Best Medicinal Herbs for Southern California II
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Laurie Roberts
Posted on: February 26, 2007

I am actually interested in the grasses and grains for the cut ornamental market in the San Diego area. I would love to hear what you think about the >possibilities.

Again, my background is in the dried floral and preserved category – not fresh. Fifteen years ago I entertained a USDA-SBIR grant to preserve salal, and related wildcrafted forest products. I learned quite a bit about which dyes to use, and why. I even made a video (unpublished) on how to go into a field and harvest wild grasses. It is an artform.

I also like to recommend Jane EmbertsonÂ’’s "“Pods: Wildflowers and Weeds in Their Final Beauty (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1979; ISBN 0-684-155442-7). This is perhaps one of the finest books on the possibilities. Any single entry into the San Diego floral auction house would work.

I am available as an outside consultant, and can convey more information via telephone. You probably need me to build a overall business plan, with departure points on various product lines. Grains can be taken with a simple rice harvester (Kubota), and set up to chalk off 1-lb. bundles for field and shed drying, with later dying and preserving.

Begin reading some of the articles and books I have written. Then begin a long list of questions. That’s when you set up a conference call. I have done these kinds of projects for more than 30 years, and now find contentment writing weird physics. I am a small farm community advocate, and could “visualize” sections of San Diego where communities met at their common garden…

Both Winnipeg and Chicago now have pilot programs, parks are made into “victory gardens” for community meets (like the older Grange). With the right “yuppies…” Imagine growing an “Indian herbal coffee substitute” in downtown San Diego…. High school kids use recovered drug growing facilities to supply the downtown area of Winnipeg with fresh produce during the winter. They do it right in the center of town.

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