Updated: Jan 17, 2019
On April 30th, 2016, guests traveled from across the state and region to join Kentucky Hempsters for a Hemp Discovery Day held at Farmington Historic Plantation in Louisville. The event kicked off the historic home's 200th anniversary event series, and featured on-site hemp demonstrations, food trucks, hemp vendors, live music and tours of the mansion.
The day began with the celebratory hemp planting. Farmington executive director, Diane Young, sowed the first hemp seeds on Farmington property since the late 19th century as she discussed Farmington’s history and plans for the hemp project this season. “We will be growing the hemp just like they would have here at Farmington over a hundred years ago,” said Young. “We’re going to use our history to educate visitors about industrial hemp and how we can incorporate it into our future.”
Farmington was once a thriving 550-acre hemp plantation owned by John and Lucy Speed. This year, Kentucky Hempsters partnered with Young to grow a small hemp plot at Farmington for research and educational purposes through the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program. Kentucky Hempsters' parent company, United Hemp Industries, donated the seeds for the hemp plot and will be assisting Farmington throughout the season.
Hemp Discovery Day was sponsored by Kentucky hemp companies across the state. Sponsors Hemp Foods America and Commonwealth Extracts participated in the event and showcased new Kentucky-made hemp products. Katie Moyer, owner of Kentucky Hemp Works, traveled all the way from Hopkinsville to educate guests with her new line of Kentucky Proud hemp products. She also supported the event with a sponsorship.
(Pictured above: Katie Moyer with Kentucky Hemp Works shows guests her new Kentucky Proud Hemp Products.)
“We just opened our processing facility in Western Kentucky and we’ve been approved to sell our Kentucky-grown hemp protein, oil and root salve,” said Moyer. “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to share what we’ve been doing through our hemp projects and show off our new products at such a historic event.”
In addition to hemp vendors, the on-site hempcrete demonstration [pictured at top] drew quite the crowd, and left guests excited about the potential of hemp building materials. Leif Erickson showed the audience how to mix hemp hurd, lime and water to make the concrete-like mixture called hempcrete, while a pre-made hempcrete brick withstood a fire flame throughout the duration of the demonstration.
The day culminated with live music from Tom Boone and the Back Porch Pickers. Guests and vendors alike enjoyed the intimate, educational setting and are looking forward to next year. Vendor Maria Bell with Maria’s Greek Deli said, “Believe me I have been setting up at events everywhere in Kentucky. This one was small, educational, friendly, music and dancing infused.” While guest Jenny Hohman said, “Thank you so much for the hospitality. We will definitely be back next year.”
Farmington will be updating its website regularly with project updates and follow-up activities. For more information visit farmingtonhistoricplantation.org.