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Growing Native Botanicals

Appalachian Sustainable Development partners to offer a variety of Spring sessions and trainings for farmers interested in growing native botanicals

By Sylvia Crum

Growing Native BotanicalsSpring is always an exciting time at Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)! In the early months of each year, ASD program managers and staff are planning for educational workshops and classes, ordering seeds and repairing supplies and tools. To meet the growing interest in medicinal herbs, for 2018, ASD has created a Spring schedule chock full of a variety of sessions and trainings for young and old of all skill sets.

For forest farmers interested in growing for the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub:

Forest Farmer Grower-Industry Expo and Training: May 19, 2018, 9:00am-6:00pm, Kingsport Renaissance Center, 1200 E Center St., Kingsport, TN. Registration required. There is no charge for the expo, and a $15 fee for the afternoon technical sessions. To register, go to:

The expo will connect herb companies, apothecaries, and herbal product makers with experienced and aspiring forest farmers for a day of networking and learning. Panel discussions with forest farmers and buyers will share valuable experiences and advice, and technical training sessions will be offered for all skill and experience levels. Topics will include herb cultivation and propagation techniques, plant conservation, certification, value-added production and more. Vendors are encouraged to attend, with a limited number of tables available.

The Forest Farmer Field Day: May 20, 2018, 10:00am-3:30pm, Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub, 280 Boone Trail Rd., Duffield, VA. Registration required, catered lunch provided, $15 fee. To register go to:

The day will start with a tour of the Appalachian Harvest herb hub and a discussion on the economics of cultivating forest-grown medicinal herbs. After a catered lunch, attendees will tour forest farmer Ryan Huish’s farm, learning about his plans for cultivating forest herbs, along with plant identification and information on site selection and more. The tour will include a mildly strenuous hike through diverse forest ecosystems.

All events in the series are sponsored by Appalachian Sustainable Development and partners in the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition. For more information or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Emily Lachniet: or 276-623-1121.

About the Appalachian Harvest food and herb hub
Since 2000, Appalachian Sustainable Development’s food hub, Appalachian Harvest (AH), has helped produce farmers access markets by securing orders from food brokers and retailers, providing aggregation and distribution support, training in food safety and handling, organic certification and marketing services. Appalachian Harvest revenue has climbed to more than $14.6 million, and its products are available in approximately 3,800 stores from Maryland to Georgia.

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Nationally known and respected for its commitment to local farmers, Appalachian Sustainable Development is transitioning Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food.

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working in 15 counties in Central Appalachia. ASD’s reach has since expanded to include eastern WV and KY and southeast OH. ASD uses 6 strategies to accomplish its work:  closing the knowledge gap, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity. For more information about ASD go to, Facebook or Twitter.

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