AREN'T HEMP AND MARIJUANA THE SAME?
No, they are not the same, although they are both part of the Cannabis family. They're actually cousins. Hemp is completely different from marijuana in its function, cultivation and application. While marijuana has a high level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) ranging between 5%-35%, hemp has a very low level of THC, ranging between 0%-.3%. THC is the chemical responsible marijuana’s psychological effects. Hemp also has high CBD, (cannabidiol) content that acts as THC’s antagonist, essentially making the minimal amount of THC useless.
WHY IS IT ILLEGAL?
The differences between these two plants didn’t stop our political leaders from getting confused and accidentally grouping all Cannabis species as a Schedule I Drug and banning it in 1970 under the Controlled Substances Act. This, unfortunately, classified hemp as a drug, even though it doesn’t include any of the chemicals that make marijuana a drug. Even after 45 years, the government still seems to have some confusion in distinguishing the two plants. Although legislation is being made, progress has been slow. In its application, hemp and marijuana serve completely different purposes.
WHAT CAN HEMP BE USED FOR?
Hemp is used in variety of other applications, including healthy dietary supplements, skin products, clothing, and accessories. Overall, hemp is known to have over 25,000 possible applications. Some include but are not limited to:
Medicine: sedatives, analgesics, anti-inflammatories
Textiles, including sails for ships
Food products: e.g. tea, snack bars, cereal, etc.
Body care/ hygiene: e.g., creams, lotions, ointments, salves, tinctures, soap, shampoo
Wine (Our personal favorite)
WHY CAN YOU GROW IT?
Sarah Murphy pitched her family the idea of growing hemp in a Chipoltle's parking lot, and that's what got the ball rolling. Sarah had worked on cannabis farm previously in Colorado, and when she heard of the hemp movement in New York State, she looked into it. Applying for the Industrial Hemp Research Program involved a lot of work, including writing a business plan as well as a research proposal. Homestead Hemp was granted a permit to grow and research the plant, mainly focusing on growth for the use of CBD oil.
CAN HEMP GET ME HIGH?
Your lungs will fail before your brain attains any high from smoking industrial hemp. We don't recommend trying it.
CAN I COME VISIT YOUR FARM?
Absolutely! We ask that you schedule a confirmed visit. Shoot us an email with your request and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Please do not just show up to the farm hoping for a tour, because we may not be available to give you one!
DO YOU HAVE SECURITY AT THE FARM?
YEP, sure do! But you don't really need to know too much about that, just smile and wave!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR SEEDS?
Our seeds are obtained from our consultant company, Castetter Sustainability Group. They can answer any seed inquiries.
WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR PRODUCT?
So sorry to say that you can't, yet! We are hopeful to put out a product by the end of 2019!
HOW DID YOU MANAGE WEEDS LAST YEAR?
We didn't really! We were on top of weeds until the plants reached a certain point where they were strong enough to fight off weeds around them. This plant is technically a very aggressive weed. It's strong and hard to get rid of once it's laid seeds somewhere. Our plants did just fine fighting off the weeds, but this year we are using a bedder for raised beds, and plastic covers, to minimize on weeds. The weeds actually made harvesting very difficult.
HOW DID YOU HARVEST THE PLANTS?
We harvested by hand, and will do so again this year. We get a lot of questions or comments about how "there's gotta be a piece of equipment for that", and there definitely is! But since we're a start up, we don't really have a lot of money to put towards something like that right now. It's in the cards for sure, but not this year!
HOW DID YOU DRY THE PLANTS?
We actually hung them up in our barns! Sarah designed an awesome (cheap) pulley system using only bailing twine, fish eye hooks and zip ties. It was very successful, but we did run in to problems such as mold, and not enough air ventilation. We are looking to CSG this year to assist in the drying process, which will have heat and proper air ventilation.
WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST PEST ISSUES?
Our biggest pest issues were actually in the greenhouse. We had several birds, mice and chipmunks dig up our seeds. We solved this by setting multiple traps daily. After the plants were transplanted, we did experience a few different kinds of pests, the biggest pest problem being two men who robbed our field of $1500 worth of plants. We did not experience any problems with deer that we know of. Sometimes the deer would occasionally bend a plant in the attempt to lay underneath it, but there were no signs of nibbles. We hit a problem with Japanese beetles, but beetle bags fixed that. We also had issues with Aphids, but we were spreading Diatomaceous Earth regularly, and that seemed to do the trick.