Sunday, November 26, 2006

BIOFUELS: Let's not forget the one plant that could really make the difference.

Henry Ford's first Model-T was built to run on hemp oil, and the car body itself was constructed from hemp. The car "grown from soil" had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was ten times stronger than steel. -- Popular Mechanics.

In 1916 the U.S. government predicted that by the 1940's all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees would need to be cut. Research suggests that the fiber produced from one acre of hemp is equivalent to 41 acres of trees. -- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th century was against the law. A landowner could be jailed in Virginia from 1763 to 1769 for refusing to grow hemp.

It was legal to pay your taxes with hemp in the U.S. from 1631 to 1800.

80% of all textiles - fabrics, clothes, linens, drapes, bed sheets, etc. - were made from hemp until 1820 with the introduction of the cotton gin.

Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers.

Learn More:

Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of America's Most Maligned Plant
by John W Roulac

Roulac is president of Hemptech, a consulting company that promotes industrial hemp. He looks at the potential for the plant, agricultural and environmental factors, the controversy about its disreputable relatives, the history of its banning in the US, the current laws and politics, and its status as a crop around the world.

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