iHemp issue #13 Nov 2020 | Page 40

Innovative cover crop

Industrial Hemp seeds ( Cannabis sativa cv Kompolti ) were sown by Kirsty Harkness in the midrow of a vineyard in Marlborough , New Zealand to assess the effects of companion planting hemp with grapevines on the vines and the vineyard soil .

The hemp becomes established without supplemental irrigation , even in an exceptionally dry season when other cover crops failed to thrive .
The presence of hemp did not negatively affect vine nutrition , water relations , growth , or yield .
Soils from the hemp treatment had higher organic matter , soil carbon , and cation exchange capacity .
Hemp plants grew roots to at least 30 cm , and were able to grow in compacted tractor wheel tracks in the row , where the root system can alleviate compaction caused by vineyard operations .
Juice / must samples from the 2019 harvest , when hemp was also grown in the vineyard , showed a higher diversity of yeast species than the control , and produced a better wine .
The results of the first season of this 3 year study show that hemp is a viable cover crop for New Zealand vineyards . The presence of hemp in the vineyards provides a means of :
• alleviating soil compaction ,
• addition of organic matter to the soil without negatively affecting the vines , and
• a potential second income stream for the grower .
• The hemp did not have a negative effect on the wines , and actually improved quality compared with a wine from grapes not grown alongside hemp .
Falling in love with Hemp ’ s potential , Kirsty has launched a hemp based skin-loving elixir that boasts 100 percent natural ingredients .
Hark & Zander Hemp-Tonic Face Oil . An antioxidant cleanser and moisturiser that won ’ t mess up your natural skin barrier - it lifts away impurities and feeds your skin gently with natural botanicals .
www . harkandzander . com @ harkandzander