Kirsty's research into the effects of growing an unconventional cover crop, with a view to extracting hempseed oil, amongst the vines on her co-owned Marlborough vineyard is gaining traction and international attention.
World renowned wine writer Bob Campbell (Master of Wine) talks to Kirsty Harkness about her research.
In this interview from December 2019 Kirsty explains how the cover crop attracts insect life, can suppress weed growth, helps retain soil moisture in the vineyard and can hold four times its body weight in water. "This helps our vineyard through the drought to insulate the ground and keep it moist for the vines and microbial life below," she explains.
With her research, she hopes to understand the impact, if any, on vine health, productivity and, of course, on wine quality!
Here's an excerpt from the interview:
“Bob Campbell MW: Was it difficult to obtain a license to trial... production? What hurdles did you face?”
“Kirsty Harkness: Yes, initially. I said all the wrong things on my first application including the word ‘medical’ and had to start again. We also found that because it was new to the Ministry of Health (MOH), and they had a tonne of applications, it was long delays. We had to do police checks, security cameras, be over 5km from a school, not be visible from a road, just to name a few. The community and the local police were very helpful through the process, and we would not have got this license last year without the help from members of the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) either. So I am very thankful to be a year ahead because of everyone’s kind assistance.”
Kirsty talks more about her vineyard research through VinHemp, which has gained international following. And, excitingly for us here at Hark & Zander, she also talks to the benefits of 100% natural hempseed oil skincare:
“Bob Campbell MW: How do you plan to derive income from this?”
“Kirsty Harkness: At this stage, we have a license to sell the hempseed as a food product. It is an exciting seed as it has Omega 3,6 & 9 (better than fish oil) and it’s high in protein. Similar to the protein amounts in beef and sheep. Here is more information on the seed.”
"Due to my allergies to chemicals, I am also in the process of launching two body product ranges that are all-natural, using the hempseed oil as moisturisers and skincare.”
Since this article was released, our fabulous HempTonic Face Oil has become a growing craze. And as mentioned by Kirsty even way back then, she has plans for more New Zealand Natural hempseed oil skincare and body care products which we know you will love as much as you love HempTonic Face Oil!
We appreciate that good things take time, and we will update you as soon as our next products are ready and waiting for you to use and love!