Hemp cooperative to set up in Bellingen

Agronomist Rob Eccles, builder John Hope and his partner Marg Hope, Northern Rivers Hemp’s Rose Middlemiss and Gerald Taylor, builder Shane Hannon, and Richard Gasser of hempflora.

A COOPERATIVE for Bellingen hemp growers is being established after a meeting involving farmers and builders interested in the local growing, processing and building with industrial hemp.

The event was held at the Bellingen Riverside Pavilion, hosted by Marg Hope of Bellingen Riverside Cottages and her builder husband John, from Beyond Hope Construction.

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“70 percent of attendees were interested in growing it in our region, plus we had eight keen builders,” Marg Hope told NOTA.

“It was a great opportunity for people to network with processors from other regions and to get their hands dirty at our weekend workshop.”

Agronomist Rob Eccles explained what was involved in growing hemp and the likely income from it.

He has been researching what seeds will grow in what areas and endorsed the Bellingen Shire region as being suitable, explaining there are certain strains that will do very well locally.

“They have been testing eight to ten strains in industrial hemp, citing the difference with South Australia, where their soil temperature can be 50 degrees,” said Marg Hope, a passionate hemp advocate.

Rose Middlemiss from Northern Rivers Hemp and her father Gerald Taylor provided an insight into the opportunities and challenges of running an industrial hemp cooperative.

They also demonstrated a selection of their hemp oils, soaps and creams.

Also to speak was Richard Gasser from hempflora, who sell a range of hemp infused oils and balms.

Karen Burge from the Ubuntu Wellness Clinic shared hemp smoothies and products with the group.

Connie and Lonnie Linus, the owners of a hemp processing plant in Ashford near Glen Innes, enjoyed the opportunity to share their experience and to encourage locals.

Day two of the workshop saw the group move to Marg and John Hope’s property, where they demonstrated the ease of building their shed with hemp ‘hurd’.

“There is a house built [with hemp hurd] in Gleniffer and we’ve urged people to go and take a look,” said Marg.


A hemp brick is made at the workshop.

One thought on “Hemp cooperative to set up in Bellingen

  1. Hi there,

    We run Eco Dynamic Building in Coffs Harbour. We currently source our hemp from Victoria but would have been very interested in this meeting if we’d known about it. We built our own house out of hemp 2 years ago in Coffs. Such a pity we didn’t see The meeting advertised. We would be keen to hear of any progress in this area.

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