FOUNDER ROBERT H. GOLDSBOROUGH'S LETTER ABOUT MYRTLE GROVE FARM DATED OCTOBER 10, 1825.
"My lands gain in intrinsic value every year because they are improved."
When Robert Goldsborough II inherited land from his father, he raised a house on a site his son later named Myrtle Grove. Across their holdings, the Goldsborough family raised cattle, dairy cows, pigs, and chickens, in addition to horse and oxen-plowed fields of “Indian corn,” oats, wheat, flax, hay, and potatoes. Fruit orchards and apiary products rounded out their traditionally diversified farming operations.
The historic importance of hemp up and down the Eastern Seaboard makes it a near certainty that hemp crops were a regular part of Myrtle Grove’s rotations throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, in colonial America, hemp’s versatility and profitability was regarded so highly that Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “Hemp is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.” And indeed it was.
Because the fiber was used to make sails, cordage, and clothing, hemp was one of the first crops established by Jamestown colonists. By 1619, royal decrees from England and direction from the Virginia Company legislated that every colonist in Jamestown must "set 100 [hemp] plants and the governor...set 5,000." Special funds were allocated to encourage skilled hemp dressers from Sweden and Poland to journey across the Atlantic to support the growing industry.
Over the next 150 years, hemp seeds changed hands constantly. Washington and Jefferson bred improved genetic lines on their family farms and quality seed was in such demand that colonial Americans could pay their taxes with it. Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that produced hemp paper that was used and distributed widely.
In the generations since, the nation’s view of Cannabis sativa shifted from essential to taboo, and back again. Throughout all this time, Myrtle Grove’s name and land has endured. Myrtle Grove Hemp Farm builds upon a legacy of generational agricultural stewardship by reintroducing regenerative hemp to the Eastern Seaboard.