News Article Details

ASD introduces forest farming

Bristol Herald Courier - 2/6/2018

ABINGDON, Va. - Registration is now open for a series of classes and training events designed to offer networking opportunities and to prepare farmers to become growers for the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub.

Herb hub grower information sessions are free. Registration is open and is required at Attendees will learn about becoming a grower for the Appalachian Harvest herb hub. Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) is seeking growers of native medicinal herbs, such as ginseng, goldenseal, and black cohosh to participate in their Appalachian Harvest herb hub. Located in Duffield, Virginia, the Herb Hub provides growers a processing facility for washing, drying and packaging herbs, as well as technical training and marketing assistance.

Information Sessions:

» Feb. 8, 6 -7:30 p.m., Appalachian College of Pharmacy, 1060 Dragon Rd.Oakwood, Virginia;

» Feb. 15, 6 -7:30 p.m., Wise County School Board Building, 628 Lake St. NE., Wise, Virginia;

» Feb. 20, 6-7:30 p.m., Forest Farmer Grower-Industry Expo and Training : Appalachian Harvest Food Hub, 280 Boone Trail Rd., Duffield, Virginia. There is no charge for the expo, and a $15 fee is for the afternoon technical sessions. Registration is open at 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;

» May 19, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.: The Forest Farmer Field Day: Registration at The Renaissance Center, 1200 E Center St., Kingsport, Tennessee, Includes a catered lunch, $15 fee. Registration is open at 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;

» May 20, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Appalachian Harvest herb hub, 280 Boone Trail Rd., Duffield, Virginia.

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 $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.


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