Hemp at Farmington in 1840
The 1840 inventory provides a number of clues about hemp production at Farmington at the time John Speed died.
Approximately 90 acres were used for the hemp crop that year, 87 for producing the fiber hemp and about another 3 for growing seed hemp (calculated by Otteson based on the quantity of seed listed).
The two sheets for cleaning hemp seed document the use of the typical method of obtaining the seed.
The 20 hemp hooks and 21 hemp breaks suggest that about 20 hands were employed in the production of hemp at Farmington.
References in the settlement of John Speed's estate document the presence of a rope walk and waving house at Farmington where the hemp was processed for sale. The "jack screw" in the inventory is probably the piece of equipment used at the end of the rope walk to twist the strands of hemp into rope. Why no looms are listed in the inventory is somewhat confusing.
In 1840, $9,154 was made at Farmington from the sale of hemp products.
To learn more about Farmington and our agricultural roots, join us for Hemp Discovery Day on April 30, 2016 from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM to celebrate our hemp heritage and learn about the modern day uses of the crop as we prepare to plant our hemp pilot project this summer.
By: Diane Young, Executive Director