Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

  • Petaluma, CA

Support the Farm and Purchase:

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm:
The Cultivator's Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production
Price $34.95 (plus CA sales tax, where applicable, and shipping)  
(Domestic Sales Only.) Order here.

Detailed information on growing and harvesting organic Chinese medicinal herbs, complete with medicinal and culinary uses.

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the United States, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners.

It has become increasingly important–especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow–that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regard to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad.

Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through seventy-nine detailed herb profiles–all tested and trialed on Schafer’s certified organic farm–Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout.

Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from. The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever.


Part One: Cultivating to Conserve Connecting with Quality Asian Botanicals
Chapter One: Farming to Be Part of the Solution
  • Evolving Herbal Traditions
  • Risks to the Future of Herbalism
  • Solutions for Continued Availability

Chapter Two: Herb Quality
  • Wild Quality
  • Assessing Herb Quality
  • Regulating Herbs
  • Like Fine Wines . . .

Chapter Three: Cultivation in the Nursery, Garden, and Field
  • Planning
  • Seed Starting and Propagation
  • Managing Your Soil
  • Planting
  • Seasonal Care
  • Managing Invasive Plant Risk

Chapter Four: The Harvest and Marketing
  • Harvesting Medicine
  • Drying Herb Crops
  • Storing Dried Herbs
  • Shipping Fresh or Dry Herbs
  • Collecting and Saving Seed for Sowing
  • Selling What You Grow
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • Make Alliances

Chapter Five: Conservation and Global Trade in Medicinal Plants
  • Current Status: Factors and Reasons for Concern
  • Who Needs Protection?
  • Protective Measures
  • How Effective Are the Protective Strategies?
  • Cultivate to Conserve
  • How to Be Part of the Solution

Part Two: 79 Medicinal Herb Profiles

Peg Schafer is recognized as one of the pioneers and leaders in the field of the cultivation of Asian herbs. After more than fifteen years of commercial herb cultivation and research at the Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm in Petaluma, California, Schafer has distilled her findings into a guide for growers and practitioners of Chinese medicine. Schafer has played an influential role in establishing a network of organizations including Fu Tian Herbs, the first company in the United States to solely offer certified organic, domestically grown Chinese herbs (which she-co-founded), The Sonoma County Herb Association, and The Medicinal Herb Consortium. Along with offering seed and field-grown herbs, Schaferís own Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm operates as an experimental farm to investigate herb cultivation and aid herb conservation. Its internship program gives people hands-on knowledge experience in all aspects of growing and harvesting Chinese herbs.

ISBN: 9781603583305 Year Added to Catalog: 2011
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: Full Color Throughout
Dimensions: 8 x 10
Number of Pages: 336
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Pub Date: December, 2011
Retail Price: U.S. $34.95 / Canada $38.50
Category: Gardening & Agriculture


Michael Phillips author of The Holistic Orchard, and co-author Nancy Phillips of The Herbalist’s Way
“ Peg Schafer understands in more ways than one that good health springs from the land. Herbs from the Chinese tradition perfectly complement more familiar healing plants. The concept of ‘regional medicine farms’ resonates so well with the growing desire to eat more locally. But of course! We are what we eat, and that includes the medicinal plants that work with our bodies to create wholeness. Every plant person will instantly recognize the gift waiting within this book—Schafer shares many astute observations of how each plant garners medicinal oomph, what she calls the vital qi (chi) of each herb. And that’s the right sort of inspiration to launch any thinking gardener! ”

Roy Upton, RH, DAyu, Executive Director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
“ There are fewer things that are more important to medicinal plant quality and environmental stewardship than how we harvest and grow our plants. This text charts a new course in Chinese medicinal plant cultivation by providing the guidance needed to grow the most important of Chinese herbs domestically. Having this as a resource, from the most experienced Chinese medicinal herb grower in North America, offers more than a cultivation guide, but rather an assurance of proper plant identification, optimal growing and harvesting conditions, freshness of materials, and the ability to access Chinese medicinals with the lowest carbon footprint possible. ”

Bill Schoenbart, L.Ac., D.A.O.M
“  This is by far the most detailed and thorough book that addresses the urgent issue of organic cultivation and processing of Chinese herbs. lt will have a profound effect on future land use, herb availability, pesticide burdens, and sustainability in a field that is expanding rapidly around the world. I can't stress enough how valuable and rare this information is to practitioners and users of Chinese herbal medicine. I highly recommend this book for all TCM herbalists, as well as gardeners and farmers who want to learn the art of the organic cultivation of Chinese medicinals.  ”

Andrew Ellis, author of Notes from South Mountain: A Guide to Concentrated Herb Granules
“  For the practitioner of Chinese medicine, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is a teacher, drawing us closer to the herbs we use. For the casual gardener, it is a handbook for growing fresh Chinese herbs as part of a healthy diet. For anyone who has an interest in growing their own Chinese herbs, Peg Schafer gives us a new reason to look forward to spring.  ”