Dan Malloy is a very interesting man. He’s much more than a surfer–he dabbles in a lot of things, including farming and filmmaking. His latest endeavour, a film titled Harvesting Liberty, mixes both of those together.
Hemp is a very useful crop. Unfortunately, its ties with marijuana have kept if from being as useful as it could be. It’s a crop that has the potential to “lower the environmental impacts of textile production, empower small-scale farmers, and create jobs in a wide variety of industries.” Right now, growing and harvesting hemp for industrial use is illegal.Using it, however, isn’t. In fact, hemp, although it has nothing in it that will get you the slightest bit high, is on the U.S.’s list of Controlled Substances. In 2016, the US will import somewhere around $500 million in hemp products. There’s a mistake in there somewhere. A very useful plant with absolutely no psychoactive properties isn’t allowed to be grown, but it’s allowed to be imported.
Harvesting Liberty follows one man as he tries to use farming as therapy for veterans. It’s a film about the real difficulties of running a small farm–and there are many. Michael Lewis of Growing Warriors and Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed are working to reintroduce industrial hemp to America. The two companies are doing good things: Growing Warriors is “a Kentucky-based farming program designed to train, assist, and equip military veterans with the skills, tools and supplies needed to grow organic produce for their families and communities,” while Fibershed “develops regenerative textile systems that are based on carbon farming, regional manufacturing, and public education.”