New England’s Founding Fathers grew hemp – at times, it was a Colonial requirement to do so. The crop is proving no less valuable in the Digital Age. Join award­-winning journalist and Vermont hemp farmer Doug Fine as we explore the applications – from ancient to nano – where hemp is showing promise. Did you know that hemp fiber is proving a key component in next generation batteries and super­-capacitors? In the workshop “Literally Hemp Bound,” we’ll explore hemp’s agronomic qualities, and how to join the burgeoning industry – which is legal both in Vermont and, for research purposes, federally.

The key goal of this workshop, says Fine, is to aid in the return of regenerative independent agriculture, whose products promote energy independence, a healthy food system, and petroleum-­free long­-term economic security. The additional good news is that regenerative farmers can make a living in the 21st century by adding hemp to their diversified farms. This workshop aims to begin a conversation with smart, insightful folks from a variety of many disciplines, which will continue as we rebuild the domestic hemp industry.

Fine will open the workshop with an up­-to­-the­-minute, from-­the­-fields account of developments in the astonishing resurrection of the hemp industry worldwide—an industry that is slated for its third straight year of 1,000­-percent growth. Fine will then lead attendees on a virtual journey of the world’s hemp fields and processors sharing perspective that he gained by visiting dozens of hemp professionals around the world. Tales of farmer struggles and triumphs, swimming in seed silos, near­-decapitation by harvesters, and, modern pioneer perseverance will amuse and delight attendees. Between laughs, he will enlighten attendees about the very real agronomic details facing the would­-be hemp farmer, processor and entrepreneur. These include seed issues, remaining legal hurdles, and issues of scale. The story of harvest day at 2015’s largest U.S. hemp field (140 acres) is an eye­-opening, terrifying knee-slapper.

Fine will also survey the incredible range of hemp­-derived products from power sources, including the aforementioned hemp batteries and super-­capacitators, to the burgeoning nutraceutical (CBD) processing sector. He will also discuss hemp­-based construction and hemp­-based plastic and paper. He will also address the importance of organic production and community­-centered hemp economies, providing a blueprint for independent farmers and artisan hemp craftspeople.

This two­-day workshop will also include experiential sessions about hemp­-based building, hemp nutrition (including a hemp-­themed meal) and hemp textiles. Finally, the event will include a garden­side discussion with third year Vermont hemp farmers (and Fine’s farming co­op partners), Ken Manfredi and Robin Alberti.

Doug Fine is a solar-­powered goat herder and bestselling author of Farewell, My Subaru, Too High to Fail, Hemp Bound and, most recently, First Legal Harvest, a hemp­-printed monograph. Sustainable cannabis, a farmer-­benefitting hemp economy and domestic energy: this is why Willie Nelson calls his work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” A regular on National Public Radio and in the New York Times and Washington Post, Doug has appeared on the Tonight Show and Conan, testified before the United Nations, and spoken about the importance of Digital Age Goatherding in a TED Talk.

The workshop is May 28­th-29th. Register today here.

Filed Under: Blog Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems