First Legal Hemp Harvest Update
American Hemp Is On Its Way to Your Car Battery And Your Bookstore
The first digital age domestic hemp crop is being harvested as I write. The subtle decrease in seismic activity currently puzzling Virginia geologists can be traced to Thomas Jefferson ceasing to spin in his grave for the first time in 77 years.
So begins the latest write-up resulting from the recent #HempHarvestTour2014. A note on that preceding “word,” or whatever it is, since its style was absent from my English grammar book. Based on the reality that half my friends think me pre-scholastic in my new media literacy and half see me as more of a trend-hopping Cosmonaut, I figure we are in a place where about half of the folks reading this Dispatch will know what the heck the hashtag business is all about.
Think of it as a supplement. You won’t be out of the loop if you aren’t on Twitter as long as you read Hemp Bound, that worldwide hemp industry investigation and re-launch blueprint that, fortuitously, was published during this, the crop’s biggest year in the last twelve thousand.
But for those who do Tweet, #HempHarvestTour2014 amounts to a 200-image photo documentary of these historic harvests between which I’ve been bouncing, from Slovenia to the first legal American hemp harvests of the Digital Age, in Kentucky and Colorado.
Compiled together in an essay, these reminiscences (sorry, these in-the-field-researched pieces of investigative journalism – ya never know when the Pulitzer committee might be reading) will comprise the hemp-printed First Legal Hemp Harvest Dispatch that (stay tuned) you’ll be able to order in the new year. An excerpt just ran here.
I’m working with my pard Morris Beegle of Colorado Hemp Company on that first hemp-printed project, and so far American hemp farmers in three states have volunteered to contribute fiber. We hope this will spark a publishing revolution grounded in tree-free, renewable American hemp. As a father, I haven’t been this optimistic about my replicants’ future since before last year’s second “Millennial” flood this decade wiped out the Funky Butte Ranch driveway again.
If reading Hemp Bound, clicking around the blithe #HempHarvestTour2014 Tweets and waiting for the First Legal Harvest printing announcement aren’t enough immersion in what is for Canada already a billion-dollar hemp economy, you still have three more ways to procrastinate from whatever your real job is (glad to be of service: it’s educational, at least). You can check out or book the Hemp Bound live event here.
In a “Have Scythe: Will Harvest” moment, here‘s a chance to watch me being schooled — with a dangerously medieval tool — in hand-harvesting hemp by Slovenian farmers.
And since I’m speaking so much about sustainability in the emerging hemp and cannabis industries, if you haven’t seen this TEDx Talk, “Why We Need Goatherding in the Digital Age,” it explains a lot of where I’m coming from in my work.
And for the 50% of folks who process information in what you might call a more seasonal fashion, that hemp-printed First Harvest Update is coming your way at the beginning of February—just when you’re thinking, “Hmm, I’ve read Hemp Bound. I wonder if there’s an update.”
There’ll be a pre-order with deposit for the historic first run, announced in these Dispatches and via Twitter. Here’s what we’re thinking for a pitch line: “American hemp-grown literature: makes a swell Valentine’s Day gift.”
But ya really want to read Hemp Bound first so you’re grounded in the remarkable economic foundation hemp provides as you read about the first folks to prove said foundation’s reality on the ground this season. One of the harvests I visited is being used for next generation batteries by a nanotechnology company.
And in closing, whether a hemp-based publishing industry sounds farfetched or a sensible necessity to you, check out this scene from the Hemp Bound event that C-Span’s BookTV aired this summer: shortly after I’m introduced by two of my Colorado hemp heroes, Lynda Parker and Michael Bowman, I display, discuss and leaf-through the mint condition 1731 hemp-printed book (about the Dutch Reformation) that an audience member had brought to the event. I found it significant that the book’s owner had no problem with, for instance, a fellow leafing through a priceless heirloom, or skin oils damaging the fiber.
Well, off to milk the goats. They have very few problems, too. Some more harvest-time photos are below. My thanks to everyone reading this is for, especially, allowing me to pursue a working life that gives me so much pleasure.
-Doug Fine Funky Butte Ranch, NM
Dreaming’s Over: There’s Real Work to Be Done. Doug Fine, Solar-powered Goat Herder (I-Land of Enchantment) Harvesting Hemp With Katie Moyer (I-Christian County, Kentucky), American Mother and Hemp Farmer. The yellow crop beyond the standing hemp field in the far background is tobacco. Moyer gave me and my Kentucky tour host Josh Hendrix a container of her hemp muscle salve from some just-harvested plants. Within five minutes of application, after a day of driving Kentucky hills and stripping retted hemp bark from fiber, I knew that when this stuff is on Walgreens shelves, the ibuprofen folks (Bless ’em for decades of hard, if chemical work) are in trouble.
Flashing the American sign language sign for hemp at World Hemp Congress, Lendava, Slovenia. That’s a hempcrete pyramid in the local park in the background. The hemp sign, invented by David Piller and taught to me in person at an April Hemp Bound event in Colorado, becomes official in American sign language when it’s in common use. So please flash it often, folks (as I did on Colorado public television recently) — it’s cool. One of the fellows in the photo, Vinko Skraban, owns Planet Konoplje (Hemp), a company that now provides my family’s toothpaste.