Monday, August 17, 2009

Field day turns up the heat on hemp


It seems some people in 100 Mile House are having a field day with hemp — literally.

BC’s Industrial Hemp Field Day is happening here on Aug. 18, sponsored by the 100 Mile House Industrial Hemp Steering Committee as a means to showcase their accomplishments thus far.

It’s also a great chance to check out a local hemp operation, see how these fibre crops are growing in popularity and take part in interactive discussions on how to possibly position the community as a major player in BC’s hemp industry.

The field day will begin with a welcome and introduction by district Mayor Mitch Campsall and Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin and chairperson for the steering committee.

After orientation, the group will hit the road for a field

trip to local hemp fields currently in production and get a feel for the agricultural elements of production — from crop rotation to recycling and managing of nutrient to where the product ends up in the market.

After returning to the district office for lunch, the field day will continue with presenters on topics of fibre processing, food processing, fibre applications and BC marketing potential.

The field day will be rich with information on the agri-nomic aspects for financial viability, says Erik Eising, project manager of the 100 Mile House Industrial Hemp Steering Committee, with plenty of opportunity for questions.

So who should attend? Eising says the material presented targets a wide variety of interests including crop production; alternative building methods; non-wood green construction materials; alternative bedding materials; community processing potential/rural development; horticulture and soil-less gardening; alternative fuels; and, last but not least, harvesting hemp for healthy oils and other food products.

“For this industrial hemp project, we are focusing on crop production, local processing and provincial marketing,” says Eising, who brings to the committee his own extensive experience on a global level in all these aspects of hemp production. “We encourage all producers and interested people to join in the field day activities on Tuesday.”

Eising added that it can be a low-tech, low-investment method of building a viable local industry the community can grow on.

The project is supported by Western Economic Diversification (WED), Northern Develop-ment Initiative Trust and the District of 100 Mile House in collaboration with local producers, Canim Lake Band and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.

Admission is free, but anyone planning on attending should call ahead and book their spot with Jenette Wallace at the district office, 250-395-2434 or e-mail her at jwallace@dist

Carole Rooney - 100 Mile House Free Press

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