Fiber Farming in Appalachia

After HempX, I visited a couple of hemp farms in Appalachia. Building relationships with farmers is a crucial component to the Artisan Hemp mission. It all begins with the soil.

With all the talk of how profitable a crop hemp can be, we must prove this by purchasing raw material from farmers and creating products from that hemp. If there is no one to buy the raw hemp, farmers will not grow it! Since there is no large scale processing infrastructure in the United States, small scale artisanal production can help fill in the gaps until larger scale processing is in place. The work of the artisan is two fold, bringing value added products to market – creating functional and beautiful products from what would otherwise be agricultural waste and the act of R&D – working with various cultivars/cannabis varieties, harvest times and retting techniques, creating a system of standardizations, working with farmers to realize the best for each type of processing.

We are partnering with Mike Lewis, founder of Growing Warriors and owner of Healing Ground Farm, in Livingston, KY. We use hemp waste that is leftover from the processing for textiles for their Kentucky cloth project – producing American Flags with hemp fiber.

In West Virginia, we met with Morgan Leach, founder of the West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative, who is also running for House in the 10th district of West Virginia. Morgan recently obtained a law degree from WVU and is doing great work in Appalachia. It was inspiring meeting with him and talking about plans on working together to create beautiful, functional products from WV hemp. Here are some photos..enjoy!
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Hemp in the Holler at Healing Ground Farm, Rockcastle county, KY.IMG_8326.JPGBeautiful pink color on hemp flowers in W.Virginia!

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