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Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production

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Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production

Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production

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    Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production Document Transcript

    • Herbs: Organic ATTRA Greenhouse Production A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgBy Katherine L. Adam This publication looks at marketing channels for and assesses the economics of small-scale organicNCAT Agriculture production of fresh-cut herbs. Certified organic production differs from conventional methods chieflySpecialist in fertility management and pest control. Propagation methods differ for annuals and perennials. For© NCAT 2005 information on producing potted herb plants, see the ATTRA publications Sustainable Small-scale Nurs- ery Production and Plug and Transplant Production for Organic Systems. SContents trict ly speak ing,Propagation there is no longerMaterial .............................. 3 a greenhouse herbMarketing industry in the U.S.(1)and Economics ................ 5 Commercial-scale green-Production ........................ 9 house production is sim-Integrated Pest ply not economically fea-Management (IPM) ..... 11 sible for fresh-cut herbs,References ...................... 13 when the entire U.S.Further Resources ........ 13 market can be supplied from outdoor operations in favorable climates and from foreign greenhouse producers. Two large organic herb farms now supply the Seattle pro- duce terminal serving the Pacific Northwest. Neither Lavender. Photo courtesy www.sxc.hu. USDA’s Agricultural Mar- keting Service nor USDA’s National Agricul- potting plants, vegetable starts, and orna- tural Statistics Service collects greenhouse mentals—some for direct market sales herb information as a separate category. and some for home use.(2) Direct-market- AMS collects information on fresh-cut herbs ed herbs are more likely to be sold as pot- sold at 16 national terminal markets, and ted plants than as fresh-cuts. In parts of NASS collects information on organic veg- the U.S. east of California, fresh-cut herb etable production. Potted plants are lump- sales make up only a minor portion of di- ed together with other nursery production rect market sales. The potential for local (mostly in greenhouses). The hope raised sales of fresh-cut herbs to upscale restau- 10 or 15 years ago that local growers would rants has been largely overstated. Chefs canATTRA - National SustainableAgriculture Information Service be supplying large amounts of fresh-cut now have whatever organic herb they wantis managed by the National herbs to the restaurant trade has been un- within 24 hours, at prices lower than thoseCenter for Appropriate Tech-nology (NCAT) and is funded dercut by developments in transportation of 10 years ago, although some do frequentunder a grant from the United and global marketing systems, making even their local farmers’ markets.States Department of Agricul- USDA-certified organic herbs readily andture’s Rural Business-Coopera- A 45-acre Tilth-certified herb farm, Herbco,tive Service. Visit the NCAT Web cheaply available from elsewhere.site (www.ncat.org/agri. accounts for most of the organic herbs com-html) for more informa-tion on our sustainable Small farmers who have greenhouses grow ing through the Seattle produce terminal.agriculture projects. ���� herbs along with winter salad greens, (Organic herb sales at selected terminals
    • are now reported by NewFarm.com.) The market reports, they have been replaced by supply is supplemented by Jacobs Farm— low-cost imports. The primary obstacle to growing on 300 certified organic acres at greenhouse herb production in the U.S. is Pescadero, California. Working with a net- low-cost competition. At present, the only work of certified organic growers in Baja profitable greenhouse winter vegetable crop Sur (Mexico), Jacobs Farm advertises on its in the U.S. is tomatoes.(1)Related ATTRA Web site that it can supply any quantity of The ATTRA publication Sustainable Small-Publications any temperate or tropical herb to any- Scale Nursery Production provides an in-Enterprise Planning where in the U.S. or the world. Oper- depth overview of production and marketingSustainable Small-scale ations are certified by Washington Tilth. of potted perennials. Many of the finer culi-Nursery Production Jacobs Farm, as well as CCOF-certified nary herbs—especially the MediterraneanAgricultural Business California growers, supplies organic herbs group (sage, marjoram, Greek oregano, thePlanning Templates to Melissa’s, a wholesale produce vendor to savories, thyme, rosemary, French tarra-and Resources whole foods chains and co-ops around the gon, and lavender)—are perennials raisedKeys to Success in country.Value-added from cuttings. Purely ornamental varietiesMarketing Technology and industry practices have of these herbs exist, as well. Potted peren-Marketing/Research also leaped forward. Heated wood-and-glass nials raised from seed, rather than cuttings, greenhouses are things of the past. Using include common lovage, alliums (such asHerb Production forOrganic Systems the newer plastic products, walk-in hoop- garlic chives), fennel, and some of the Mex-Direct Marketing houses have become the industry standard ican herbs. One or two wholesale nurseries for U.S. greenhouse crops. See ATTRA’s supply the entire U.S. nursery and gardenNCAT’s Organic CropsWorkbook very detailed publication about hoophouse store industry. Organic potted herbs are a production entitled Season Extension Tech- seasonal item found at farmers’ marketsOrganic MarketingResources niques for Market Gardeners. Hoophouses and a few specialized venues. The status ofOrganic Certifica- generally do not require heat, but supple- organic production of ornamentals is stilltion and the National mental heat can be provided. Acres of state- under review.Organic Program of-the-art, climate-controlled, glass-and- Organic production of annual herbs suchTransitioning to steel greenhouses in Mexico are providing as basil is similar to that for most vegeta-Organic Production most organic herbs sold in the U.S., accord- bles. For more information, see the ATTRA(SAN publication) ing to Tilth and USDA/NASS. Occasional publication Organic Crops Production Work-Hoophouses sales at farmers’ markets and through CSA book or the research studies summarized inSeason Extension baskets account for the rest. the ATTRA publication Herb Production forTechniques for MarketGardeners (extensive In the past farmers have been advised Organic Systems. Most annual herbs haveinformation on walk-in to “research any niche market carefully” short enough growing seasons to be raisedhoophouses) before investing. Finding reliable produc- in beds outdoors for local markets. SomeSupplies tion statistics and economic information is are started under cold frames, row covers,Seed Production and admittedly difficult, however, for a limited- or hoophouses.Variety Selection for resource land owner, especially one with- The International Federation of OrganicOrganic Systems out Internet access. To assess the potential Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) has ini-Suppliers of Organic market, do a risk-benefit analysis, and find tiated a Participatory Guarantee System inand Untreated Seed a viable niche requires evaluation of statis-(Web-only database) the U.S. under the name “Certified Natu- tics buried in government reports and pro- rally Grown.”(3) This will benefit small,Sources of duce industry sites, picking through WebOrganic Fertilizers local growers. Locally Grown® is another pages, and finding privately held informa-and Amendments new certification that does not entail the tion. Recent attempts by the states of New(Web-only database) expense of organic certification.(4) Jersey and Montana to secure a place for their farmers in supplying herbs on a large Fresh-cut organic herbs at farmers’ markets scale (specifically greenhouse production in generally sell for 4 to 10 times the price, New Jersey) have not been successful. While by weight, of bulk supermarket herbs, but New Jersey herbs showed up for a while demand is limited. Vendors hesitate to bring in the late 1990s in East Coast terminal more than a few bunches, for fear they willPage 2 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • not sell. The strategy of offering pre-ordering are listed at the end of this publication.to regular customers via e-mail shows prom- The New Organic Grower, by Eliot Cole-ise and has been tried by a Georgia grower. man, has a chapter on “winter gardening” that provides information for USDA hardi-Anyone considering raising herbs and sea- ness Zones 3 to 6 on technologies helpful insoners in a greenhouse should do a cost-ben- modifying a home-garden system for com-efit analysis. Not everything can be raised mercial production.(5) ATTRA Greenhouseanywhere at a reasonable return for the Publicationsproducer. The food and agriculture indus- Producing potted herb plants, plugs, and Greenhouse andtry is changing very rapidly. For more help starts is part of the nursery business. See Hydroponic Vegetablewith enterprise planning, please request the the ATTRA publications Plug and Trans- Production ResourcesATTRA publication Agricultural Business plant Production for Organic Systems and on the InternetPlanning Templates and Resources. Sustainable Small-Scale Nursery Production. Greenhouse IPM: Potted plants are typically perennials, often Sustainable Aphid Premium pricing can be critical to the viabil- Mediterranean herbs intended for perma- Control ity of organic greenhouse operations, because nent pot culture or for transplants that may Greenhouse IPM: production costs are often higher than those serve both practical and ornamental uses in Sustainable Thrips for conventional greenhouses. Organic pest the garden. Control control, particularly in labor costs, is generally Greenhouse IPM: more expensive than conventional practices. Dried herbs found in grocery stores do not Sustainable Whitefly Yield and quality can vary widely, depending come from greenhouse production, but are Control on the growing season and management prac- field raised and sometimes wildcrafted out- Integrated Pest tices. To achieve a satisfactory return on invest- side the U.S. It is not economical to use Management for ment, organic growers must be prepared to controlled atmosphere space to produce Greenhouse Crops develop innovative production and marketing dried herbs. The transcript of a presenta- Solar Greenhouses strategies. tion by Alan De Young, who represents the Resource List There are tradeoffs in every marketing strategy. largest industrial herb producer and pro- Organic Greenhouse A successful grower must develop markets in cessor in the U.S., at the Fifth (and final) Vegetable Production which the price for organic produce adequately Richters Commercial Herb Growing Con- Plug and Transplant compensates for all production costs. Addition- ference, Ontario, Canada, may be found in Production for Organic ally, the marketing process must be compatible Systems with the grower’s personality and business skills. the proceedings of that meeting. It is the The particular combination of components in best account, by far, of contemporary Good Potting Mixes for Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Certified Organic any grower’s marketing strategy will depend Production on local marketing opportunities, as well as the Manufacturing Practices (GMP)—including grower’s desire to be directly involved in mar- certified organic—for herb products.(6) Root Zone Heating for keting, tolerance for stress, and ability to bal- Greenhouse Crops ance a variety of risk factors. For more informa- tion, request the ATTRA publications Agricultural Propagation Material Compost-heated Greenhouses Business Planning Templates and Resources, Keys Herbs intended for fresh-cut sales are Foliar Fertilization to Success in Value-Added Agriculture, and Direct started either from seed or by a species- Marketing. appropriate vegetative method—often as If you are considering building greenhouse facil- plugs—then grown out in bags of growing ities for organic production, research the market medium or in a hydroponic system. For to assess the economic feasibility. Once you have information on the propagation method for made the most realistic cost estimates possible, a specific herb, see Table 1. For more infor- you can develop a plan to adjust your produc- mation on organic plug production, see the tion system, revise your marketing plan, or walk ATTRA publications Plug and Transplant away while you still have your shirt. Production for Organic Systems and Potting Mixes for Certified Organic Production.ATTRA’s greenhouse publication series Organically grown seed of all types is cur-(see list at right) provides in-depth discus- rently in short supply. To produce organicsions of fertility, pest control, and other top- seeds, an operation must be certified by aics from an organic standpoint. Additional USDA-accredited certifier (see current listresources for greenhouse herb production at www.ams.usda.gov/nop).www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 3
    • Table 1. Popular HerbsPage 4 Herb Type or cultivar Recommended Propagation Comments Method Sweet basil (A) Genovese, Italian Large Leaf, Seed The most popular herb. Be careful not to start too early. Remove Thai, Mammoth flowers as they appear for greater leaf production. Dwarf basil (A) Spicy Globe Seed See above.ATTRA Purple basil (A) Dark Opal, Purple Ruffles Seed See above. Chives (P) Grolau Seed Be careful not to start too early. Rose-pink flowers borne in spring/summer. Chefs prefer fine-leaved types, but thick-leaved types hold up better in packages. Cilantro (A) Santo, Jantar Seed Easier to harvest if planted in clusters. Dill (A) Fernleaf Seed Ready for sale at 6–8 inches high. ‘Dukat’ is extra bushy. Lavender (M)(P) Munstead, Grosso Cuttings Seed does not come true to type. Sweet marjoram (M)(P) Cuttings Best to use cuttings of true Origanum majorana. USDA has released hybrid Origanum x majoricum hardy to Zone 6 Mint (P) Peppermint, spearmint, Cuttings May be erect or trailing. Many foliage variations. Can be invasive. pineapple mint Variegated good as ornamentals. Oregano (M)(P) Greek Cuttings Those with white flowers are preferred. Parsley (A) Curly Seed Can be used in containers. Makes a good edging plant. Techni- cally a biennial, it’s grown as an annual. Parsley (A) Flat leaf, cv. Italian Dark Seed Best for culinary use. Because of its fine flavor, prices are usually Green higher than for curly type. Rosemary (M)(P) Cuttings of a good-flavored Erect and trailing forms available. Erect forms are best for culi- variety nary use. ‘Arp,’ while winter-hardy, is not recommended for culi- nary use. Sage (M)(P) Dalmation is best for fresh- Seed or cuttings Common sage is usually grown from seed; those with colored cut herbs. foliage are usually grown from cuttings. Erect and speading forms. Suitable for containers. Try ‘Purpurescens,’ ‘Tri-color,’ or ‘Aurea’ for potted ornamentals. Scented geraniums (A) Lemon, peppermint, rose Cuttings Flowers of scented geraniums are smaller and less showy than those of bedding geraniums. Tarragon (P) French Cuttings Requires dormancy. Unusual growth pattern. “Russian” tarragon is of no commercial value. Thyme (M)(P) Lemon, French, English, sil- Cuttings Cuttings ensure true-to-type. Best flowering is on older plants. ver, creeping, winter. Slow to grow back after cutting. M = Mediterranean herb; A = Annual; P = PerennialHerbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • If organic seed is not available, convention- For vegetatively propagated perennial herbs,ally produced non-GMO untreated seed greenhouse herb producers often take cut-may be used for an organic annual herb tings from their own “mother plants.” Thiscrop, according to §205.204(a)(1) of the practice gives producers already certified aNational Organic Program rules. Perenni- decided advantage over start-up businesses,als must be raised for at least a year under since they can procure organic starts at anyorganic management in order to be consid- time without any waiting period. Economiesered organic. See text of the Final Rule on of scale have caused rapid consolidation insources of propagation material for organic organic herb production. Growers seekingproduction, below. For a list of companies first-time organic certification or switch-selling certified organic and untreated ing to a new certifier, as well as individu-seed, see the new ATTRA Web-only data- als planning to construct greenhouses forbase Suppliers of Seed for Certified Organic organic production, do well to secure theirProduction. An Internet search on specific perennial herbs early in the mandatoryherbs is also advisable. three-year transitional period. After certi- fication of a greenhouse operation, any new NOP Rule §205.204 Seeds and planting perennial plant stock must come from a cer- stock practice standard tified organic source or be raised for at least (a) The producer must use organically grown one year under an approved organic man- seeds, annual seedlings, and planting stock: agement system before products derived Except, That, from those plants can legally be sold as (1) Nonorganically produced, untreated seeds organic. This applies to foundation stock for and planting stock may be used to produce an potted plant production, as well as peren- organic crop when an equivalent organically nials for fresh-cut herb production. Section produced variety is not commercially available, 205.204 is subject to interpretation by the Except, That, organically produced seed must be accredited certifier for a given operation. used for the production of edible sprouts; (2) Nonorganically produced seeds and planting stock that have been treated with a substance Marketing included on the National List of synthetic sub- and Economics stances allowed for use in organic crop produc- tion may be used to produce an organic crop Industry overview when an equivalent organically produced or New producers interested in the organic untreated variety is not commercially avail- able; greenhouse herb business should take the following into consideration. (3) Nonorganically produced annual seedlings may be used to produce an organic crop when The organic premium in wholesale markets a temporary variance has been granted in accor- seems to be running about 33%. However, dance with §205.290(a)(2); the market is segmented to such a degree (4) Nonorganically produced planting stock to be that direct-marketed fresh-cuts can bring an used to produce a perennial crop may be sold, organic premium of 400% or more. labeled, or represented as organically produced USDA Agricultural Marketing Service only after the planting stock has been main- tained under a system of organic management (USDA/AMS) reports weekly wholesale for a period of no less than 1 year; and prices for conventionally grown culinary herbs at 18 U.S. terminal produce mar- (5) Seeds, annual seedlings, and planting stock kets. (See www.ams.usda.gov. The Web treated with prohibited substances may be used site has in spring 2005 become more user to produce an organic crop when the applica- tion of the materials is a requirement of Federal friendly.) The Web-based e-zine New Farm or State phytosanitary regulations. now reports weekly prices for organic herbs and, through its network of volunteer report- National Organic Program Final Rule, ers, plans to report information on farmers’ www.ams.usda.gov/nop market prices for organic herbs. On Marchwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 5
    • 1, 2005, the only organic product reported fresh-cut herbs since 1999, despite slow through wholesale terminal market reports increases for most food prices, due to infla- was basil, with conventionally grown basil tion. selling for $9.60 (per dozen bunches), com- According to a West Coast organic wholesale pared to $13.25 for organic basil (per dozen produce vendor, the organic herbs coming bunches) at the Seattle, Washington, termi- through the Seattle Produce Terminal are nal. (The New Farm site does not archive from two sources: Herbco, a 45-acre certi- organic prices for comparison.) fied organic farm in Washington state, and The National Agricultural Statistics Service Jacobs Farm, a 300-acre certified organic reported that, as of 2002, certified organic farm in Pescadero, California. Jacobs Farm accounted for 30% of all U.S.-grown fresh also sells for the 250-member Del Cabo culinary herbs in regular commercial chan- Cooperative growing certified organic basil nels. The Organic Price Index published year-round in Mexico (Baja Sur). on-line by New Farm (www.newfarm.com), Prices for the same herb the same week can compares organic and conventional fresh vary among terminal markets. An unex- culinary herb prices, using USDA organic plained anomaly is that an herb from Israel can sell for more than twice as much at an East Coast terminal than at a California ter- minal. West Coast terminal prices, under pressure from Mexican and Central Ameri- can supplies, have decreased dramatically since 1999.Potted herbs for sale atthe USDA Farmers’ Mar- On March 1, 2005, at Boston and Phila-ket in Washington, D.C. delphia, the only organic herbs availablePhoto by Bill Tarpenning, were cilantro and parsley. At the San Fran-USDA. cisco terminal, organic herbs available did not include basil but did include marjoram, oregano, tarragon, and chives. In Seattle, besides basil, herbs included lemon thyme, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, chives, sorrel, spearmint, and thyme. USDA/ERS has just begun publishing organic prices (and correspond- ing conventional prices) for some produce from the Boston and San Francisco whole- sale markets. Herbs could be added in the data “gathered by AMS [USDA/Agricultural future. (See www.ers.usda.gov/data/organ- Marketing Service] employees” but reported icprices.) separately from the National Wholesale Herb Report. Price comparisons over time Grocery distributors depend heavily on (for conventional basil only) reveal that in wholesale sources for herbs. Food manufac- November 1999, at the Philadelphia ter- turers rely on intermediate products such minal, 15 bunches wholesaled for $13.00, as essential oils, herb pastes and essences, and at the same terminal on June 3, 2002, and herb blends to season consumer prod- for $10.00, or 11.00 to $13.00 airfreighted ucts. Upscale urban restaurants meet their from Israel. On March 1, 2005, at the Phil- needs for the Mediterranean herbs (thyme, adelphia terminal, comparable amounts marjoram, summer savory, French tarra- were $12.00 airfreighted from Israel and gon, Greek oregano) from terminal markets, $12.00 from Florida. This demonstrates though they sometimes find the quality of level or decreasing wholesale prices for local organic herbs very attractive. ThePage 6 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • prepping of herbs used as a food ingredient It is estimated that a city the size of Kan-in meals served by restaurant chains and sas City, Missouri, would need only onelarge institutions typically occurs far from three-greenhouse operation to supply all ofthe premises. Most public schools do not do its culinary herb needs year-round—if thefood prep and cooking on site anymore. Due metropolitan area depended totally on localto concerted efforts by farmer groups in production. As in other aspects of herb rais-some states, some school systems have been ing, when the wholesale market expands,re-educated about the advantages of buying existing growers get bigger; improvementsproduce from local sources. Farmer groups in transportation have facilitated imports ofthen must set up food preparation centers fragile crops from distant locations. How-and deliver produce according to specifica- ever, volatility in oil prices is an unknowntion (washed, pre-cut, bagged, etc.). factor in projecting future markets for locally produced greenhouse herb crops.The two top U.S. fresh-cut herbs year-round—parsley and cilantro—come from New Farm is building a network that canlarge, high-tech greenhouses in California, report direct-marketed weekly organicMexico, and the Caribbean. Countries air- produce sales (including fresh herbs). Forfreighting fresh herbs and related specialty updates, go to www.newfarm.com and followcrops to the U.S. now include Mexico (lately the dashboard links. New Farm estimatesBaja Sur), Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, The that alternative marketing methods accountPhilippines, Canada, and France, as well for at least 50% of sales of organic freshas Israel, where dry desert air and mineral- herbs. For an overview of direct marketingladen water provide a competitive advan- methods, see the ATTRA publication Directtage for Mediterranean herbs. Peru has Marketing.the advantage of a complementary season.California, Florida, and Hawaii lead amongU.S.-based suppliers—although an undeter- Key success factorsmined share of California production may • Industry research (as reported in the media, including cook-be repackaged herbs from Mexico and Cen- books that influence consumer awareness) will continue totral America. dictate the market environment and determine the popularityThe New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and sales volume of individual herbs.in cooperation with Rutgers University, • Grower development of marketing and research must be pur-devoted significant time and money in the sued diligently in order to identify changing environmentsmid-1990s to development of a greenhouse and emerging opportunities.herb industry, and for a time New Jersey • Growers must be able to produce and handle multiple prod-greenhouse growers wholesaled horserad- ucts, preferably from a variety of crops, in order to reduceish, mint, cilantro, and basil to East Coast dependence on market fluctuations for any single crop.terminal markets. Now year-round herb • Developing a sales network of multiple buyers will reducefarms have turned to direct marketing (see dependence on any single purchaser and increase the pro-www.plochfarms.com), and Rutgers (the ducer’s relative bargaining power.state university of New Jersey) has turned • Due to labor-intensive practices of small operators—who can-its attention to the economics and produc- not afford the high-tech, computerized greenhouses charac-tion of greenhouse flowers. See http://aesop. teristic of foreign competitors in greenhouse production—rutgers.edu/~farmmgmt/green-house/green- growers must be able to secure a consistent labor supply athouse-index.html. The New Jersey Fresh relatively low cost.program lists (by county) twenty farms with Adapted from Watts and Associates. 2002. Market Opportunities and Stra-greenhouses offering herbs through road- tegic Directions for Specialty Herbs and Essential Oil Crops in Montana.side markets and one pick-your-own herb Prepared for: Montana Department of Agriculture, Billings, MT; USDA Fed-farm with a greenhouse. None are certi- eral-State Marketing Improvement Program, Washington, D.C. p. 42.fied organic. See www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/ www.ams.usda.gov/TMD/FSMIP/FY2000/MT0294.pdfindex.html.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 7
    • Local producers Some enterprising growers integrate green- house production with retail sales, services, Wholesaling organic entertainment, and community participa- tion. For more information on rural tourism fresh-cut herbs and farm profiles, see the ATTRA publica- It is now customary for supermarkets to tions Entertainment Farming and Agri-tour- charge produce vendors “slotting fees” for ism and Lavender Production, Products, shelf space. In addition, vendors may be Markets, and Entertainment Farming. Also asked for advertising and promotion allow- see herb farms participating in the Jersey ances that can add up to thousands of dol- Fresh Program at www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/ lars. There has been tremendous consolida- index.html. tion in the retail food sector in recent years, emphasizing economies of scale. Few inde- pendent grocers exist who can make their New product directions own decisions on stocking local produce; Ethnic cuisines, with their own particular chains stock their retail stores from regional herb preferences, are becoming extremely warehouses, where volume and price rule popular. With an increasing Hispanic pop- the terms for vendors. ulation, U.S. vendors now supply culinary At a USDA confer- herbs that only a few years ago were con- ence in Little Rock, sidered exotic. Sales figures for epazote Arkansas, in 2001, the recently appeared for the first time on produce buyer for a the National Wholesale Herb Report. As major national chain— demand for Thai herbs and seasoners levels which advertises its off, demand for Vietnamese herbs picks up. “buy local” program— Less common herbs include chervil, curry acknowledged that his leaf, salad burnet, sorrel, ajmud, West stores buy local pro- Indian culantro, Mexican mint marigold, duce only when a sud- hojo santo, garlic chives, lemon balm, shun- den, temporary short- giku (garland chrysanthemum), MexicanHerbs for sale at the age of the item occurs. Natural and health oregano (Lippia graveolins), bergamot, rue,Crescent City Farmers’ food stores, which buy more organic pro- and summer savory. When possible, ethnicMarket in New Orleans, communities in the U.S. import their tradi-Louisiana. Photo by Bill duce, are under essentially the same con-Tarpenning, USDA. straints, since they must commit to a whole- tional herbs, but potential exists for supply- sale supplier to ensure year-round supplies. ing such herbs to local ethnic markets, or Moreover, even when a local store commits, to wider markets if a trend develops. Urban as matter of policy, to reserve slots for local areas across the U.S. with any significant organic herbs, no one can guarantee sales Since 2004 (until summer 2005) USDA has been volume in advance of planting. The risk rigorously enforcing a 1968 ban on import of inevitably is borne by the grower. “Szechwan peppercorn” (Zanthoxylum rhetsa) Desmond Jolly, who directs the University and fresh lime leaves (Citrus x aurantifolia ‘Kef- fir’) used in Thai cooking. These Rutaceae spe- of California-Davis Small Farm Program, cies are suspects in spreading citrus canker. Local urges small growers to investigate alterna- production within the U.S. is still allowed, and tive business models in keeping with the imports are now allowed on a limited basis— rapidly changing U.S. economy. Forming if the spice has been heat-treated. ‘Keffir’ lime a marketing cooperative (7) is one way for leaves were identified by Lynette Morgan in 2000 small growers to generate the economies of (see Resources) as a promising greenhouse crop scale necessary to bargain with supermar- for Australia and New Zealand. Lime trees are ket chains or institutional buyers.(8) USDA’s easily grown in a greenhouse, and propagation material for ‘Keffir’ is available through classified Rural Business–Cooperative Service can ads placed by Florida growers in the Florida Mar- provide publications and guidance on form- ket Bulletin (published by Florida Department of ing a producers’ cooperative. Request these Agriculture on-line). See www.fl-ag.com/fmb. RBS publications from ATTRA.Page 8 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • Hispanic population soon have their own culinary quality through controlled grow-bodegas selling traditional herbs and sea- ing conditions. Ornamentals sold as pottedsoners. Herbs raised for an ethnic market plants can be started from seed or from cut-must be propagated from the exact cultivar tings. Certified organic production will dif-used in the ethnic cuisine. fer from conventional chiefly in the areas of fertility and allowable methods of pest con-ATTRA occasionally has requests for infor- trol. Organic greenhouse production prac-mation on growing very specialized herb/ tices are discussed in a series of ATTRAseasoner crops—such as ajwain, annatto, publications. Organic Greenhouse Vegetableblack pepper, royal cumin, galangal, saf- Production addresses organic fertility pro-fron, ginger, black tea, coffee, chocolate, grams, soil and soilless culture systemsand capers. They have all been tried long (growing in bags, vertical towers, strawago in either greenhouse or outdoor produc- bales, and shallow beds), and economics.tion in the U.S., but significant constraints Plug and Transplant Production for Organicemerged in trials. None proved economi- Sage growing in a Systems addresses container options, seed- greenhouse. Photocally viable. See Resources/uncommon ing and germination, nutrition, temperature, © 2005, clipart.comherbs for further information. irrigation, and growth regu- lation. For organic methodsProduction of hydroponic production, see Greenhouse and Hydro-A basic text for beginning ponic Vegetable Resources ongreenhouse growers the Internet.Sandie Shores’ Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs (8), based on the fresh-cut herb Practices specific tobusiness she began and operated for 20 herb productionyears in southern Minnesota, can serve as a Greenhouse production meth-manual for inexperienced greenhouse herb ods for herbs are similar togrowers. The first part of her book deals those for greenhouse-grownwith the business side of growing herbs and vegetables. There are someincludes information on things like business practices, however, that arelaws, financing, insurance, finding markets specific to herb production.(wholesale, restaurant, supermarket, farm- Fertility and irrigation, forers’ market, etc.), managing employees, example, must be managedand pricing. Part Two discusses greenhouse somewhat differently. Tooplanning and operation—including infor- much water or fertilizer maymation on the various types, how to choose result in poor establishmentone, how to erect one, and what equipment of slow-growing seedlings orwill be necessary (heating, cooling, light- semi-woody cuttings, excessive growth ofing, fans, benches, irrigation, etc.). species with rapid growth rates, or lowerParts Three and Four provide general infor- essential oil content, resulting in dimin-mation on production methods and then spe- ished aroma or culinary value.(10)cific crop-by-crop information. The author Greenhouse temperatures for herb pro-also provides tips on “great growing” and duction are about the same as for beddingpostharvest and packaging information. plants: day temperatures of 70° to 75°FSee Further Resources for ordering this and night temperatures around 60°F. Fast-book. growing herbs such as basil, chives, and dill become overgrown if started too early.(4)Starts Growth control techniques such as brushingThe Mediterranean herbs favored in French and manipulation of day-night temperaturescuisine are best started from cuttings (see may be useful. Plugs can be held for a timeTable 2). Greenhouse production preserves until sales can begin.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 9
    • Low light intensity and overcrowding will so they will have to be amended with lime cause plants to “stretch.” In herbs, this before use. For more information on soilless problem may be compounded: low light can media, amendments, and suggested mixes, also reduce the essential oil content. It is see the ATTRA publications Organic Pot- important in greenhouse herb production to ting Mixes for Certified Production, Plug and provide maximum light in late winter and Transplant Production for Organic Systems, early spring. Eliot Coleman suggests rais- and Organic Greenhouse Vegetable Produc- ing winter thyme (mother-of-thyme, Thymus tion. praecox ssp. arcticus), winter savory (Sat- ureja montana), sage, parsley, sorrel, and Production scheduling dandelion for greenhouse production in An important factor to keep in mind when USDA zones 3 to 6.(4) scheduling plant production is not only how long it will take the plants to grow but Growing media also how long it will take them to be sold Although it can be done, few herbs are and moved out of your sales or production raised in soil inside greenhouses. More area. Other important questions include often, they are raised in a soilless medium. what plant species to grow, how much space (Some farmers’ markets now require this.) is needed, and whether the plants will be Certified organic greenhouse-grown herbs grown from seeds or cuttings. If cuttings must be raised in a certified organic pot- are to be used, space will be needed for the ting mix. Commercial potting mixes typi- mother plants, and a mist chamber may be cally contain wetting agents and synthetic necessary. fertilizers and are not allowable, requiring Most herbs will need 6 to10 weeks to reach organic growers either to mix their own or to saleable size. Researchers at Cornell rec- purchase a certified organic mix. (See the ommend starting the following in March ATTRA publication Potting Mixes for Certi- for May sales: parsley, rosemary, sage, fied Organic Production.) Most organic pot- thyme.(4) Anise, basil, borage, chives, cori- ting mixes are based on good-quality com- ander, dill, and fennel should be sown in post amended with peat moss and perlite or April for May sales. Table 2 provides more vermiculite and supplemented with organic specifics about production scheduling forRosemary is raised as fertilizers like bone meal, feather meal, and fresh-cut herbs.potted specimen shrubs, kelp. Such a mix would be suitable for herband managed quantita- production, with one variation. Since most For greenhouse-grown fresh-cut herbs, eachtively over the years by herbs are native to regions having neutral type has somewhat different requirements.reducing plants to therequired number. or slightly alkaline soils, the optimum pH For example, mint is best grown in a raisedPhoto by Alex Fiore, for herbs is 6.0–7.0.(8) Most soilless mixes bed and cut uniformly, section by section,www.sxc.hu have a pH somewhere between 5.0 and 6.0, as market requirements dictate. Rosemary, on the other hand, is raised as potted speci- men shrubs, and managed quantitatively over the years by reducing plants to the required number. Sprigs of rosemary are harvested individually. For more details of production and harvest of specific herbs, study Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs, by Sandie Shores.(8) Hydroponics Hydroponics is the production of plants in a soilless medium in which all of the plant nutrients supplied to the crop are dissolved in water. Hydroponic systems—referred toPage 10 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • Table 2. Production Scheduling for Fresh-Cut HerbsIn Growing and Selling Fresh-cut Herbs, Sandie Shores provides production schedules for many commonly grownherbs. Four examples are provided here. Days from Germination Days to Transplant- Days from Sowing to Days from Regrowth to Herb to Potting up Ready First Harvest Second Harvest Basil 18 to 21 21 84 to 90 7 to 14 Chives * 25 to 30 105 to 120 14 to 21 Cilantro Direct sown Direct sown 49 to 56 10 to 14 Sage 14 to 18 14 to 21 85 to 98** 7 to 14** * Usually transplanted directly from flat to growing bed ** Small yields in first yearby such terms as water culture, nutriculture, • Most hydroponic systems are auto-solution culture, gravel culture, sand cul- mated, saving labor costs and keep-ture, aeroponics, mist culture, bioponics, ing materials costs to a minimum.aquaponics, and the nutrient film technique(NFT)—are commonly used in the commer- Integrated Pestcial production of greenhouse herbs. Management (IPM)Most conventional hydroponic units arehighly specialized, controlled-environment Insects and diseases are a major challengeproduction systems. The technology asso- to greenhouse production. IPM is an impor-ciated with hydroponic production is well tant tool in the management of these pests.documented. Many good books and Coop- The primary goal of IPM is to optimize pesterative Extension Service publications are control in an economically and ecologicallyavailable on this subject. Some recent lit- sound way. IPM involves the integration oferature is available on the highly developed cultural, physical, biological, and chemicalEuropean technology, including state-of-the- practices to grow crops with minimal useart facilities in the Caribbean serving resort of pesticides. Monitoring, sampling, andhotels. The primary difference between record keeping are used to determine whenorganic and chemical hydroponics is the controls are needed to keep pests belowsource of fertility and presence of microor- an economically damaging threshold. Pestganisms. Microbes are essential to organic management, not eradication, is the goal ofsystems because they help regulate pH and IPM. For more information, see the ATTRAthe availability of nutrients. Hydro-organ- publication Integrated Pest Management forics is based on hydroponic solutions derived Greenhouse Crops and individual publica-from organic fertilizers that will go into solu- tions on white fly, aphid, and thrips con-tion—such as fish meal, spray-dried blood, trol. Using less permanent structures—suchand guano. as hoophouses—can avoid build-up of pest infestations.There are several advantages to producingherbs hydroponically (11): Diseases • Hydroponics provides growers with The most common diseases in greenhouse control over nutrient and pH levels. herb production are fungal diseases, includ- • Greater potential income is realized. ing botrytis, damping-off, and root rots. • Most recirculating systems are Vascular wilts are also common in herbs. closed, meaning nutrients and water These diseases can cause tremendous plant are recirculated, and none is lost loss in just a few days if conditions are into the ground. favorable and no control is in place.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 11
    • Again, using temporary structures—such as Insects hoophouses—can prevent disease build-up Whitef lies, aphids, fungus gnats, spi- from year to year. Greenhouse conditions der mites, and thrips are the major insect that contribute to air stagnation and poor pests affecting herbs.(8) ATTRA’s series of air circulation, such as dense plant cano- greenhouse IPM publications includes gen- pies and plant crowding, will increase the eral and specific information on managing incidence of disease. There are several gen- these pests. eral practices that are important in disease prevention (12): Very few herb crops have either natural • Use irrigation techniques that mini- or synthetic pesticides labeled for their mize leaf wetness. Avoid late after- use, mostly because herbs are considered noon and nighttime irrigation. a minor or specialty crop. Biorational pes- ticides registered for use on herbs include • Maintain good air circulation in the neem, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, greenhouse. pyrethrins, Streptomyces griseoviridis (a nat- • Remove diseased plants and plant urally occurring, soilborne bacterium), and parts immediately. the fungus Beauveria bassiana. It is impor- tant for herb growers to remember that • For herbs grown in ground beds, many of these pesticides taste really bad, rotate plant families. so all herbs cut from sprayed plants should • Use only clean stock for propagation. be thoroughly washed. • Thoroughly clean containers with a It is always best to ask your certifier whether bleach and water solution. specific brands of products are permissible. • Pasteurize or sterilize growing media. Guidance is also available from the Organic • Control insects that vector disease. Materials Research Institute (OMRI), which maintains a list of permitted and prohibited These and other aspects of greenhouse products. disease control are discussed at length in ATTRA’s Integrated Pest Management for For more information on natural pest con- Greenhouse Crops. trol in certified organic production, please see the ATTRA Greenhouse IPM series. Creeping thyme. Photo by Shonna Clark, www.sxc.huPage 12 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • References Further Resources1) Calvin, Linda, and Roberta Cook. 2005. Green- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Educa- house tomatoes change the dynamics of the tion (USDA)Project Reports North American fresh tomato industry. Amber- www.sare.org Waves. April. Vol. 3, No. 2. To search the project database, click on Projects www.ers.usda.gov/amberwaves/april05/ in the dashboard, then use the search engine per features/greenhousetomatoes.htm instructions.2) Moore, Steve. 2005. The hoophouse in summer. FNE03-486. Final Report. 2004. Effects of Vermi- Growing for Market. May. p. 18. compost Applied in a High Tunnel.3) Henderson, Elizabeth. 2005. International group LS03-147. Final Report. 2004. Bioactive Natural recognizes non-certified organic growers. Products: A feasible method of organic disease man- Growing for Market. April. p. 13–15. See also, agement in float bed production systems. U.S. alternatives to certification gather steam. FNE03-468. Final Report. 2004. Organic Plug Pro- p. 14. duction: Evaluating Growing Media, Fertilizer and4) Locally Grown® Economic Feasibility. www.locallygrown.com LNE02-164. Annual Report. 2004. Biological Control Originally a marketing tool for the conventional Practices for High-Tunnel Crop Production. produce industry, the label can be adapted for low-input and sustainable produce marketing. ONE05-037. 2005. Awarded. Developing Beneficial Insect Habitat for Greenhouses.5) Nation, Allan. 2004. Buying co-ops vs. marketing co-ops. Stockman GrassFarmer. August. FS00-118. Annual Report. 2000. Developing Market- p. 9–10. ing Strategies for Culinary and Medicinal Herbs.6) De Young, Alan. 2001. Herb field production and LS94-013. Final Report. 1994. Plant Shelters to processing with GAPs and GMPs. p. 49–67. Extend the Growing Season for Herbs. In: Helen Snell and Conrad Richter (ed.). FNE03-464. Overwintering and season extension Richters Fifth Commercial Herb Growing of organic culinary herbs in unheated high tunnels Conference, November 4, 2000, Goodwood, Michael Glos, Kingbird Farm, Berkshire, NY Ontario, Canada. Historically, growers in New England can offer only7) Jolly, Desmond. 2002. Director’s message. Small four or five months of annual and perennial herbs, Farm News. June. p. 2. and farmers there are interested in developing tech- niques both to extend the season and to improve the8) Shores, Sandie. 2003. Growing and Selling Fresh- overwintering of tender herbs like rosemary by using Cut Herbs. 2nd ed. Ball Publishing, Batavia, unheated high tunnels. Some plants will be mulched IL. 483 p. or grown under hooped row covers, and the harvest9) Coleman, Eliot. 1999. Four Season Harvest. Chel- results and tender-plant survival will be recorded. sea Green, White River Junction, VT. 453 p. The results will be a presented at a field day, in an Extension newsletter, and through conferences and10) Cox, Douglas, and Lyle Craker. 1994. Herbs: media outreach. Grow them and they will sell. Greenhouse Grower. September. p. 74, 76–77. Books/Directories11) Creaser, Gordon. 1994. Fresh herb market. Brester, Gary, Kole Swanser, and Tim Watts. 2002. Greenhouse Manager. September. p. 53–57. Market Opportunities and Strategic Directions for Spe-12) Barnes, L.W. 1993. Disease identification and cialty Herbs and Essential Oil Crops in Montana. Pre- control in greenhouse herb production. Herbs pared for the Montana Department of Agriculture and Texas Style. Vol. 3, No. 1. p. 10–13. USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. Watts & Associates, Billings, MT. 64 p. www.ams.usda.gov/TMD/FSMIP/FY2000/MT0294.pdfwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 13
    • Coleman, Eliot. 1999. Four Season Harvest. Chelsea production do not necessarily conform to the FinalGreen, White River Junction, VT. 234 p. Rule of the U.S. National Organic Program. Inspired by Scott and Helen Nearing’s garden in the Nelson, Paul V. 2003. Greenhouse Operation and late 1960s and based on the author’s success with Management. 6th edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle harvesting fresh vegetables year-round in New Eng- River, NJ. 692 p. land, this book contains details on design, construc- Standard reference text for growers and greenhouse tion, and management of the outdoor garden, cold managers. Covers essential principles, skills, and frames, tunnels, and root cellars. It includes growing relationships required to manage most modern green- tips for 50 vegetable crops, a planting schedule for houses. Includes engineering, heating, cooling, and extended harvests for all locations in the U.S., and fertilization calculations. sources of tools and supplies. Available for $24.95 from: Shores, Sandie. 2003. Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Chelsea Green Publishing Herbs. 2nd ed. Ball Publishing, Batavia, IL. 483 p. P.O. Box 428 Excellent book on herb production, both in the green- White River Junction, VT 05001 house and in the field. Designed for the beginner. 800-639-4099 The chapters on specific herb crop production meth- ods include information on greenhouse production.Edey, Anna. 1998. Solviva: How to Grow $500,000 Widely available for $27.95. It is also availableon One Acre and Peace on Earth. Trailblazer Press, through the author’s Web site, www.freshcutherbs.Martha’s Vineyard, MA. 230 p. com, where she also answers questions from growers. This publication features organic vegetable produc- tion in a solar greenhouse. Solviva refers to Edey’s Staff. 2004. Thomas Food & Beverage Market Place. award-winning solar-powered and animal-heated 3 vols. Grey House Publishing, Millerton, NY. 8122 p. greenhouse on Martha’s Vineyard [unfortunately no Compiled from two respected food industry data- longer in operation]. The book discusses greenhouse bases, this directory provides comprehensive informa- design, function, construction, and management. tion on more than 40,000 companies supplying the Ms. Edey includes many energy-efficient designs U.S. food and beverage industry. Good for locating such as water walls and growtubes. She also tells equipment. Available on-line (by subscription), or how much everything costs, which is invaluable for call ATTRA at 800-346-9140 for a specific resource. market gardeners. Although her main crop was let- tuce, her techniques could be applied in any green- Tatum, David. 2001. Starting a Greenhouse Business. house. Solviva is available for $35 (plus shipping/ Mississippi State University Extension Service. 5 p. handling). Order by mail or on-line from: http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1957.htm GFM Books Estimated investment cost per sq. ft. for turn-key P.O. Box 3747 quonset-style greenhouse in Mississippi. Tips on retail Lawrence, KS 66046 and wholesale marketing. Reprinted in American 800-307-8949 Small Farm magazine, July 2002. www.growingformarket.com Tucker, Arthur O., and Thomas DeBaggio. 2000. TheFacciola, Stephen. 1998. Cornucopia II: A Source Big Book of Herbs. Interweave Press, Loveland, CO.Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications, Vista, 688 p.CA. 713 p. A comprehensive illustrated reference to herbs of fla- Indispensable reference work for food plants world- vor and fragrance. wide. Includes cultivar lists. Widely available through commercial publishers and on the Internet. PeriodicalsMorgan, Lynette. 2002. Fresh Culinary Herb Produc- GMPro is a leading trade journal for the greenhousetion: A technical guide to the hydroponic and organic industry. It is designed for greenhouse managers.production of commercial fresh gourmet herb crops. Contact:Suntec, New Zealand. 132 p. GMPro In the U.S. order Dr. Morgan’s book on-line from P.O. Box 1868 www.growingedge.com/store, or call toll-free 800- Fort Worth, TX 76101 888-6785 or 541-757-8477. Descriptions of organic 817-882-4120Page 14 ATTRA Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production
    • 817-882-4121 FAX Sample article: Russo, V.M. 2005. Organic vegetable 800-433-5612 transplant production. HortScience. Vol. 40, No. 3. p. www.GreenBeam.com 623–628.The Growing Edge is a bimonthly magazine thatfocuses on hydroponics and high-tech gardening from Articlesan ecological angle. The emphasis is on greenhouses, Reilly, Richard T. 2005. State of the industry: The cli-hydroponics, artificial lighting, drip irrigation, and chés about things moving faster and companies beingother protected culture methods. Special issues have affected by the global economy are certainly true forfeatured articles on bioponics and organic soilless cul- greenhouse manufacturers. GMPro. June. p. 47–48.ture. Back issues are available. Contact: Both, A.J. 2005. Agriculture management prac- The Growing Edge tices aim to help resolve legal conflicts [New Jersey]. New Moon Publishing GMPro. June. p. 43–44, 46. 341 SW 2nd Street Corvallis, OR 97333 800-888-6785 Web sites www.growingedge.com/ National Ag Risk Education Library $26.95/year www.agrisk.umn.eduSample article: Creaser, Gordon. 2002. Antigua National Organic ProgramFresh hydroponics. The Growing Edge. July–August. www.ams.usda.gov/nopp. 45–47. Organic Materials Research InstituteGrowing for Market, a newsletter for small producers www.omri.orgof vegetables, herbs, and flowers, provides up-to-date Herb Growing and Marketing Networkmarketing information. Geared to small-scale opera- www.herbnet.comtions and focused on sustainable production tech-niques. Available for $27/year from: Missouri Alternatives Center (Click on H for herbs.) Growing for Market http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac/links/index.htm P.O. Box 3747 North Carolina State University herb factsheets Lawrence, KS 66046 www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/ 800-307-8949 Now has links to other state Extension herb publica- www.growingformarket.com tions.Fruit & Veg Tech, an Elsevier Intn’l quarterly publi- Richters Herbscation, provides details on what new technologies the www.richters.comworldwide greenhouse industry is adopting. High-techgreenhouse production in other countries is a major Uncommon herbs/seasonerssource of competition for U.S. greenhouse growers. A Adam, Katherine. 1995. Ajwain: A new spice for U.S.related publication is FlowerTech. See www.HortiWorld. growers. The Business of Herbs. September–October.nl. Subscriptions are $54 U.S./yr. (4 issues); sub- p. 40–41.scribe through Web site with a credit card, or by mail. Faubel, Alfredo. 1990. Chocolate: Food of the gods.HortScience is published seven times a year by the Tropical Fruit News [RFCI, Florida]. February. p. 6–American Society for Horticultural Science and is 7; 12, 14.available at any land-grant university library system. Kontaxis, Demetrios. 1997. Caper. Specialty andInstitutional/non-member subscriptions are $400/yr. Minor Crops Handbook. Small Farm Center, Univer- 113 South West Street, Ste. 200 sity of California, Davis, CA. 4 p. Alexandria, VA 22314-2851 703-836-4606 Purseglove, J.W. et al. 1981. Spices. Longman, Lon- 703-836-2024 FAX don and New York. Vol. II. (c. 800 p.). ashs@ashs.org Ginger, turmeric, galangal, etc.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 15
    • Reichel, Steffen. 1998. Vanilla planifolia Common Souret, Frederic F., and Pamela J. Weathers. 2000.name: Bourbon vanilla. California Rare Fruit Grow- The growth of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in aeroponicsers, Inc. May–June. p. 17–20. and hydroponics. Journal of Herbs, Spices, & Medici- nal Plants. Vol. 7, No. 3. p. 25–35.Salam, M. Abdul et al. 1991. Thirty-one tree speciessupport black pepper vines. Agroforestry Today. Octo- Spillane, Michael. 1997. Just my cup of tea. Theber–December. p. 16. Growing EDGE. November–December. p. 41–47.Singh, H.B. et al. 1974. Ginger (Zingiber officinale). p. Vardin, Patrick. 2004. Organic chocolate. Organic127–129. In: J. Leon. (ed.). FAO Handbook of Spices. Matters. March–April. p. 27.Rome, Italy. Waterman, Martin. 1992. Coffee, tea, or hot choco-Smoley, Daniel J. 2001. The saffron crocus as a crop. late: Hot drinks you can grow. The Growing EDGE.Small Farm Today. [2 parts] March–April; May– June. Winter. p. 24–29, 55.p. 54–58; 66–67. Reviewers: Al Kurki, Lance Gegner Herbs: Organic Greenhouse Production By Katherine L. Adam NCAT Agriculture Specialist ©NCAT 2005 Paul Williams, Editor Robyn Metzger, Production This publication is available on the Web at: www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/gh-herbhold.html or www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/gh-herb.pdf IP 164 Slot 56 Version 101205Page 16 ATTRA