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Nov 29, 2019

The Rundown

In this episode I get the lowdown on one of the most misunderstood and maligned crops in North America, hemp. It’s a delicious breakfast topping, it’s a construction material, it’s great for clothing and plastics! Stop, you’re all right. I speak with hempbassador Marie Eisenmann about the fibre of the future. Next up, food writer and chef Signe Langford tells us all about delicious and dangerous chestnuts and how to weaponize them.

Marie Eisenmann is a hempbassador. She and her colleagues evangelize a sorely mistreated and marginalized crop, hemp. While hemp has, for centuries, been a valued crop in Asia and elsewhere on the planet, its relation to marijuana has led to North Americans having a complicated relationship with the fast growing, low maintenance, and non-psychotropic plant. That’s too bad, because, as Marie explains, the prohibitions placed on its cultivation have meant North Americans have lost decades we could have used developing ecologically friendly industries that make use of the versatile hemp seeds, flowers and fibres. That’s starting to change, due, in no small part, to Marie herself. 

You can learn more about Marie's work at

If you associate roasted chestnuts with Christmas, blame Mel Torme and Charles Dickens. The meaty, hearty nuts have become a staple of Christmas song and story, if not kitchens. Signe Langford wants to change that, even though she had an explosive introduction to the hard little balls of nutty goodness.

You can find out more delicious info from Signe at

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa's story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It's on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast,  David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,