrupt Government running amok, I don’t know what is…

Unless you count the fact that anybody trying to grow the most versatile and valuable crop known to man, (like Presidents Washington and Jefferson did) will also be thrown in prison.

God Bless (Corporate) America!

The GMOs And The Damage Done

GMOs linked to gluten disorders plaguing 18 million Americans – report

Dr. Tom O’Bryan, internationally recognized expert on gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease, says that “the introduction of GMOs is highly suspect as a candidate to explain the rapid rise in gluten-related disorders over the last 17 years.”

Internist, Emily Linder, offered some backup for the report’s findings. She removed GMO from her patients’ diets, finding that recovery from intestinal diseases was faster and more complete.

“I believe that GMOs in our diet contribute to the rise in gluten-sensitivity in the US population,” Linder said in the release.

You are what you eat, but everyday we are fed bullshit that convinces us to eat crap, and wake up surprised that we feel like shit.

I’m no health nut, but even I know the best thing you can do for your body is to know what you’re putting into it. Stop eating poison, and start eating real food. A bad diet, full of over processed sugar and carbs will sap your will to live, throw in a massive dose of GMO pesticides and you’ll really wish you were dead.

Or you could eat one of the most nutritious foods on earth: Hemp seeds, which need don’t need pesticides.

 

 

New Billion Dollar Crop

Popular Mechanics, 1938

Published only a few months after hemp was banned as “The demon weed Marijuana” that caused “Mexicans and negroes rape white women,” this article proves more than anything else that the war on drugs has been a total farce since the beginning.

About Damn Time!

California Governor Signs Senator Leno’s Industrial Hemp Bill

“Hemp grown right here in California would stimulate massive growth in the food, body care, textiles, building and other crucial sectors that suffer from having to import less efficient materials in lieu of this lucrative industrial crop,” says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “The nationwide movement to legalize industrial hemp and farm it right here in the US to benefit American business is growing, and SB 566 opens a door to incredible opportunity for farmers who seek sustainable agriculture, ecologically responsible businesses and products. Ultimately, this bill will help end the prohibition on what is one of the most versatile and environmentally revolutionary industrial crops on the planet.”

I have no doubt that the confluence of agriculture and technology will allow California to lead the nation in hemp production and manufacturing, and it’s about damn time Gov. Brown stood up for hemp as a major agricultural commodity.

More of this PLEASE!!

Gov. Beshear tells Obama Ky. wants to explore hemp

Gov. Steve Beshear is calling for the federal government to take a fresh look at whether there’s a way to capitalize on the potential economic benefits of industrial hemp without undermining marijuana eradication efforts.

It’s about time state governments stood up for the people of their states who will benefit most from ending the ban on industrial hemp.

The Problem Isn’t The Biofuel, Its The Crop!

Ethanol’s Days of Promise and Prosperity Are Fading

Five years ago, rural America was giddy for ethanol.

Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.

The only problem with ethanol is making it out of corn.

Henry Ford, Charles Kettering and “The Fuel of the Future”

When Henry Ford told a New York Times reporter that ethyl alcohol was “the fuel of the future” in 1925, he was expressing an opinion that was widely shared in the automotive industry. “The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, awdust — almost anything,” he said. “There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There’s enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.”