Keeping hemp in the family

Harvest to Hand founders (l-r) Dylan Pearce, Holleigh Ellis, Ian Ellis

Holleigh Ellis wanted to put her brain, and her background, to good use. A food science and marketing university graduate, she saw huge potential in developing delicious and nutritious hemp products, right off the family farm. Eager to begin, and share the benefits of natural, spray-free, Hawke’s Bay-cultivated hemp, Ellis was just 24 when she started Harvest to Hand in partnership with father, Ian Ellis, and fiancé Dylan Pearce.

A year on, the business is flying, with its hemp hearts (or seeds, as they’re sometimes known), hemp oil, hemp flour and hemp protein powder growing in popularity.

“Hemp is an incredible plant and seed – the whole plant can be utilised one way or another,” begins Ellis, now 25. “It’s already highly regarded as a complete source of plant protein, containing all the essential amino acids our bodies need but can’t produce themselves. And it also has a wonderfully unique ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 to aid brain function, relieve inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol in the body, and hydrate cells.”

Harvest to Hand hemp products are all grown on the family farm in central Hawke’s Bay and made from hempseed and nothing else.

“We use absolutely no chemical solvents or additives in our range – in fact, one of our core values is to keep the products simple and completely natural” says Ellis.

The hempseed oil is cold pressed, the hemp hearts are dehulled and – to maintain a sustainable operation as much as possible – the hemp protein powder and hemp flour is milled from the hemp cake left over after the pressing process is complete.

“Dylan and I love the hemp hearts the best – they are so versatile and sit up with our salt and pepper. We throw them on every dish to make sure we’re getting plenty of protein and Omegas each day – they’re really great sprinkled over avocado on toast, salads and in a zingy pesto. Because it has a slightly nutty profile, it can swing to either sweet or savoury in any meal” says Ellis.

Harvest to Hand hemp products are available to purchase online.

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