Commercial Organic Herb Cultivation
Answered by: Rick Miller
Question from: Janette
Posted on: June 04, 2010

I have about 60 acres in the Woodriver Valley just south of Sun Valley in Southern Idaho. The ranch has most recently been used to pasture cattle. I have dreamed of raising lavender until I read a response from you stating it wasn’t really commercially viable. What herb or crop could be organically grown in that area that might make sense?

I know your region, having farmed both areas, including across the river (Ontario, OR). I also have done numerous Farm Plans for the Butte Falls and other regions of this part of Idaho. One involved new technology to grow Chamomile flower-heads. Another grew a certified organic Peppermint Leaf.

With irrigation, mints do exceptionally well in your region. This is considered prime habitat for growing most seed crops and other commercial products, like sugar beets and onion. Lavenders would also grow, but their markets are somewhat limited to French imports.

Some friends even grew upward of 40 acres of scented geraniums in that region, for the floral and potpourri markets.

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