Sunday, July 29, 2007


It was my birthday last week. My folks always send me a card with a thoughtful message of optimism for the coming year.

This year the message also alerted me to one on the back...

My card was tree-free paper derived from the kenaf plant. It "grows 15 feet in just five months, uses no harmful chemicals in processing and is fully recyclable."

Tree Free Greetings of Canada made my card. Yep, my kenaf's a Canuck - and North America is where a fair bit of kanaf fibre comes from.

It just so happens that in the year of my birth a chap called Withers published findings from a kenaf trial in Palmy. But other than that of old Mr Withers, I can't find evidence of kenaf grown for fibre in New Zealand.

It's a pity. In the US it has an annual yield 4-5 times better than "forest". I'm assuming there would be similar comparison of NZ yield to pine.

They grow kenaf in Australia too - which begs the question: "where the kenaf are ya?"

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