Something Good from Hemp North
This week we're heading a little further north to chat to our friends in Alnwick, Hugh and Alistair from Hemp North. We were thrilled when the guys reached out to us earlier this year to see if we wanted to stock their 100% British Hemp Seed - unlike most other hemp products and providers in the UK these little seeds are grown, dehulled, packaged and sold right here and to a local market - keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum.
We chatted to Hugh and Alistair about how and why they started growing hemp, what it means for the planet and why more British farmers (and consumers) should be aware of this incredible crop. We were left feeling pretty inspired after reading this interview, and are so proud to be supporting businesses like Hemp North through SomethingGood.
Pop the kettle on and enjoy!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you wound up growing hemp together on a farm in Northumberland?
We both come from different backgrounds, Hugh is a farmer with a science degree, working within regenerative farming, and I (Alistair) am a designer and marketer with an interest in the hemp industry and ways to save our planet.
Hugh approached me to help him create the brand and set up the website, I thought it would be a normal paid gig, but as friends, we both realised that this was going to be a big journey, and that we would make a great team as partners.
Growing hemp had been the brainchild of Hugh for many years now, he stumbled onto it as a potential solution to one problem - regenerative farming, but then so many other solutions kept coming out of this wonderful crop - it's a great CO2 sequester to help the global warming crisis, it's packed full of essential fatty acids, it’s packed full of plant-based protein and we can harvest it for fibre too - I could go on!
What exactly is hemp and why does growing hemp in the UK matter?
Hemp is a wonder crop and it’s been grown in the UK for over a 100 years. It’s been around for over 6000 years and can be used to make food, plastic, oil, paper, fuel and clothing, so why are we not using it more and why are we not growing more of it on our own soil? Growing hemp in the UK helps to reduce air and food miles, improves soil quality, and helps our wildlife at the same time. We are trying to bring back hemp and educate people on just how important it is.
Can you tell us a little bit more about why hemp is good for people, as well as the planet?
As mentioned before hemp boasts an amazing amount of essential fatty acids, these include Omega 3, 6 and 9 in the perfect ratios for our body, among other vitamins, minerals and plant-based proteins. You can read up in any medical journal about the benefits of Omegas, from good skin and hair quality, to improved blood flow and anti inflammatory properties. They also improve our mind and are a great supplement for focusing, ADHD and anxiety disorders.
The planet gains from no pesticides or herbicides being used, the long tap roots help aerate the soil and improve drainage, and the speed of the plant's growth makes it the best CO2 sequestration crop in the world, meaning that it is absorbing 4x more CO2 out of the atmosphere than the same amount of woodland. In simple terms, hemp plants are the best plants in the world for capturing carbon.
Our own ethos is very much about supporting great brands that are doing good things, with a conscience. This allows us to offer healthier products for both people and planet, whilst reducing waste and our overall impact on the environment. Why is Hemp North the perfect refillable for Something Good?
We share the same ethos -we are trying to bring back this wonderful crop and grow it on a large scale to help the planet, the environment, our wildlife and humankind. We are currently battling with educating the public and food manufacturers to use hemp - it's a supply and demand situation, the more people want it the more we can grow and the more we can help save the planet - we just need as many people to know about it as possible.
Hemp is perfect for refill shops as it’s so versatile. You can make hemp milk, ice cream, bake with it in breads and biscuits, or simply just sprinkle it on your food. It can be used to replace any nuts or seeds, and it makes great hummus! Check out our ever-growing recipes here.
What do you both get up to when you’re not saving the planet one hemp seed at a time?
We are both outdoor lovers - Hiking, Surfing, Rock-climbing, Ski and Snowboarding. Most of all, we both really appreciate our planet and the amazing opportunity we have in being here, we try to be forward thinking for our families and their kids and try to squeeze as much out of the time we have here, hoping to leave it in the same or better condition than we found it.
Some Good Recipes
You can shop our refillable Hemp North Hemp Seeds in store or online for collection and local delivery by cargo bike.