Virginia Barton

7 September 2018: “Oh No It Isn’t! — Oh Yes It Is!”

7 September 2018


“Oh No It Isn’t!”
“Oh Yes It Is!”

That’s what the audience shouts in pantomimes to contradict some absurdity spoken by the Baddie.

In a roundabout way I speak of hemp; not the type you smoke and get high on (this is where my pantomimic title comes in: “Oh no it isn’t!”).

This is another variety, a useful one. SO useful George Washington grew it on his Mount Vernon estate. He grew this commodity, and now the sowing and harvesting of the crop has been revived: click here.

(Did I ever mention GW is my distant cousin by marriage?)


Cannabaceae is cultivated for its fibre, seeds (beloved of birds) and oil. The fibre can be used to make rope, sacks, twine, fabrics and paper. The word “canvas” comes from it.

Even shoes can be made from this versatile plant. Remember the bast shoes in Russian literature? The shoes have had an update and are now beloved by vegan fashionistas, ecologists and all serious planet savers. I don’t have a pair yet but am angling…

As if all that were not enough it seems that hemp can be used in the plastics industry and is now being trial’d to make, among other things, plant pots! These would replace those that cannot be recycled; the black plastic ones we heedlessly use for our pansies, lobelia, nemesia and geraniums when buying from garden centres.

There must be millions of these that go to landfill – I hate to think how many I myself have been responsible for over 60 years of gardening.


Is there a difference between hemp and jute?

“Oh no there isn’t!”
“Oh yes there is!”

Some kind person will tell me.





  • Harry P says on: September 7, 2018 at 12:05 am


    Okay, Virginia — you’ve got our attention on the other side of the Pond…

    Please do tell how you are related to the “Father of Our Country”!

    • Ginny says on: September 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm


      Dear Harry, I have it on the best authority that (hold your breath): My father’s second cousin married George Washington’s 3 times great niece.

      Fairly distant, I know, and by marriage but I’m very proud of it. Specially when juxtaposed with Bismarck

      Now perhaps YOU will tell me the difference between hemp and jute? Ginny

      • Harry P says on: September 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm


        Fascinating, Virginia! You should be justly proud of your Yankee heritage…

        Now then: I found this on the web, regarding hemp and jute:

        1. Hemp is softer to the skin in both fabric and ropes. Think of the coarseness of a coffee bag which is often made from jute.

        2. Jute requires some pesticides and herbicides where hemp does not.

        3. Hemp can grow up to about 16 feet, while jute grows about 10-12 feet.

        4. Hemp has a stronger tensile strength than jute.

        Most enlightening! All I knew about jute before was that it was one of the 3 J’s by which the city of Dundee was known: Jute, Jam (Keiller’s), and Journalism (DC Thomson, of Beano fame).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(c) All Rights Reserved. Site Designed by Magtype CR