The Hemp Farm - the deep agricultural tradition
The Zenon Hemp Farm was established in 2014. Following the adoption of laws in Lithuania authorising the cultivation of industrial hemp. Although hemp was little known and cultivated in Lithuania at the time, the farmer Zenon and his son Aivaras decided to try to grow hemp because they already had an example and experience in the family.
Zenon's grandfather grew hemp, from which he weaved ropes and pressed oil. However, with the ban on the cultivation of industrial hemp, this great culture was forgotten.
The Zenon family has a very deep and well-cultivated agricultural tradition that dates back to the second half of the 19th century. All farms were located near the Trakai County. So starting a hemp farm was the rebirth of another tradition, and Zenon and Aivaras admit that the decision to grow industrial hemp was easy to make. And so far farmers are proud and satisfied with this decision.
Certified and organic hemp farm
From the very first idea of growing industrial hemp, farmers first applied to the state authorities, obtained permits, bought seeds from certified hemp seed vendors. The cultivation of hemp and its products is still shrouded in myth, so the first step was to organise everything and act according to the relevant regulations.
The farmers are happy that the responsible institutions in Lithuania work together in good faith and that there were no difficulties in dealing with the documents. In addition, approval from the State Food and Veterinary Service was obtained before the cannabis leaves and flowers were packaged in tea packs.
Since 2018, the farm has been certified organic, which means that hemp is grown naturally without the use of pesticides. Product quality is one of the most important goals of this farm.
Beginning and development of the Hemp Farm
Although Zenon has a lot of farming experience, getting to know a new culture was quite a challenge. Zenon's Farm is ~ 125 ha where various crops are grown. Initially, only 5 ha were planted with industrial hemp. In the first year, the hemp was harvested by hand: leaves and flowers. It took a lot of time and labor, so it's no wonder that most of the crop wasn't harvested before winter. Harvested plants were still carefully selected, dried and packed in tea bags.
The farmers themselves enjoyed the wonderful taste of tea, treated relatives, friends and farm guests. When Christmas came, Aivaras and his wife Renata decided to pack gift boxes with hemp tea for relatives and friends.
Such gifts have impressed many, a wonderful gift, and the special hemp tea has received many great reviews. People who tried hemp tea quickly felt its beneficial properties: it calms and relaxes, reduces stress, insomnia symptoms and tastes great.
It was a strong incentive to start the hemp tea business.
Harvesting is now faster and more efficient thanks to special combs developed by Zenon and Aivaras themselves, which allow to increase the area under the planted hemp. Due to the enormous demand for raw materials and products, farmers want to expand their hemp cultivation. It's true that most of the production goes to other countries: Great Britain, Canada, Australia. Gradually, hemp products are becoming more and more popular in Lithuania.
Read more news and articles about Zenon Hemp Farm on the Blog.
Daily work on the Hemp Farm
Work on the hemp farm begins in late April when the ground is already warm. The sown varieties are responsibly selected by certified sellers. These are usually the varieties Finola, Felina 32, Futura 75, Dioice 88, in which the hemp plants accumulate the highest amounts of CBD (cannabidiol). Several varieties are sown not only because of the variety, but also because of the different harvest times. Depending on the variety, the hemp is harvested in August.
Then the treatment of the hemp leaves and flowers begins - the leaves and flowers are dried in a special dryer at a suitable temperature.
The Zenon Hemp Farm produces tea, so the dried cannabis leaves and flowers are crushed and packaged in tea packs.
Hemp teas with additives such as mint and lemon have become very popular in recent years. These flavoured hemp teas can also be purchased at Zenon Hemp Farm.
In the Online Shop you will find all products: natural hemp tea, hemp flowers and leaves tea, hemp tea with lemon, hemp tea with peppermint. Packaging of various weights: bags, loose tea.
Most of the raw material is used to make hemp tea. Still, the farm works with cannabis growers’ associations and producers who buy the raw material and use it in a variety of industries: the food industry, the cosmetics industry, and more.
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Myths about industrial hemp
Hemp products have become very popular in last few years and are available in almost all supermarkets. There are still some myths about hemp going on today.
One of those myths - is hemp legal?
Cannabis sativa plants containing THC (up to 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive substance) are legal in the EU and many other countries of the world.
When people hear about hemp, they often joke about smoking hemp and its intoxicating effects. Thus, hemp and its products are non-intoxicating and not used for smoking. Hemp is used in a variety of industries, from food to cosmetics and construction.
So far, buyers in Lithuania mostly choose hemp products for special occasions as more exotic and interesting product - in gift boxes and so on.
The health benefits of Hemp
A number of studies have been conducted over the years on the effects of hemp on human health. Many of those studies support the natural health benefits of CBD (Cannabidiol) in cannabis (article by Harvard Medical School):
- can help reduce anxiety
- can help reduce symptoms of insomnia
- helps control chronic pain
Hemp seeds are extremely valuable and rich in useful nutrients. Hemp seeds are rich in beneficial fatty acids, protein (amino acids), and fiber, as well as minerals, iron, and zinc. Hemp seed oil is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fat, making it particularly valuable and beneficial for a healthy diet. The amino acids in cannabis correspond to the amino acids in animal milk, meat and eggs.
The benefits of Hemp Tea
- In addition to the unique properties of hemp that already mentioned, hemp tea is highly valued for its relaxing and calming effects, which is why it is recommended for people suffering from constant stress. A cup of hemp tea also helps improve and deepen sleep in the evening.
- Hemp tea has a positive effect on the human immune system, improves appetite, reduces symptoms of an upset stomach and improves heart function.
- And of course, hemp tea tastes great so you can enjoy it anytime. Hemp tea is a simple and easy way to include the benefits of hemp into your daily diet.
Interesting facts about Hemp
- Hemp grows up to 3 m high. A truly spectacular and remarkable sight that attracts more visitors every year to come to the farm and wander through these fields.
- As hemp grows, it absorbs large amounts of CO2, cleaning the air and helping to improve the ecosystem.
- High-quality paper made from fibrous hemp is a great alternative to paper made from trees, so reducing the area of forests cut down.
- Due to its unique nutritional benefits, the amino acids found in hemp correspond to the amino acids found in animal milk, meat and eggs, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
- Hemp is a gluten-free food, making it suitable for a gluten-free diet.
- Hemp is naturally caffeine-free, making it a great choice to drink in the evening.