Pioneering a Better Tomorrow
Some moments have a special quality, an almost magical feel, that is difficult to convey in words. Saturday’s Building with Hempcrete Workshop, hosted by the Hemp Heals Foundation and KCC, was filled with many of those moments. The event was part of a nationally coordinated series of events to celebrate Hemp History Week. It was truly a first of its kind event here in Pennsylvania and all that participated knew they were a part of something special.
We learned about industrial hemp and its great potential for Pennsylvania. There was great music provided by Philadelphia reggae rock artist Jay D. Clark, delicious hemp foods courtesy of Hempzels and Hemp Dog Café as well as passionate speeches.
Among the featured speakers were our champion legislators State Senators Judy Scwhank, State Senator Mike Folmer, and State Representative Russ Diamond. They have been heroes for hemp both in introducing Senate and House bills and in helping to educate the public and fellow legislators about the importance of bringing hemp back. We’ve seen great progress with these bills and there is a chance the senate bill may move out of committee and either into appropriations or onto the senate floor this month. If you do not know who your legislators are you can find out here. It is important that every one that cares about this issue contact their legislators and encourage them to support them to Support SB50 and HB967.
We also heard from our very own Pennsylvania hemp historian, author and KCC Executive Director, Les Stark, Riley Cote, former player for the Philadelphia Flyers and Executive Director of Hemp Heals Foundation, Shawn House from Hempzels and class instructor John Patterson. Which brings us to the heart of the event – Building with Hempcrete.
Hempcrete is a renewable building material being used to build walls, flooring and walkways. It is an environmentally advantaged product – in that it is sustainable, efficient AND is breathable, pest, mold, fire and mildew resistant. This hands on workshop taught the fundamentals of building with hempcrete and helped lay the foundation for us to pioneer a new green building industry. Participants got to take home a hempcrete sample that they made themselves.
John Patterson, of Colorado based Tiny Hemp Houses, has been a carpenter and hemp advocate for over thirty years. In 2012 he began learning how to use Industrial Hemp to build houses. He now teaches these workshops all over the United States on building with Industrial Hemp. John entertains his audience as he motivates them to be a part of the Industrial hemp movement. And he definitely educated, entertained and inspired us! We look forward to bringing him back to PA, hopefully later this year, to help us take it to the next level by actually building a Tiny Hemp House!
Two large, conical shaped antique hemp millstones that once processed hemp fiber in the old Lancaster County hemp mills along with a replica hemp break were on site to represent the long and deep history of hemp right here in PA. The featured picture in this the fantastic Reading Eagle article shows Les Stark telling the story of the hempstones to Senator Schwank.
Hemp was such an important part of our past and important part of building this country, it holds so much promise for our future with its many uses as a building material, food, fuel, fiber, cosmetics, medicine, land reclamation and so much more. This is why we say:
Pennsylvania Hemp – Heritage of Our Past – Hope for Our Future!