Hemp porridge knowledge

Hemp porridge and The Source (small)

I went to Shambala festival and got turned on by hemp. Every morning I would emerge from my tent to tramp across a field for hemp porridge breakfast.

Its creator, Eddie Callen, told me how he makes it: mixes it 50/50 with oats, by grinding 1/4 of the oats with all the hemp seeds, from Yorkshire Hemp. Once emulsified with the seed oil, the rest of the oats grind-in easily. Then water, hot or cold, to make the porridge, and a host of sprinkles: nuts, goji berries, agave syrup, cranberries, for taste and nutrition.

(I used pecan nuts and sultanas for my hemp breakfast back-home, see pic above).

A fount of hemp-knowledge, Eddie told me how hemp can grow abundantly in the UK without pesticides and fertilisers.

Hemp plants are so productive too: omega 3-rich seeds, and textiles, rope and paper. More sustainable than paper from trees – and cheaper.

We want hemp! ‘Tis the the earth’s most sustainable material.

Although hemp belongs to the same plant family as cannabis it has NONE of its mind-altering properties. It got a bad rap all the same and got outlawed in the 1930s but now it’s legal to grow although most UK hemp ends up as animal bedding.

Hemp-evangelist Eddie Callen was cheffing for the Community Medical Herbalists.

I had gone to see one, John E. Smith, for some remedies and it was he had told me about Eddie’s hemp-prowess.

Festivals are like that – it’s green networking city. I bumped into colleagues, past and present, as well as the legendary Simon Fairlie, editor of The Land. Its summer issue focuses on the  enclosures of Britain’s commons – historical events I have long been fascinated by as I see the roots of our present-day ills in the past.

People’s right to grow food or forage was taken away by force or legal stealth from approx from 1300s to end-18th century. Just as indigeneous people are deprived of their land today.

O I am in the mood for digression. Last night I saw Winstanley, an amazing film. Set in 1647, shot in black and white, British weather featured strongly, with only a camp fire and thatched tents to protect the Diggers from the incessant dripping rain. (As a recent camper, I identified).

Gerrard Winstanley wrote: the earth was “a Common Treasury for all”. He tried to reclaim the top of a hill in Surrey with his fellow Diggers but was beaten by the establishment.

I read about Gerrard (am on first name-terms as he is new hero) in the Land and talking about magazines, note my pic above and the latest issue of The Source.

I am SO proud to be writing for The Source, the southwest’s great green magazine.

In this issue, The Source reviews the new Transition book, Local Food, and asks:

What will we eat when the oil runs out?

The answer is green, local, organic, healthy food…and hey – this means the freshest tastes too. Talk about win-win-win-win solutions.

The Source also carries the programme for The Organic Food Festival, taking place THIS weekend in Bristol.

Organic is farming for a green future.

I am with the Shambala witches on this one.

Da witches have no Plan B (2)

14 responses to “Hemp porridge knowledge

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  2. The “people” (public) never had the right to grow food or forage on common land. From early times (prehistory) areas were common lands for grazing and for collecting certain “resources” – turves, wood, clay. When the manors were adopted by William I the rights remained alloidal. Subsequently when common land became owned by the Lords of the Manor the customary rights of common were retained by those who held them – the Normans respected customary rights. Even when enclosures took place in the 13th century sufficient rights of common had to be left to enable possessors of the rights (“tenants” etc) to survive. Later statutory enclosures forced occupiers of “smaller” holdings off the land and many rights disappeared but they were never the “members of the public”. Such rights of common as remain on common land are generally held by local landowners and have to be registered with the commons registration authority, eg county council. My Common Lands Handbook (IRRV) gives further details.


  3. Thanks, RealFoodLover for alerting us to hemp and other important items. Okay, let’s go through these one by one.
    1) Hemp. US cotton growers hate hemp because it’s a rival to cotton. So they got legislation passed to get rid of it in the 1930s.
    2) The Enclosures. See my blog on this. Peasants had to be turfed out of the commons and their own land, to make way for cash crops and higher rentals. First UK cash crop? Sheep. Wool and clothing made from wool launched the first corporations in Holland and UK in the 17th century,
    3) Levellers? My all time favorite people. I did my BA History focussed on the period of 1640-60, which was when I first came across this amazing group. So glad someone has done a film about them.High time they did!


  4. Great blog about hemp. We’re a hemp food company that makes hempmilk, hemp ice cream, hemp oil and hemp protein powder. We’re always excited to see someone spreading the good word about hemp. It’s such a misunderstood plant and really does have amazing potential for food, building materials, biomass and so much more.


  5. Hi Geoff/Jaef. Thanks for your comment and adding to our knowledge on land rights. I am glad to hear the Normans were respectful about customary rights of commons as I thought it was they who were well-into parcelling up and owning of land. I had to look at alloidal, and still not quite clear what it means: does it mean the complete ownership of land (but without title deeds etc)? Yes, I appreciate “members of the public” (not a term I used!) did not have actual written-down rights. That was the problem. I believe the laws of the so-called enlightenment were used to grab land from those who could not read or write. Am I right? Thanks for info on your Commons Lands handbook (right now the link did not work but look forward to checking it…).

    Phil, thanks also for your informed comment on both hemp and enclosures. The film, Wistanley, was made in 1973 so not recent. As Simon Fairlie points out the rebellion against enclosures would make great movie material, specifically Jack Cade who led the 1450 rebellion played by Johnny Depp. I like!

    Yes, it is good to be aware of how people in this part of the world were forced to grow cash crops: for instance the Irish forced to grow a monoculture of potatos for exporting to England which led to loss of land fertility and the Potato Famine. I am also just learning about the forcible clearances of the Highlands.

    I am still trying to work out the differences between the Levellers and the Diggers. Did the Levellers want to take the parliamentary route to equality? And am I right that it was equality for all men (but not women)? And were the Diggers more practical because they put their beliefs into action, like Wistanley? How did they stand on the women issue? O, so much to know!

    And Peter, thank you for telling is about your hemp food company. How exciting.
    Long live hemp!


  6. Yes – in primitive societies alloidal land would be possession without title deeds etc. For example, famillies in Bronze Age society cleared forest and occupied the land until they moved on, died out or were ejected by more powerful incomers or neighbours – their “ownership” was alloidal in that they recognised no superior owner of their land. Out of the Dark Ages, I understand that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had alloidal ownership – as were the tribal lands of the Britons in Roman times. I have not yet ascertained Roman law on alloidalism but I guess the lands of Romans escheated to the Emperor for his or imperial benefit! The Normans broke alloidal ownership completely, ie once the any local common lands came to be owned by the loacl Lords of the Manor (subject to rights of common etc. Thoughout the world many local peoples own their land alloidally – until a powerful party ejects them!


  7. I could add that a tribe may own the land alloidally – individuals within the tribe possess their parcel of tribal alloidal land but (I presume) must ‘obey’ the tribal authority’s dictats and customary law about usage, etc.


  8. As far as I understand : the Levellers sought inter alia : a) widened franchise and participation of all in a democratic state, b) the state to be decentralised, c) religious freedom for Christians; d) short tenure of office for office holders; e) accepted concept of private property but perhaps wider distribution.
    On the other hand Diggers a) advocated taking over common land and uncultivated land; and b) questioned the protection of private property. Since the common times (Civil War-ish) of both groups society seems to be nearer the positioning of the Levellers than the Diggers – thus, although we have far fewer commons the taken land is now in private ownerships!


  9. Hi Elisabeth, thanx for mentioning how to make hemp porridge, I truly hope it becomes a staple, it’s so easy to make and keep (cool dry place). One small correction…CANNABIS sativa L is the botanical name for hemp and mariwana, it is the same plant but very different cultures. Hemp is grown very close together (less than 5cm apart), its mass being its protector therefore it does not produce any drug like mariwana that is grown metres apart and stressed to produce the drug THC (and other cannabinoids). Lastly, hemp is grown for its seed, fibre, cellulose, oil etc It really is the most productive, beneficial and useful cultivar on the planet. Persians (Iran) call(ed) it SHA-DI NEH (King of Seeds) xxeds


  10. Hi Geoff/Jaef, thanks for distinction between Diggers and Levellers. And a new word: escheated. Which means I believe (having looked it up) looking after land that no one is claiming. Your link to your interesting-sounding website http://www.jaef.publications.co.uk/is still not working.

    Simon Fairlie in the Land quoted Daniel Defoe advocating a mix of private and public ownership ie milk the cow (private for family) and herd the cows (public, using one cow herd). Private interest and common sense. Neat.

    Great to hear from you, Eddie. Do you want to leave an email address for anyone interested in buying some hemp porridge? Thanks for correcting me too – ah the beauty of the web!


  11. Modern day “escheat” arises when the deceased dies without making a will and there is no one able to claim under the statutory rules of intestacy. He or she has no family. Any land and buildings owned by the deceased go to the Crown, ie the state (Crown Commissioners) not the Queen. Escheat goes back to Norman times when it covered a) forfeiture of land to the king by a baron (or other underling) who had committed a felony; and b) a baron (or other underling) died without an heir. Land of underlings may have reverted (escheated) to the deceased’s lord.


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  13. Hempseed is considered by leading researchers and medical doctors to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed is packed with 33 percent pure digestible protein and is rich in iron and vitamin E as well as omega-3 and GLA.

    Very informative article you have here on hemp. Not many people know about hemp and its benefits. Great job on sharing more on hemp. This would surely introduce hemp to a lot of readers.


  14. James on UK Food Bloggers Association has just told me about this top informative Australian site. http://www.puredelighthemp.com.au/


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