Almost 3 years ago, in collaboration with a group of talented wāhine, OM planted our first hemp farm 🌱
In the warm, Rotorua soils, we first cleared the fertile whānau land of weeds, and levelled it out, ready to be dug and mixed with organic fertilizers and minerals. After we sent our initial soil tests to the lab, with a bag of #kompulti strain seeds from NZ Hemp Brokers, we then trialled 4 different styles of planting:
uniform rows of seeds
Non-uniformed rake planting
“Market garden” fertilizer holes
Cover-cropping, permaculture style (mixed with other vegetable seeds).
The goal? Education, empowerment, environment and enterprise - The four E’s of change (coined by @savannahatai).
Our experiment with hemp helped us to gain insights into not only heal the soil, but create a stable food source and cottage industry for local whānau, re-engaging latent whānau land, and galvanizing the community to come together and be part of something greater.
Thanks to Krissy Bishop, (also for her family whenua) we were housed and fed down the road at Waikohatu Marae. With support from @uyoc, we were able to fly over experienced hemp farmer & permaculturalist @devinfredericksen from Hawaii to give us a hand.
4 months later at the end of summer, after learning first hand about how much the local birds and animals enjoy hemp seedlings, we had a small crop of hemp that was harvested and broken down into fibre (stalks), leaves, roots, and seed. The roots were sold to make balms, and the seeds were kept for the following season - when the whānau took the hemp farm into their own hands.
The post-grow soil tests came back really positive too, showing the difference hemp made to repairing the biodiversity and returning nutrients back to the soil.
Want to get your hemp license for this season? Planting begins end of October, so you will want to sort that out ASAP.
Support OM’s hemp journey and NZ made products by purchasing NZ Grown Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed oil on our website and at our Shack at the La Cigale French markets. Available in 420g, 600g and bulk sizes 🌱🌿