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“The physician of tomorrow will study mankind in relation to his environment, will prevent disease at the source, and will cease to confine himself to the temporary alleviation of the miseries resulting from malnutrition.”

Sir Albert Howard, 1947
THE SOIL AND HEALTH

A message from Jean Giblette and Peg Schafer

We’re two LOCAL growers of the bright and Qi-full Chinese medicinal herbs you may have seen at colleges and conferences, or perhaps in our 2005-07 “Sample Packs” of domestically and ecologically grown herbs.

The Oriental Medicine (“OM”) community in the U.S. has responded with enthusiasm and now we have many orders and not enough herbs! This website serves as a portal and clearinghouse to identify our affiliate groups working to produce Chinese medicinal herbs, in the interests of the developing domestic production industry.

Our purpose

People ask us how we can “compete” with China.  The answer is, LOCAL values avoid the global commodity system.  Oriental Medicine will continue to depend on herbs from China.  Our respected suppliers (and friends) who serve the OM community are doing a good job of sourcing in China.

What LOCAL means is this.  We are taking the first steps toward a long-term goal:  the restoration of authentic plant medicine in North America.  Since 1970, the theoretical base of Asian medicine, with its vast, detailed knowledge of plants and herb combinations, has taken root in our society.  The medicinal plants of Asia and North America are similar.  Many people now see the adaptation of Asian medicine as our big opportunity to get away from the simplistic drug model, to greatly broaden our diets, and to achieve self-sufficiency in medicine harvested from our fields, forests, deserts and wetlands.

And, most important, the Asian scholarship can be re-infused with the spiritual values held in trust by Native Americans for the past 500 years.  If we learn to respect Mother Earth’s ways and the medicine she gives us, we are rewarded with abundance – and health.  We realize this truth in our gardens every day.

How we can go back to the garden

Development of domestic sources of ecologically grown Chinese herbs (and their North American substitutes) will take years, even decades.  It’s a process of applied science, best undertaken by growers and agricultural researchers led by Chinese herbal medicine professionals who uphold quality standards and provide incentives.

Yes, in the short term local organic farmers may be persuaded to grow some herbs. But no one bioregion can grow all the herbs OM practitioners need to make commonly used formulas. Ten years from now, will practitioners or suppliers be willing to order herbs from a hundred different farmers? And the local farmer – how will he or she get the assurances needed to plant perennial crops on valuable land?

Historically farmers, suffering the vagaries of the marketplace, have been forced to compete against each other in a spiral of diminishing returns.  Little incentive for quality and other values exists in the global commodity system.  That’s why community-supported agriculture and other forms of direct marketing were created in recent decades.  A return to LOCAL values is close at hand.

Cooperation is necessary for science, for economy, and to achieve our goal.  We have put up LOCAL HERBS to begin enlisting OM practitioners and growers in support of our development process, and to build durable business structures for this long-term enterprise.

What you can do

  • Make a tax-deductible donation

Right now we are supporting the development of domestic cultivation (including this website) through nonprofit donations to High Falls Foundation, Inc.

High Falls Foundation, Inc. also fundraises for farmer education and training programs, research on crop production, and other aspects of long-term development for domestic production of East Asian medicinal herbs. We are helping to guarantee your access to high-quality medicines!

  • Begin your own dialogue with the plants

The plants are calling you – from new gardens of Chinese medicinal plants growing in several places around the country.  Peg and Jean (and our colleague Joe Hollis in North Carolina) each provide internship and other education programs for the OM community.  Opportunities to get connected are proliferating.

  • Contact either of us.  Let’s share the journey!

Jean and Peg

 

Jean Giblette
High Falls Gardens
Box 125
Philmont NY 12565
518-672-7365
info@highfallsgardens.net

Peg Schafer
Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm
296 Wetmore Lane
Petaluma, CA  94952
707-765-9611
info@chinesemedicinalherbfarm.com