Pioneers in Ecological Medicine (PEM)

dang guiInner Ecology™, in conjunction with sustainable agriculture organizations Eco-Vision, The Land Connection,, and Growing Power, is proud to host a workshop for local Midwestern growers interested in diversifying their businesses with specialty crops. The workshop, titled Pioneers in Ecological Medicine (PEM), will introduce growers to the basic strategies of producing domestic East Asian medicinal herbs.

About the Workshop

The workshop will be held at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum on February 1 & 2, 2013, from 9am-6pm both days. Topics will include:

  • Selecting zone-appropriate crops
  • Applying propagation strategies
  • Assessing and managing risks
  • Developing production plans
  • Calculating production costs
  • Implementing quality control
  • Marketing
  • Understanding legal and regulatory issues

Noted herb farming experts Jean Giblette of High Falls Gardens in New York and Peg Schafer of The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm in California will facilitate the workshop. With three decades of combined domestic herb-farming experience, Giblette and Schafer believe that sustainable production of East Asian herbs in the U.S. has the potential to benefit both local producers and practitioners.

“Practitioners—and their patients—can benefit from the freshness and quality control that are available when aligning with domestic producers,” explains Schafer. For farmers, “a cooperative production system can avoid herbal fads, overproduction, and boom-and-bust cycles that have plagued medicinal herb growers in the past,” Giblette adds. This is especially true in the Midwest, where Inner Ecology acts as a ready distribution network eager for more locally-produced herbs, which allows farmers to invest in new herb crops with confidence.

Ultimately, the workshop’s sponsors want to encourage cooperation among growers, herbal sourcing and quality specialists (dubbed “source herbologists”), practitioners, and consumers of herbal medicine to develop the sustainable production of locally-sourced medicinal herbs. This cooperation is an essential part of protecting the integrity of the field of herbology.

Amanda Kreiss, founding director of Inner Ecology, envisions this workshop as a first step toward a local herbal medicine economy that is based on producers and source herbologists dialoguing directly about supply and demand. “We know that the survival and evolution of East Asian herbology demands a thriving market of regionally-produced medicinals whose stories can be known from seed to shelf, the same way people savvy about personal health expect to know about their carrots and kale,” says Kreiss. “We already carry medicinals from domestic farmers, and we are eager to work with pioneering Midwestern growers we know and trust.”

About Registration

Workshop attendance is limited to professional farmers located in the Midwest. We hope to hold workshops for herbal practitioners in the near future. In the meantime, practitioners can support this workshop by making tax-deductible donations to Farmacopeia.

Cost of attendance includes lunch and refreshments. Reading The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is highly recommended before attending the workshop.

Individual two-day attendance: $150
2nd person from same farm two-day*: $95
3rd person from same farm two-day*: $95

*If more than three people from a farm are registering, please contact us for a rate. Multiple attendees from the same farm must be family members or employees.

Lunch and Refreshments

While at PEM you are our guests, and we are eager to introduce you to the nuances of traditional East Asian principles of nutrition through the mouth-watering, seasonally inspired, herb-infused dishes and teas that will nourish you.

Portions of the following menu were generously donated or provided at preferred prices by:

We are extremely grateful to Melea Britt Alexander for donating her time to create such amazing food for you.

Friday Lunch

  • Chinese Turkey Soup: pastured turkey & bone broth with ginger (sheng jiang), angelica root (dang gui), carrot, astragalus root (huang qi) & shiitake
  • Roasted Root Vegetables: turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel bulb, garlic, parsnips, sunchokes, fingerling potatoes
  • Pastured Eggs (vegetarian): with fresh ginger (sheng jiang) & scallions (cong bai)
  • Herb Shooter: cordyceps decoction (dong chong xia cao)

Friday Tea

  • Tea: with goji berries (gou qi zi) & chrysanthemum flowers (ju hua)

Saturday Lunch

  • Spiced Lamb Stew: lamb & bone broth with cinnamon bark (rou gui) & hawthorn berries (shan zha)
  • Steamed Rice: with gunpowder green tea leaves (lu cha)
  • Wilted Lacinato Kale: with wild mushrooms, walnuts (hu tao ren)
  • Roasted Eggplant (vegetarian): with cinnamon bark (rou gui), hawthorn berries (shan zha) & pine nuts
  • Breads: whole grain, gluten-free, dairy-free millet and teff breads

Saturday Tea

  • Tea: with rose hips (mei gui hua), mimosa flower (he huan hua) & licorice root (gan cao)