Country music singer-songwriter and certified hemp farmer, James Blundell is currently growing trial plots on his Mt Malakoff farm as part of the Queensland Government’s hemp program.
Cannabis sativa, also known as hemp, is an emerging crop projected to bring Australian farmers $10 million a year by 2026 and trials in Queensland's Granite Belt, 200 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, have yielded success. It contains less than 0.3 per cent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it is not for those who seek the "high" traditionally associated with marijuana.
Blundell told ABC News, “With the exception of a couple of more covert attempts to grow the plant back in my early 20s, this will be my first time growing [industrial hemp]. We put an old plough into a paddock that had never been cultivated and I had no idea how the plant would respond. I knew it to be a resilient plant, but I didn't realise how hardy it really was."
He said he first became interested in growing industrial hemp more than 30 years ago.
“I was really drawn in by the range of applications for industrial hemp including things like construction materials, paper and fabric,” Blundell added. “It’s reputation for being exceptionally hardy also made it a viable option for marginal farming areas.”
Blundell also serves as an Ambassador for Aussie Legends Hemp, Australia’s leading provider of hemp seed oil.
“Becoming an Aussie Legends Hemp’s Ambassador was a no brainer,” Blundell told Aussie Legends Hemp. “My relationship is the perfect fit. It’s very easy to speak with conviction about something you know and love. Long before I met [Business Affairs Manager] Peter [Saunderson], I’d been using the product having no idea, one day I would be in a position to ambassador the company.
I’m just here sharing something I believe in whole heartedly. It’s very hard not to be a zealot, you just want people to move forward into the benefits of the product without trying to sell them snake oil or things the general public get whitewashed with all the time.”
Blundell’s podcast “about stories (some tall, some true,) songs (some old, some new) politics, values, religion, philosophy, and what’s going on in my guest’s heads and hearts,” is also backed by major sponsor, Aussie Legends Hemp along with Granite Belt Brewery and Stylish Outback Clothing.
Down On The Farm launched in November 2021 on Punktured Media’s You Tube Channel. Series 1 guests included Crowded House legendary front man Neil Finn, one of Australia’s most acclaimed and influential songwriters Richard Clapton, and country music stars Sara Storer, Bill Chambers and Lawrie Minson. Series 2 will return in 2023.
His latest single, Sideways, is the first taste of Blundell’s new album World Don’t Stop. Recorded at the legendary Clubhouse Studios in Rhinebeck, New York with the Grammy winning production team of Larry Campbell and Justin Guip, Sideways marks the return of a rejuvenated, creatively recharged Blundell.
“I wrote Sideways with Robert Zimmerman, a Texan singer-songwriter, no relation to Bob Dylan”, smiles Blundell. "We found a common theme: he who makes no mistakes, makes nothing. Getting things wrong is not bad, it is an essential part of our growth and development intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.”
To keep up to date with James Blundell, follow him on Facebook here.