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Reply To: Herbal gardening 

Home Forums Online Herbalism Programs Herbal gardening  Reply To: Herbal gardening 

#34052
Deborah Shewchuk
Participant

This is in regards to wanting to grow herbs at a market scale, so far I have read the recommended text by the Carpenter’s cover to cover, and am in a research phase for what will grow well in my area and the specific conditions each plant likes. We have access to certified organic land to grow and live on however it would take some time to really get going as we would be likely not to have the greenhouse and drying shed built before spring unless we are really on the ball. We still need to figure out what it would mean to be certified ourselves and it feels a little crazy to grow too much of any one herb when we currently don’t have buyers. If we weren’t able to sell dried plants tincturing would be an option to give us time however we are hoping to learn what it takes to secure contracts to grow wholesale.

My question is about finding suppliers and choosing plants that will be desirable for companies that use herbs and dispensaries. Am I just to cold call companies that use or sell herbs and ask what they could potentially be interested in in the future? What about pricing? I understand that in order to secure bigger contracts distributors will want to see samples of the product at the grade and quality they are looking for. So the strategy for getting started will be to grow a diverse sample of medicinals. There were a few ideas of plants to consider growing mentioned in the gardening course and I have a list of the top herbs I believe are useful and becoming more and more popular (Nettles, Lemon Balm & other Mints, Dandelion, Calendula, Elderberry, etc) Many things I am interested in growing like Rhodiola, Valeriana, Goldenseal, Ginseng, Echinacea, etc take multiple years and so I am eager to get started. (Oats and Red Clover would be used as ground cover)

If it is true that the way to find what there is a demand for in the market is simply brainstorming/researching and calling companies is there any advice on how to do that professionally/what questions to ask or information to have ready to answer? I can guess some of this, however, if there are other ways to assess and research the herbal market in Canada to better inform what seeds and rootstock to purchase our first year and to make contact with potential buyers it would be incredibly valuable.

Perhaps over time creating either an online dispensary, value-added products like teas, tinctures and infused oils and vinegar could be an option however what I am truly interested in at this time is learning about the wholesale/grower/supplier aspect.

Any resources, thoughts, critiques, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Deborah