The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer
by Jeff Carpenter, Melanie Carpenter, et al.
A new approach to growing local medicine, including information on geo-authenticity, wildcrafting, and developing a good business plan
"[A] beautiful and informative book . . . A dirt-smudged copy should be within easy reach of every home gardener or farmer who grows―or wants to grow―medicinal plants."―Michael McGuffin, President, American Herbal Products Association
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
- Post-harvest processing
- Value-added products and marketing
The authors also provide fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs every farmer should consider growing, including:
- Saint John’s Wort
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.