We are proud to offer, for the first time, fiber hemp in three formats: green, unretted stalks; water-retted straw; and dew or ground-retted straw.

 Green hemp is sold by the bundle whose stalks are cut and tied in the field.

Water-retted hemp is sold by the pound. We submerge the stalks for four days in warm pond water at the height of summer heat to speed the growth of the bacteria that eats the pectin that binds the fibers to the stalk. Water bleaches the fibers to a whitish blond color.

Dew or ground-retted hemp is also sold by the pound. We lay the stalks on our mown hay pasture in long rows. We turn it weekly and the hemp is ready in approximately six weeks, when the fibers separate easily from the stalk when bent. This process turns the hemp a silver--gray color.

Hemp straw is shipped in four-foot boxes. The United States Postal Service has approved the shipping of fiber hemp that has been deseeded. Depending on the amount ordered, we either remove the seeds by hand or cut off the tops of the plants that contain the seed. Taller hemp plants are available but only when picked up here at the Hermitage in central Pennsylvania and they are also deseeded. We do not ship hemp longer than four feet.

1. Green, unretted hemp stalks. $8 per bundle.

2. Water-retted hemp straw. $12 per pound.

3. Dew or ground-retted hemp straw. $12 per pound.

4. Tow hemp fiber, natural gold color: quarter pound, $8; half pound, $14; full pound, $22.

5. Hemp shives. Canadian machine-processed hemp shives. Shives are what's left over in hemp processing after the usable fiber has been removed. It contains at least 30 percent chaff and has many uses, including doll stuffing; traditional pillow and mattress stuffing; and upholstery stuffing for traditional furniture  making. It is also useful in taxidermy, especially for stuffed birds, and helps aerate soil in gardens and pots. It is not appropriate for any fiber use due to the high chaff content.

$6 per pound.

$5 for four to nine pounds.

$4 for 10 pounds or more.

A Hemp Fact Sheet, including how we grow, ret and process hemp at the Hermitage, is included free of charge with every order,

I charge what I pay for the special straw shipping boxes needed for the hemp.

Shipping is via USPS Priority or Retail Ground (formerly Parcel Post). Contact me for shipping prices based on the quantity and speed you want.



Hemp shives, one pound.

hemp bundles1

Unretted, green hemp bundles. Sold by the bundle. Keep in mind that the hemp in these pictures still retain seed, which will be removed, by state regulation, before shipping or pick-up. The rule is measured in inches.

Our thanks to Erica McBride of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council who worked with the Department of Agriculture so we could have our first hemp plot. Her husband, hemp historian Les Stark, provided invaluable information on traditional hemp processing. Here they are, with Bro. Zephram, helping to broadcast our first hemp plot.


Zephram with the young hemp plants. Our flax crop is behind him.

Zephram and young hemp 1
hemp in Kentucky early 1900s

Hemp growing in Kentucky, 1900.


La_Roche_Jagu_chanvre_1 (1)

Fiber hemp in Brittany, France.

By Barbetorte - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7558724

Engraving showing the hemp process in France in the 18th century, from the Encyclopdie edited by Denis Diderot and published between 1751 and 1772 by Jean le Rond d'Alembert.


Harvesting hemp at the Hermitage, August, 2020.

hemp scutching 1

Scutching hemp with a handmade knife and upright board.

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Ground or dew-retted hemp; sold by the pound.


Closeup of dew or ground-retted hemp.

Zephram water-retting the hemp in the pond. The doors keep the plants underwater for four days. .

Zephram and water retting 1

Breaking hemp with a 19th century Pennsylvania German hemp brake.


Combing with hemp hetchels.

water retted hemp 2

Water-retted hemp; sold by the pound.


Closeup of water-retted hemp.

Johannes taking ground (dew) retted hemp off the field after six weeks.