Cambridge farm explores the many uses of hemp
Margent Farm in Cambridge, England explores the myriad uses of hemp plants – from beauty to architecture
Tucked away in England’s Cambridgeshire is a 53-acre farm developing what may well be the material innovation of the future – hemp.
Margent Farm was developed in 2018 as a rural centre dedicated to promoting the positive environmental uses of the hemp plant. The wellness and cosmetic benefits of hemp have long been known in the beauty industry, as evidenced by the continued popularity of CBD, CBA, and other hemp-based products in recent years.
Yet, the plant has other, lesser-known, benefits. It naturally contributes to the replenishing of the atmosphere by capturing carbon as it grows, absorbing and converting it to biomass whilst releasing oxygen. It can also be used to create an organic plastic alternative, as it has been for the packaging of Margent Farm’s own range of CBD products.
Available as a balm and oil, Margent Farm’s CBD was formulated by phytotherapist Michael Isted and made entirely of ingredients grown on-site, including distilled yarrow leaf and flower that lends it added anti-inflammatory & anti-pruritic benefits. While the products’ typographic labels are designed by celebrated British artist Harland Miller.
Perhaps the most notable use of hemp on site are the ‘hempcrete’ farmhouses that make up the Margent Farm centre. Designed by Paloma Gormley of Practice Architecture, the young studio best known for their design of car-park turn rooftop bar Frank’s Cafe, the on-site farmhouse and brand HQ was constructed out of hemp from the Farm’s first-ever crop. If that wasn’t enough eco-friendly innovation, the structures are entirely zero-carbon and powered only by wind turbines, solar panels and heated by a biomass boiler.
Recently partnered with Cambridge University’s department of Architecture and Natural Materials, Margent Farm hopes to open its doors to more designers, wellness experts, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in the coming year, educating people from various disciplines about how hemp can be utilised in their practices. §