I am Maxine and together with my husband Mike, we have co-founded Hemp Collective and Fields of Hemp in 2017.
This is our story.
Our motivation for a healthy, toxic-free life was born around the same time as we were initiated into parenthood. Within the first year of our son’s life, he was diagnosed with a severe form of eczema and it became evident that the everyday foods and products we used and believed were safe, were actually not as safe as we first thought. At around the same time, my own health had begun to rapidly decline. I found myself exhausted, depleted and depressed, beyond the boundaries of PND or general mum-burn out.
I reached my depths when one day Mike found me on the floor of our bathroom, unable to move, with the baby crying beside me. After comprehensive tests, I was diagnosed with a Thyrotropin (TSH)-secreting pituitary adenomas (thyrotropinomas/TSHomas) in other words a brain tumour that only 1 -2 % of people get. WHAT!
This was a pinnacle moment for our family.
It would appear western medicine offered more ultimatums than suggestions: namely surgery and radiation therapy. However, six months after surgery – regrowth was detected. It was time to investigate other avenues.
I wasn’t satisfied with an ultimatum. I wanted to look closer at the root cause. Where had it come from and why?
I started to look at my life with a giant magnifying glass. I had been running a business; was physically depleted and had recently become a new mother. Every square inch of my life was squeezed. I realised I needed to make changes to my lifestyle in almost every facet. The will to regain my health was strong, particularly now as a new mother.
Mike and I began researching alternative healing methods. We looked at studies of apple seeds, turmeric, metabolic and ketogenic diets. We omitted dairy and gluten (and the list goes on), however, all roads eventually directed us back towards medicinal cannabis.
CBD (Cannabidiol) and hemp products had profound & proven anti-inflammatory properties and when used in collaboration with THC (which in Australia is illegal), has proven to have worked successfully with tumours, cancers, epilepsy and so many other diseases and illnesses. The stats and studies were astonishing.
Mike undertook some serious groundwork. He attended conferences and rallies to learn about all aspects of hemp and cannabis: everything from the health benefits to the drug laws and production of industrial hemp. The more Mike learnt, the more reinvigorated and passionate about hemp he became.
I decided to be my own guinea pig. Whatever I had been doing in the past – was not working. I couldn’t lose.
It started with some significant lifestyle changes:
o I slowed my busy work schedule right down and adopted a regular practice of mindfulness techniques, hypnotherapy,
acupuncture, Craniosacral therapy and yoga.
o I cut out the processed crap from our diets and started preparing natural, organic whole foods (including hemp foods) for the whole family.
o I employed the services of holistic doctors and naturopaths who supported my bio-individuality and had a natural approach to health and healing.
o And… I was given some CBD oil in New Zealand
I started feeling substantially better with increased energy levels and vitality. Not to mention a significant reduction in the speed at which my tumour was growing!
We were getting somewhere.
They say that before any transformation can occur, that we need to experience some element of suffering: this is growth.
This was perhaps the impetus behind the idea of Hemp Collective.
We wanted to create a business that was conducive to our new healthy lifestyle, but also a business that was conscious, sustainable and ethical. Something felt intrinsically right in our bones about becoming involved in hemp.
So…. we found ourselves a plot of land in Mullumbimby and started gearing up to plant our first crop of Industrial hemp for growing hemp seed for food (not for CBD or THC as these are both illegal in Australia).
Of course, we had little experience about what we were doing to start with. But we had gained so much knowledge over the years and so our vision was clear: we wanted a connection with the land, seed, plants, weather and community. We wanted Hemp Collective to be more than just us, but a grass root, hands-on venture that would make a difference.
Grassroots it was: Mike planted the entire first crop – by hand! (many would have adopted a more time-saving method but he was adamant to have the humbling experience of ‘slow-farming’). Step by step in a labour of love, he planted all three hectares with seed.
Once the seeds were in, we breathed a sigh of relief, but not for long. Heavy rainfall and flooding hit the town and for a while, we were certain we had lost our first crop…
We watched and waited. But soon enough, the sun returned and our seeds began to sprout. The plants grew steadily and strongly and before we knew it the plants were thriving. With fertile ground and a healthy, organic ecosystem working with us, we soon were looking at our very first, lush & green hemp plantation.
It was a sight for sore eyes!
Harvest was more than the both of us could manage alone. Helping hands extended to us from the community: as we harvested our first ever hemp crop, we shared stories and belly laughs with friends, while children ran around freely on the farm.
It is in these moments I became aware that our vision had become actualised. The roots of Hemp Collective extend so much deeper than merely just a business. We are contributing to the future, community and the earth. In our eyes, there is no greater movement in which to be part of.
With the outdated stigma associated with the hemp industry, we feel a sense of social and moral obligation to participate in the education of hemp and it’s myriad potentialities. Looking forward to sharing more of our journey with you all.
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Maxine & Mike Shea
For more information into Anecdotal knowledge to evidence-based information in regards to Cannabis research please go to http://United in Compassion – Anecdotal knowledge to evidence-based
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