Between places, hemp.
On the road
We took the road again, and had a few days worth of new understandings and information to swallow. We stopped nearby a river, facing a beautiful field. We talked about building a house, renovating a village, living in a community, creating our own community, joining a preexisting one, etc. It was good to have some time to digest it all and share to one another what we learnt and imagined for ourselves.
The next day, we go visit a castle I went 12 years ago as a scout, help rebuild the castle in the mornings in exchange for pitching our tents there the whole time of the camp. The man, all that time later, was still building the place, a real passionate old bear :) It was interesting to see him again, just quite the same with more grey and white hair, alone in his big property he had renovated from incredible ruins. After visiting Terres Rouges where one of the main lessons was not to renovate, we saw him totally passionate just about renovation! His castle was much bigger than when I left it 12 years ago. On the other hand, he too had ended alone, although he said, after he mentioned his wife's departure, that he is a lover of solitude and that he is sweet on his own. I proposed my help for the time our daughter was asleep in the campingcar with my wife, but he promplty refused it. He then told me about a woofer that had tried to invite himself to his place and that it had been a real annoyance. I took it as a message to leave, and so I did, bloody loner :)
On the way back to the main road, we came across a field rather uncomon. "Hey, did you see that?! "I swear it was weed!" So we pulled over and had a closer look. How class: an actual field of weed. The first time I came across a field of such a plant was in Democratic Republic of Congo and it was an illegal field of weed. The second time was a tolerated field of weed in Morrocco. This is the third one I come across...and this one is a legal field of hemp. The difference between weed and hemp is that hemp, from the very same family, is not containing sufficient THC (stands for TetraHydroCannnabinol, the drugging agent) to make you high in case you would want to smoke it.
As we are standing there taking pictures, a cyclist throws at us on his way: "It's not weed, it's for the fiber" as to bring down our youth like excitement. We knew of course, but still, it's not everyday that you see a legal field of that very famous plant.
This hemp was indeed being produced for its fiber. In fact, hemp is an amazing plant for many reasons and can be used in more than a thousand ways! It has been well known for centuries, and yet banned by governments and or corporations and industries, for the threat that its use is to the enormous profits of the industries of steel, paper, cotton as well as the medical industry, to name only four. In fact, before it was banned and taught of as an ennemy to the public, it was illegal in North America not to grow hemp as a farmer! The use of hemp for paper for example, which is totally viable economically and environmentally, would easily reverse the deforestation issue the planet is going through at the moment. But hemp can also be used for food, fiber, building material, plastic and composite materials, water and soil purification, weed control and fuel. The american declaration of independance was written on hemp paper. Ford, on his own farm, was building cars out of hemp fibers said to be lighter and over 10 times more resistant than steel. Hemp grows virtually everywhere, is its own pesticide and can produce many crops a year. As for the Cannabis with its actual THC, it is said to heal many of our popular diseases such as cancer, diabetes, etc. There is a lot to learn about Hemp and Cannabis, and it's totally worth have a look about it all on the wide world web (www).
Since then, we came across another two hemp fields on the road. And really, considering this whole repressive thing that has been put up on hemp for so long, it's good to see that it becomes quite normal as an agricultural production in France.
...this is why we travel :)
Terres Rouges, a rebuilt abandoned village in the middle of the mountains. We learnt more there than we were inspired !
Next stop is a festival that threw us in another world where the system of interaction and exchange between people is quite different.
Website: Understanding the Hemp Plant and its 50,000 Uses and Benefits!
Article: Henri Ford's Hemp car
Documentary: Running from the cure - healing cancer with Cannabis