We are thrilled to be featured in the latest published Hemp Mag, “Building the Post-Petroleum Economy.”
Farming brings new life.
Winona’s Hemp and Heritage farm helps heritage seeds and hemp varieties come to life in the north country. That’s what we’re doing, four years , we’ve had a state of Minnesota hemp permit. We were there when seven people applied for the permits, and we are still there with over 500 growers in Minnesota. The Minneapolis Star Tribune did a nice story on us this past week!!! Take a look:
Our work is in fiber hemp, and we are doing it.
Our work is with creating and offering quality CBD varieties to our friends, customers and communities.
Finally, our work is to cultivate hope.
That’s what we do.
The plants are good, happy plants. We love the ladies- that’s what we call the CBD female plants. They’ve a special place at the farm, and we’re just making a waaginoogan, a traditional lodge to cover the ladies if it gets a bit chilly. (Sort of like a high tunnel, except, Anishinaabe). Here’s our team and the ladies, making it happen. In fact, when the breeder for the CBD clones (wow that sounds crazy) came to see us, he was astounded by the size and health of our plants.
We grow healthy plants, because we are making a healthy world, the good life- Mino Bimaatisiiwin.
And then there is the fiber hemp. This years’ crop is strong and healthy. The hemp varieties we grow on the farm seem to flourish; and seem to know they are loved. We are working on processing the hemp fiber into hemp hurd and into the fibers we can use to make rope and then make thread and canvas. That’s a lot of research, believe me, and a lot of following leads, on how to turn hemp into thread, or hemp into canvas. This past month , we’ve talked to people in England, chased some leads down in Turkey and in Canada. We are pretty excited about the future, and will get there, one lead at a time, but we need support. After all, the plant was illegal in this country for 70 years or more, so re constructing a fiber hemp industry in the US, is an epic endeavor.
We are up for it.
But we need supporting members for Winona’s Hemp. Let me put it this way, if you want the hemp industry to grow at a community scale, at a scale which changes the economy for Native people on some of our reservations, by opening up the hemp industry to Native producers, support us. We are the real thing, and we are working for our people; we are working for everyone.
For my birthday, my partner Don Wedll bestowed upon me a hemp rope, hand-made in our territory. That’s the first hemp rope made in Minnesota in probably fifty years; at least. We intend to work with our last year’s crop and make some of it into rope- specifically, we hope to offer some rope for horse halters, lead ropes and for those who want a quality, craft hemp rope. To do that on a larger scale, we bought a rope making machine. The machine is from China, we got it the same place we got the decorticator last year. That’s where they make things, China.
Behold the rope making machine. That’s all I have to say about this. We have looked high and low for a mechanical rope maker, and then held our breath while Trump socked on tariffs , and hoped he wouldn’t pull a grinch move and steal our rope making machine. We plan to make rope, and textiles, to help us all move beyond the plastics and fossil fuels. It’s time. Enough micro plastics in our waters, enough entangled dolphins in nylon rope. Time for hemp, time to return to something which makes sense. That’s hemp, and that’s Winona’s Hemp.
We made our first rope with the machine, and are now getting ready to put together a small building to house the rope making machine, and next, we are going to power it with solar panels. That’s right, our plan is to do most of this work with renewable energy- whether horses, or organic fertilizer from fish and manure, human labor, or renewable energy.
One step at a time, and it takes time and a lot of thinking.
Each week, people stop by and ask about the plants, the varieties, and the hemp processing. Native people across the country are looking into hemp and frankly, there are a lot of smoke and mirrors, get quick plans out there , mostly for CBD varieties. I want to see the renaissance of tribal hemp, and I want to see that renaissance in a respectful way.
The plant is not a slave. And, this plant will help us heal our soil and our world.
Pictured below is Jason Schwartz, and family, of Sunrise Genetics. (photos by Sarah LittleRedfeather)
We are about hope and new life.
Our farm is filled with youth from our territory- youth come to stay with us from the neighboring reservations; Red Lake and Sisseton, and youth from the villages on our reservation; we all work together at the farm. We are growing hope.
Really; the truth is that most of our kids know someone who has died of a drug overdose or committed suicide ; and that sorrow is deep. We know that plants and horses heal wounds. Those wounds need love, and our plants need that same love. As I look across my hemp fields, the pastures of horses, and at the gete okosomin, the cool old squash that loves our land, I am proud of our work.
Winona’s Hemp is seeking supporting members. That’s to say, that if you can give us a monthly donation, basically an investment into the Renaissance of Indigenous Hemp, it will help us make this happen- it takes time, labor and love. If you’re a producer, or interested in becoming an organic hemp farmer in our territory, become a producer member.
Together we will make this future.
With the goal to produce all natural hemp rope with renewable energy hence reducing the carbon footprint along with the reduction micro fibers from plastic rope.