A team of architects, builders, designers, teachers and renewable energy experts will travel to the Pine Ridge Reservation in late September, 2012 to begin planning and construction of an Eco-Community demonstration project. In cooperation with the people of Pine Ridge, the team will design a sustainable, energy efficient and eco-friendly housing project which will break ground in the Spring of 2013. During its visit, the team will also be working together with the Pine Ridge community to complete the Community Center at Pine Ridge Reservation, providing an immediate community improvement. The events are organized by eco-activist Ken Anderson, owner of Original Green Distribution, headquartered in Prescott Wisconsin. All activities will be documented by photographer Darin Back and The Lakota Media Project.
The planning, instruction, documentation, and construction will be the start of a project to rebuild the Pine Ridge community one home at a time. New homes will be built by the community, for the community, with the most advanced eco-technology including hemp - lime construction, solar energy, green rooftops, ecological sanitation, and other sustainable building materials and technologies.
The Pine Ridge Reservation lies in the southwest corner of South Dakota, where the Great Plains ripple into a vast jumble of ridges, narrow valleys, and buttes called the "Badlands". It is a stern land, with hot summers, cold winters, and an isolation unknown to most Americans. Casper, Wyoming, (pop. 55,316), the nearest major town, is almost 200 miles away. Pine Ridge is one of the most destitute areas in the nation. There is an 80 percent unemployment rate, and 49 percent of the residents live below the Federal poverty level. Attempts to establish a sustainable economic base for the reservation's people have met with little success, in part due to the remote location and poor soils of the area, which the Lakota people were forced to accept as a homeland (at gunpoint) by the US government.
The climate and soil make Pine Ridge unsuited to most standard agricultural uses, but one plant that could thrive there, and which would provide a reliable, multi-purpose cash crop, is industrial hemp. But while the Pine Ridge Reservation is, by treaty and court decree, a sovereign nation, the DEA and FBI have disrupted all attempts to plant industrial hemp on Lakota soil. Although industrial hemp contains less than 1% THC, the DEA classifies industrial hemp as a Schedule I narcotic like heroin, and has forcefully prosecuted all attempts to cultivate industrial hemp anywhere under US government control.
The Pine Ridge Reservation is technically an independent nation, but when Alex White Plume and his family planted hemp, they were targeted for prosecution by the DEA. The film Standing Silent Nation tells the story of Alex White Plume and his family's struggle to grow industrial hemp on their sovereign soil.
Eco-Community organizers hope that publicizing the sustainable building techniques being used in the community building projects, including hemp-lime construction and hemp oil based wood finish, will assist continuing efforts to legalize industrial hemp production on the reservation. More information on the Pine Ridge Eco-Community Build project is available on the web at http://www.indiegogo.com/pineridgeecobuild?c=home
The Telemark Resort and Convention Center in Cable, Wisconsin chose Hemp Shield Wood Finish and Deck Sealer™ as the primary wood finish for a complete renovation of the main lodge.
Historic Telemark Resort and Convention Center, the largest nordic ski lodge in northwestern Wisconsin, had seen better days. The lodge is impressively clad in old growth tounge-and-groove cedar paneling, with massive exposed supporting beams and delicate framing around 2-story floor-to-ceiling windows. Even casual areas like the Guest's Laundry are cedar paneled in the 'board-and-bat' style of the American Frontier. However, over a half century of continuous use had left its mark. Years of accumulated dust and smoke, and the residue of repeated cleaning had left the once lustrous finish dull and lifeless, the wood's rich tones and complex grains hidden from Telemark's guests.
Then, in 2011 the resort's management committed to a total restoration and upgrade of the lodge, as well as new world class Nordic ski trails and other facilities to compliment Telemark's status as the official American Berkibeiner nordic course. As part of the makeover, the resort staff chose Hemp Shield Wood Finish and Deck Sealer™ as their primary wood finish.
Telemark's staff was introduced to Hemp Shield™ by Ken Anderson, owner of Original Green Distribution, Hemp Shield's leading commercial distributor. Original Green Distribution supplied Telemark with Hemp Shield™ products and advised on application techniques for the restoration.
Telemark Resort's Managing General Partner, Ric Ahern, spoke about their experience:
"Telemark Resort in Northern Wisconsin recently started a renovation of our main lodge building. We researched wood finishes and sealers that would provide a lasting and economical solution for our cedar interior and exterior surfaces. We also wanted a product that was chemical-free and easy to apply.
"We ordered 200 gallons of Hemp Shield™. We found the application to be easy and the coverage to be greater than expected.
"All of our expectations were exceeded. We will continue to use Hemp Shield™ as we refinish the exterior of the lodge and look forward to working with Hemp Shield™."
David Gonzales, an artist/sculptor in Manitou Springs, Colorado, had a talent — and a problem.
Carving logs, stumps, and even whole trees in the dry climate of the Colorado Rockies, his finished works often suffered severe cracking. A life-long sensitivity to the volatile chemicals found in major brand wood sealers lead David to Hemp Shield™ when a major commission — a pine tree carved top to bottom — began to crack.
"I have been carving for many years, and I am extremely sensitive to toxins and smells. I carve with electric chainsaws and I only work with earth-friendly paints and sealants, which is what first interested me in Hemp Shield™.
"I was hired to carve a 17 foot pine tree with a hawk, 4 raccoons, and 2 bears. In Colorado the weather is dry and it is typical of pine to crack as I am working, which is what occurred while carving this particular commissioned piece.
"Hoping to find a product that would penetrate the wood deeply and curb the cracking,I decided that I would go out on a limb and try something new — Hemp Shield™. After I painted the carving, there were numerous cracks throughout the piece. I began to apply the Hemp Shield™ and noticed that the cracks began to close up. I have never seen a wood sealer work in this way and I have tried many that are on the market today.
"The person who hired me to do the carving was ecstatic because the Hemp Shield™ rectified 95% of the cracks in the wood. I called several months later to see if there were any cracks occurring within the wood and there were none. This astonished me because usually some cracking does occur, especially outdoors in the hot sun. Since then, I have ordered several gallons for my wood carving projects. On so many levels, I am utterly impressed with how well Hemp Shield™ works."
David Seber, Hemp Shield founder, presented Hemp Shield Deck Finish™ and spoke on commercial uses of hemp as a part of the Industrial Hemp Panel at the University of Oregon's 29th Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. Held on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon, Seber took part in the panel presentation/discussion, "Tangible Solutions: Industrial Hemp Now!".
The entire panel presentation was captured on video, and is available in a variety of file formats (QuickTiime, Windows Media Player, m4v, mpeg4) offered for download here on the Fibre Alternatives website.
Hemp Industries of America (HIA) has announced that its 17th Annual National Convention will be held on November 7-8, at the Civic Center Holiday Inn, located at 50 8th St., in San Francisco, California. The HIA is a non-profit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers and supporters. They are at the forefront of the drive for fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp. Since 1992, the HIA has been dedicated to education, industry development, and to accelerating expansion of the world market's supply of, and demand for, industrial hemp.
Fiber-Werx International Inc. began making a mould this week for the composite hemp door panels of the Kestrel, a four-seat electric car prototype. Built by Project Eve, a 15-company Canadian consortium, the Kestrel will range 40 to 160 km at up to 90 km/h before needing a recharge, depending on battery. It’s the first of five models that will be introduced over the next three years.
“We’ll be doing all the body parts, especially inner and outer skins,” said Fiber-Werx owner Scott Getschel, whose company also makes customized front grilles for SUVs converted to electric power by Vancouver’s Rapid Electric Vehicles.
At their recent annual convention, the National Farmer's Union issued a press release announcing the passage of a strong resolution urging the production of industrial hemp on America's farmlands.
Here is the resolution, as passed:
"We urge the President, Attorney General, and Congress to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana and adopt policy to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law without requiring DEA licenses."
The resolution was sparked by situations like North Dakota's industrial hemp regulations. For the last four growing seasons the production of industrial hemp has been sanctioned by North Dakota, but any farmer daring to produce hemp under state law risks forfeiture of their farms, assets, and freedom to DEA persecution.
Also, in a recent statement, the National Grange added pro-hemp language to its national policy. This leaves only the Farm Bureau, among national farmers groups, without a stated industrial hemp policy.
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The International Hemp Building Association (IHBA) presented the first ever hands-on training sessions demonstrating construction techniques of the HempStone™ buildinng system in the USA on June 11th to 13th.
The HempStone™ building system creates "hempcrete", using hemp hurds (chopped hemp fiber) and the lime based HempStone™ binder provided by event sponsor Original Green Distribution. HempStone™ hempcrete can be made with various sizes of hurd, which allows it to fill a variety of roles, from primary structural material to final skim coating on finished surfaces.
IHBA Director Steve Allin, author of "Building With Hemp", covered all major aspects of the HempStone™ system, including windows and doors, plumbing, and electrical wiring, as workshop participants constructed the first walls of a HempStone™ cottage in the Eagle Rest Eco-Village, a sustainable community development near Prescott, Wisconsin. Workshop participants who completed the course recieved Certificates of Competence in using hemp building materials.
To learn more about the HempStone™ building system or Steve Allin's book, "Building With Hemp", contact the event sponsors, Original Green Distribution, at www.originalgreendistribution.com.
Steve Allin demonstrates skim coat finishing on a HempStone™ cottage wall
Workshop participants apply forms to wall framing.
The first class of IHBA Hemp Building Material Handlers after the workshop.
Dave Seber, CEO of Hemp Shield™, will speak at the University of Oregon's 29th Public Interest Evironmental Law Conference at the Knight Law School on March 5th 2011, in Eugene, Oregon.
The title and theme of the conference is "Turning the Tides: Planning for a Clean & Green Future". Dave will be presenting in a discussion titled "Tangible Solutions: Industrial Hemp Now!" on Saturday March 5th. The presentation is scheduled for 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM in Room 241 of the Knight Law School on the U of O campus.
As Hemp Shield™ is the only construction product made with hemp oil that is commercially available in the United States, Dave will have unique insights to share with prospecctive industrial hemp entrepreneurs.
In England, a house built from panels of hemp and straw recently passed an industry standard fire safety test which exposed it to temperatures above 1,000C.
The experimental house is part of a new research project looking into sustainable building materials that can be used for home construction.
The house is made from prefabricated cells filled with straw or hemp, covered with a lime-based coating.
During a fire resistance test for non-loadbearing elements, the panel had to withstand heat for more than 30 minutes. After more than two hours it had still not failed. Another panel, which had been put through structural tests for loadbearing elements, also passed.
The building will be monitored for the next year. Insulating properties, humidity levels, air tightness and sound insulation qualities will be recorded to assess the performance of straw and hemp as building materials.