... The Specialty Crops Program run by Dr. Jeanine Davis at NC State’s Mountain Horticultural Crops and Research and Extension Center is addressing these concerns by incorporating Chinese herb cultivation into the Specialty Crops Program. Dr. Davis’ program focuses on alternative crops for farmers interested in production diversification, including the cultivation of Western medicinal herbs. In 2010 this focus expanded to include Chinese herbs with Dr. Davis and colleagues leading a collaborative between representatives from community colleges, state universities, the extension service, private business, and interested landowners to form the Alternative Agricultural Working Group. This group began to address the issues of the supply and quality of herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with the primary aim to explore the economic viability for Western North Carolina to become a reliable supplier of Chinese herbs by establishing six test plots throughout the region.Read the full article
2011 was the second year for the initiative, with three more test plots established on farms in Western North Carolina. At the end of 2011, six growers of Chinese and/or Western herbs and a local herb distributor came together to form a cooperative business, Appalachian Botanical Alliance ...