A new approach to growing local medicine, including information on geo-authenticity, wildcrafting, and developing a good business plan.
Both a business guide and a farming manual, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will teach readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal Western herbs.
Whether you're trying to farm medicinal plants, culinary herbs, or at-risk native herbs exclusively or simply add herbal crops to what you're already growing, successful small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter will guide you through the entire process-from cultivation to creating value-added products.
Using their Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont as a backdrop, the Carpenters cover all the basic practical information farmers need to know to get an organic herb farm up and running, including:
- Size and scale considerations;
- Layout and design of the farm and facilities;
- Growing and cultivation information, including types of tools;
- Field and bed prep;
- Plant propagation;
- Weed control, and pests and diseases;
- Harvesting, as well as wild harvesting and the concept of geo-authentic botanicals;
- Postharvest processing; and,
- Value-added products and marketing.
The authors also provide fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs every farmer should consider growing. In an easy-to-understand, practical, and comprehensive manner, readers will learn how to focus on quality over quantity, and keep costs down by innovating with existing equipment, rather than expensive technology.Market farmers who have never before considered growing medicinal herbs will learn why it's more important to produce these herbs domestically.
The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer
makes a convincing case that producing organic medicinal herbs can be a viable, profitable, farming enterprise. The Carpenters also make the case for incorporating medicinal herbs into existing operations, as it can help increase revenue in the form of value-added products, not to mention improve the ecological health of farmland by encouraging biodiversity as a path toward greater soil health.
"As respect for the pharmaceutical industry has withered in recent years from media reports about ineffective or harmful prescription drugs, more and more health-care consumers are turning to alternative nostrums, such as medicinal herbs. For gardeners looking to cash in on this therapeutic trend, organic farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter offer this thorough, well-organised guide to growing and marketing both medicinal and culinary herbs, using their own Vermont farm as a model for optimal cultivation techniques. In 17 lucidly written, abundantly illustrated chapters, the Carpenters provide all the necessary basics for readers to jump-start their own operation, from facilities layout and tools of the trade to weed control and storage recommendations. They also share invaluable personal stories from their ups and downs in the business so others can avoid the more common pitfalls. Although the Carpenters handbook is aimed more at veteran farmers looking to boost their revenue with another high-demand product, amateur growers hoping to add herbs to their kitchen or medicine cabinet will find much useful information here, as well." - Booklist