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Farm Stories: Herbs of Appalachia

Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia

 

We find ourselves deep in the heart of Appalachia, a land rich in botanical diversity and steeped in herbal tradition. The people and plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina welcome us with their hospitality and eclectic nature.

The purpose of our visit to the oldest mountains in the world was to learn more about the botanicals we source from this region. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Stone Root (Collinsonia canadensis) are just a few of the many plants from this area offered by Mountain Rose Herbs. As much time as we spend researching these plants, we know that "boots on the ground" exploration supersedes all other forms of information gathering. There is nothing like sharing a real connection, plant to person, for learning from these beings. 

 

Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia

 

These prized native plants have been harvested by the people of this region for generations and their uses have been passed down for just as long. Because of their properties, some have become subject to over-harvesting and undue pressure as market trends and herb lust contribute to unethical collection practices.

By the late 1920s, crude drug companies were supplying substantial volumes of wild harvested plant material to the world market. Today, there are some regulations in place to manage the harvesting of threatened and endangered plants in Appalachia, as permits are required for the collection of non-timber forest products. The people of Appalachia value their plants by stewarding and sharing them with others.

 

Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia

Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia

 

Mountain Rose Herbs constantly works to support preservation projects and educate customers about the sensitive plants that grow in this region. We have aligned ourselves with organizations such as the United Plant Savers, who provide up-to-date “At Risk” and “To Watch” lists to encourage public awareness and responsible use of these botanicals. We are also proud to support the PCO Forest Grown Verification Program which focuses on cultivation and forest farming of plants that are in danger of being overharvested.

Although we love retreating to our own coniferous woods here in Oregon to study the local flora, the botanicals, deciduous forest, and geological features of the Appalachian Mountains left our senses reeling and plant brains satisfied with wonder at this majestic treasure trove of traditionally used plant life that thrives there.

 

Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia


Farm Stories: Medicinal Herbs of Appalachia

We had the pleasure of studying many plants native to Appalachia during our visit to Gardens of The Blue Ridge, which is a native plant nursery that's been family owned since 1892 and is now in its fourth generation of operation.

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Mountain Rose Herbs - Farm Stories

Jacob is our Procurement Officer here at Mountain Rose. A fourth generation Oregonian, he spent his boyhood exploring the woods, leading to a lifelong reverence for nature. He apprenticed at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies where he learned to harvest plants sustainably and make medicine for friends and family. He also practices the traditional Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do, loves books on plants, Chinese philosophy, and fantasy/adventure novels.

Topics: Environmental Action, Herb Stories, On the Farm, organic agriculture

Friends

Written by Friends on November 12, 2015