100acres #156843 - Ask Extension

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100acres #156843

Asked October 13, 2013, 10:34 AM EDT

Our working horse farm is now closed. We have lots of medicinal herbs on the property but no ginseng, golden seal or elderberry how can I get started to reintroduce these species.

Sullivan County Tennessee

Expert Response

Hello:  An interesting question since in the South we have so much private forest land that could be productively used for plant conservation like you are thinking of!  The first thing to look at is what is there and what habitat are you working with.  Given your location you likely have good habitat for the plants you mention.
To get started with forest medicinals, I'd say look at NCherbs and sister site NC Medicinal Herbs, websites set up by NC Extension that have excellent information about forest and other medicinal plants. The sites will have references to books about how to propagate from seed (ginseng) and roots (goldenseal) as well as information about the NC Herb Association. You could look at eXtension FF CoP for some info on Goldenseal (file too big to attach) and black cohosh, as well as business aspects.  The USDA NAC has good fact sheets about forest farming.
For elderberry, Missouri is leading the way. See the video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebYtzcnbVoE for a recent presentation from their symposium held in June 2013 that will give you info on the cultivars they have had success with (Wildwood, Adams, Bob Gordon etc.).
 I'd be happy to help further if you want to talk more about aspects of the project.  There are many people in the SE region working on these forest medicinals, and good market brokers.  Good luck with your efforts. 
Sarah Workman Replied October 14, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT

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