6 Reasons Why Hemp is the Future of Sustainable Farming

hemp

Hemp is hardly a hot new crop–it’s been cultivated by humans almost as long as agriculture’s been around.

But with the advent of new technologies, and the demand for hemp-based cannabinoids like CBD and delta-8 THC, hemp has been gaining a lot of popularity, which is allowing us to learn even more about it.

But what’s even better is that hemp is a low-maintenance, easy-growing crop, and the possibilities that can come from it are endless.

It’s no wonder, then, why hemp is viewed as the future of sustainable farming, but let’s break down the reasons why.

It’s Locally Grown…Everywhere!

Right off the bat, one of our favorite things about hemp is that it’s a versatile grower, and will tolerate a wide range of conditions.

This means that wherever you live, there’s a good chance you can find a local grower nearby, and purchasing locally means less fuel consumption and air pollution from product transport.

Every Part is Useful

With most crops, we’re lucky to get use out of 2-3 parts of the plant.

But with hemp, every part of the plant has a use: the seeds are nutritious, loaded with healthy fats and protein, the stalks and fibers make textiles, and of course, the leaves and flowers are excellent sources of cannabinoids like CBD.

Deep Roots = Less Water Needed

Of course, plants with a lower need for water are always appreciated, but this is especially huge when we look at hemp as a textile crop.

When we talk about textile crops, cotton is usually the king crop. The issue with it, though, is that it requires tons of water. In fact, cotton requires about 18 inches of water per growing season to obtain. Hemp, however, only requires about 12 inches or less, which taps in less to our natural resources.

One of the features around hemp plants is that they form a large tap root that goes deep into the soil, and this allows the plant to reach into the depths of the soil to obtain nutrients and water.

And these tap roots go so deep, in fact, that they can obtain nutrients that don’t even make it into the groundwater, and can even open up nutrients in the soil for future crops (more on this later).

No Pesticides Needed

In the world of agriculture, we’ve become widely dependent on pesticides to protect crops from insects and animals. And while pesticides can be helpful in some situations, they often do more harm than good.

Pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals can have a detrimental effect on the environment by contaminating water, soil, and wildlife.

And while textile crops like cotton are often heavily dependent on pesticides in order to survive, hemp is naturally resistant to fungi, bacteria and pests, which gives farmers the freedom to say no to pesticides.

The Soil Loves it

Besides the fact that hemp takes up very little water or space, it does even more for the soil by replenishing nutrients and taking up carbon dioxide.

On top of that, the crop itself is incredibly sustainable: it takes up very little space, it’s completely biodegradable, which is a big deal when so many agricultural practices actually drain the soil of nutrients, and this can have a devastating impact on a crop’s health and nutritional value.

And hemp does more than re-nourish the soil–it may help purify it, as well. According to one German study, hemp was able to extract lead, cadmium, and nickel from soil sourced from Chernobyl.

And as an annual plant, hemp is perfect for rotating with additional crops that can benefit from replenished, decontaminated soil.

Forests Love it, Too

At this point in time, our rainforests are in critical condition, and it’s more crucial than ever that we source from more sustainable options, or else we may not even have rainforests in the next century.

Because of this, hemp is more than a great option; it’s an absolute must.

As we’ve already mentioned, hemp requires little water, and it can thrive in small spaces–even indoors. But what’s more is that hemp produces more pulp per acre than trees, which makes it a more sustainable option for paper. And while wood pulp can only be recycled 2-3 times, hemp can be recycled 7-8 times, and it’s biodegradable. And even more incredibly, hemp has shown immense promise as a housing material!

And while hardwood trees take from 10-20 years to be ready for harvest, hemp matures in as little as 60 days.