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Explore Sustainable Living and Hemp History on Community Blog: Eco-Friendly Insights and Hemp Heritage

Hemp in Finnish Culture

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a tuberous plant with tap roots. Hemp has been cultivated for many different uses throughout the history of agriculture.

In Finland, the earliest observations of hemp cultivation are from around the 4th century BC. Cultivation gradually became common in the period 500 – 800 ja. Hemp grew in popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries.

However, hemp is thought to have been brought to Finland with humans much earlier than this, even around 5000 years BC. Along with its fiber value, hemp has been an important food plant.

In many places, the establishment of agriculture begins with hemp cultivation, such as in Kauskila in Lappeenranta, where hemp cultivation begins in the 4th century BC. and expands to grain cultivation around the time of the countdown.

Hemp has been an important part of human development. Its fiber properties have been useful for Chinese paper makers and for making sails and ropes for Vikings and explorers. Along with wool, silk and linen, clothing fabric has been woven from it and yarn has been spun. The nutritious seeds have been used in food preparation and fed to domestic animals. Hemp has also had its place as a medicinal and medicinal plant. Cultivation of hemp diversifies the crop rotation and as a deep-rooted plant it also improves the soil. Annual hemp is also an effective carbon sequester.

Hemp cultivation in Finland is older than previously believed. Finland’s oldest certain macrofossil hemp discovery is from Åland. Hemp seeds have been found in macrofossil studies in the residence and burial complex found near Kastelholma Castle. They are dated to the Viking Age, i.e. the years 800–1050.

Finland’s hemp expertise has developed over a long period of time, receiving influences from many different cultures. Specialized cultivation skills and processing equipment show that the Finns were resourceful and skilled in hemp processing. There was practically a break in the cultivation of hemp in Finland between 1950 and 1990, which led to the forgetting of cultivation skills and the loss of country varieties, but in recent years interest in hemp has grown in Finland. Finola (*Finola oil hemp variety has been bred to thrive in northern conditions*) is sown in 2023 on approximately 3,000 hectares.

7 Feb 2024
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