Moving Toward Sustainable Growing with… Hemp? – BioComposites Group
Seed starting has traditionally taken place in peat moss or coconut fibre pellets. If it works, we stick with it. However, consumers are starting to purchase products that not only work, but have environmental considerations and sustainability at the top of mind. 54% of people will choose an environmentally friendly product over a conventional one of the same price, and 20% of consumers will pay more.
But what does this have to do with hemp? And what makes coconut and peat moss so bad?
The reality is that there is now much debate as to whether coconut fibre and peat moss is still sustainable. Peat bogs are mined at a rate of 6 inches at a time and regenerate at 1/25th of an inch. This means that to get that mine back to its original state full of peat, it would take a few hundred years. At the same time, coconut fibre is imported from India and Sri Lanka, which uses an abundance of petrochemicals to get to the final destination.
With the United States’ recent legalization of industrial hemp, a new fibre source has become readily available: Industrial Hemp. Using the same premise as the “hay bale planter,” agricultural fibres can be used as seed starters. Currently a by-product of the farming industry, the hemp fibres would alternatively be rendered useless.
There is a more aware generation of growers deciding which growing media to choose. The option of a sustainable and local by-product, whereby the proceeds end up in a farmer’s pocket, seems quite appetizing. Hemp is an excellent growing media because of it has a high water holding capacity, is pH neutral, and is a strong fibre for rooting.
Starting your seeds correctly is a critical part of growing any plant, as a good start produces a healthy plant. This is why we have created Terrafibre, a product line of hemp fibre growing media. Our starter cubes are designed for any seed from tomatoes to lettuce, whereas our grow mats are designed for short rotation crops such as sprouts, microgreens, and wheatgrasses. The media can be used in the same way as any current growing media, and need to be transplanted to soil or have nutrients added for longer term or indoor growing.
We have a unique opportunity with a unique fibre and this is why Arett has decided to carry our product line. Contact your local Arett sales rep for more information on these products.