Synopses & Reviews
The billion dollar plant that's going to change our diet and farms, help restore our soil, and wean us from petroleum
The stat sheet on hemp sounds almost too good to be true: its fibers are among the planet's strongest, its seed oil the most nutritious, and its potential as an energy source vast and untapped. Its one downside? For nearly a century, it's been illegal to grow industrial cannabis in the United States — even though Betsy Ross wove the nation's first flag out of hemp fabric, Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence on it, and colonists could pay their taxes with it. But as the prohibition on hemp's psychoactive cousin winds down, one of humanity's longest-utilized plants is about to be reincorporated into the American economy. Get ready for the newest billion-dollar industry.
In Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, bestselling author Doug Fine embarks on a humorous yet rigorous journey to meet the men and women who are testing, researching, and pioneering hemp's applications for the twenty-first century. From Denver, where Fine hitches a ride in a hemp-powered limo; to Asheville, North Carolina, where carbon-negative hempcrete-insulated houses are sparking a mini housing boom; to Manitoba where he raps his knuckles on the hood of a hemp tractor; and finally to the fields of east Colorado, where practical farmers are looking toward hemp to restore their agricultural economy — Fine learns how eminently possible it is for this misunderstood plant to help us end dependence on fossil fuels, heal farm soils damaged after a century of growing monocultures, and bring even more taxable revenue into the economy than its smokable relative.
Fine's journey will not only leave you wondering why we ever stopped cultivating this miracle crop, it will fire you up to sow a field of it for yourself, for the nation's economy, and for the planet.
Humans have had an eight-thousand year relationship with the cannabisplant, yet the planting of cannabis for industrial purposes has only been outlawed in the U.S. since 1937, because of one of the possibleproducts of the species, marijuana. Industrial cannabis (i.e. hemp) has a long prior history in American industry and agriculture, and ispoised to reclaim that economic position, as states and the federal government are now rapidly moving toward re-legalizing hempproduction. This book celebrates and explores the potential uses and markets for industrial hemp, which are numerous. Hemp is a durablecrop requiring little water, is able to be grown successfully on a small scale (useful for struggling farmers, and those who need totransition away from other crops such as tobacco), and is considered beneficial to soils and useful for carbon sequestration due to itshigh carbon uptake and short grow time. Uses for the seeds, the bast (high-quality long fibers), and the hurd (woody core) include oil forfood and fuel, fiber for clothing, building materials and paper, and feedstock for biofuels. This book, written in a personal and informaltone, discusses legislative initiates, business developments and hemp advocacy, and includes short profiles of a variety of personssuch as small farmers, entrepreneurs, and activists. At the center of the story remains farms, farmers and farm economics. Footnotes andseveral pages of information resources are included at the end of the book.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
About the Author
Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and solar-powered goat herder. He has reported from five continents for The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The New York Times, Outside, National Public Radio, and U.S. News & World Report. His work from Burma was read into the Congressional Record (by none other than pro-hemp Senator Mitch McConnell), and he won more than a dozen Alaska Press Club awards for his radio reporting from the Last Frontier.
Fine is the author of three previous books: Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution; Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living; and Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man. A website of his print work, radio work, and short films is at www.dougfine.com. Twitter: organiccowboy.