Another project that has been keeping me very busy over the past year has been the new medicinal herb farm in Chicago.
After months of planning that began in December 2015, the 2016 growing season in Chicago began on March 27, with a seed starting bonanza in the GreenWorks building. The task ahead was quite a daunting one — creating a 2-acre medicinal herb farm with 35 different varieties of plants. As nearly 10,000 medicinal herb seedlings needed to be sprouted and planted in the field within 2 months, there was no time to waste.
With the urgency of purpose and high stakes, I knew we needed some heavy firepower, so I called in for reinforcements… AYUDH! 🙂
After watching a short instructional video on seed starting, prepared by dedicated Japanese devotees, I became the de facto subject matter expert (?!), showing everyone what to do. This day was for sowing the seeds of the less cold-hardy plants that would need more time to mature before being transplanted in the field.
The youth quickly took over and immersed themselves in the process.
Each one of the dozens of 72 cell-trays prepared was labeled with the name of the plant and the date the seeds had been sown.
In a short time, we had finished enough trays for almost 1400 plants. Not bad for a group of beginners…
In the days to follow, many more such trays were prepared, until we had all of the herbs below ready to sprout.
|4||Baical Skullcap||Scutellaria baicalensis|
|7||Chamomile, German||Matricaria recutita|
|8||Chinese red sage (Dan Shen)||Salvia miltiorrhiza|
|9||Comfrey, true||Symphytum officinale var patens|
|11||Cornflower (Batchelor’s Buttons)||Centaurea cyanus|
|12||Dang Shen||Codonopsis pilosula|
|16||Lavender, English||Lavandula angustifolia vera|
|17||Lemon balm||Melissa offcinalis|
|18||Lemon grass||Cymbopogon citratus|
|19||Licorice, chinese||Glycyrrhiza uralensis|
|20||Madder Root||Rubia tinctorum|
|21||Marigold, French||tagetes patula|
|25||Red Clover||Trifolium pratense|
|26||Rhubarb, Victoria||Rheum rhabarbarum|
|27||Rose, Damask||Rosa damascena|
|28||Rose, Rugosa||Rosa rugosa|
|31||St.John’s Wort||Hypericum perforatum|
|34||Tulasi, Holy Basil||Ocimum tenuiflorum|
|35||Wood Betony||Stachis Officianalis|