Workshop fee: $90
This workshop is about small-scale medicinal herb production. The main focus will be on what tasks need to be done at this time of year. Harvesting, irrigation, weeding. We will look at examples of rhizomatous bed crops, subshrubs, annuals, biennials, 4-year root crops, long-term perennials, trees, etc. I have learned how to achieve good production starting in year one and every year thereafter. My systems are influenced by agroforestry and permaculture.
The workshop will be geared towards small-scale, commercial production. Yard-scale up to a couple acres. This workshop will be useful to people already growing herbs as well as people thinking of getting into herb farming. It doesn’t take a large production if you have a value-added business. The most land Michael has farmed at one time is two acres. He is currently farming two plots totaling 1/2 of an acre with 100 plant species. My specialty is medicinal agroforestry systems, aka medicinal food forests.
I do a lot of my farming with hand tools. Generally I have my new plots worked up with a tractor. I then plant a perennial system and it is only hand tools after that. Tractors and rototillers are great tools at certain scales, but all scales of intensive herbal production require a great deal of hand labor, human eyes, attentiveness, and love.
The workshop will include hands-harvesting, weeding, and tool demonstrations.
Michael Pilarski, of Friends of the Trees Botanicals, has farmed a wide diversity of crops in permaculture and agroforestry systems. He has been farming medicinal plants for the last 22 years in western and eastern Washington with a focus on small-scale and low capitalization.
Bring a brown bag lunch. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and come prepared for the weather as we will be outside part of the day.
We will be looking at crops such as: meadow arnica, skullcap, sheep sorrel, bugleweed, nettles, thyme, hyssop, oregano, garden sage, betony, red clover, yarrow, beebalm, black cohosh, culver’s root, Joe-Pye weed, Echinacea, teasel, valerian, comfrey, elecampane, marshmallow, horseradish, boneset, meadowsweet, lady’s mantle, catnip, California poppy, holy basil, sweet annie, elderberry, oatstraw, ginkgo, dandelion, wild lettuce, and many more.