The EASTERN FOREST CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE CONSORTIUM is a joint effort to support ecological growers of Chinese medicinal herbs in the eastern forest biome of North America.

Initiated by two nonprofits and one benefit corporation in 2014, the Consortium expects to welcome other local groups of certified and licensed practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine who work directly with ecological growers to develop domestic production.

Our intention is to prevent the wheel-spinning and duplication of effort that have thwarted the emergence of this industry. Chinese herbal medicine is an extremely vast, complex science. The herbs are mostly perennial plants, used in traditional formulas containing as many as 12-15 different ingredients. The herbs are highly valuable in the appropriate context, but not necessarily as a single crop – that’s why a cooperative group approach to the market is required.

Perennial polyculture can be a challenge for our small diversified farms, which have depended on annual vegetable cropping and animal husbandry for their main income. Again, a supportive group helps farmers integrate new procedures and schedules into their operations.

To predict prices for herbs that take 3, 5, 10 or even 15 years to grow is difficult, if not impossible. Producer relationships with local practitioner customers, sustained over the long term in a cooperative group, give people the confidence to plant crops.

The Eastern Forest CHMC aims to:

  • Generate funding for technical assistance to growers,
  • Distribute knowledge of crops along with verified plant and seed stocks,
  • Help establish practices and standards for harvests,
  • Compare and mutually evaluate results, and
  • Share and celebrate the values that ensure access to clean, efficacious and locally grown medicine in the future.

Current members of the Consortium:

Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine, Pilot VA

High Falls Foundation, Philmont NY

Please visit our FAQs for information regarding our growing capacity, farmers and philosophy.

Contact: Jean Giblette, EasternForest@highfallsgardens.net