Chelsea Green Publishing

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

Pages:416 pages
Book Art:Color photos throughout
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585736
Pub. Date May 06, 2015

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

The Ultimate Guide to Producing High-Quality Herbs on a Market Scale

By Jeff Carpenter and Melanie Carpenter
Foreword by Rosemary Gladstar

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
May 06, 2015

$39.95

A new approach to growing local medicine, including information on geo-authenticity, wildcrafting, and developing a good business plan

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;

• Postharvest processing; and,

• Value-added products and marketing.

The authors also provide fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs every farmer should consider growing. 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.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Publishers Weekly-

"The Carpenters, protégés of 'Fairy Godmother of Herbalism' Rosemary Gladstar (who is also Melanie's mother), generously share knowledge gained through their now shuttered business, Sage Mountain Herbal Products, and 15 years of medicinal herb farming in Vermont. The book begins with a nuts-and-bolts manual that includes 'thinking like a business manager,' farming 'for profit, not production,' facility design, fertility needs of medicinal plants, development of value-added products, and manageable ways to integrate polycultures and permaculture principals into a commercial farming operation. Next the authors profile 50 medicinal plants, including details of each plant's life cycle, growing conditions, planting and processing considerations, medicinal uses, yields, and even the current retail price per pound, giving prospective growers information essential to determining crop viability in their own specific circumstances. Most helpfully, the Carpenters share their decision-making processes for determining the optimal number of species to grow and weighing the financial viability of hand-harvesting versus borrowing to buy harvesting equipment.”

Booklist-

"As respect for the pharmaceutical industry has withered in recent years from media reports about ineffective or harmful prescription drugs, more and more health-care consumers are turning to alternative nostrums, such as medicinal herbs. For gardeners looking to cash in on this therapeutic trend, organic farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter offer this thorough, well-organized guide to growing and marketing both medicinal and culinary herbs, using their own Vermont farm as a model for optimal cultivation techniques. In 17 lucidly written, abundantly illustrated chapters, the Carpenters provide all the necessary basics for readers to jump-start their own operation, from facilities layout and tools of the trade to weed control and storage recommendations. They also share invaluable personal stories from their ups and downs in the business so others can avoid the more common pitfalls. Although the Carpenters’ handbook is aimed more at veteran farmers looking to boost their revenue with another high-demand product, amateur growers hoping to add herbs to their kitchen or medicine cabinet will find much useful information here, as well.”

Library Journal-

"Organic herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter outline medicinal herb farming for both the new and the seasoned grower in their first book, a technical manual and business guide. With more than 20 years’ experience in the field and running Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont, the Carpenters explain successfully all aspects of the organic medicinal herb industry in one volume, something they note has been lacking in farming literature. The book is divided into two sections: the first details how to propagate, grow, harvest, and process medicinal herbs for market. It also explores the business side of farming, such as running an office, creating value-added products, and marketing those products. Part 2 contains 50 in-depth plant profiles of herbs grown on their farm. Beautiful photographs enhance the informational value of the book. An appendix contains a list of 'At Risk' and 'To Watch' plants that the thoughtful wild crafter and organic grower should take into consideration when foraging and planting medicinal herbs. VERDICT: Written for small-scale herb farmers, this book is also useful for the home gardener with an interest in medicinal herbs and organic gardening.”

"Bullseye! Jeff and Melanie Carpenter nail it in addressing the needs of today's medicinal herb grower. In a friendly, easy-to-read style, the information in The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer is straight forward and comprehensive, benefitting beginning and experienced farmers alike.”--Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

"Seasoned and novice growers alike will find a mother lode of information and wisdom packed into this gem of a book! Anyone interested in growing or using medicinal herbs will reap the benefits of Jeff and Mel’s meticulous research and hard won expertise in the field and marketplace. These savvy business people are stellar models of earth stewards making a right livelihood on the land. Reading The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will greatly help you along the same path!”--Nancy Phillips, author of The Herbalist’s Way

"Drawing on their fifteen years of experience growing medicinal herbs commercially, Jeff and Melanie Carpenter have written the most comprehensive book available on growing, harvesting, drying, packaging, and selling medicinal herbs. Beginning farmers will find this book particularly useful with its detailed instructions on all aspects of herb farming including field site selection, cultural practices, tools, equipment, and business planning."--Jeanine Davis, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Dept. of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University

"I highly recommend The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer to all new and experienced growers of Western medicinal herbs. If you are an aspiring herb farmer – this is your book!”--Peg Schafer, author of The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

"The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer rocks with practical insights for growing healing herbs and making a viable living. Locally grown medicine will be embraced by local food movements as more community herbalists get the word out. The ‘Health Care Marketplace’ we actually need today consists of more hard-working farm couples like Jeff & Mel Carpenter.”--Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard

"Many of the medicinal herbs used in the herbal industry are still imported, even though we have ideal conditions as landowners and farmers to fulfill the growing demand. United Plant Savers’ motto, "conservation through cultivation," is a way in which we can take demand off of wild harvested native medicinals, and also stimulate regional sources for a dynamic and growing market. This book could not be more timely. We need domestic herb farmers not only to supply a growing demand for herbal medicine but also as a critical component to ensuring an abundant supply of American medicinal plants for generations to come.”--Susan Leopold, Executive Director, United Plant Savers

"With this beautiful and informative book, Jeff and Melanie Carpenter share the knowledge they have gathered as they have realized their vision over the last 15 years on their 10-acre farm in Vermont. The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer serves as a training manual to support U.S. domestic production of high-quality medicinal herbs. 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 (AHPA)

“Jeff and Melanie Carpenter give me hope for the future of herb farming. In this book, they generously share very useful experience-based information and lessons learned, which will help young prospective herb farmers to avoid pitfalls and plan for an economically viable and appropriately scaled operation for sustainable production. Read this book before you start up!”--Josef Brinckmann, VP of Sustainability, Traditional Medicinals

"Finally, a book to recommend to the increasing number of organic farmers who are looking to grow medicinal herb crops. This inspiring handbook provides the quality and depth of information that only comes from years of first-hand experience. Having begun our own herb-growing and herbal product manufacture 35 years ago, I am completely impressed with the comprehensive breadth of topics and business wisdom that the Carpenters have so generously shared."--Sara Katz, Co-founder of Herb Pharm and Board President of United Plant Savers  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Carpenter

Jeff and Melanie Carpenter own and operate Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, Vermont. They have recently co-authored the book, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer due out in the spring of 2015 published by Chelsea Green.

Jeff Carpenter has farming in his blood. Descended from generations of Vermont farmers, Jeff deepened his love and understanding of plants through an apprenticeship with Rosemary Gladstar and as the co-owner of Sage Mountain Herb Products. Since those early days, Jeff's work as a farmer, agricultural consultant, educator, and researcher has focused on the cultivation and marketing of medicinal herbs. Jeff also partners with Rosemary Gladstar in hosting the International Herb Symposium. His passion for the green  world is evident as he spends his days working in the fields and in the community.

Melanie Carpenter

Jeff and Melanie Carpenter own and operate Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, Vermont. They have recently co-authored the book, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer due out in the spring of 2015 published by Chelsea Green.

Melanie Carpenter grew up at Sage Mountain under the loving tutelage of herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It was there that Melanie started her first business, Sage Mountain Herb Products. Over the last twenty years, she has worked as a farmer, mother, community herbalist, and educator. In addition to her work as a farmer, Melanie serves on the board of directors of United Plant Saver and assists her family in directing the International Herb Symposium and New England Women’s Herbal Conference. She believes that some of the most profound teachings and healings come from working on the land with the plants. To that end, Melanie offers classes on the farm to help people explore and deepen their connection to the green nations.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Zack Woods Herb Farm

Zack Woods Herb Farm

WCAX Across the Fence: Zack Woods Herb Farm

WCAX Across the Fence: Zack Woods Herb Farm

Urban Moonshine: Zack Woods Herb Farm

Urban Moonshine [Farm Day]: Zack Woods Herb Farm

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

The War on Bugs

The War on Bugs

By Will Allen

In the early nineteenth century as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profit-sucking, output-wreaking, arch-nemesis of the average American farmer: bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a "shock and awe" media campaign that can only be paralleled to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream—and there was a cure available to every farmer available in spray, granule, dust, or systemic form that could be applied to any crop.

Will Allen's The War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies—and even Dr. Seuss—colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise.

When it first appeared in 2008, this groundbreaking “people’s history of agricultural chemicals” was far ahead of its time, and this newly revised and updated edition brings readers up to date on issues, detailing how organic and populist farmers, consumers, and activists have struggled against toxic chemicals in our environment and our food supply.

Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic like The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 100,000 Guinea Pigs by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air, and ourselves is now!

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The War on Bugs

Will Allen, Vandana Shiva

Paperback $19.95

Four-Season Harvest

Four-Season Harvest

By Eliot Coleman

If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine.

This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.

To learn more about the possibility of a four-season farm, please visit Coleman's website www.fourseasonfarm.com.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Four-Season Harvest

Eliot Coleman, Kathy Bray, Barbara Damrosch

Paperback $24.95

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

By Tradd Cotter

What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides? Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural disaster? How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation so that growers stand a better chance of success? 

For more than twenty years, mycology expert Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter not only offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices; he shares the results of his groundbreaking research and offers myriad ways to apply your cultivation skills and further incorporate mushrooms into your life—whether your goal is to help your community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale. 

The book first guides readers through an in-depth exploration of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills range from integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden and building a “trenched raft” of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn to producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4×4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns. For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter offers in-depth coverage of lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials. 

Cotter also reports his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, “training” mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans.

Geared toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the use of pesticides, Cotter takes “organic” one step further by introducing an entirely new way of thinking—one that looks at the potential to grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere, and by anyone.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Tradd Cotter

Paperback $39.95

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

By Graham Burnett

How we eat is such a fundamental part of what we are; yet, in our present time-poor culture of prepackaged fast foods, food can become an expensive symptom of alienation and disempowerment. It doesn’t have to be this way! The Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home- or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.

In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for "animals, people, and environment" of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy, and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature, and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Vegan Book of Permaculture

Graham Burnett

Paperback $24.95