An Appalachian Herb Gathering planned in Meigs County

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RUTLAND, Ohio – An Appalachian Herb Gathering will convene in Meigs County, Ohio, June 23-24, with as many as 400 landowners, herb growers, and small business owners coming to learn about growing, marketing, and conserving native plants.

The Rural Action Landowners Conference will be merged with United Plant Savers annual conference to create the Gathering at the United Plant Savers botanical sanctuary and the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs research and education center in Rutland.

Rural Action has helped bring the groups together to form the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association, dedicated to support growers with growing and marketing woodland products.

The conference will feature over 40 speakers from across the region and across the country, with Steven Foster, nationally known herbal author and photographer presenting the keynote address.

Also on program.

Other speakers will include: ginseng grower and author, Scott Persons, author of American Ginseng: Green Gold; ginseng expert Bob Beyfuss; Rosemary Gladstar, founder of the California School of Herbal Studies and founder of United Plant Savers; Tis Mal Crow, a traditionally trained root doctor of Cherokee, Hitchiti, and Lumbee heritage; and Paul Strauss, Ohio farmer, herbalist and beekeeper and owner of Equinox Botanicals. His 700-acre farm was designated by United Plant Savers as its first model farm.

In addition to the hands-on aspects of growing plants there will also be programming on growing a business.

And the meeting will include an expanded focus on the use, conservation, and restoration of native medicinal plants and their habitats.

“We expect it to be the best conference in the country for growing ginseng and other medicinal herbs,” said Colin Donohue, Rural Action’s director of conservation based programs. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for landowners to learn from national experts on cultivation, conservation, and the use of medicinals.”

Wide-variety of topics.

Topics include: low impact woodland herb cultivation, soil. foxfire herbs, nursery propagation of woodland medicinal plants, creating botanical sanctuaries, plant identification, ecological herbalism, growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, Chinese medicinal plants, sustainable forest management and tree identification, agricultural taxes and bookkeeping, healing lichens, native prairie restoration, and wild foods restaurants and marketing.

The full weekend price ranges from $120 to $145, depending on membership status and date of registration. Day passes for local growers will be available for $30 to $45.

Scholarships are available for low-income persons, and work-trade is also available.

For more information call Cynthia Brunly at Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry program at 740-767-2090.

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