In recent years, it’s become clear that humanity’s relationship with our planet has become severely unbalanced. Without a healthy earth, we have nothing at all — but fossil fuel emissions, extractive industries, and industrial agriculture have depleted and polluted our watersheds, our soil, and our atmosphere, bringing us to a tipping point.
“Sustainability” is a buzzword that must be reconsidered — perhaps even discarded. Sustaining our current trajectory is not enough. We have the ability to remove the poisons we have released, to renew and expand the ecosystems that have been degraded. This is a great work of immediate, critical importance to humankind — and to all the plants and animals whose world we share.
There are many people and organizations working to address this question, and one visionary example is Hudson Hemp — a radically innovative network of regenerative farms in New York State.
Hudson Hemp is inspired by the vital connection between farming and culture; and the recognition that how we treat the land translates into how we treat each other, from a small (interpersonal) to large (social, political) scale. Hudson Hemp cultivates its plants using regenerative organic practices to support healthy life on earth.
Foria’s team recently paid a visit to Hudson Hemp’s beautiful Stone House Farm, and what we saw there filled us with hope and inspiration.
Regenerative agriculture: beyond organic
Regenerative farming seeks to promote the health of the earth by emulating natural systems and embracing biodiversity. Instead of imposing one or two crops on an entire property, regenerative farms create rich, interlinked ecosystems that build on and feed one another, fostering an ever-greater cycle of abundance that returns as much value to the earth as it does to the farmer. If anything, regenerative agriculture can save farmers on costs and effort while insulating them from drought and other downturns. As Hudson Hemp explains:
The principal goal of a regenerative agricultural system is to build and maintain the soil’s ability to recycle nutrients, to capture and hold water, and minimize the farm’s dependence on outside inputs.
Ideally, a regenerative farm is a whole world of intertwined natural networks, operating the way the earth itself does — through interconnectedness and holistic management of resources.
Humans are also part of these natural networks, so building community is an essential step in the process of regeneration. Hudson Hemp’s growing family of affiliate farms and allied organizations is working together to create a resilient local agricultural economy, united around principles of biodiversity and human empowerment. (You can read about their stance on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here.)
If we are going to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change, we must do more than reduce or halt carbon emissions — we must reverse them, removing excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
Fortunately, plants love CO2. They need it to photosynthesize. Strategic crop rotation, as employed by Hudson Hemp and other regenerative agriculture concerns, pulls carbon out of the air into roots, microbes and mycelial networks in the soil, helping to nourish subsequent crops — a process known as carbon sequestration. Watch Hudson Hemp’s founder Ben Dobson explain the carbon capturing power of regenerative agriculture here:
After touring Hudson Hemp’s Stone House farm, New York State Assemblywoman Didi Barrett was inspired to launch a groundbreaking carbon-farming project, with the goal of generating important data on how various farming practices sequester carbon — ensuring there’s a clear roadmap for the regenerative farming movement.
Hemp for the future
As we’ve discussed before, hemp may hold the key to a global revolution in agriculture. From food and medicine to fiber and bioplastics, this remarkable plant — which already treads lightly on the earth — can provide exciting solutions to many of the most pressing problems facing our species. But how it’s grown matters, and abusive, extractive practices can be used with any crop — even a sustainable one like hemp.
Fortunately, Hudson Hemp maintains organic-regenerative practices from seed to oil, and they have already received USDA Organic certification — a rarity in an emerging industry.
Beyond their role as stewards of the planet, Hudson Hemp is also focused on next-level human health. Their plants are custom-bred and selected for specific benefits. This enables their partners — including Foria — to develop varietals with tailored amounts of cannabinoids and other phytochemicals, thereby fine-tuning their formulas from soil to seed to shelf.
Not only that, Hudson Hemp’s plants are processed and extracted on-site, eliminating the need for environment-taxing shipping. And, like all of Foria’s suppliers, Hudson’s extracts are always third-party tested, to ensure industry-leading standards.
If we’re going to undo the damage that’s been done and ensure a livable future for all, individual actions aren’t enough. People must work together, in interconnected and interdependent networks, to find solutions and implement earth-wise methods of growing, harvesting and producing.
Hudson Hemp is on the right track – and doing it with beauty, wisdom and joy. We’re delighted to walk with them into a better future, for plants, animals and people.