Medicinal Crop Suggestions for Saskatchewan
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Garry Richards
Posted on: February 13, 2002

My wife and I have 2 acres of land certified organic and this spring will be our first crop planted on it. We do not have a lot of time to plant crops on this plot as we have a grain farm as well. What I thought we could do is plant some shrub type/tree type medicinal herbs that may require less work, at least this first spring.

Can you suggest any such shrub/tree/bush type of medicinal herb that may work for us. This plot is in the middle of a larger bush in the parklands of East Central Saskatchewan. We thought of planting a hedge around the plot or putting up a fence for protection from deer and rabbits.

Any suggestions as to a hedge or would fence be better? We realize that it may take a few years have a harvest off the tree/shrub type medicinals. Also, what marketable herbs may be wildcrafted from this area? We are approximately thirty miles south east of Yorkton. Thank you for your time.

Conrad asked me to help make some comments regarding a "shrub type/tree type medicinal herbs." For Saskatchewan that’s easy; I would suggest Ginkgo biloba. Sea buckthorn is being cultivated extensively in Manitoba, and there may some growers in Saskatchewan.

The Ginkgo leaf is harvested every summer, and the price is stable right now at US$3.75/lb., FOB for certified organic leaf. It will take up to four years before you have any volumes from the tree. Shrubs, like Sea buckthorn will require joining a marketing organization (like cranberries). There are several producers from Canada now, but that would be good for a fence line.

Most of Ginkgo comes from China, but the color is off. It is important that it be green, although it tends toward the silver when dried too fast. You would need a grain bin or other forced hot air system. It is best not sun cured on tarps, although some have been able to do it in the shade.

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