EX the farm
Working with retted and unretted fibre hurd/shiv, leaf, roots and seed.
Seed – perfect to eat as a snack ask the birds. It comes with its own container that stores and transports well. But the seed is a “Class C” drug, you can only possess them if you have a licence. So you have to derive a product from the controlled seed. Pressing for oil is a growing market and provides a lovely nutritional oil, taking the husk off, leaves a hemp meal which is a super food, byproducts get made in to protein powder and flour. Or you could make milk and ice creams and other juices and therapeutic preparations, (both topical and digestible) from the seed.
Fibre – comes from the stems which are normally retted, with the dew for a time or in a silage pit. The vision is to have a on-site machine where a farmer or group of locals can process there own green stems and prepare the raw materials which they can sell separately, gaining from this vertical integrated step.
Understanding how the fibre is to be used will define how crops are cultivated, harvested, stored/prepared in the future.
In this case fibre represents two distinct products, which create dust and waste in their production. Spiting the stems into fiber and the inner woody pith (hurd/shiv) is called decortication.
The Popular Mechanics magazine article in 1938 “New Billion Dollar Crop” starred hemp and was, a recognition of a German inventor who had developed a mobile decorticator that processed green stems on the farm, producing 1 tonne of hurd/shiv per hour which supplied the paper industry .
He had been promoting the revolutionary mechanical process for a previous manual job since first convincing some paper experts in 1917 of the economic sense and benefit of an annual crop rather than chopping down old growth forests.
When the US banned marijuuna in 1937 that was the end of the hemp industry in US, prohibition has meant only limited work has been done on improving the processing of stems, and fibre in to higher value raw materials and other end products.
Some companies in various countries largely European are making parts of the production chain and it is being successful combined into million dollar operations.