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10 Interesting Uses for Hemp

Humans the world over have used the hemp plant in many forms for thousands of years, and modern processing technologies have given it nearly unlimited applications. To date, over 50,000 applications have been found, and each one of them has the potential to shrink our carbon footprint. Also, since this plant can be easily grown in our unpredictable Alberta climate, it could give our local economy a much-needed boost. There are so many positives to embracing this super plant as part of our everyday lives.

Here’s 10 ways this crop is used today (some of them may surprise you)!

 

10. Pet Food

Whether it’s your 3 pound rabbit or that 500 pound bear you probably shouldn’t have domesticated, all mammals alike need their Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). Hemp oil is an excellent source for all your EFAs, and it is a natural way to improve your pet’s joint health, lower its risk of cancer, and improve their skin and coat. It can be used alongside any medications, and can reduce your pet’s anxiety levels!

 

9. Skin Care

Hemp seed oil’s EFA profile is very similar to our own human skin, making it a perfect moisturizer for any skin type (even sensitive skin). It conditions the skin naturally without clogging the pores, and the anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the appearance of redness and aging! It can be used to treat many skin conditions like dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and dermatitis. Try it in our popular beauty product line, or if you’re feeling crafty, you could try making your own skin care products!

 

8. Batteries

Traditional batteries use toxic chemicals that are dangerous to humans, wild life and our water sources. Luckily, researchers have demonstrated that hemp bast fibers have the ability to conduct electricity as efficiently as graphene. If you’re electrical engineering knowledge is rusty, think ultra-green and ultra-cheap batteries!

 

7. Wood Finish

Hemp oil can be used as a solvent-free wood finish. Traditional products are so toxic they require a well-ventilated space, whereas hemp oil is environmentally friendly, and smells like freshly crushed walnuts. It preserves the natural color of the wood, and it is safe for food preparation surfaces. Watch a quick video about it here!

 

6. Textiles

Hemp has been used to make clothing for millennia, in fact materials made from hemp were found in tombs dating back to 8,000 BC! It is one of the most durable natural fibers on the planet, and products made from it are long lasting, stretch resistant, mold resistant, antibacterial, light and breathable. It can be ethically produced right here in Canada, so we can sleep well knowing we are making positive consumer choices when we choose hemp. Yay, us!

 

5. Biodegradable Plastic

You can’t shake a stick on the internet without hitting a video of a sad turtle with too much plastic in its diet. Our addiction to plastic disposables is one of the biggest threats to our water and land. If only there were some kind of plant based plastic that is biodegradable, recyclable, durable, carbon neutral and versatile. Oh wait, there is! Hemp plastic and other bio-plastics are rising in popularity in North America. It is lighter, stronger, safer, less expensive and can be molded into any shape imaginable! The possibilities are limitless!

 

4. Hempcrete

Hempcrete (Hemp + Concrete) is an exciting new building material made from a mixture of hemp hurds and lime. This is concrete that literally acts like a living tree; breathing in Carbon CO2 and breathing out fresh, tasty Oxygen. It is also mold resistant, pest resistant, fire resistant and is an excellent insulator!

 

3. Bio-Fuel

As if this plant weren’t already amazing, it is also an environmentally friendly source of biofuel. Hemp biodiesel is a cost effective, environmentally safe and renewable fuel source. When used, it can extend the lifespan of the vehicle because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel. This application has massive potential for our economy and our environment!

 

2. Motor Vehicles

The world’s most eco-friendly car runs on, and is made of…you guessed it! Hemp! Vehicles made of hemp are 10 times stronger than steel, yet are ultra-light, making them impact resistant AND fuel efficient. Researchers believe that with the rise in environmental concerns, hemp fibers are likely to become a major component of cars around the world.

 

1. Nuclear Disaster Clean Up

For over a decade, industrial hemp has been planted at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Why? Hemp crop literally cleans and enriches the soil it is planted in by breaking down pollutants and stabilizing metal contaminants. The crop is then used to make biofuel so that none of this plant goes to waste. Hemp is now being sought to help clean up environmental disasters around the world, including Fukushima!

 

It’s plain to see that hemp should not be underestimated. The nearly endless applications of this super plant will mean exciting and positive things for our environment, our economy and our future. Discover the benefits of hemp today!

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A, B, C’s and Omega-3s

In our last blog post, we touched on in importance of Omega-3s for both your physical and mental health. Bad cholesterol? You need some Omega-3s, my friend. Depression? Try some soothing Omega-3s! Auto-immune Condition? You guessed it: Omega-3s! Stubborn carpet stains?! Ok, maybe not that last one, but I’m sure the point is not lost on you. Omega-3s are essential for nearly every aspect of your health, so it should be no surprise to learn that children need it at every single stage of their development.

In the 1980s, several clinical trials were conducted to measure the effects of consuming supplemental Omega-3s on pregnant women and their developing babies. The women were divided into 3 groups: group 1 received an Omega-3 supplement during pregnancy and lactation while the women in groups 2 and 3 received an olive oil placebo or nothing. The women in the first group had longer gestational periods, allowing for increased grey matter density in the baby as well as a lower rate of preeclampsia. The babies had heavier birth weights, higher visual acuity, higher mental processing scores, and higher hand-eye coordination scores. This is because Omega-3 fatty acids are a foundational component of every cell in your body, and are especially important for the development of the Central Nervous System.

The Central Nervous System begins developing 3 weeks after conception, and in a way, never stops. However, during the first 3 years of a child’s life, the brain is incredibly impressionable, both environmentally and chemically. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who receive sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids lower their child’s risk for a host of psychiatric, learning and behavior disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and ADHD. They are also associated with increased social skills and attention span, as well as a decreased risk for asthma, heart disease, autoimmune conditions – and more!

Sadly, as amazing as our bodies are, they are unable to synthesize their own Omega-3s which is why it is so important to supplement or consume Omega-3 rich foods. Most doctors and medical professionals will recommend a fish oil supplement, but with concerns like rising ocean mercury levels, over fishing, and questionable fish processing practices, it is no wonder a growing number of people are looking for alternative sources for their Essential Fatty Acids.

Hemp is a sustainable, anti-carcinogenic, healthy and balanced source of Omega-3, protein, amino acids, vitamin E and fiber. It can be easily (and enjoyably) consumed in the form of seeds and oil or in capsule form. It is the perfect food for anyone who is pregnant, or breastfeeding, and for children at every stage of their development. Try this super food today!

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Hemp: The Alpha of Omega

We’re always hearing about the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet, and rightly so! Omega-3s are nutrients that are vital to our:

  • Metabolism
  • immune system
  • brain health
  • eye health
  • heart health
  • joint health
  • lung health

just to name the top few things!

As mammals, we are unable to produce this important compound ourselves, and must obtain it all through our diet. However, today’s common diet of fast/processed foods and reliance on vegetable oils – all low in critical nutrients like Omega-3  – means most of us could use some extra help getting the nutrition we need.

According to the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, our bodies are required to maintain a Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio of anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1, but the average North American diet gives us 14-25 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3, which can lead to a laundry list of health problems (heart disease, inflammation, metabolic disfunction, etc.).

Doctors and health professionals have traditionally recommended fish oil supplement capsules to help us get enough of this essential fatty acid – but is this really what’s best for our bodies?

Hemp vs Fish: The Ultimate Smackdown

As Cyndal, CEO of HempE, sat pregnant in the medical clinic 2 years ago her doctor cautioned her, “Be careful how much fish you eat; we are concerned about the mercury levels in the ocean. Don’t eat fish more than twice per week.” She was alarmed to find that the research agrees; our oceans and fresh water have been saturated with toxins like mercury, PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl) and dioxins that get stored in the liver and fat cells of marine life. Labdoor, an independent supplement research company, did a study on 54 of the bestselling fish oil supplement capsules on the market, and the results are more than a little fishy. Every product contained measurable amounts of mercury, with 3 products recording 50% or greater of the allowable mercury content/serving. Additionally, every supplement contained measurable amounts of mercury, with the category averaging 2.4 PPB (part per billion) of mercury. For the non-biochemists out there, that’s too much mercury.

When the fish are caught, they are brought to a factory to be sectioned, steamed and pressed to produce the fish oil. This steaming process can pose serious health risks, as all omega oils have a very low heat tolerance. You know that smell of day old fish in the trashcan? That is the smell of the fish and all its polyunsaturated goodness oxidizing (aka going rancid). In that same study by Labdoor mentioned above, it was found that all products recorded measurable levels of oxidization, with 14 out of the 54 supplements tested measuring at or above the upper limit of 10 meq/kg. This is a disturbing fact- think of all those nasty ‘fish burps’ those supplements can cause. Gross!

In our books, the idea of consuming rancid fish product for health purposes just doesn’t pass the taste (or smell) test.

Perhaps the most serious effects produced by fish oil supplements are those of an environmental nature. Fish do not produce the Omega fatty acids themselves, but like us, obtain it from their diet, which consists of algae and other plants. By the time the fish is caught it has already digested much of the fatty acid leaving us with an incomplete Omega-3 profile (more on that here). We could easily just harvest the algae, but still we insist on having fleets of colossal fishing tankers (that also, by the way, destroy other marine life by dragging nets across the ocean floor). These methods devastate entire ecosystems, and are so indiscriminate that many of the fish caught are unwanted. Sadly, they are just discarded back into the ocean, dead. Let’s do better for our planet!

So, what’s a mammal to do for their omega-3s? Have no fear, hemp is here!

Hemp is a superfood that offers the richest and most balanced natural source of EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and it naturally provides us with a 3:1 Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio (well within the perfect ratio). Just one tablespoon of hemp oil contains all the omega-3 & omega-6 you need in a day, and exhibits the highest phenolic content and antioxidant activity when compared to other plant based oils. It also has naturally occurring properties that are anticarcinogenic, relieve systemic inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune conditions, psychiatric/mental health disorders, promotes eye and brain health, etc. Additionally, because hemp seed oil is plant-based, it can be cold pressed, packaged and stored appropriately so it does not oxidize and spoil as easily. Also, since it hasn’t been partially digested by a fish, it provides the complete nutritional profile of Omega-3.

Long story short: hemp provides your body with a whole host of amazing nutritional benefits you’re likely missing in your diet, and can go a long way toward optimizing your health!

Hemp is also an incredibly sustainable, and earth conscious alternative to the destructive commercial fishing industry. It is easily grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and removes a larger amount of carbon dioxide per acre than most plant life. It has thousands of commercial applications including paper, textiles, clothing, 100% biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, animal feed and even concrete! It requires no overfishing or ecosystem destruction, it is 100% recyclable and non-toxic. The possibilities are endless!

When it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, hemp is the reigning champion. Whether it’s about your health or environmental impact, fish oil supplements just don’t measure up.

So, ditch the fish burps and discover all the benefits of hemp for yourself!

To learn more, you can head to the HempE website or contact Cyndal directly at info@hempe.ca.

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Breaking Down the Hemp Crop ~ Part 3 ~ Seed

How do you like your hemp seeds: whole, shelled, pressed, or powdered?  

With hemp being such a versatile and useful crop, it’s no surprise that there are many different ways to consume the seed.  Whether you are looking to boost your protein or decrease inflammation, there is a solution to be found by adding a serving or two of hemp to your daily diet.

Shelled Hemp Seeds

Perhaps the most common way to eat this omega rich food, shelled hemp seeds are great for cereal, salads, smoothies, just to name a few.  

If you are looking for an excellent protein source that’s tasty and diverse, look no further.  Not only do they taste delicious, with a light, nutty flavour, hemp seeds are also used to heal common day health issues such as high cholesterol and depression.

Whole Hemp Seeds

You can eat these on their own as a crunchy snack or add them to your salads and stir fries.  Word of caution: whole hemp seeds love to get stuck in your teeth, so be sure to check the mirror after you eat!

In consuming  whole hemp seeds, you get the extra benefit of an insoluble fibre not often found in our everyday diet.

Hemp Oil

Using a press process, hemp seeds are carefully converted into hemp oil to create a product excellent for dressings and dips.  

The oil extraction method also allows for the production of hemp oil capsules which are commonly used to treat arthritis, blood pressure, and mental health the natural way.  

Since hemp is rich in omega, you will likely notice improvement to your immune system, digestive system, and hair health.  Introduce capsules into your daily vitamin regimen, and reap the many rewards.

Hemp Protein

Here’s a great way to get a plentiful source of protein in a versatile powder.  This vegan friendly option offers high levels of fibre and omegas, much like when you eat the seeds or consume the oil.  

While you might typically use the hemp protein powders in your smoothie, we recommend you try this one in your baking too.  

Healthy Option

No matter which way you choose to eat this superfood, you’ll quickly enjoy the benefits.  Hemp is a crop that dates back thousands of years. Today, it’s making a comeback offering farmers an excellent crop option while providing healthy eaters a delicious addition to any meal of their day.

How did you start eating hemp seeds?  Share your story on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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Breaking Down the Hemp Crop ~ Part 2 ~ Hurd

Have you hurd the news? Hemp crops yield abundant eco-friendly uses and heal the Earth during the growth cycle.

At the core of the hemp stalk is the hurd, a wood like material also referred to as shives.  It is surrounded by the hemp fibre or bast which you might have read about in our last blog post.

Hurd History

The uses of this part of the crop are astonishing.  From construction materials to paper products, the benefits are just starting to be enjoyed once again in the North American market.

While its roots go back milleniums, due to different laws and regulations, not all countries have been able to enjoy this resilient, eco-friendly raw material at liberty in the last century.

Luckily, with public awareness and evolving regulations surrounding hemp, it is only a matter of time before production gears up and positive impacts are realized yet again.

Saving Forests

Since hemp can be used to make paper, it relieves stress on forests as an alternative to clear cutting trees for consumer products. The cellulose rich centre of the crop combined with the strong hemp fibres create a long lasting, chemical free option in the paper industry.

Sustainable Building

Hempcrete is a wonderful option as a carbon neutral construction material.  When hemp hurd is mixed with water and lime, great things happen.  Canadian company Just BioFiber highlights details on the carbon sequestration features of their building block in this article.    

Making the Most of our Miracle Crop

The hemp stalk, made up of hurd and fibre, is already being commercialized in Canada, however we are nowhere near full capacity.  Entrepreneurs are coming together with innovative solutions, and amazing products are being created.

HempE founder, Cyndal Johnston, visited with Dan Madlung of BioComposites Group in Alberta who shed a little light on the end products derived from the hemp stalk.

Biomass Fuels

As if the above mentioned uses weren’t enough, the stalk can also be converted into hemp biomass as a fuel source.  In fact, Henry Ford reaped the reward of hemp as a fuel source near 100 years ago.  

You might be wondering, why didn’t the idea stick?  That’s a bit complicated and goes back to issues of legality and economics.  

The Future is Green

The more we learn about hemp, the more we fall in love with this miracle crop.  From its many uses to its carbon sequestration and soil cleaning capabilities, demand is inevitably going to grow.

Though its commercialization still faces constraints in some parts of the world, once those barriers are broken, we’ll be growing our way to a cleaner, greener future.

How do you support the hemp industry? Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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Breaking Down the Hemp Crop ~ Part 1 ~ Fibre

Are you as impressed as we are with all the amazing uses of hemp?

In addition to the high nutritional value for humans and animals in this miracle crop, it’s also super healthy for the environment.

There are a many things that make this crop so wonderful. One of them is how much of the plant can be used to supply solutions to customer demands.  Since different parts of the plant have different benefits, we’re going to break it down one part at a time starting with the fibre.

Fibre

Also known as bast is one of the most productive parts of the plant.  It derives a great deal of products and is embraced for its excellent strength and durability.  The hemp plant produces both long and short fibre, each having its own uses.

Early Uses

One of the earliest uses of hemp fibre was for cordage on ships.  Its strength, durability, and resistance to rot made it a great option for sailors.

Another pioneer user of hemp fibre was Levi Strauss.  He gained popularity in Western USA during the gold rush offering a strong, resilient pants to miners.

Long Fibre

Taken from the exterior of the plant, the long fibre is considered the bark of the stalk.  It stretches the entire length of the plant, and can therefore produce a fibre over 10 feet in length – depending on the height of the finished crop.  

This makes it ideal for textiles as it offers a continuous “thread” which does not break down as quickly as its competitor, cotton.  Cotton fibres are less than 1% of that length, averaging 1-2mm.  This shorter length inevitably results in faster wear in cotton products.

The insulative effect of hemp fibre makes it an ideal multi-season garment as it keeps you cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter.  Its anti-bacterial properties also make it attractive as a textile, cordage, and paper product.

Short Fibre

Considered a secondary or bi-product of the long-fibre, as the name suggests, the difference is in its length.  Despite the short fibre not being as strong as the long fibre, it is still considered superior and stronger than many other fibres being used in the textile industry.

The short fibre is collected during the process of separating the fibre from the hurd in the hemp stalk.  This secondary product offers first class solutions to demand for products like textiles, paper products, auto-body parts, and building materials.

Attractive Alternative

Being able to use multiple parts of this miracle crop certainly makes it attractive.  The yield per acre planted increases, and waste decreases.  If you are a conscious customer looking for an environmentally friendly alternative that passes the quality test, hemp has you covered.

Beyond Fibre

As mentioned, the hemp plant provides many commercial uses.  Stay tuned for the next post all about the hemp hurd.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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The Many Uses of our Miracle Crop

Did you know that hemp is not only good for your health, but also for the health of our environment?

It’s a fascinating plant that has been used by many cultures for thousands of years.  Whether it be for food, shelter, or as a tool, hemp offers a natural solution to a world of challenges and demands.

If you are looking for a way to go green and pitch in to help heal our environment, look no further than this carbon negative miracle crop.

Many Uses of Hemp

Here in Canada, only parts of the hemp plant can be processed for industrial use.  Luckily, there are so many uses of hemp, even just by using part of the plant, many benefits are achieved.  

Hemp Stalk (Bast Fibres & Hurd)

From use in apparel to paper products, the hemp stalk is an incredibly rich part of the plant.  It contains bast fibres and hurd which can be used for the following (just to name a few): canvas, fabrics, carpets, rope, paper, insulation, fiberglass, concrete, stucco, mulch, chemical absorbant, and biofuel.

Hemp Seed

Perhaps one of the most popular parts of the plant, the seed is what gives us the delicious hemp hearts packed with protein and delicious goodness.  Hemp oil is also extracted from the seed and can then be processed for different uses such as dressings, infused oil, and cosmetics.  

Environmental

With so many great products that come from the hemp plant, you might be wondering, what else is it good for? The environmental benefits of this super crop are just as abundant as the vast line of items that it yields.

Absorbs Carbon

Hemp  plants have the natural ability to be carbon sinks, capturing harmful carbon from the air and storing it in the fibre and extensive root system.  When the plant is converted into long-lasting products such as building materials and bio-plastics, carbon is stored for the lifespan of the consumer goods.

Remediates Soil

One of the most fascinating aspects of the hemp plant from an environmental perspective is its ability to heal our soil.  This is done through a process called phytoremediation.  There are certain varieties of hemp that have been used to clean up the soil after nuclear accidents such as Fukushima in Japan.

Bright Future

As more people learn about hemp and make use of this miracle crop, we will learn even more about its endless benefits.  We’re excited to see how things evolve with an age old plant that’s getting a second chance to grow.

How do you use hemp? Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

Hemp, Our Miracle Crop

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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Hemp is a Healthy Option for Animals

Are you wondering about the benefits of adding hemp to your pet’s diet?

You’re in luck.  Since hemp offers an excellent balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, it is an ideal supplement for your pet’s health.

Much like when humans consume either hemp oil or protein, the effects can be felt in a wide range of areas from reduced inflammation to cardiovascular health.

The Misconception

There is a common misconception when it comes to hemp.  People perceive it as a drug, and therefore refrain from consuming it or sharing this superfood with their pet.  

By nature, the hemp plant in its entirety contains extremely nominal traces of THC, and in many cases 0% in end products derived from hemp seeds.  It cannot get you high, no matter how much you eat of it.   Same rule applies to when you feed hemp protein or oil to your pet.  Don’t miss out on this healthy boost due to misinformation.

Healthy Dose

Since most hemp foods are designed and distributed for human consumption, it’s understandable that you may not want to serve your pet a portion.  That’s why there are great companies out there dedicated to bringing the right products to market, designed specifically for animal well-being and health.

Hemp for Horses

We at HempE are thrilled to be carrying Elite Three products.  These have been specially crafted for horses however can also be consumed by larger dogs too.   Elite Three offers hemp oil and protein, encouraging both be added as dietary supplements.

Why Hemp Oil?

One of the most notable benefits of hemp oil for horses relates to their stamina and heart rate.  It promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and provides a sustainable energy source for fuel.  An added bonus of feeding hemp oil to your animal is that it has been shown to increase calmness and focus through its natural unique properties.

Why Hemp Protein?

Derived from the by-product of pressing hemp seed oil, the protein powder offers many of the same benefits of the oil without the added fat and calories.  Hemp protein is high in fibre and aids with digestion.  Speaking of digestion, due to the make up hemp, it is known to be one of the most digestible protein sources which reduces lag time between ingestion and absorption.

Other Pets

We know that not everyone has a horse, so we also carry a great hemp seed oil supplement for other pets.  HemPetz is a staple for the average pet owner and has shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.  The fatty acids found in this supplement are an important to the overall health of your pet’s skin, coat, joints, and other body systems.

Share the Love

Animals bring so much joy to our lives, why not share the love with a healthy addition to their diet.  The increase in overall health will be of benefit to the both of you.  Go natural at mealtime by supplementing hemp along with their staple food.

Do you feed hemp to your pet?  We’d love to hear about the effect it’s had on their general health and overall well being.   Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

If you’d like to learn more about omegas as they relate to hemp, give a read to this great post all about brain health.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

 

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Seeds are the Source of Life – Part 2

How is your garden growing?

It’s been about 2 weeks since posting Part 1 of this blog.  With the strong sun and warmer weather, plants will be gaining strength and starting to show growth.

Depending on what you have planted in the garden, you will likely see the next stages in the days and weeks to come.

If you are noticing that your plants are being nibbled, consider what might be eating the leaves.  If it’s slugs, try watering your garden in the morning.  Slugs like moist conditions and often come out at night.  If you water in the evening, you are creating more favorable conditions for them to thrive.

Slugs aren’t the only creatures that enjoy fresh leaves and healthy gardens.  Squirrels, rabbits, skunks, cats, and raccoons might all find their way into your plot of plants.  If possible, add some reinforcement to the area with chicken wire.

Now, onto the next stages of plant growth!

Budding

Another much anticipated phase in the growth process is when the first buds of your plant start to show.  This is a good time to introduce phosphorus into your soil to help stimulate this vital stage of crop growth.  

In understanding the pH level of your garden, you will avoid over fertilizing your crops.  Read through this informative article to get a better grasp of the science behind soil.

Flowering

The bud emerges, and a flower starts to show!  A good indicator that the fruit or vegetable isn’t too far behind.  Just like in the last two phases, natural fertilizer can be applied to your garden to help boost this stage of plant growth.   However, if you have already tended to your garden well in the earlier stages, your plants won’t need much more than water, sunshine, and love.

Ripening

It’s the moment every garden is waiting for. The crops begin to bear fruit, and the colours begin to turn.  Keep watering your plants throughout this stage to keep them hydrated, and help to flush out use of natural and organic fertilizers.  Being vigilant will help at this stage, since as mentioned, furry friends like fruits and vegetables too!  

Harvest

This is when all your hard work pays off.  You reap what you sow, and if you have taken all the right steps in your garden, you will enjoy the feast.  Harvest usually happens towards the end of Summer and into the Fall.    Plan out this stage well to allow enough time for you to pick your fruits and vegetables, and preserve them for months of enjoyment.

Learning as you Grow

While there are many stages to plant growth, each one is unique and rewarding.  By participating in the process, you begin to learn that seeds are micro miracles and the source of all life.   Enjoy yourself as you connect with the Earth and the food you grow!

We love hemp for its endless uses – what’s your favorite seed to plant? Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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Seeds are the Source of Life – Part 1

Have you ever thought about the power of a single seed?  

When you eat seeds, sure, it takes a good handful to gain nutrients from them.  But what about when you plant one?  A single seed grows into so much more come harvest time.  The journey from seed to mature crop is unique and important to understand for farmers – both professional and hobby – as well as end product customers.

No matter which end of the spectrum you fall under, learning about the growth stages from germination to harvest can be quite intriguing!

Germination

This is where it all begins.  The seed comes to life with water, oxygen, a favourable temperature, and time.  Whether you are germinating seeds directly in the Earth or in little pots indoors, this initial step is what gets everything started.  

You’ll want to take this first step in early Spring, and take proper measures to deal with your particular climate zone.  The germination stage lasts between 2-10 days, so be patient as you wait for something green to sprout.

Seedling

Perhaps one of the most exciting stages, the point when the little seeds pops out from the Earth and begins to develop a stem and small leaves.  This is when the seed is becoming established, and starting to take roots.  

Keep in mind, all stages of plant growth require patience – especially these first two.  A lot is happening underground, so it’s normal not to see a lot happening with your seedling.  This is when you want your plant to grow down, establishing strong roots.  

If you have your plants in small pots at this time, find the ideal place in your garden, and get them in nutrient rich soil by adding compost when preparing the soil.  Consider putting a protective guard like chicken wire around them, as they are particularly fragile in the beginning phases.

Vegetation

Spring is quickly turning to Summer, and your plants are starting to grow up.  When a seed grows out of the seedling phase, vegetation starts to show.  Leaves become bigger and broader, the stem gets thicker and stronger.  Roots are well established, so avoid moving these plants around in your garden. 

Depending on the health of your soil, you may consider adding a nitrogen boost during this stage of the growth process.  Here are some great tips on how to apply organic fertilizer to your garden.

You might also consider adding some potassium to your soil at this point – check out this helpful article to learn more.

Checking In

If you have a garden in your backyard, now’s a great time to check in.  Take a look at the overall health of the plants.  Are the dead leaves weighing it down?  Do you have little holes in the foliage?  How’s the pH of your soil?

Assessing your garden today will give you the chance to make any improvements to the conditions in order to ensure a better harvest in the months to come.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post where we will cover the next stages in plant growth.  If you have any tips that you’d like to share with others, join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com