This is one of the most exciting books we’ve published in recent years, in my humble gardener’s opinion. If you’re a small farmer or avid homesteader, or even just curious about “eating your medicine” you need to check this one out!
Chinese medicinal herbs have been used for millenia to cure illness — and more importantly, to preserve and protect health before it turns into illness. Using these plants is becoming ever more popular, as Americans wonder just what the heck to do about health care, and yet almost nobody is producing effective medicinals here, organically.
Peg Schafer’s book changes all that. It offers growers information on seventy-nine different plants, both how to grow them and how to use them.
Here’s a recent radio appearance: http://media.krcb.org/podcasts/mouthful/mful-20090614.mp3 From the book description:
A leading light in the field of medicinal herb cultivation, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners. It has become increasingly important—especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow—that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regards to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad. Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles—all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm—Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout. Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from, and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.