In 2021, American consumers have more information and resources than ever at their fingertips. They can research where the fruits and vegetables in their grocery were grown, if the farm is abiding by fair labor practices, and if the crops were grown organically. They want to know the environmental impact of their choices and feel good about supporting sustainable farming. There is one vital tool available to farmers that is sometimes left out of conversations about sustainability or drowned out by hot topics like pesticides. It is all-natural and requires a return to traditional farming practices, and hemp will play a key role.
The Impact of Monocropping
Farming is an incredibly difficult profession, and in order to turn a profit, today’s farmers are incentivized to focus on one crop. This is called monocropping, and no surprise, it is bad for the environment. Farms were not meant to grow only one crop. In the long run, monocropping hurts the soil and makes it harder to grow anything. Farmers are forced to use chemical fertilizers to keep going, and the environment and the crops suffer as a result.
Before monocropping was so profitable, crop rotation was a common practice. At his estate in Virginia, George Washington grew a wide variety of crops. The rotation included tobacco, wheat, corn, potatoes, and – surprise, surprise – hemp. Farmers did not have chemical fertilizers or other artificial means to pump in nutrients, and they knew that if they didn’t take care of the soil, their farmland would be useless.
Hemp has been proven to be an effective crop in these crop rotations. According to the Rodale Institute, “Its high biomass and canopy production has the potential to shade out weeds resulting in lower weed seed germination and growth.” It also adds nutrients like nitrate and potassium into the soil, and the roots can naturally aerate deeper compact soil. As a bonus, essential oils from hemp naturally repel some insects.
Why aren’t farms already growing hemp in a crop rotation? Aside from the financial incentive of monocropping, there is still stigma around growing hemp. Fortunately, there is a concerted effort to de-stigmatize hemp and hemp products, like the flowers and CBD oil. Even the historians and farmers working at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, began growing hemp again in an effort to educate the public and clear up misconceptions.
Arete Hemp is dedicated to sustainable, organic CBD. Our products are traceable back to the seed, and we always have and always will have a NO JUNK policy – NO GMO’s, gluten artificial sweeteners, fillers, maltodextrin, excipients, colors, flavors, dextrose or anything other than the purest organic ingredients. Our customers deserve better, and our planet deserves better.
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