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IHASA Newsletter
February 2024

The Full Chain Hemp Journey
Field Day – 1 February 2024

Hemp Eco-Village in Mount Barker

Upon arrival the first impression was simply the beauty of the buildings and the attractive gardens spilling over into the footpath. One might not easily have recognised that these were hempcrete homes as the hempcrete was mostly artfully concealed behind a tasteful render designed to breathe with the hempcrete walls.

On the path to the hemp village community building we were greeted by Graeme Parsons and his wife, Leah who created the concept for this village. In front of a crowd of 25 people, Graeme spoke about how this idea was created, accomplished and the future aspirations of the hemp community village. The talk was informative and Graeme gave credit to the builders, villagers, council members and other Hemp industry leaders and then took questions. Following Graeme we then strolled through the village feeling the energy of the environment.
We were also fortunate to enjoy this occasion on a warm sunny day.

Hempcrete Demo at Charleston

We then went to Matt Dunn’s farm where Simon Crittenden gave everyone a demonstration on preparing a hempcrete panel. For most of us this was the first direct experience of a hempcrete pour. After the demonstration we were able to take a closer look at a compact hempcrete home under construction using these prefabricated panels.

Finishing up the day at the Charleston Memorial Hall John Muir gave a presentation on hemp growing and explained how to grow hemp in different climates. John showcased his expertise in agronomy while taking any and all questions from the crowd. There was also a display of hemp products for people to get an understanding of just how impactful this plant can be to many industries.

Matt Dunn showed us the microbiology of their compost using a camera fixed to his microscope. We learned how to identify different bacteria under the microscope, learned about nematodes and more. After questions from the crowd, we concluded the day at Matt’s home with wood fired pizzas including a demo on compost making and compost tea production.

Thanks to Logan Walker for his notes from the day

CRC-P Hemp Hub in SA

As part of the CRC-P project in which the Australian Hemp Council is a partner, the opportunity is being explored to develop a project hub in SA. This involves bringing together businesses and research in line with the CRC-P project purpose “Healing Australian Carbon Wounds Using Hemp Plantation and Construction” led by Revox Australia. A meeting to discuss the possibilities and opportunities was held 6th February at the Vircura offices and included a research team from Melbourne Uni, Prof. Rachel Burton (Adelaide Uni) and key staff from Vircura. Ken Dods from WA is the Principal Industry Research Lead and is coordinating this initiative.

Member Spotlight

Profile Adam Djekic

General Manager Operations at Vircura

Hailing from a family of small business owners, Adam has always had a strong interest in business, economics, finance and financial systems and politics.

Tell me about Vircura and your role?
Vircura is a plant-based technology company, researching, cultivating, and processing industrial hemp, among other plants, to create new and innovative products.
Vircura is the first company to grow a fibre-specific crop and process it in SA, with both BrandSA and Australian Made accreditations.
I have been the company’s General Manager of Operations since it’s beginning in early 2022, and manage day to day operations, business development and research ventures.

What got you interested in hemp?
As with the other plant varieties we work with, hemp has amazing versatility and huge benefits to the environment. I have a passion for health, the environment and animals, having a plant that can help across all these areas, makes it very special.

When did you start your hemp journey?
I am relatively new to the industry through my work with Vircura, however have been a user of hemp foods and health products for years.

What’s the best thing about hemp?
As mentioned, it’s versatility and ability to benefit the environment through accelerated carbon sequestration and soil remediation, then being able to be put into useful products in a range of industries.

What’s the worst thing about hemp?
Yet to find something.

How do you see yourself best contributing to the hemp industry?
Through my position in Vircura, I have been given the opportunity to speak with several government and non-government groups about the many uses for hemp and how beneficial a growing industry could be to South Australia and abroad.
I intend to continue this work, with a strong focus on putting industrial hemp forward as a good option to consider for local/regional circular economies around the state.

Around the paddocks

A dryland hemp grain crop near Padthaway South Australia was ready for harvest in mid-January, and although not yielding as high as typical irrigated crops the results were encouraging.The Ferimon 12 variety was sown 14th September and was off to a dry start but emerged well. Several unseasonal summer rainfall events spurred the crop into action and resulted in good growth spurts of the hemp, but also unwanted weed growth. Kangaroos and cockatoos also found the crop but did minimal damage thankfully.

Despite the challenges the harvest went well with no dreaded “wrapping” issues, which can happen when tough hemp fibres wrap on rotating header parts and cause damage.

The hemp seed has been dried at Good Country Hemp and will soon be cleaned at nearby Tatiara Seeds, ready for cold pressing into pure South Australian hemp seed oil for supermarkets and health food stores.

Hemp recipe – Hemp Crepes


  • ½ cup hemp flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbs dark chocolate shaved
  • ¼ cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 handful edible flowers


Place a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the berries, lemon juice and maple syrup. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until berries are soft.

Combine the hemp flour, milk and egg in a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the batter. Swirl the pan around until you have a thin crepe then cook for 1 minute, or until golden on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Top the crepes with the cooked berries, yoghurt, chocolate and edible flowers.