Tuesday, May 31, 2011

California State Senate passes bills on industrial hemp

Finally there is movement on California SB676, the industrial hemp farming bill. The California legislature passed a similar measure twice under former Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger but he vetoed the bill both times. Our current Governor Jerry Brown has indicated that he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk, probably in the fall of this year.

While the bill is a great start, I'm a bit disappointed that hemp will be restricted to five California counties only and will not permit small backyard garden growing of industrial hemp. But it does make sense to focus the industry in a specific geographic area to start because sharing of expertise, equipment and processing facilities will be key to making the crop economically viable.

The next step required is approval by the state Assembly and since they passed this bill twice in the last few years, it is likely that it will pass again and will then be forwarded to Jerry Brown for his signature.

Source: LA Times Blogs
May 31, 2011

State lawmakers on Tuesday considered bills that would give politicians a better heads-up about ethics investigations, allow farmers to grow industrial hemp and require some animals to be microchipped.
The Senate voted on a raft of bills as it began taking up about 250 pieces of legislation ahead of Friday’s deadline for action. All of the measures approved by the Senate will now go to the state Assembly for consideration.
The Senate also voted to legalize farming of industrial hemp in five counties in California for use in making products such as paper and clothes.
Industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa plant that has much lower levels of psychoactive chemicals than are found in marijuana.
"We are not letting our farmers get in on this growing action," said Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), adding that his SB 676 is "getting government out of the way so the free market can thrive here in California."
The measure, passed on a 22-14 vote, would allow farming of industrial hemp as part of an eight-year test program in Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Yolo counties.
-- Patrick McGreevy

The following copy on the same topic is from The Weed Blog:

The bill is being sponsored by California Senator Mark Leno who says that the state is missing a “golden opportunity” by not allowing farmers to produce hemp.
Leno addressed the issue on his blog last week:
If you like shopping at your local natural foods or specialty grocery store, you’ve probably noticed the growing popularity of hemp as an ingredient in food and skin care products. Hemp seed, which is high in protein and essential fatty acids, is found in everything from bread, energy bars and waffles to coffee and protein powder. Thanks to its natural antioxidants and moisturizing oil, hemp is also a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos and lotions. Perhaps your favorite T-shirt is even made of hemp, which is an excellent alternative to cotton.
Even though most of these consumer products are created by California companies, our farmers are prohibited from growing industrial hemp. Instead of buying hemp from local farmers, local manufacturers are importing thousands of dollars of hemp seed, oil and fiber from growers overseas.
California farmers are missing out on a golden opportunity to tap into the growing industrial hemp products business of food, clothing, shelter, paper and fuel, which would greatly benefit our state’s economy and family farmers. Industrial hemp is a perfect, environmentally sustainable crop for our state. It requires little or no pesticides and herbicides and produces two to four times more fiber than an acre of timber. Hemp grows quickly, can be harvested every 90 days and is a great rotational crop, especially for organic farmers.
George Washington hempThe Chronicle applauds Leno’s efforts to bring some common sense to the issue of hemp. Why should foreign growers and producers reap the profits from the hemp industry when we can grow it right here at home? Selling products made from hemp isn’t illegal in the U.S., so why should growing hemp be illegal?
Since hemp has no psychoactive properties and can’t be used as a drug like it’s cousin marijuana, I can only assume that big business is behind the push to keep it illegal. I’m sure the lumber companies and the paper companies and the cotton growers and the oil producers are sending every lobbyist they’ve got to try and stop this thing. Hemp is better, safe and cleaner than almost all of the products it would replace if legal.
If our country wasn’t run by mega-corporations whose only motivation is the BOTTOM LINE, we might be able to advance some of these ideas that would benefit the common good, but until then I’m afraid the dollar is king and we the people just don’t matter.
We urge California lawmakers and Governor Brown to end the madness and pass SB-676. It will bring in revenue for local farmers, gives us better products and help protect the environment. What’s the down side?
Article from The Chronicle and republished with special permission.

Marijuana propaganda has been around for decades

Below is an excellent letter to the editor from the Morgan Hill Times addressing the racist lies used to outlaw marijuana and hemp back in the 1930s.

Dear Editor, 

I wonder if the citizens of Santa Clara County realize that the marijuana laws they seek to enforce are based on absurd racist lies and tall tales about ultra violence that never happened.

- "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." (Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1934)

- "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." - Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger

- " ... the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races" - Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1930

- "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death." - Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1937

- "Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind." - Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger

- "(Smoking) one (marihuana) cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother." (see U.S. Government Propaganda To Outlaw Marijuana - http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/t3.htm )

Whenever anyone is punished for a "marijuana crime," the case is founded on pure perjury because there is zero evidence that marijuana use has ever harmed anyone. The fact that city councils and police eagerly seek to enact more and more cannabis prohibition laws shows the depth of the racist corruption and pure injustice embedded in their rotten souls. When they stand against medical use of marijuana, they double their perfidy.

Why do you allow Police Chief David Swing to claim that: "(there will be) a significant rise in crime, and high costs for enforcement and prevention if medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed in Morgan Hill" when the truth is that people going to banks face more than twice the risk of being involved in a violent crime than someone in a marijuana dispensary.

The facts speak against Chief Swing's assertions because Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck debunked those claims when he said, "Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries." In 2009, the LAPD received reports of 71 robberies at the more than 350 banks in the city, compared to 47 robberies at medical marijuana facilities which number at least 800. The plain truth is that people face a much higher risk of injury going to their local bank than at a marijuana dispensary.

Ralph Givens, Daly City

China Textile Fabric Industry Report, 2011

NEW YORKMay 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:
China is the largest producer of cotton, cashmere, flax, and silk, as well as the biggest manufacturer and exporter of textiles in the world. In 2010, the output value of enterprises above the designated size (i.e. with annual sales above RBM5 million) in Chinese textile industry totaled RMB4765 billion, up 12.7% YoY; the export value of fabrics reached US$35.68 billion, up 30.81% YoY, and the export volume hit 28.83 billion meters, up 17.5% YoY.
Subject to factors like the additional costs resulted from the climbing cost of raw materials, technical R&D and innovations as well as exchange rate and trade barriers, the prices of fabrics have been on the rise. In 2010, the price of pure cotton fabric rose approximately 100%, and that of silk fabric expanded more than 30%. The output and sales of textile fabric achieved a rough balance, and the output-sales ratio hovered above 99%.
Along with the improvement of people's living standard, the market demand for downstream products like clothes, household articles, and commercial textiles has been increasing despite the rapidly rising prices of textile fabrics; consequently, textile fabric industry still boasts huge development potentiality, and high-quality, healthy, and fashionable products can gain greater market recognition, especially.
Up to the end of 2010, China had been in possession of over 32,000 textile enterprises, a majority of which had been engaged in textile fabric business. The performances of the manufacturers varied in different market segments.
Cotton Fabric:
Weiqiao Textile Co., Ltd. is the largest cotton fabric manufacturer and textile clothing exporter in China, as well as the cotton fabric enterprise with the most powerful textile capability across the world. It boasts the annual output of 882-kiloton cotton yarn, 1,634 million meters of greige cloth, and 175 million meters of jean.
Woolen Fabric:
Jiangsu Sunshine Co., Ltd., the largest domestic manufacturer of worsted fabric, characterizes the annual output of 18 million meters of worsted wool and 1.20 million suits of top-grade clothing. Its top-grade products of above 80S enjoy more than 75% shares in Chinese high-grade fabric market.
Silk Fabric:
Zhejiang Jiaxin Silk Co., Ltd., one of the biggest producers and exporters of silk products in China, features the annual output (processing) of over 20 million meters of printing & dyeing fabric, more than 500 km tatting silk, 300-ton knitted silk, over 1 million meters of jet-weaving silk, and 5 million pieces (suits) of clothes.
Hemp Fabric:
Hunan Huasheng Group Corp. is the largest domestic enterprise specializing in the production and export of hemp fabrics and clothes. It boasts the annual output of 55K-spindle long hemp fabric and 50K-spindle cotton fabric, and the annual capacity of 12-kiloton ramie yarn, 32 million meters of greige cloth, 12 million meters of printing & dyeing fabric, and 3 million pieces of clothing.
Chemical Fiber Fabric:
Jilin Chemical Fiber Group Co., Ltd., one of the most important production bases of chemical fiber raw materials and products inChina, possesses the annual capacity of 65-kiloton viscose staple fiber, 22-kiloton viscose filament, 55-kiloton chemical fiber pulps, and 50-kiloton bamboo staple fiber, with the comprehensive production capacity of 446 kilotons.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Building With Hemp: Tradical Hemcrete

Below is some information from the American Lime Technology website showcasing their hemp concrete product called Hemcrete. Building with hemp is finally starting to catch on in the USA but has been popular in other countries for hundreds of years. 

Tradical® Hemcrete® offers significant environmental benefits over conventional building methods.

Tradical® Hemcrete® is a highly insulating material with a combination of good thermal conductivity, excellent thermal inertia and inherent air-tightness – a rare combination of properties in one material.
Forward thinking architects, developers, builders and private individuals who want to combat climate change and use Tradical® Hemcrete® as a cost effective way to embrace Green and Sustainable technologies.
Tradical® Hemcrete® is an established walling material for carbon negative highly thermally efficient walls, which has the following advantages over traditional building materials:
  1. Hemcrete absorbs CO2 in its manufacture and so has a negative embodied CO2. A typical wall section made with Hemcrete will have an eCO2 of 130kg CO2/m2 less than traditional brick and block.
  2. Hemcrete is made from renewable hemp based materials.
  3. Hemcrete is highly insulating resulting in thin walls with a very low U value ideal for meeting the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  4. Unlike other insulators Hemcrete also has thermal inertia similar to thermal mass and so houses built of Hemcrete change temperature very slowly reducing heating loads significantly below lighter weight buildings with the same U value.
  5. Hemcrete is vapor permeable and when used with Baumit lime based renders and plasters creates a breathable walling system for healthy living.
For more information, please contact our sales team at: sales@americanlimetec.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Industrial Hemp – A Golden Opportunity for California Business

Source: californiaprogressreport.com
By Mark Leno
If you like shopping at your local natural foods or specialty grocery store, you’ve probably noticed the growing popularity of hemp as an ingredient in food and skin care products. Hemp seed, which is high in protein and essential fatty acids, is found in everything from bread, energy bars and waffles to coffee and protein powder. Thanks to its natural antioxidants and moisturizing oil, hemp is also a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos and lotions. Perhaps your favorite T-shirt is even made of hemp, which is an excellent alternative to cotton.
Even though most of these consumer products are created by California companies, our farmers are prohibited from growing industrial hemp. Instead of buying hemp from local farmers, local manufacturers are importing thousands of dollars of hemp seed, oil and fiber from growers overseas.
California farmers are missing out on a golden opportunity to tap into the growing industrial hemp products business of food, clothing, shelter, paper and fuel, which would greatly benefit our state’s economy and family farmers. Industrial hemp is a perfect, environmentally sustainable crop for our state. It requires little or no pesticides and herbicides and produces two to four times more fiber than an acre of timber. Hemp grows quickly, can be harvested every 90 days and is a great rotational crop, especially for organic farmers.
Earlier this year I introduced Senate Bill 676, which allows the agricultural production of industrial hemp in California. The bill establishes a five-county pilot project, giving California the ability to build a successful hemp industry in the Central Valley. The counties involved in the pilot project include Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Yolo. SB 676 is sponsored by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp. It is also supported by individual farmers, the California State Grange, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and businesses from both California and other states.
Unlike marijuana, hemp has no psychoactive qualities due to its low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Regardless, SB 676 has been carefully crafted to address law enforcement concerns. Farmers that choose to grow industrial hemp must meet minimum acreage requirements and certify that the crop meets established, low-level THC content levels. All hemp growing operations must be for agricultural or research purposes only – no clandestine or backyard cultivation of hemp would be allowed.
Hemp farming is not a new concept for California or our nation. In the early 1940s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture promoted the expansion of industrial hemp as a critical crop that could support the war program. Much like today, hemp was used for many purposes at that time, including rope and sails for ships, fire hoses, parachute webbing and threads for shoes. Even our forefathers believed in the great functionality of hemp. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp and the sails of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria were made from industrial hemp, which was legal tender in the U.S. until 1818.
Clearly, it’s time to give this superfood and diverse crop a second chance in California.
SB 676 is similar to bills I introduced in 2005 and 2007, both of which were vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The new bill is working its way through the Senate with bipartisan support and will then go to the Assembly for approval before heading to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.
Senator Mark Leno represents the Third Senate District of California, which includes portions of San Francisco and Sonoma Counties and all of Marin County. His website iswww.senate.ca.gov/Leno

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hemp Around the World

Below is a list of countries around the world that have legalized (or never outlawed) the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp. While the list is a bit out of date, it is clear that most of the industrialized world is moving ahead with hemp cultivation while the USA remains mired in the politics and polices of the past.

Source: hemphousemaui.com

Australia allows research crops. And in Victoria, Australia commercial production is now licensed.
Austria has a hemp industry including production of hempseed oil, medicinals and Hanf magazine.
Canada started to license research crops in 1994 on an experimental basis. In addition to ,crops for fibre, one seed crop was experimentally licensed in 1995. Many acres were planted in 1997. Canada now licenses for commercial agriculture with thousands of acres planned for 1998.
Chile grows hemp mostly for seed oil production.
China is the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles.
Denmark planted its first modern hemp trials in 1997. Committed to utilizing organic methods.
Finland has had a resurgence of hemp (hampu) beginning in 1995 with several small test plots.
France harvested 10,000 tons in 1994. France is the main source of viable low-thc hempseed.
Germany only banned hemp in 1982, but research began in 1992 and many technologies and products are being developed. Clothes and paper are being made from imported raw materials. Germany lifted the ban on growing hemp November, 1995. (hanf)
Great Britain lifted hemp prohibition in 1993. Animal bedding, paper and textiles have been developed. A government grant was given to develop new markets for natural fibers. 4,000 acres were grown in 1994. Subsidies of $230 Eng. pounds per acre are given by the govt. for growing.
Hungary is rebuilding their hemp industry, and is one of the biggest exporters of hemp cordage, rugs and hemp fabric to the U.S. They also export hemp seed and hemp paper.
India has large stands of naturalized Cannabis and uses it for cordage, textiles, and seed oil.
Japan has a religious tradition which requires that the Emperor wear hemp garments, so there is a small plot maintained for the imperial family only. They continue to import for cloth and artistic applications.
Natherlands is conducting a four year study to evaluate and test hemp for paper, and is developing processing equipment. Seed breeders are developing new strains of low-thc varieties.
Poland currently grows hemp for fabric and cordage and manufactures hemp particle board. They have demonstrated the benefits of using hemp to cleanse soils contaminated by heavy metals.
Romania is the largest commercial producer of hemp in Europe. Total acreage in 1993 was 40,000 acres. Some of it is exported to Hungary for processing. They also export to Western Europe and the United States.
Russia maintains the largest hemp germ plasm collection in the world at the N.I. Vavilov Scientific Research Institue of Plant Industry (VIR) in Saint Petersburg. They are in need of funds.
Slovenia grows hemp and manufactures currency paper.
Spain grows and exports hemp pulp for paper and produces rope and textiles. (canamo)
Switzerland is a producer of hemp.
EgyptPortugalThailand, and the Ukraine also produce hemp.
United States has not granted any hemp permits in 40 years. Importers and manufacturers have thrived using imported raw materials. Twelve states in the United States have introduced legislation. VT, HI, ND have legislated for research to be done.

Hemp History, 8000 BC to 1998

Below is a nice time line of the uses of hemp throughout history (as found on the Hemp House Maui website).

Hemp History

8000 BC - Present

Hemp is the ancient, eco-friendly fiber of the future. For over 5,000 years, hemp has been used for textiles, paper, building materials, fuel, food and personal care products. Hemp can be grown with little or no toxic chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Today hemp is grown all over the world. The crop is used to make over 25,000 consumer products. From hemp apparel and accessories to housewares and hempseed oil cosmetics, hemp is an eco-shopper's dream.
Civilization, agriculture and hemp textile industries begin in Europe and Asia.
Cannabis called a "superior" herb in the world's first medical text, Shen Nung's Pen Ts'ao, in China.
Cannabis-using Scythians sweep through Europe and Asia, settle down everywhere, and invent the scythe.
Gautama Buddah survives by eating hempseed.
Herodotus records Scythians and Thracians as consuming cannabis and making fine linens of hemp.
Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in Mediterranean.
Paper made from hemp and mulberry is invented in China.
Roman surgeon Dioscorides names the plant cannabis sativa and describes various medicinal uses. Pliny tells of industrial uses and writes a manual on farming hemp.
First botanical drawing of hemp in Constantinopolitanus
Germans, Franks, Vikings, etc. all use hemp fibre.
The English word 'hempe' first listed in a dictionary.
Moslems use hemp to start Europe's first paper mill. Most paper is made from hemp for the next 700 years.
Hempen sails, caulking and rigging ignite age of discovery and help Columbus and his ships reach America.
Hemp agriculture crosses the continent overland to Chile.
King Phillip of Spain orders hemp grown throughout his empire, from modern-day Argentina to Oregon.
16th-17th Century
Dutch achieve Golden Age through hemp commerce. Explorers find 'wilde hempe' in North America.
Virginia colony makes hemp cultivation mandatory, followed by most other colonies. Europe pays hemp bounties.
Hemp used as money throughout American colonies.
American 'Declaration of Independence' drafted on hemp paper.
President Washington sets duties on hemp to encourage domestic industry; Jefferson calls hemp "a necessity", and urges farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.
Certain premiums offered to encourage the cultivation of hemp in Upper and Lower Canada.
Australia survives two prolonged famines by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.
Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulfite and chlorine processes make paper from trees, steamships replace sails, tropical fibres introduced.
New machines invented to break hemp, process the fibre, and convert pulp or hurds into paper, plastics, etc. - Racist fears of Mexicans, Asians, and African Americans leads to outcry for cannabis to be outlawed.
Compressed agricultural fibreboard invented in Sweden.
Marijuana Tax Act forbids hemp farming in the US. -Dupont files patent for nylon.
Canada prohibits production of hemp under Opium And Narcotics Control Act.
Henry Ford makes car fabricated and fueled by hemp.
Hemp For Victory program urges farmers to grow hemp.
Hemp farming again banned.
The Canadian Narcotics Control Act(CNCA) allowed Cannabis to be grown, at the discretion ofthe Health Minister, for research purposes only.
Australia licences hemp farming.
England eases restriction on hemp farming. News media declare hemp clothes and cannabis leaf logo hottest new fashion.
Under the CNCA, one license was granted to a Canadian company, Hempline Inc., to grow hemp experimentally in Canada under the strict supervision of the authorities.
The Canadian federal government passed Bill C8 stating that mature hemp stalks are exemptfrom the list of controlled substances.
The Canadian government legalizes the commercial growth of industrial hemp.
Blogger's note: I was away for the last week traveling to Izmir, Turkey to visit Ephesus, a truly amazing place and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The facade of the library of Celsus at Ephesus is still standing and is spectacular. The library contained many scrolls that were made of hemp (per the US Hemp Museum). Evidence has been found of hemp fibers used for garments and rope as well as scrolls.

Ephesus Celcius Library

There is also a well preserved theater that could seat 24,000 people.

The copy below is from the US Hemp Museum website:

Spreading the Seed

Wherever the people of the ancient world roamed, they carried with them the seeds of the precious cannabis plant. From China in the east to the Rhone Valley in the west, the seeds were spread. Cold weather, hot weather, wet or dry, fertile soil or barren, the seeds were not to be denied. Except in India and China, most of the ancient world was completely ignorant of the intoxicating properties of the plant. Ancient European legends and herbals had little to say regarding its peculiar psychological effects. If Europeans saw any magic in cannabis, it was its fibers, not its intoxicating power that aroused their awe and admiration. Farther to the south, however, cannabis eventually inspired sentiments of a different kind in a people who challenged Europe for world domination.

A black ship of the Achaeans, painted by David Claudon, is based on an ancient Greek pottery painting. A major structure is the Library of Celsus that once contained hundreds of scrolls, many of hemp. Today, the two-storey front facade and part of the other walls remain. The farthest west hemp fibers have ever been found in the ancient world is Turkey. Archaeologists who sifted through artifacts dating back to the time of the Phrygians (a tribe of Aryans who invaded that country around 1000 B.C.) unearthed pieces of fabric containing hemp fibers in the debris around Gordion, an ancient city located near present-day Ankara. 

Although the Scythians had contacts with the people of Babylonia, who lived to the west of the Phrygians, no hemp fiber or definite mention of hemp (Cannabis sativa) to the west of Turkey can be found until the time of the Greeks. In the ruins of El Amarna, the city of Akhenaton (the Pharaoh who tried to introduce monotheism to ancient Egypt), archaeologists found a "three ply hemp cord"  in the hole of a stone and a large mat bound with "hemp cords", but unfortunately they did not specify the type of hemp. Many different bast fibers were called hemp and no one can be certain that the fibers at El Amarna are cannabis, especially since Deccan hemp (Hibiscus cannabinus) grows in Egypt.

The earliest unmistakable reference to cannabis in Egypt does not occur until the third century A.D., when the Roman emperor Aurelian imposed a tax on Egyptian cannabis. Even then, however, there was very little of the fiber in Egypt. While the ancient Greeks remained ignorant of the intoxicating properties of the cannabis plant, they were not slow to appreciate the durability and strength of its fiber. As early as the sixth century B.C., Greek merchants whose Milesian colonies served as a middle station between mainland Greece and the eastern coast of Asia Minor, had been carrying on a lucrative business transporting cannabis fiber to the ports along the Aegean.

The Thracians, a Greek-speaking people living in the Balkans who were likely more closely related to the Scythians than to the Greeks, were especially adept at working hemp. Writing around 450 B.C., Herodotus says of their clothes that they "were so like linen that none but a very experienced could tell whether they were of hemp or flax; one who had never seen hemp would certainly suppose them to be linen.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Hemp House in West Asheville

6:20 PM, May. 20, 2011
Source: citizen-times.com
Written by Paul Clark

The West Asheville home of Jeff and Jeannine Buscher. See a different Home of the Week every Saturday in the Asheville Citizen-Times. (John Fletcher 5-12-11)

Off a busy street in West Asheville full of traditional homes is what Jeff Buscher believes is a glimpse of the future.
It’s his family’s home, an energy-smart, three-level house whose walls are made of hemp. The way the house is built, it uses very little energy – 85 percent less than a conventional house built to code.
On the coldest night of the year, it loses only as much heat as that given off by 10 people sitting around chatting. “On a 20-degree night in January, we had a party of about 20 people and had to open windows,” Jeff said.
The house was a project of The Nauhaus Institute, an Asheville-based group of volunteer building-science professionals working to make affordable carbon-neutral building a reality. The institute, of which Jeff is a member, spent a year designing the house, which is fashioned in the form of a European farmhouse.
The continental influence isn’t accidental. The energy standards the house was designed to and built by are the German Passivhaus standards, which Jeff believes are far ahead of the green gold standard in the United States, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
“The average house in Germany is 870 square feet. The average house in the United States is 2,200 square feet,” Jeff said. “They are ahead of us. But that’s – the smaller size, more efficient – the way we’re heading.”

Big little house

The squat house, partly sided in cedar shakes, has three levels and gives the impression of being large. But it isn’t. It achieves its snugness via small rooms, narrow passageways and a small kitchen that is as much a part of the living room as the loft that looks down over it. The house is cozy, and is pleasant - something it gets through the use of interior windows and its high ceiling.

Hemp, hemp hurray

The walls are built with Hempcrete, a mixture of lime and ground-up hemp plant stalks. Mildew- and fire-resistant, Hempcrete is a natural deterrent to insects. Hemp walls last hundreds of years. And because they’re thick in the Buscher house (16 inches), they’re quiet. The quadruple-pane windows are far more efficient at keeping out heat and cold than more conventional double-paned windows.

Paying for itself

Jeff said building a super-tight and -efficient house like this costs about half again as much as building a more conventional structure. But the energy savings and tax credits are significant. “It’s incredibly comfortable, and a really good size,” he said. “To walk around in February in a T-shirt and be totally comfortable is kind of crazy. To me, it’s almost magical the way this house works.”

From the ground up

The bricks in the main level floor were created from earth taken from the site. Cemented by mortar made from soil on the property, the bricks also compose some of the walls on the lower level. The house also has a lot of outdoor space, from the patio off the walkout basement to the open-air dining room (soon to be enclosed by windows) and the sleeping porch off the master bedroom.

Nuts and bolts

The home: A 1,750-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home built in the style of a European farmhouse, with Craftsman elements. It has a 450-square-foot “mother-in-law” apartment downstairs.
The homeowners: Jeff Buscher, a registered engineer at Essential Systems Engineering who specializes in energy analysis and mechanical systems design, and Jeannine Buscher, who co-owns Buchi, which brews Buchi Kombucba, a fermented tea. Also at home is their 8-year-old son, Jackson.
Defining aspect: In 50 years (once the planned photovoltaic panels are up), this house should absorb enough carbon and pollutants to pay the earth back for the carbon needed in its construction.
Design team: The Nauhaus Institute, Asheville.
Builder: Matt Yeakley at Red Shed Woodworks, Marshall.
Project manager: Clarke Snell, executive director of the Nauhaus Institute.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hempmilk Goes Mainstream at Safeway Stores

Hempmilk Takes Another Big Step Into Mainstream Grocery

Living Harvest Foods, manufacturer of the world’s leading Tempt Hempmilk, is pleased to announce Tempt will now be available in more than 800 Safeway stores across the country. 

PRLog (Press Release) – May 20, 2011 – Portland, OR – May 18, 2011 – Living Harvest Foods, manufacturer of the world’s leading Tempt Hempmilk, is pleased to announce Tempt will now be available in more than 800 Safeway stores across the country.  Tempt Hempmilk is a great-tasting and nutritious non-dairy alternative that comes in five delicious flavors – Original, Vanilla, Chocolate, Unsweetened Original, and Unsweetened Vanilla.  

Safeway will carry Original and Vanilla. 
Adding Safeway to the list puts Tempt Hempmilk in 3 of Supermarket News’ top 5 retailers.  Kroger was the early-adopter; they gave Tempt placement in 1,600 stores in mid-2008.  The success of the sweetened flavors led them to add the unsweetened SKUs in 2010. Later in 2010 Living Harvest landed another retail giant, Supervalu, with placement in over 600 of their banner stores including Albertson’s in Southern California, Jewel and Cub in the Midwest, and Farm Fresh in the East.   

When asked about Safeway Cathy Hearn, Living Harvest’s President said, “We’ve been talking to them for quite some time.  Gaining placement in this great retail chain is a testament to the growing acceptance of hemp as a great source of nutrition; being the first and only hemp milk carried by Safeway is a testament to a great team that’s worked hard to achieve and maintain our dominant position in the market.” 

Sustainable, non-GMO, and gluten-free, hemp seeds are packed with nutrients and are rapidly gaining popularity as one of the most valuable sources of quality plant-based protein.  Hemp is a rich source of omega 3, all essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals making it an ideal alternative for vegetarians and anyone with food allergies. 

Founded in 2002, Living Harvest Foods is the dominant leader in hemp food products and an early pioneer in uncovering the protein potential locked within the industrial hemp seed.  The Company is committed to improving the health and well-being of people and planet by offering great-tasting products made from this incredible seed.  Their products include Tempt Hempmilk, Tempt Frozen Desserts (pints and bars), Tempt Organic Hemp Oil, and Tempt Protein Powders.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Steve Jobs Gets Hemp iPad Case

By Nicole Martinelli (8:45 am, May. 19, 2011)
Source: cultofmac.com

Underwhelmed with Apple’s new smartcover for the iPad, the folks over at Tuff Luv in the U.K. decided they would show Steve Jobs how it’s done.
So they sent him the above case in hemp.
“Knowing Apple’s CEO is a keen vegan we sent him a Chocolate Multi-View case for his Pad 2 in hemp. We packaged this beautiful case off California, but so far we haven’t heard back from Steve yet. We’re sure he’s using it at home.”
The case is made from 100% natural materials, guaranteed “animal free.”
Suitable for the iPad and iPad 2, it’s billed as soft and tactile but hard-wearing and tough, capable of protecting the tablet from life’s little accidents. It costs £34.99, about US$56.
What do you think he’s doing with it?