Hempsters Plant the Seed Sustainable Business Highlight: The Satori Movement

Satori Divine Movement ClothingSatori means sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination representing the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism. This concept coupled with the understanding the best things happen when allowed to flow was the inspiration behind the Satori Movement.  In 1998 a few friends got together with the common goal of creating a sustainable future for the planet and its inhabitants.

The team knew they had to focus on the positive. Seeing the environmental and socio-economic potential of creating quality products for a World economy continually in need of positive change, Satori began researching ways to make popular sport more sustainable with the intention of offering a progressive, conscious style to the skateboarding community.  In 1999 they debuted their first skateboard wheel, made with an inner core of recycled skateboard wheels and an outer core of new vegetable oil based material. A soft goods line quickly followed.  Satori’s creative team designed long boards out of bamboo, offering skateboarders options made from renewable resources.

Living in San Francisco, the founding members had access to a rich culture of industrial hemp activists, providing all the facts needed to recognize hemp as a solution to the many problems people face today.  Inspired by a new solution, Satori began offering Hemp clothing online, but not before conducting intense research into fair trade outsourcing to be sure that what they were offering their customers was truly sustainable by definition.  Satori owners traveled to each manufacturer in Europe and China touring their production facilities. They wanted to be sure the manufacturers treated their employees fairly and provided a safe work environment.

When designing their Divine clothing lines, Satori not only vowed to use only soft organic fibers, but also chose creative solutions such as recycled polyesters blended with natural fibers to create a greater awareness in the community.   Their Yoga line is an exceptional example of improving the quality of life of those using their products. The first page of the catalogue talks about Satori’s commitment to individual personal development. “Yoga is a practice for personal development, health and overall well being. The practice transcends to a lifestyle where yoga and sustainability naturally intertwine organically. Satori Divine Movement Yogawear focuses on producing high performance and comfortable garments that resonate consciousness organically.”

Get your Sticker at Culture SkateToday, The Satori Movement is well-rooted in skateboard and surf culture, providing quality decks and wheels as well as creative solutions in clothing and design.  In 2008, Cultureskate opened at 214 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA in addition to their already existing warehouse.  If you are in the San Francisco area, consider stopping by or make it a destination on your next visit to the Bay area.

Satori Movement serves as an example of how positive change can make the World a better place.  For over a decade, Satori has been teaching younger generations to be more conscious of what they buy, consume and support.  Their success has come because they have dedicated their mission to improving the quality of life for the individual and ultimately for the planet. Please visit their website at www.cultureskate.com www.satorimovement.com

Hempsters Plant the Seed is happy to have the opportunity to know and work with people using industrial hemp to make the world a better place. Join the conversation on the Hempsters NING to let us know of other sustainable businesses incorporating Industial Hemp as a product line. www.hempsters.ning.com

Written by: Stephanie Bishop hempsterstephanie@gmail.com

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Hemp Pellets as a Replacement for Wood Pellets for Sustainable Heat and Energy

"Hemp is not the alternative. Hemp is the solution."

In the film, Hempsters: Plant the Seed, Julia Butterfly Hill www.hempstersthemovie.com  points out industrial hemp as a solution to deforestation.  Wood Pellets made of compressed wood shavings, sawdust and glue, have become popular as a heating and cooking source of Energy http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/04/burning-issues-an-update-on-the-wood-pellet-market .  Some consider it a clean renewable energy, but did you know how Industrial Hemp Pellets http://pelheatblog.com/2009/01/20/hemp-biomass/  are the better energy solution?  Replacing Hemp Pellets for Wood Pellets as a heating and energy source is a solution.

Both trees and Industrial Hemp can be grown as a crop for fuel pellets, but it’s the growth cycles that make hemp more sustainable than timber.  Trees grown for biomass are harvested every 10 to 16 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantation under industrial plantations, whereas Industrial Hemp has a growth cycle of 120 days.  Further criticism of timber production for biomass involves environmental biodiversity and sustainability. When new growth timber is grown over large areas of land it becomes a monoculture.  Natural, older forests contain a diverse range of plant and tree species, while most of the wood plantations and fiber farms in the world today are replacing natural forests.

Industrial Hemp can be grown for biomass in rotation with other crops taking up less space than what is needed for timber.  Let us consider an example of one plantation 20 acres in size. Better land planning would restore something close to a natural environment. If a Plantation owner plants multiple compatible tree varieties on 5 of the 20 acres, industrial hemp on 10 acres and vegetable crop rotations on 5 acres, part of the natural forest would be restored; and having industrial hemp as a part of crop rotation would restore soil quality and stabilize the CO2’s in the air http://www.hempmuseum.org/hfv.htm .  The industrial hemp farmer will produce as much pulp, if not more, than the timber company.

Currently there are no hemp pellets available to pellet stove consumers in the United States or internationally.  Jim Pillsbury of Framingham, MA had hemp sent to a Canadian biomass research facility to develop a product. http://www.biomassmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=2230  Keep up with his progress by subscribing to his personal blog. http://jimpillsbury.blogspot.com/search?q=2007+hemp+pellets  

The next step for feasible production of hemp pellets in the United States is the passing of HR 1866: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act currently in committee review in Congress with 36 supporters.  Please do your part to encourage your local representatives to support this bill. Visit VoteHemp for more information about what you can do to support this bill. http://votehemp.com/write_congress.html

Hempsters Plant the Seed, The University Tour is about continuing the conversation about industrial hemp as a solution to increasing energy needs.  Investors should consider supporting the development of quality hemp pellet products. If consumers had the opportunity to purchase a more sustainable product, we believe they would choose hemp over wood pellets.  What would the World look like if Timber plantations were replaced with industrial hemp farms? Join the conversation on the Hempsters NING network. www.hempsters.ning.com.

Hempters Plant the Seed Featured Activist Craig Lee Gets Real About Hemp Seed Production

Fighting for Agriculture

"I wasn't a radical until you made me one!"

Craig Lee was 6 years old getting into trouble in Taylor County, Kentucky like any normal boy in a small rural community.  He remembers hearing his Father and Grandfather talking about Hemp rope.  They were laughing about a rumor they heard how one could get high from smoking hemp rope. Determined to find out, he found a piece of rope and spent time behind the garage smoking it every day for a week. Craig never got high and realized what they were saying about Industrial Hemp just wasn’t true.

The vision calling him to dedicate his life to returning Industrial Hemp to American agriculture came many years later in his early adult life.  Since then he has battled for the cause rallying supporters, legislators and everyone else who would listen along the way.  He started the Hemp History Museum in 1994.

“In Kentucky”, he tells me,” kids were taught about Hemp in the schools. My first historical lesson on industrial hemp came from a teacher.” At one time Kentucky was the leading supplier of Industrial Hemp seeds in the United States.  They cared for a large genetic variety of seeds grown for different purposes. Some Industrial Hemp plants produce strains for food and nutrition, others for fiber and biomass.

Craig spent most of his years of activism traveling around with old time hemp processing equipment demonstrating ways hemp has been processed in the hope of inspiring people to work with the strong fiber in the future.

I asked Craig what he thought needed to be done to prepare the United States for hemp production. He felt confident Americans can have a hemp seed oil pressing facility completely functional in 60 days.

Kentucky Hemp Seeds Guarded by Armed Men

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Seeds

Seeds, he predicted, would take more time. All of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Seeds were destroyed somewhere between 1942 – 1943.

The only industrial hemp plants growing in the United States today are a feral breed growing in the river banks of Iowa and Nebraska.  Farmers could use the feral weed and cross bread it appropriately with foreign hemp to produce a suitable plant, but optimum results would only be achieved after three or four growing seasons. Proper trials take farmers 2-3 years to conduct for a quality plant.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the only agency keeping farmers from conducting the essential trials needed.  Seed-variety-trials take different seeds and grow them in different conditions to acclimate them to diverse growing conditions.  America will not be competitive in (re)emerging, global hemp industries without allowing domestic production from its farmers. 

We joked about building birdhouses and golf clubs out of hemp materials as ways to relax and enjoy the retirement years. Craig is hopeful for a future where one passes hemp fields when traveling through the back roads of Kentucky. I hope to see that future, too.  

Written by Stephanie Bishop

Edited by Dominick Ohrbeck

Continue the Conversation at www.hempsters.ning.com

Hempsters Plant the Seed University Tour Crew Members at The World Famous Cannabis Cafe

Built in 1909, the building housing The Cannabis Café has its own life and feels as if it’s breathing. Your feet never get tired dancing on the ballroom floor, we are told.  Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of OR NORML speaks proudly of the community built around the café.  The place is a home where patients receive love, respect and safe access to medicines.  There are card games available for anyone to join, a pool table, video games, even a food section with affordable meals for members.  The care OR NORML volunteers have taken to build this community is evident in the smiles on members faces as they enjoy each other’s company.
There is a lot going on here. Oregon NORML and The Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp are co-sponsoring The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) of 2010 and have taken on the huge task of collecting 82,769 valid voter signatures by July 2, 2010. Madeline and Paul Stanford are the co-chief petitioners of the OCTA.  The initiative allows tax and regulation for the recreational use of Marijuana through the State Liquor Board.  It creates Oregon Cannabis Control Commission (OCCC) to license marijuana cultivation to qualified growers who certify their product is chemical free. Estimated revenue generated from this initiative from the marijuana plant is easily expected to reach $140 million annually. 

There is a provision in the initiative that allows Oregon farmers the ability to legally grow Industrial Hemp.  Oregon voters have already passed an initiative allowing farmers to grow Industrial Hemp, however, State agencies are not willing to issue permits until the DEA lifts it’s ban on production of this beneficial plant.  Madeline points out Oregon’s Laws allow for the medicinal cultivation of marijuana, but not it’s cousin plant Industrial Hemp even though Industrial Hemp contains almost no THC. Industrial Hemp has the potential to become Oregon’s biggest cash crop should this initiative be passed and farmers are allowed to grow Hemp.
At the Hempsters Plant the Seed Portland State University Screening Madeline spoke of the need for everyone to get involved in the issue of Cannabis and Hemp. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2010 campaign is an excellent place.  OR NORML will needs lots of volunteers to make phone calls and collect signatures from qualified voters on the streets of Portland by July’s Deadline. Confidence is high and excitement is building as the OCTA opening ceremony is announced for mid-February at the Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum, Portland, OR.
The Hempsters Plant the Seed Tour Crew would like to thank Madeline Martinez & her Family for their warm reception and hospitality. Your Cafe is a wonderful home, a beating heart in Portland. We will miss you all.

Check out The Hempster Tour Crew Interview with Madeline on the Hempster’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/HempstersChannel

Growing Domestically Stimulates the Economy

The state of the economy makes it difficult to sustain a hemp business at times.  Growing Industrial Hemp domestically rather than importing finished products would lower the cost to the consumer.  The Hempsters Crew stopped by The Master Peace, a hemp clothing and accessory store owned by Melissa Giacobbe & Sierra Freeman.

Master Peace entered the hemp trading business 7 years ago observing the laws and policies shift to see the market picking back up. Melissa & Sierra seek out creative, quality products made from natural and organic fibers.  Most of the clothing in their store is made from Industrial Hemp, but they also carry organic bamboo and cotton. A lot of pieces are a blend of one or more of these fibers, including a coat made of recycled plastic bottles and hemp.

They try to bridge the gap between older hippie clichés and a new age conscious movement taking hold across the country. Their hemp clothing is made from the finest quality fibers and customers enjoy their clothing for many years. Providing lasting products cuts down on the constant cycle of replacing wardrobe items annually from normal wear and tear.

The Master Peace. 3623 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR.

The Hempsters Plant the Seed Tour Crew found many impressive items. Bishop’s first coat is from The Satori Movement, which means existing in harmony. A hemp fiber blended with recycled plastic bottles, the coat is a creative mix of the green movement and Industrial Hemp Movement.  Lined with Hemp Organic Cotton blend, the coat is durable, but lighter than the Hoodlambs. Perfect for layering.

Bishop’s second coat is a green Hemp Hoodlamb featuring a removable hood, secret pockets, patented rolling paper dispensers built into the side pocket and loops in the neck for headphone wires. 

Made of 55% Hemp – Outer Shell is wind and water resistant 20% Hemp Satifur lining that feels like luxurious plush.  The coat is heavy and durable, lasting most customers 4-5 years before needing to be replaced.

We found a handmade skirt from Texture located in Bellingham Washington. Farm Fresh & Stylish, this piece has contemporary flare with Old World integrity. Texture combines fabulous fabrics and clean design to provide comfortable clothing with spice.

Glenn fell in love with a black Classic Hemp Hoodlamb. The Jacket boasts several secret pockets, and a faux-fur lining that keeps you warm and looking luxurious. Glenn was overheard saying “I feel like I should be counting money while I’m wearing this. This thing is boosting my self-esteem.”

Melissa & Sierra brought samples of Hemp clothing and accessories to the Hempsters Plant the Seed Portland Screening at Portland State University. Please stop by their store and learn more about supporting Industrial Hemp in local communities. Thank You for your hospitality!

What do Sublime and Hempsters have in Common?

We both played at Seattle’s Columbia City Theater this weekend. Well, not technically. Our social event is tomorrow night at the theater. We just thought it’d be cool to catch the show after screening Hempsters: Plant the Seed at UW’s Kane Hall a few hours ago. Sublime still sounds great live, too!  (Note: right after I hit publish, I find out it’s not “really” Sublime because of legal reasons, but they’ve got surviving members, play all the songs we love, and they still sound great).

Early audience surveys indicate that no matter what your initial perception of hemp is, this film changes it for the better. That’s because Hemp is capable of touching most every aspect of civilization for the better. That’s the truthiness of it.  If you have an opinion about hemp, write a comment here on our blog.

We hope to see all the Portland State University community this coming Tuesday, the 19th, when we screen Hempsters again at Smith Memorial. See you there. And if you want us to tour in your town, just go to our Hempsters.ning.com site and DemandIt right there on the front page.

Dominick, Tour Marketing Director

Hemp in the classroom, then and now

Happy New Year!  2010 will be a year known for Hemp awareness, action and change as we go on a university tour.  When I was in school, college kids didn’t get much of a chance to learn about hemp unless they were in a debate class where the topic was allowed.  If a professor was open to topics, students always chose to examine the issue of hemp, debating the laws and industrial benefits — and blatant mis-perceptions, faulty laws, and societal harms.

Today you don’t need to research hemp laws and industrial applications for 3 months.  Thanks to video anyone can go online and learn in minutes what used to take days or years.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon because we’re just getting started.  Become a “Hempster” by joining our network on Ning today.

Dominick Ohrbeck