Project Leader: Amy Hamilton, Appalachian Seeds Farm and Nursery
$8,000—Cooperative Production, Research and Marketing of Traditional Chinese Herbs
The Appalachian Botanical Alliance is showing by example that medicinal herbs are a viable, alternative crop for WNC farmers. The cooperative— with participation from several farm businesses, holistic care practitioners, a medicinal supply company, researchers at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research Station and the small business incubator program at Asheville-Buncombe Tech Community College Enka—is 1) establishing a legal entity, 2) developing a three-year business plan and logo, 3) exploring production and marketing of traditional medicinal herbs, 4) analyzing test plots of the herbs to determine the quality of the plants, and 5) acquiring climate-controlled warehouse space and standard packaging.
Surveys to 15 wholesale buyers show 100 percent interest in buying herbs from Western North Carolina. The project will build on the work of Jeanine Davis, N.C. Cooperative Extension Specialist, and Jean Giblette of High Falls Gardens. Alison Dressler at Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station will assist with data collection of plots. Lead businesses include: Appalachian Seeds Farm & Nursery, Big Pine Native Gardens, Geowild Farm, Golden Needle Acupuncture, and Herbal & Medicinal Supply, Inc.