East Yorkshire Hemp

East Yorkshire Hemp is based on the Voase family farm in East Yorkshire. They have specialised in growing and processing hemp since 2002. Read more

Nick Voase’s grandfather, Ken moved to Baswick Steer in 1943 – the farmland and house were very run down and he had his work cut out to improve them both. He often said that there was only one tree on the farm when he moved in! Over the years Ken added five neighbouring small farms to the original land and by 1971 he was farming 600 acres. He planted many hundreds of trees around the farm, long before tree planting became fashionable. A six-acre area of trees is now called Ken’s Wood on O.S maps. Today, 77 years later, continual improvement is still the aim of the Voase family.

They grew their first crop of hemp in 2002 on contract to a processor. The crop suited their land and thought they had found a good break crop. But as the two companies we supplied both encountered processing and financial problems they found ourselves with a considerable quantity of hemp straw and no potential buyers. The only way that they could see any return from our crop was to process the straw themselves.

In 2007 they lost their potato crop during the catastrophic East Yorkshire floods, so they decided to concentrate on hemp. Since then they have made considerable investments of time and money into building and adapting machines to separate the woody core (shiv) from the fibre. Hemp is the strongest of all the plant fibres, it is very tough on man and machine and just loves to catch and wrap-up around any moving part, so they had their work cut out. Nick designed and built a hemp cutter because we could not find an available machine that met their requirements. They now grow up to 500 acres of hemp each year and process and pack all their homegrown hemp on the farm.

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