Another item to save is Hemp seeds as this is a hardy plant with many good properties very useful to a pole shft society! It has medicinal as well as industrial qualities. It grows easily and plentifully with few enemies. It is one seed to be considered. One of the reasons it was banned was due to a strong lobby from cotton growers way back then!
Offered by Pierre.
I was only thinking of the importance of hemp the other day as the only real means for sustainably manufacturing many of the basic materials that we consume and require. Hemp is an excellent plant, producing oil, fibers and biomass. I have a number of hemp clothes (jeans and shirts) and find they are both robust and durable. Furthermore, the fibers can be used in place of wood pulp for the production of paper. So make that: clothes, paper and oil as well as rope, sacks and mats. Basically, hemp replaces the need for cotton, wood pulp and the synthetics industry. You will definitely find it a useful plant. I am unaware of a more useful, general utility plant and will be incorporating it's use into my planning. I feel obliged to share the information below, just in case there are people who consider the topic of hemp a bit of a giggle.
Offered by Gino.
In 1914 the USDA calculated that hemp crops could make four times as much paper per acre as trees. Although this statistic may appear too old to be deemed valid, one must remember that hemp prohibition has made it very difficult to research hemp's use and productivity. Paper made out of hemp has many advantages. It can be recycled several times more than paper made from wood. Also hemp paper is resistant to decomposition, which is why ancient Chinese hemp documents can be found today. Hemp paper is naturally resistant to age related yellowing. Furthermore, hemp paper can be whitened with out dioxins, which can be extremely detrimental to the environment, especially streams and soil. Hemp can yield up to 4 times more paper over a 20 year period than wood. Finally hemp's low ligning content reduces the need for potentially polluting acids used in pulping.
- Hemp's long fibers are perfect for making textiles. The fiber can be made into any type of cloth. Hemp textiles are better for us than the cotton and other textiles we currently use. Cloth made out of at least 50% hem, naturally blocks the sun's harmful UV rays. Cloth made from hemp fiber is stronger, warmer, more durable, more absorbent, and softer than cotton. The fiber (bast) of the hemp plant can be woven into almost any kind of cloth. It is very durable. In fact, the first Levi's blue jeans were made out of hemp for just this reason.
Tons of Fiber per Acre:
Pine (30 year growth cycle) 3 tons per acre
Kenaf 6 tons per acre
Hemp 12 tons per acre
Cotton 0.3 tons per acre
Flax 1.3 tons per acre
- Hemp as a food can be more diverse than the soybean, which currently has thousands of uses, it is also easier to digest. In fact, hemp is often prescribed as food for those who have difficulty with digestion. Hemp seed is very high in a protein resembles protein found in the human blood.. It is also high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous potassium and vitamin A. Hemp seed oil contains over 70% cholesterol- fighting fatty acids, the highest of any known seed oil. These 'good' fatty acids help the body heal. Also, hemp oil contains a very rare nutrient found in mother's milk known as gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Hemp, most especially hemp seed oil can be made into breads, cakes, pastas, cookies, non-dairy cheese milk and even ice-cream. With hemp seed, a vegan or vegetarian can survive and eat virtually no saturated fats. One handful of hemp seed per day will supply adequate protein and essential oils for an adult.
- The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Hemp seed oil can be chemically combined easily with 15% methanol to provide a premium diesel fuel substitute. This hemp bio-diesel fuel burns 70% cleaner than petroleum diesel in soot and particulate pollution. By burning cleaner, hemp fuel would help to reduce acid rain. Furthermore, the industrial use of fossil fuels increases the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere; however, hemp flues maintain the earth's natural O2/CO2 balance. Finally hemp is renewable very quickly, while fossil fuels take thousands of years to renew. Development of hemp based biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. Hemp may also be used to produce ethanol (grain alcohol.) The United States government has developed a way to make this automobile fuel additive from cellulosic biomass. Hemp is an excellent source of high quality cellulosic biomass. One other way to use hemp as fuel is to use the oil from the hemp seed - some diesel engines can run on pure pressed hemp seed oil. However, the oil is more useful for other purposes, even if we could produce and press enough hemp seed to power many millions of cars.
- Conventional plastic are not biodegradable and are currently filling our land fills. However, once plastics were made from plant cellulose. The hemp hurd is one of the richest sources of plant cellulose, a building block of modern industry. Plastics made from hemp instead of petroleum would be biodegradable. `Bio-plastics' have already been used though out history - way back in the 1930's Henry Ford had already made a whole car body out of them - but the processes for making them needs more research and development. Besides being biodegradable, bio-plastics can be made without much pollution. The addition of hemp fibers enables the reduction of the amount of plastic required. In addition to a reduction of pollution during production, the widespread use of hemp plastics has the potential to dramatically reduce the consumption of unsustainable and environmentally negative petro-chemical plastics.
- Paints and Varnishes:
- Through out history, hemp seed oil was used to make paints and varnishes. For example, in 1935 116 million pounds of hemp seed were used in America just for paints and varnishes. The use of hemp seed oil would allow for a reduction of the harmful chemicals generally used in and associated with paints and varnishes.
- Other Uses:
- Hemp is an amazing plant with literally thousands of uses. Other things hemp can be used for includes make-up, soaps, detergents, building materials, insulation, and packaging. In nearly every case, the use of hemp as opposed to the current resources used, would be somehow benefit the environment.