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Hemp Horizons

Posted on December 1, 1997

The Comeback of the World’s Most Promising Plant.

Roulac, John W. and others. Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World’s Most Promising Plant. Jan. 1998. 200p. index. illus. Chelsea Green, $18.95 (0-930031-93-8). DDC: 3381.

Roulac, author of the immensely popular Backyard Composting (1991), is working hard to revive commercial cultivation of hemp, a wonder plant once widely grown in the U.S. but long discouraged by the government for no good reason. Roulac explains very clearly that hemp is not, as so many people assume, the same plant as marijuana; it is a nonnarcotic variety that is amazingly versatile and nutritional, environmentally sound, and potentially very profitable. Hemp is being grown with great success in Europe, and American farmers, particularly tobacco farmers, are now becoming interested in hemp as an important rotational crop and a new source of income. Roulac presents an eye-opening history of hemp cultivation, the politics that have suppressed it, and concise descriptions of all the products its processing can yield, from textiles, both for clothing and sturdier items such as tarps, to building materials, paper, foods, solvents, lubricants, and cosmetics. Roulac’s to-the-point book is an ideal primer on a subject we’ll be hearing more about.

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