The cultivation of hemp in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg has a long tradition. But with the decline of the once strong textile industry in the state, the cultivation of hemp has also largely ceased. The Hempions are committed to the Recultivation of hemp in Vorarlberg and many other regions.
Hemp played a role in Vorarlberg especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. Proof of this is the naming of "Hemp country" or "hemp lands" of many districts in the districts of Bregenz and Feldkirch. Furthermore, farmers in Lustenau in particular cultivated hemp, whereby the cultivation of fibres was of particular importance. However, the Vorarlberg textile industry specialised more and more in the processing of cotton and thus hemp was also increasingly displaced in the Vorarlberg fields. However, hemp has been used for centuries for the production of ropes and was also cultivated in Vorarlberg for this purpose.
After the cultivation of Hemp in Upper and Lower Austria is gaining more and more popularity, cultivation in Vorarlberg is still in its infancy. But the plant is also experiencing a renaissance in the westernmost province of Austria, which is also the home of the Hempions founders. The legal requirements for this have existed since Austria's accession to the EU in the 1990s.
Harvesting is the biggest challenge. Hemp grows so high in such a short time and has such strong fibres that normal combine harvesters cannot cope with the harvest. That is why farmers from the Vorarlberg Oberland decided to convert a harvesting machine themselves and start the first trials.
With full heart and soul
We are also particularly enthusiastic about the young Vorarlberg hemp farmers in a small village near the German-Austrian border. They have unceremoniously behind the house several hundred square metres used for the cultivation of hemp. From sowing to harvesting, almost everything was done by hand.
In addition, there are isolated hemp fields for medicinal purposes in the Vorarlberg Rhine Valley.
The future of hemp cultivation in Vorarlberg and Europe
We are convinced that hemp will play an essential role as food and raw material for countless other applications in the future. A major advantage here is that hemp is almost grows everywhere and No pesticides and herbicides needed. Only the technical requirements for harvesting have to be met.
Despite limited cultivation areas in Vorarlberg, the cultivation of hemp will also be expanded here in the coming years. For 2019, we have already entered into the first cooperation agreements with local farmers and will steadily increase the cultivation areas.
In Austria and throughout Europe, hemp also offers the opportunity for more Independence from food imports and a more sustainable agriculture. In addition, hemp can create jobs in poorer regions of Europe. The further processing of fibres and other plant parts creates new industries in the fields of textiles, energy, building materials and much more. More on this in our article Why hemp?
Work on the former distribution of hemp, flax and beaver, landuse.at
Industrie-Provinz: Vorarlberg in the Early Industrialisation 1740-1870
Jack Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, 1996