Italian farmers use hemp to clean up contaminated soil
In Italy, farmers and breeders use hemp for a specific purpose. Through a process called phytoremediation, cannabis plants feed on toxins from the soil and extract heavy metals out of it. By this principle, hemp cleans the soil of all toxic materials, and revives the viability of the pasture.
Vincenzo Fanaro, a sheep farmer in Italy
Sheep farmers in Taranto, Italy, grow hemp. However, they are not at all concerned with the concentration of THC or the fame of the strains. Because the cannabis they cultivate has the sole purpose of cleaning the soil of toxic materials, thus helping to make their tarnished soil sustainable.
Vincenzo Fanaro is not a professional cannabis grower."For generations our family has produced ricotta and meat", he said to CBS News. But Fanaro's farm is only a few kilometers from the largest steel factory in Europe… And the chemical runoff makes its way to the ground, and finally, to Vincenzo's sheep…
The Italian government discovered the toxins in 2008, and as a result, Fanaro was forced to slaughter his entire herd. And if the loss of 600 animals was not enough, the land no longer seemed suitable for grazing, and forever ... But thanks to the process called phytoremediation, and therefore with the help of the cannabis plant, new life resumes in the land of Fanaro.
Cannabis plants have extremely fast growing roots. These roots pull toxins from the soil to the plant itself. This is to store them, or to convert chemicals into harmless substances. Fanaro does not grow hemp to turn it into CBD oil or a series of t-shirts. Hemp is here to clean!
The future of hemp in canna-science
The same phytoremediation process was used in Chernobyl, Ukraine after the nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986, to remove radioactive material. Fanaro is convinced that this shining example of canna-science will be the future of his farm.
And who knows, maybe after Fanaro's soil is good for cash crops again, he could stick with cannabis and start producing CBD oils. As well as other industrial products made from hemp, with ricotta and mutton sausage ...