Dear Claude and Nicole,
Nathan XXXXXX suggested that I contact you, both, in order to inquire about potential industrial hemp being grown in New Brunswick or the Maritimes in general. I’m looking for the shiv or hurd which as you may know is a by-product of the more valuable ropey core. The shiv falls away during processing and is used mainly for animal bedding and construction.
As you probably know, the less than .3% THC plant grows like a “weed,” without herbicides and pesticides, and will yield 5 foot, or more, plants in 4 months, however, the rope is tougher than steal (which is why it’s being used in the door manufacturing of BMW’s) and is challenging to harvest without specialized equipment.
Many traditional combines have been known to catch fire after getting the rope caught and bound around the blades. However, the rope for clothing, paper, plus the seed and oil for food when harvested is a high yielding crop with $250 per acre in profit for the grower.
The seed, alone in one acre can feed 12 men for a year. 3 acres of shiv can build a 1,200 square foot carbon negative home with natural soundproofing, fire retardant, healthy, affordable breathable walls with no off-gassing glues, insulations or moulds given our wet climate.
Most New Brunswick homes last about 40 years before the materials start breaking down. Vapour barriers and off-gassing materials are trapping spores in homes producing more incidences of asthma and allergies.
A house built of hempcrete will last about 2,000 years with much less maintenance. The Egyptian pyramids have been found recently to be built out of hempcrete which naturally petrifies over time. The UK is building sub-divisions out of this long lasting, light weight, material with R-32 value in a climate very similar as ours without concerns for harmful moulds, mice, bats, rats or termites. It is just that effective in a wet climate.
Western Canada, principally, has created a most lucrative industry in hemp given that 50% of their seeds and oils are sold to the States. They are more than 6 weeks behind in processing capacity given that the demand far exceeds the supply. I’m curious, as a natural builder, if the infrastructure is even being thought of in this province.
I know that there used to be a hemp farmer in PEI, however, Maurice retired about a decade ago as he was only getting demand in NFLD by a brewery and grinding seed for a local hemp flour baker. At present, I’m having to import bales from Manitoba which means delays and higher costs. Have you heard of any local farmers thinking of getting into this billion dollar industry? Fingers crossed!
She-Bear Construction: We teach you how to build natural, affordable, healthy eco-friendly homes. We’re a group of Maritime Canada birth-workers, healers, naturo-therapists and physicians who’ve formed a collective in order to help teach individuals how to build living, breathable off-grid homes out of hempcrete. We feel that everybody should have a healthy, affordable, sustainable home of their own, in beautiful surroundings, to live in and also raise their families. You can literally eat off our floors, walls and ceilings too!