Using hemp to purify soil

Soil health is of utmost importance to farmers. Contaminated soil presents a multitude of problems both in terms of crop production and environmental sustainability, therefore maintaining soil health is an absolute must.

So, what can be done to reverse soil contamination? Well, for a farmer in Italy, hemp has done the job.

An article originally published on Made by Hemp’s website explains how a farmer in Taranto, Italy made use of hemp to remove a toxic chemical from his soil:

“Vincenzo Fornaro … owns a large strip of land that once played home to 600 sheep. In 2008, his ricotta and meat business was shattered when dioxin, a toxic chemical, was found in his sheep by Italy’s government. His herd was slaughtered and there was no immediately foreseeable way to get back in business.

The culprit? Contaminants leaking from Europe’s largest steel plant.”

Fornano, taking matters into his own hands, “decided to take an unusual path towards solving his soil contamination problem. He planted industrial hemp plants in hopes they would filter out the heavy metals.”

You’re arguably wondering how exactly hemp can purify soil. The article explains that “hemp plants have already been planted in Chernobyl to remove radioactive compounds strontium and cesium.”

Pretty neat stuff, in my opinion.

The article provides clarification regarding just how hemp can be used to remove toxins from soil.

“Through a process called phytoremediation, hemp plants can naturally absorb contaminants into its roots where it is stored or transformed into a harmless substance. This process can take a long time since you must grow plants in soil that is not exactly ideal for plant growth but hemp is persistent and adaptable, making it an increasingly popular option for cleaning soil contaminants.”

I was completely unaware of hemp’s cleansing properties prior to reading this article, but I find it fascinating. Hemp just keeps getting better and better.

Photo credit: <a href=”″>LL, ND</a> on <a href=””></a&gt; / <a href=””&gt; CC BY-SA</a>


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