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Bellingen Industrial Hemp Workshop

From L-R - Rob Eccles, John Hope, Marg Hope, Rose Taylor, Gerald Taylor, Shane Hannon and Richard Gasser.
Written by Lisa Flower

On the weekend of 1-2 June, a group of interested hemp growers from the Bellingen region came together to learn and share information about growing, processing and building with industrial hemp. 

Initiated and coordinated by passionate hemp advocates, John and Marg Hope, and held at their stunning Bellingen River Cottages, the first day was inspired by a stellar line up of guest speakers including, Klara Marosszeky from The Australian Hemp Masonry Company, Rob Eccles, agronomist and member of the Australian Hemp Council, Shane Hannon from Hannon Build and Leon and Connie Minos from Ashford Hemp Industries

Product displays and shorter presentations were provided by Gerald and Rose Taylor representing Northern Rivers Hemp Growers Cooperative (NRHEMP), Richard Gasser from Hemp Flora, Tamara Simmons from Hemp Vibes and Karen Burge from Ubuntu Wellness Clinic, who also wowed the group with her delicious and nutritious hemp smoothies.

On day two, the excitement grew as the group moved to John and Marg’s shed, with a back wall already formed in preparation for a hemp build. Donning masks and gloves the group watched as Shane expertly mixed the hemp and binder, filling buckets which were spread and lightly tampered in the formwork. With many hands helping and questions being answered along the way, the highlight was when Shane removed the board to show the beautiful beginnings of a hemp wall. 

The Bellingen Industrial Hemp Workshop was an incredible opportunity to learn, share and build relationships with those new and well established in the hemp industry. 

Thanks to John and Marg for their inspiration, energy and coordination. The hemp seed has been sown in Bellingen. Watch this space!

Once the form work was removed, participants could see the fruits of their labor.
Man kneeling next to the start of a new hemp wall
An hour or so in, and the wall is starting to take shape,
A man and women standing together
Gerald and Rose Taylor from NRHEMP.
A man standing next to a commerical mixer with a handfull of hempcrete
Shane Hannon showing the consistency of the hempcrete for building
A woman standing next to a blender
Karen Burge making hemp smoothies for the participants
Three people together
Rob Eccles with Leon and Connie Minos.
A group of people with their backs to the camera looking at a wall formed ready for building with hempcrete.
The workshop gave participants ample opportunity to ask questions and gain knowledge about the construction of hempcrete walls.