Getting Started Wildcrafting in Utah
Answered by: Rick Miller
Question from: Lisa, Utah
Posted on: September 13, 2010

Hello from the western high desert of Utah, right in the middle of nowhere! I’m an herb and aromatic plants fanatic and I want to make super good money working with them. I don’t care if I’m growing, grinding, mixing, distilling, whatever. I just want to find out the best and most efficient way to get the money rolling in.

I have plenty of acreage for growing, but I need to have capital in order to do that. However, anything else dealing with herbs and/or aromatics is fine with me. What is my best move in this industry today? Affiliation, website, herbal pet care formulas, perfume making recipes? I’m just not sure which way to go.

I know the high deserts of Utah, having wildcrafted them for more than 20 years. Your description of adding value to aromatic crops is a very good idea. What you have to sell is your labour.

Working from this point of view, most crops won’t need larger capital equipment, but mostly be taken by hand. Basil, often used to make fresh pesto, can yield upward of $40,000/acre in labour alone. Capital equipment needed would include a walk-in freezer and stainless steel sinks (for food processing). This means only 2 acres might be needed to hold a contract.

If I lived where you do, I would absolutely consider harvesting Mormon Tea (Desert Tea) from the wild. I did this for more than 20 years, and someone should be doing it on a more local basis. Another crop for consideration would include Chaparral, for the NADGA chemistries, used in cancer treatments.

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