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8 ways to support your wellbeing this winter!

foraging support your winter wellbeing

What have you been doing to prepare for the season? Have you made changes at home? It’s time to support your winter wellbeing, and so we wanted to share what we have been up to at the farm…

It’s a wonderful season! Furthermore, it’s exciting too, as we are welcoming our hemp seeds into our processing barn at this pivotal moment in the year. We are taking a moment to appreciate the long summer days past, with all the tall plants growing. To be grateful for the bounty the fields have now brought us.

With the harsher winter months arriving fast, it can be a great time to turn inwards and slow down. It’s also an opportunity to take stock of what we have, helping to invest in ourselves. It’s important to get through the colder, darker days with some warmth and light. 

Whether you’re an expert or a novice…here are a few of our own winter wellbeing tips to keep the blues at bay.

1. Get prepared! 

Storage spaces are cleared, labels are written and jars are filled.

We’ve been organising our food stores to make sure we have all the staples we need.  A potential second lockdown, possible Brexit delays, maybe its worth planning ahead. Being smart about what’s in your pantry, is a good way to avoid any surprises or panic buying. This planning therefore ensures there’s still enough for everyone to go around.

It’s also an opportunity to check in with the variation of your diet. Make any modifications if you have diet requirements, and to take the time to reconnect with all the food and nutrients you’ll be needing for good health maintenance.

Winter Wellbeing Elderberries

2. Vitamins

We know how important Vitamin C and D are for keeping our immune systems on top form. Did you know you can get these magic supplements in other ways than eating your weight in oranges?

Our favourite wild-foraged vitamin-stores are elderberries and rosehips. Preserve these beauties as elderberry tincture or in a winter elixir. Take a moment to think about vitamins you might need over winter.  Plan ahead to preserve, if fresh produce will be more difficult to access.

We have been out collecting what feels like millions of these elderberries. Somewhat convinced, this is the best way to support your winter wellbeing!

3. Food supplements

CBD can be taken as a food supplement, either in dropper format or our signature organic coconut oil.

Another timely benefit of this cannabinoid, is that when taken regularly as part of a healthy diet, “Cannabis can reduce the virus’ entry points to the body by up to 70 percent.’’

Researchers (and we!) are very excited by this discovery. More time is being invested globally, to better understand these effects. Although it might feel like a luxury, it’s a great reminder to keep up with your regular dose of CBD oil. 

4. Stay hydrated

We need to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day! Yep! With more if we exercise. Not a fan of plain old water? It can be hard getting in all those glasses!

Herbal teas are hydrating and a great way to ensure your winter wellness. Be conscious of drinking too much caffeinated or sweetened liquid, as this can be dehydrating.

Water is such a simple way to boost your mood, keep you energised and feeling healthy. We’ve all seen a sad looking plant that needs a drink. Humans aren’t that different!

5. Kraut it up!

Oh, how we love probiotics! We grew a LOT of cabbage this year. So preserving them as sauerkraut and kimchi in extra large jars, was a great way to eat it. Also, this means we get to enjoy vegetables long past autumn.

We make a fresh batch of Kombucha every couple of months, using a second ferment of hemp stem tea mixed with something seasonal. We’ve had elderflower, meadowsweet, even cherry! Our last batch used hemp tea and pressed apples from our apple picking day. Make it all the merrier by getting creative with your winter preserving. We’re very happy to keep a good stock of products by our local fermenters, the wonderful Pama Creations. What’s your favourite fermentation? 

Cabbage Winter Growing

6. Plan your planting 

If you have any garden space, wonderful! Or even a little veg box on a windowsill or, patio that gets some daylight! Take the natural pause of winter, to then plan your growing calendar.

Most plants are now dormant, but you can still get excited about what will blossom next year. Deepen your connection with the seasons and create space for something you can look forward to.

Honouring the bare soil, feeling the hopefulness of spring to come, can be a great feeling. Even, getting a bit dirty now and then, can boost your immune system as much as all the vitamins in the land!

Winter Wellbeing Walks

7. Take a stroll

Head outdoors and embrace the crisp air. Even a short time outside each day can make the world of difference.

Time spent in nature helps us to relax and is great for our mental health over winter. It’s also wonderful for our immune systems as anytime spent under the sun (even a milky one!) helps the body catch natural vitamin D.

Wrap up warm before a gentle walk or get your blood pumping with some faster exercise. The cold weather doesn’t have to be a deterrent, it just means we need to change how we interact with the outside world.

8. Nourish yourself – inside and out! In these colder days with biting wind, it’s important to protect your skin from the winter chill and the dryness that comes with it. Get prepared and support your winter welling practices!

We have the perfect solution to keeping your skin nourished and glowing with our special bundle Nourishing Winter Hemper – nothing quite like a shameless plug for a finale…

What are your ways to support your winter wellbeing? Share your tips with us too! We’d love to hear from you!

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Changes for the better…

The world we share is rapidly changing. We are watching each day as more news of coronavirus (COVID-19) comes through. It’s the main point of conversation lately. It’s changing the way we live our everyday lives. The plans we made are gone, or on hold, just like that. But can we use this to make changes for the better?

Our sympathies are with those who are most affected by this, especially our loved ones. Key workers have been called to action. The people on our minds are our nurses, doctors and NHS staff. They are working overtime and without the proper protective equipment. We are genuinely, feeling the effect this is having on our community and friends. 

Somewhere inside us, we all knew, at some point something had to give. The polarised society between the rich and the poor, the constant acceleration in the destruction of our rainforests, the continual rise in the production of toxic plastic, the mass drive for profit and greed. We are living in the time of the anthropocene. 

A crisis, stirs up a time for unimaginable change. It could mean that we also have a chance to purposefully and positively affect the trajectory we were previously on.

‘’Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken, depend on the ideas that are laying around.’’ Milton Friedman. 

“We know this script. In 2008, the last time we had a global financial meltdown, the same kinds of bad ideas for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts carried the day, and regular people around the world paid the price.”  Naomi Klein

Watch the video and read more:

Real changes for the better…

Right now, governments and big business will use this crisis to push through policies that were very distant discussions before…for the worse or for the better. This is a time of great danger or opportunity. 

There have been some more drastic measures taken that are not nice for any of us, like being home bound for the foreseeable. For those of us who can, a more positive outlook on this situation could bring about ideas and policies that were once seen as far too radical or unfeasible. In fact, they are actually happening overnight…

But what would be disappointing for us and the generations that follow after us, is for big industries to be bailed out, again. The same ones that are causing the most environmental damage, with complete disregard in being inline with the Paris Climate Agreement.

What changes for the better would we like to see for the best of all? Potentially permanent changes, that could fight poverty and the climate crisis. Even, at the same time, mitigate the chance of another disaster of this kind. How and in what ways should we be returning to work in response to these problems? How should we value jobs that sustain quality livelihoods and empower a greener future?

4 Day Working Week Campaign

“100 years ago we won the weekend & the 8hr day. Today we sure as hell can win a #4DayWeek.”

At Hempen, we encourage a model of working 3 days a week. Community residents add-on 1 day a week. This is because we believe a shorter working week could improve the economy, our environment and our society as a whole. We don’t want to be confined to our work only. We need time for rest and play. Less working hours could also provide an opportunity to address inequalities, lack of time to live sustainably, and help to reduce carbon emissions. 

Universal Basic Income

At the very least, temporary enactment of UBI could be in place for a trial of three months. Throughout the crisis, this would mean the spike in renters being evicted recently could have been avoided. Every day, we hear new ways in which the government plans to help alleviate financial hardship, though many businesses and people are in uncertain circumstances. If UBI was to be brought in, we can see how it might work for our economy in the long-term. Leaving people without a means of income induces stress, which in turn lowers our immune systems. Isn’t this somewhat counterproductive.  

If 8 men have as much wealth as the rest of the world, it seems possible that more wealth could be shared. The Spanish are introducing UBI! If you feel inclined, then sign the petition for Basic Income:

Oher like-minded start-ups like ourselves and independents, having access to UBI provides freedom, so that more people can create projects that are built from their own passions and skill sets. And especially now, when so many may face unemployment or lack of work, this could help. It could spur society on with more environmental, social and conscious work. Though we are not talking about a small UBI.  This needs to be enough UBI to cover average rent prices and food per week or month to work effectively. And not just be a token amount.

Real Support For Key Workers

Bolster the National Living Wage, Save the NHS, Encourage Food Security by Supporting UK Farmers. 

In this emergency, we get a rare reality check of the type of jobs that are important. As our country heads into lock-down, NHS staff, cleaners and food producers are noticeably the key workers in our society. Note, that the likes of airlines, banks and such…are not in this mix.

Hempen’s products are classified as food and essential. We continue to go about our daily business with some adjustments. Keen to produce organic and healthy, nutritious hemp food.

For our community, we are planting more vegetable seeds and are searching for ways to use our fields to be of use. We hope many others are using their own gardens. Even gorilla growing in an abandoned or unloved spaces. Now is the time for councils to open up unused spaces to communities. There are signs of a global food shortage ahead, so we are calling for a government package to protect local food supplies and increase local production. If you like the sound of that, please sign:

We can be part of the debate and changes ahead, let’s stay active!

Written by Sophia, Member of Hempen

Be the change you want to see.