Sunday, December 27, 2015

Oriental Medicinal Herbs Grown in Upstate New York Soil

"This project is seriously fascinating," says farmer Rebekah Rice, quoted in this Finger Lakes Times story — Chinese medicinal herbs provide niche market for US farmers. Fascinating indeed, but hardly new; in my previous blogging incarnation, I reported that this trade is well into its third century — American Ginseng.

"As a farmer," says Ms. Rice, "I love the idea of growing something no one else is growing, something that's good for people." Says Jamie Starkey, a licensed practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, "If growers in the U.S. can produce a highest-quality product that is identical to species from China, without contamination from heavy metals or pesticides, I think it's a great opportunity for farmers."

This is a great "back-to-the-land" idea, especially for someone like me with familial and cultural ties to the continent of Asia. Ontario Pear was an inspiration. The idea of "artisanal tofu" still calls. Makgeolli brewing might be just what this region needs. But Chinese herbology sound even better, perhaps coupled with advanced degree from the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

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