On Friday and Saturday, January 16 and 17, 2004, an intensive, grower oriented workshop, “Cultivating and Marketing Wild Quality in Medicinal Plants.” will bring together five leading farmer-presenters to the United Methodist Church Social Hall, Philmont (Columbia County), NY, one hour south of Albany. The workshop is sponsored by High Falls Gardens (HFG), in association with the Center for Agricultural Development& Entrepreneurship (CADE) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), with additional support from the Birch Swinger Fund.
According to Jean Giblette, Director of High Falls Gardens, “The workshop will be an important opportunity to focus attention on several key issues in medicinal plant agriculture. What cultivation practices do you use to approximate the quality and market value of healing plants found in the wild? How do you establish and maintain reliable markets for such plants? We will be introducing a successful California model of herb distribution that could be replicated in the Northeast.”
“The Wild Quality workshop comes at time when the potential for growing and marketing the highest quality herbs in an economically sustainable way is being realized. These presenters are the people who are actually doing it.”
The featured speakers are:
- Jean-David Derreumaux (The Healing Plant, Camphill Village, Copake, NY),
Topics will include cropping systems, species selection (including best sellers), cultivation practices, harvesting, drying and preparation, value-added products, and marketing approaches. A panel discussion on marketing is scheduled in addition to individual presentations on a variety of farming operations. The workshop goes from 9:00 AM to 8 PM on both days. The workshop fee includes lunch, supper and refreshments. An informal event may be scheduled for the evening of Thursday January 15. Attendance is limited to 60 and scholarships, full and partial, are available to farmers and growers.
High Falls Gardens is a farm-based educational and research organization at the forefront of efforts to restore an older, agriculture-centered understanding of human health. HFG is part of an international network of farmers, herbal practitioners, botanists and agronomists. The organization’s mission includes exploring the potential for domestic production of medicinal botanicals and deepening the knowledge base for healing with medicinal plants and food.
In 2003, HFG and five certified organic farms in New York carried out a Chinese medicinal plant trials program, along with a market research study. The NY group also is working with medicinal plant grower associations in other sates to test the feasibility of marketing herbs directly to practitioners and product makers. Through its established plantings of Asian medicinal botanicals, workshops, lectures and publications, HFG supports plant studies based at the colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as continuing education for practitioners.
For workshop fees, brochure, or further information, contact High Falls Gardens at (518) 672-7365 or e-mail: hfg (at) capital.net .
- Leslie Gardner (Sonoma County Herb Exchange, Sebastopol, CA),
- Matthias and Andrea Reisen (Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center, Avoca, NY) and
- Peggy Schafer (Chinese Medicinal Herbs, Petaluma, CA).