top of page
Search

Growing hemp in my backyard

Recently I was thinking about a story I heard about how hemp used to be used to make canvas and rope for ships and sails, and there was a new invention to process and automate the hemp to thread process but it got killed by the cotton gin, reefer madness, and slavery or something. This led me to wonder what that machine was. I did some googling and came across this article(1). I thought it must be George Harris and the hemp brake that they were talking about or an automated hemp brake maybe. A device with three long teeth and a rotating handle on top with what looks like a weight on one side. You would use this to break the hemp apart into the outer fiber to make thread rope and canvas and the inner hurd witch is now used in things like hempcrete. Back in the day there used to be like 15 people out in the fields with one of these and they would separate all the hemp with this machine. Then they would take the fiber and run it along a metal comb untill it is more like string and then you can soak it in lie to make it really silky or just throw it on a spinning wheel as is and spin it into thread and then onto a loom to make some cool designs. Also they do something called redding witch is basically just letting the hemp rot in water or snow and can be smelly but makes the hemp either stronger or easier to separate.

Back in the day it used to be quite common to grow a small or medium sized hemp crop to use for trade and supplies and in the 1600s at the first British colony at Jamestown. Colonists were required to grow hemp to send to England. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams all grew hemp


Looking into modern day hemp operations and how they do it. It seems most operations require large machinery that use allot of electricity or gas. Seems pretty expensive and out of reach for a guy like me. Maybe I can work my way up to that, or do it at a small scale as a proof of concept and use that to get a loan. I feel like this would be a good thing to try for me to learn about hemp. People need more low skill labor jobs right now. I looked on the hemp traders website and allot of stuff was sold out, also in one of the videos they said that hemp cloth and rope is in high demand right now. I am a dreamer and would like to work somewhere where all the profits are shared with the ones putting in the labour instead of exploiting them, offering people a way to work up and own things like a truck or land or a house. maybe I can make that?


So I am going to plant a small garden in my backyard along with potatoes and onions and some other things and try to make some thread or rope all by hand! I just got my seeds in the mail from Jason at the weed pool and started by digging out all the soil in my plot and digging out my old compost from the black bin and spreading the dirt out back over them. I saw some old spinning wheels on marketplace but most of them look like they don't work looks like a nice one on amazon but a bit pricy. I think I have everything else I need in my backyard already. Feel free to join me on youtube or twitch I will be sharing the journey. I am still editing the youtube video, but there are some videos on my twitch of me digging the hole. I'm still not even sure if I will make any money from this but it should at least be a fun learning experience. Let me know what you think and any tips or tricks or other products I can make from my hemp also thank you

Thanks for reading - your friend Xeltrex


hemp processing history

modern day hemp facility and hemp brake

spinning


54 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment


Jay
Jay
May 29

Enjoy your hemp growing season. Reach out as you go with any questions! Great post and links to sources; thank you. Feel free to share this link on your socials.

Like
bottom of page