I am beyond excited to be organic farming this coming summer. Although I have been interested in growing hemp for over 2 years now, last fall my dream began to transform into reality. When my business partner and I began to look for a suitable piece of land to grow a pilot hemp crop, we were open to conventional farming, but were fortunate enough to find organic farming partners.
Our longterm goal is to build a fully integrated processing facility, using waste hemp fibres to create new products, but I recognize that we have a lot to learn before we get to that stage. This goal does motivate us to look for the most sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. With no farming experience, we were looking for mentors in conventional or organic farming to lease land and machinery to grow a pilot crop and we did not expect to find organic land easily. I found an online land linking service provided by the Government of Canada, the Agriculture Management Institute, and the Government of Ontario called FARMLink. This website is a meeting point for new farmers, established farmers and farmland owners. After building a profile describing the land in which we were looking for (50+ acres in Alberta or Saskatchewan) and ourselves (new young farmers with no experience looking for mentorship to grow industrial hemp) we were contacted within days by established farmers near Canora Saskatchewan.
The match could not have been better! Hélène and Al own a large organic farm in eastern Saskatchewan, close the the Manitoba boarder, called Breadroot Farms. The Government of Manitoba has been extremely supportive of the industrial hemp market since legalization in Canada in 1998. This support has enabled the development of a hemp food processing industry lead by Manitoba Harvest and Hemp Oil Canada. Although Al and Hélène have never grown hemp before, they have over 20 years of experience in organic farming and are excited mentors for young farmers of the future. Consider contacting them if you are looking to settle on pristine organic land and continue a tradition of sustainable farming in Saskatchewan.
The opportunity to grow our pilot crop on organic land using traditional organic practices is a dream come true. From the very start, our company will embody our beliefs about building a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. We can all influence this future through the products we buy, how we choose to earn a living, how we vote and our conversations. Through mentorship, collaboration and innovation our dream of growing hemp begins this summer.