We are very lucky to live in a community that supports local, independent businesses. There are many local companies we are working with that want to buy locally grown medicinal and aromatic herbs. Likewise, there are many farmers who are interested in supplying these herbs. Many of the herbs in demand are annuals that can be harvested within the first year of planting such as chamomile, calendula, and lavender. I have lists of many more, and some companies have said that they will buy whatever the farmer wants to grow. Small quantities as well as large quantities are wanted, so this is an opportunity no matter the size of land you are farming.
If you are a farmer who would like to be involved in a regional effort to provide herbs to local companies for their use in value added products, please contact Alison Dressler for more information: Alison_dressler@ncsu.edu . 828-684-3562 x 150.
Written by Alison Dressler, Research Assistant in the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program with Jeanine Davis in the Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University