Hemp is no longer the domain of the tie-dyed, brownie-munching hippy. The contemporary hemp crop that is emerging as a supercrop of incredible versatility and a touch of style.
It is being used to produce everything from household building materials to beer (yes, beer). Its nourishing and delicious properties are quickening the pulses of foodies everywhere. The Daylesford Macedon region is the “budding” centre for this exciting micro-industry.
In Kyneton, The Hemp Building Company takes a by-product (the fibrous inner stalk of the industrial hemp plant) and blends it with lime to create Hempcrete. This super-green building product ticks all the sustainability boxes. It has incredible thermal properties creating highly energy efficient homes. Used in construction for aeons, hemp is now utilised in contemporary building design, as lauded by design guru Kevin McCleod. The Hemp Building Company offers workshops for owner builders, builders and architects to learn the extraordinary building applications of this ancient plant.
In the foothills of the Macedon Ranges, idyllic Bunjil Farm grows hemp for consumption. The recent lift on the hemp seed consumption ban (November 2017) has led to many delicious interpretations for this nutritious little seed. Bunjil Farm creates a locally cold-pressed hemp seed oil and a delicious hemp seed dukkah. The meal by-product from the oil production has even been cleverly crafted into a beer (named Hempathy).
Bunjil Farm boasts a hemp-inspired B&B, with retro-fitted Hempcrete walls, hemp linen, soap and bodycare products. Whilst hemp is closely related to its infamous cousin, cannabis, hemp seed for consumption contains no THC, instead it is packed with amino acids, is high in protein and has perfectly balanced omega 3 and 6 - making it something of a new kid at the superfood party.
Sitting within the cool hemp walls of the Bunjil Farm B&B, dipping locally baked artisan hemp bread into cold-pressed hemp seed oil and hemp seed dukkah, the future looks bright for this ancient plant.
It’s enough to bring a tear to any old hippy’s eye.