HEMP IS ONE OF THE OLDEST GROWN PLANTS IN MANKIND. THE GENUS CANNABIS SATIVA HAS BEEN CULTIVATED AS A CROP FOR 6000 YEARS. TODAY, THERE ARE A TOTAL OF 65 TYPES OF APPROVED CANNABIS IN EUROPE. THESE ARE GENERA WHICH, UNLIKE OTHER HEMP VARIETIES, DO NOT CONTAIN PSYCHOACTIVE TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL. ACCORDING TO CURRENT LEGISLATION, THE THC CONTENT IS BELOW 0.2 %. USEFUL HEMP WAS AND IS CULTIVATED MAINLY FOR ITS FIBERS, SHIVES, LEAVES, FLOWERS AND SEEDS.
The fibers are particularly robust and were used early in Europe and Asia for the production of ropes, canvas, clothing, oils and paper. Anyone wishing to grow the crop themselves today can do so in Switzerland. It is only important to use a species that contains less than 1% THC. In other words a variety without psychoactive substances. In addition, only certified seed may be used, which corresponds to the specified variety lists. Whoever fulfills this can start the cultivation at home.
CULTIVATION REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMERCIAL HEMP
Hemp loves deep soils, which are rich in humus and therefore contain many nutrients. Ideal is the cultivation in the garden, because the hemp roots are up to three meters deep. Of course it can also be grown in pots on the terrace, balcony or indoor. But this way the plants cannot develop their full size and potential. What the plants do not like are stagnant moisture, very dense, loamy, sandy or acidic soils as well as high and sloping terrain. However, if the soil has a pH value between 5.5 and 6.5, some lime can help to prepare the soil for the plant. Normal potting soil or growing soil can be used in pots.
The soil should be well loosened up before the seedling is brought into the soil. Once in the soil, the hemp is actually quite robust. The deep roots make the plant strong against longer dry periods. The only nutrients that should be added are phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. The heavy eater has a high nutrient requirement. Therefore its extensive root structure improves the soil.
WHAT CAN BE MADE FROM HEMP?
While hemp in agriculture is mainly cultivated for the textile industry, the situation is different in the private sector. Here it is mainly the delicious protein-rich seeds that can be consumed later. They are used as a topping for mueslis and smoothies, as a source of protein in salads and vegetable dishes but also for the production of vegetable hemp milk. The seeds can be roasted or eaten raw. The small nutty seeds can also be used as animal feed. Besides these, it is mainly leaves and flowers that can also be used.
The leaves can be brewed as tea or used to flavor oils. Alcoholic cold extracts are also possible. These can flavor drinks, beers or desserts. The leaves can be dried and used as a spice in bread and rolls. Apart from that, the passionate gardener still has the robust hemp fiber for various handicraft projects. This makes commercial hemp an extremely versatile plant, which can also be planted in the same location several years in a row. For this purpose, the unused parts of the plant should simply be left to rot on the ground as fertilizer. Like the whole plant, they contain many minerals and vitamins.