What are those weeds growing in the Decorah North Nest?

By Sherri Elliott

Decorah North Hemp

Eagle Hemp For Victory!

These eagle farmers never stop throwing out surprises to keep us guessing and/or entertained. You might recall in July 2017 we watched a cornstalk grow in the nest, and at camera maintenance time we harvested the stalk and one ear of corn that had formed.

This year, apparently it’s wild hemp that is growing in the rail windowboxes. Iowa is known for its corn crops but in 1943, Iowa grew nearly 48,000 acres of industrial hemp fiber cultivars as part of the war effort. To this day, feral hemp (“ditch weed”) is descendant of these government-issued genetics and is a fairly common sight throughout the state. Will it get you high? Probably not. Will it wreck up your weed whipper? Maybe!

RRP Executive Director John Howe said “There are a number of wild hemp plants around the base of the nest tree and in the pastured hillside spread around over the years. When we were building the starter platform last summer, we pulled up some compost to build up and fortify the stick base. I have a feeling that a few stowaway seeds got hauled up too.”

What was the ‘Hemp for Victory’ war effort? Learn more here!