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How can hemp seed oil help my health?

UK-grown organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil, oh how we’ve missed you!

So luxurious, with your emerald tones, nutty flavour, and heaps of nutritional goodness.

Omega oils galore! We hear your brains and muscles crying out with joy.

Just in the nick of time to start training for that marathon…

Where’s it been hiding?

Hemp is a relatively new crop in modern agriculture, even though it was one of the first crops cultivated by humans.

Somewhere along the way, we went from seeing the ease and versatility of this plant to losing sight of all the benefits it offers to the soil as well as the people.

Now we’re on a mission to bring it back! The health benefits of this wonderful seed just keep on coming. With a perfect balance of omega fatty acids, plus phytonutrients and vitamins, this oil is a must for anyone focusing on their nutritional health.

We are currently applying for a new licence to grow hemp on our farm*. Over the past year, we’ve been partnering with other farms across the UK to help them grow hemp all over the country.

We believe that cooperation and collaboration builds resilience. By supporting each other, we can build an ethical industry from the ground up!

Our organic cold-pressed oil is a deliciously simple way to consume hemp seeds.

Drizzle some over your warm meals, mix into a sauce for salads, or keep it pure as a tasty and vibrant dipping oil. What a treat to have in the kitchen!

Very few plants are as climate friendly as hemp. It’s a fantastic rotation crop, regenerating soils and trapping carbon from the atmosphere.

Hemp removes impurities from the soil, so it’s really important to buy organic. That way you know you’re getting all the benefits with none of the toxins!

We bring all our freshly harvested seeds back to the farm to be processed into products for you lovely folk.

How should I use it?

Hemp seed oil is affected by high temperatures so it’s best to avoid frying with it or overheating it. 

Did you know you can also apply this 100% pure hemp seed oil directly to your skin, hair and beard?

Our Hemp Seed Moisturising Oils have added fragrances (as well as one with CBD extract!).

You could even get creative and mix your favourite essential oils for a personalised scent.

All in all, this wonder oil is tasty, versatile and packed full of nutrients.

With a spoonful of hemp seed oil, you won’t need to help the medicine go down!

 

 

*Our licence was revoked in 2019 and we had to destroy our crop worth £200k:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49082533

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we are growing solidarity

The Project

In January, we launched the Growing Solidarity project. We are fortunate to have the means to be on bountiful land where we can work, live and collectively grow organic food. We recognise the importance of nature connection and want to do what we can to provide access to others and to share what we have got. We know that there are many people that don’t have the opportunity to be connected to nature and harness its possibilities.

We are working with Reading Refugee Support Group (RRSG) to deliver seeds, seedlings, soil, and support to individuals and families in our local migrant community. As we cautiously approach an easing of lockdown, we are reopening the land that we are part of on the Hardwick Estate to the RRSG community. We are offering our space to connect to nature, rest, solialise, share and grow together in a beautiful natural setting. 

Working together

From choice comes empowerment

We believe that everybody should have the opportunity to grow food and medicine to sustain themselves, their families and their own communities. Our aim is to listen to the individuals and families that we work with, provide resources to support the ideas that they come up with, and empower them to shape the project and take it in directions that they choose.

Sharing soil

Sowing seeds

Before the crisis we were regularly opening up our farm for the project. As we were unable to host people during lockdown, we have been connecting with people directly at home. Each week we deliver a range of seeds and plants to homes, along with planters (up-cycled from pallets!), soil, tools and knowledge about growing. What we bring each week is lead by the individual or household. People can choose to fill up their own planter, and choose the seedlings they want.

During our visits, new gardeners have given us their own pickled delicacies. People have also been sharing their seedlings and produce with others in the community. Through sowing seeds in a literal sense, it is our hope that this project can be a seed from which all kinds of fruits will grow!

The growing team at no.69

Crisis expands our imaginations around what is possible

As Canadian activist Naomi Klein puts it, “the status quo is an emergency…in this moment of vulnerability, we must shine light on what is possible and carry this forward into building a different future”.

We exist in a time of disconnection and fragmentation from each other and the natural world. We see investing in connection to one another, our communities and the land as a necessary stepping stone towards a better future. And a more resilient future. Growing Solidarity offers one of those steps.

@MollyCostello

For more information about the project visit our Growing Solidarity page here: hempen.co.uk/growing-solidarity/

To support the project, please donate here – each time you shop with us, you can show solidarity with our local community!

 

 

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Growing hemp at Hempen in 2020

And now, in other non-virus-related news…

Hemp farmer in a field of hemp

You may have seen our news from July 2019 about losing our ability to grow hemp. Since then, lots of you have been keen for an update, asking us whether we’ve got our licence to grow hemp back. Well, it’s been rather a long and complex process of legal advice, back and forth with the Home Office, debates and scenario planning to get us to the point where we can give you a proper update. So sorry about that.

And unfortunately, for now, the short answer is no – Hempen are not growing hemp directly this year.

But don’t worry, it’s not as straightforward as that! 

Why aren’t Hempen growing this year?

Before I explain properly, just to clarify a detail. Technically, “Hempen” the organisation can’t hold a licence. Again, not as simple as it sounds – hemp growing licences are held in the name of the tenant farmer on the land or landowner, as growing hemp is a farming practice (we’ll ignore the fact hemp is regulated by the Drugs & Firearms division for the purposes of this point!) – in our case, this was the very brilliant, experienced organic farmer James, then one of Hempen’s directors.

OK, back to the main point.

Rest assured that our long term vision is still very much rooted in the cultivation of hemp. And that’s what we’re still doing on a daily basis. The only change is that there’ll be no plants growing on this farm, this season. 

The main reason is one of the complexities around growing hemp in the UK: in this case, the Home Office’s request for a compliance visit to the farm before deciding whether to issue the licence. Not only is this costly, it is also a challenge for James, who would hold the hemp growing licence. Here’s why:

Most arable cereals (e.g. wheat or barley) are sown in March. Hemp is generally sown in the UK in early May (after last frosts). Usually, organic arable farmers will grow more than one crop in their rotation (part of organic principles and maintaining soil health). In order for the farmer (in our case, James) to decide whether they can sow hemp that year, they need to know if they’ll have a licence to do so by March. Because if not, they will, quite logically, choose to sow another crop, rather than risk having their fields lay bare.

Hempen farmers prepping the hemp seed drilling

The Home Office requested their visit for mid-March. The risk was, that if the application was turned down, James would have missed his chance to sow other crops, leaving empty fields and losing all potential revenue. And no-one wants that, when it’s already such a challenge to be a farmer. So the decision was taken to sow other arable crops instead.

No hemp?! What are you doing instead? Where is all the organic hemp for your products going to come from?

Though it is a little disappointing that we won’t have beautiful acres of hemp flourishing here in our part of south Oxfordshire in 2020, it won’t have any negative impact on our business, and we’ll still be helping acres of hemp grow!

It gives us the chance to focus more on our goal of increasing the amount of organic hemp grown in the UK. Alongside our own harvest, we’ve been collaborating with other organic farmers around the UK since 2016. And while we’re not growing here this season, we will be continuing to collaborate – to help more farmers grow and develop, and also source our seed-to-shelf UK organic hemp, so we can keep up with the rising demand! And our aim is to have hemp blowing in the breeze here at Path Hill again next year.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to continue produce locally-grown, organic nutritious foods like hemp to bring food security in difficult times. We’re grateful to keep having that opportunity. Love and peace to all.

We’re always looking for new partners, so if you're keen to grow hemp, do get in touch - email us! And follow us on social media for all sorts of goings on - links below.
#SaveUKCBD saveukcbd.org
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Changes for the better…

The world we share is rapidly changing, and we are watching each day as more news of coronavirus (COVID-19) comes through. It’s the main point of conversation lately and it’s changing the way we live our everyday lives. Plans we had are gone, or on hold, just like that. 

Our sympathies are with those who are most affected by this, especially our loved ones. And key workers have been called to action, the people on our minds are our nurses, doctors and NHS staff 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 increase of 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 brings up a time for unimaginable change, and this means 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: https://interc.pt/2IOfBQb

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 ones that are causing the most environmental damage, with complete disregard in being inline with the Paris Climate Agreement.

What changes would we like to see for the better of all? Potentially permanent changes that could fight poverty and the climate crisis, at the same time mitigate the chance of another disaster of this kind. How and in what ways should we be returning back to work in responce to these problems? How should we value jobs that sustain quality livelyhoods 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, and for residents 1 day a week for the community. 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, needing time to rest and play. Less work could also mean we address inequalities, lack of time to live sustainably, and help to reduce carbon emissions. 

"In the rush to return ro normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to." Dave Hollis

Universal Basic Income

At the very least, temporary enactment of UBI for three months throughout the crisis 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 left behind or left in uncertain circumstances. If UBI was to be brought in for a few months, we can see how it might work for our economy in the long-term. Leaving people without a means of income in this crisis induces stress, which in turn lowers our immune systems, somewhat counter productive.  

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: https://bit.ly/2QDIClE

For Hempen and for other like minded start-ups and independants, 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 spir 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 some of the key workers in our society. Note that the likes of airlines, banks and such are not in this mix.

Here at Hempen, our products are classified as food, and we continue to go about our daily business with some adjustments. We are already planting vegetable seeds to help create more food for our community, and are searching for ways to use our fields to be of more use. We hope many others are using their own gardens and 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 production. If you like the sound of that, please sign: https://www.change.org/LandArmySupport

We can be part of the debate and changes ahead, lets stay active!

Written by Sophia, Member of Hempen

Be the change you want to see.

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COVID-19 & Hempen – we’re open

In light of the quickly developing situation, we wanted to fill you in on what new government advice means for Hempen and our activities.

In common with most organisations dealing with the effects of COVID-19, Hempen is following government guidelines and enacting additional hygiene and cleaning standards to our usual procedures; we are proactively working to minimise the spread of the virus and promote the wellbeing of our members and the well-being of the wider community.

Covid-19 & Hempen

Mindful that many people across the country benefit from our products, we are aiming to continue our operations as long as it is safe to do so for us and for other people. This includes continuing to produce our hemp products and retail these online and at markets, but only where market level commitments have been put in place to facilitate social distancing (including limiting the number of people at stalls and  2m distance between people queueing). Our members are also working from home as far as possible (though for many of our members, this changes little as we live where we work!). 

We’re also putting more people power into ensuring that we can offer the best customer service possible at this time – our phone line will now be available on weekdays and weekends, for anyone having difficulties ordering online or with product questions. We will also be checking and responding to email queries with increasing regularity to ensure no-one is waiting too long for a response. Thanks for your patience as we put plans into place.

Customer Service Contact Details:
Telephone (7 days a week) – O7597 2637O2
Email (5 days a week) – shop@hempen.co.uk

Beyond producing our hemp goods, we are reviewing our resources in order to harness our possibilities to be a supportive presence in our community.

This will include increasing our capacity to grow food and contributing to a strengthening localised food supply chain. We want to recognise the strategically important position of farmers and landworkers to buttress our food supply.

The situation continues to develop and we will keep our operations under continual review over the coming weeks, in light of any new advice from the government. 

Hempen volunteers

We appreciate people’s thoughts and perspectives, we are all learning quickly in the context of this pandemic, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. 

We remain committed to our mission to cultivate locally-grown, organic hemp and through it, build socially just, ecologically sustainable and economically-resilient rural communities, which we believe the nation needs now more than ever.

Love & light, the Hempen community