Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chinese Medicinal Herbs Update and Survey

Chinese peony in April

There is so much going on with Chinese medicinal herbs right now, I don't know where to start!  So here are some updates in no particular order:
  • Our little Chinese medicinal demonstration gardens at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station are teaching us so much about what likes to grow here in the southern mountains of western NC and what is "not so happy".  I will post a whole string of photographs soon.
  • Our farmer and herbalist cooperators continue to grow the same herbs as we are growing at the research station.  Last year some of them sold Chrysanthemum, Ju hua, to Golden Needle.  I then received a phone call from one of the practitioners who purchased some of the locally grown Ju hua and he was thrilled with the freshness and high quality of the product.
 Chrysanthemum, Ju hua that we grew last summer
Amy processing Ju hua in 2010.
  • I will giving a workshop on growing Chinese Medicinal Herbs at the NC Herb Association's annual summer conference known as Wild Herb Weekend. There we will view a Powerpoint presentation on how to grow the herbs, discuss how to prevent any possible invasiveness problems with plants we are not very familiar with, study vouchers from our gardens prepared by Joe-Ann McCoy at the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository, and study some live plant material. 
  • Jonathan Poston visited our gardens today and did a wonderful blog post on it. Thanks, Jonathan!  About a year ago he taught a class at Galen University that did a survey on demand for Chinese medicinal herbs.

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