ÅÄÓÀÐÄ ÑÒÐÀÍÀÄÊÎ "ÊÎÍÎÏË²" / ÅDUARD STRANADKO "HEMP"
EXPERIENCE OF GATHERING OF HEMP IN REGION OF POLTAVA/UKRAINE
When we hear the word "hemp", the first that splash in our head - it's drug addiction, sweet smell of hemp smoke, constabulary protocols... But there are people, gatherers of hemp which participates in this culture fully professionally and on legal bases. In Ukraine there is even a research institute in glorious town Gluhov, which participates in the problems of sprouting and technologies of treatment of hemp. In remote 80th years there was practice of application of the hired brigades for gather of this plant in the collective farms of Poltava and other regions. "Hemp will rescue Ukraine", - speaks patriarh of this business, Eduard Stranadko. See about it in interview of Natalia Scarlatti.
- The hired brigades were widely used in 80th years in collective farms. The habitants of western part of Ukraine build houses and gather a beet, Armenians build roads, you are gathering hemp, citizens and specially students by millions drive out on agricultural works. And what did collective farmers do?
- Interesting question. It is special in that context, that rotting potato for 14 kopecks in shops, cheap and doubtful qualities was the result of this enormous battle for a harvest. Meantime, job was for each. In our case, collective farmers sowed, mowed and gave the transport for transportation of hemp...
- Then it is not a clarity, why they didn't do it? That is "taboo"?
- The true is that, in actual fact, this work heavy and for men. There are 3.2-3.4 tones get in for one tractor. And for a day, in the flow of transportation of hemp on a factory, loading for the one man was approximately 5-6 tons. Women brigades were busy on other works. They didn't want to be engaged in this work. Men in collective farms worked with a technique mainly. Young person was studied. To extend sowing of hemp in 80th years were required by guidance. Hemp well walked for a border. And products which produced from it, was not limited only by ropes and twines. There were talks, even, about the military order. That is, on the short span of time, hemp became a strategic product. It appears to me, that the revival of this culture can, if not to rescue Ukraine, help for occupy a segment in world to the division of labour. This agricultural culture unpretentious and does not exhaust the ground so can be sown for years on the same place. It is used almost fully, and that remains is good fuel for heating without smoke.
- Work on the hemp field do consist that in what?
- Technology it suffices outage. In the beginning hemp are mowed by small groups. Some time these small groups lie under the sun and rain. For this purpose it is needed to wrick them by specially done for this hooks (the hook done special for me now at home on a worthy place) so that the sun and rain was enough for all grass. After some time, top part will be transformed from greenery on yellow one, and then on grey. It is then required, to invert hemp once again. It requires from the performers of large skill. Such inverted hemp must have a yellow shade mainly. How you see, no ducking to water, as earlier. It is then simple to expect, when and that side will become a grey. Technology from an experimental institute which requires the use of street sprinkler seems fantastic. In my opinion, it is better simple to place the field somewhere alongside with reservoirs or in a low-laying area. Then morning and evening autumn fog will do your work. This part of work is most pleasant. Something is here. During cutting and inverting in air fly the smell of fragrant pollen. Nothing special except for the good mood in the day-time and brightly, colour dreams at night. A brigade from ten persons can for a few days do more than one hundred hectares. In general, as confirms me my experience, a plenty of people on it is not required, I believe composition in 7 - 12 persons is optimal. It was once necessary to work above the enormous field in the Bagachka district which was treated by four hired brigades.
- And here you bind by a grass?..
- It was hemp, when no rope was. But in actual fact it only is the romantic picture of this labour. Technology of treatment of sheaf's at the plant requires to give him in the cut kind. That is a man stands before a machine with a sickle in hands and cuts out ropes. Imagine, if it will be needed all day long, to cut out? I considered somehow, that I did 4 thousand squats on the field during a working day. And in general work is rationed: it is always possible to count up the amount of the used rope which prepares in the evening. With a rope again there are problems. Those, though natural, though synthetic, mice eat. If hemps not to take out in autumn, then remains in stacks. And if don't go at once in treatment, at the plant are built an enormous stacks above 3 floors by a height. It is dangerous for a fire. Once we almost month delivered hemp on the Lutenka factory. Firemen awfully "angered" because off fire-extinguishers. And that is fair. Interestingly that however was a fire at the plant. An old fire truck went round territory and, on an official version, half of factory burned out from a spark from his pipe of exhaust.
- Is that plant, which you are gathering, narcotic?
- I think not. It is an industrial product. A scientific institute in the Gluhov developed the special sort which only is for products only. For example, hemp must be not high, not low, mainly without sheet. To the best of my knowledge, to do narcotic hashish you will need another kind of hemp. I heard that this - "masculine" product. It has a look like a small sapling...
- Did you have to see it on the field?
- Yes, sometimes the refusal happened in sowing of material, and such specimens grow up. Some people which saw sense of life in that used it.
- And you?
- I in general don't love smoke. If you actually interesting that: Is the really exist required to use hemp when at that time almost every court in the country has a poppy plantation? Need to say, in 80th years, there was quite another attitude toward it. How an interesting episode is - in Poltava enough freely was for sale a poppy at the city market. And except that for the sake of economy of time shelled him straight on a workplace and threw shell under feet. One colleague from Moscow filled a whole sporting bag. How I understand that tradeswomen were in easy shock. And I represent that this comrade said in Moscow after: "collected "product" is free of charge!.. "for healing"." This now, a poppy is considered serious poison, hemp which grows in a wild kind disappears, almost everywhere vanished not only datura but also fly-agaric mushrooms in forests. It was earlier possible to read in the "Cherry orchard" by Anton Chehov, for example, as businessman Lopahin speaks: "And in spring I planted thousand desyatin (1 desyatina = 10 SqM) of poppy. Now begun to work 40 thousands clean money..." Teaches, so to speak, young people in relation to earnings of money... In general, as I think, a large problem consists not in that plane quite, that's in interest of manufacturers and merchants by a tobacco and vodka. Especially this problem gets up now, when our sufficient good harvest of wheat to nobody is especially needed. World monopolists will not allow him for the export, and we will not eat him. And here, if to do vodka, we will drink all without ceremony! I yesterday in an ordinary grocery store count 240 sorts of strong drinks, 40 sorts of beer and 60 of cigarettes...
- Something brought you not "to that plane". You are value Chechov, you count up vodka... On what then did you squander spare time? I mean that not all time you worked. Were, I think, rain days bad for work...
- This activity for me was not the dull earning of money simply. People who were going to the seasonal brigades of gathering of hemp also were not ordinary workers. At least I would not like neither to work nor squander spare time with persons, unpleasant for me, alcoholics or drug addicts. If to reminisce the profit yield, during 60 working days (three calendar months) I earned a more than 4 thousand of soviet roubles once. My grand-dad, the professor of plant-grower faculty of agricultural academy in Poltava was got approximately such fee for a year. How did we squander spare time? That was something special. This was the unique apartment for dwelling: the real Ukrainian cottages under a thatch roof were for us. Now you will hardly meet them. This, seemingly primitive building, however there is enough warm and ecological. These roofs, from which then laugh many people, well work not alone ten years without replacement.
- It's pitiful, now there is no place to laugh about it, if only to visit an ethnographic village…
- We had much literature which was brought by boys from Moscow and Petersburg. Castaneda was included in a fashion, books from some informal christianity, mystic literature. All it was printed illegally on the printing devices and had extraordinarily mysterious and attracting look. By the way, in rural libraries it was possible to meet anything interesting. All "forbidden" was printed then almost openly in popular scientific magazines and in magazines of art. Personally I "sat down" on Skovoroda (old Ukrainian philosopher). In our midst there was one man from Kyiv, which was outcast from the second course of pedagogical college of Poltava only for that in summer hiked and entertained villagers by reading of this philosopher. By the way, the published is absolutely legally.
- KGB will be simple in an ecstasy, if will be grabbing you "on hot"...
- Yes, their personal interest all time was, but we had the mind to not propagandize knowledge's among the local population. It will be interestingly now to see the KGB archives with my anti-soviet activity...