GAPs for Medicinal Herbs (Good Agricultural Practices)
On April 18, 2015 we held a Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for Medicinal Herbs Training Session for Growers at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, NC. The instructors in this four hour training included the coordinator of the Blue Ridge Naturally Brand Project, Jennifer Flynn; Craig Mauney, an extension agent who works with farmers on GAPs for fresh produce; Dr. Jeanine Davis, a university researcher/extension specialist and her research assistant, Margaret Bloomquist, who work closely with medicinal herb growers; and Ed Fletcher, a medicinal herb buyer. At the last minute we decided to videotape the event so others could benefit from the training. It is not a professional video, but all the information is there. The links to those videos on our YouTube channel are below.
We also created a GAPs and Collection Practices for Medicinal Herbs bulletin go along with this training.
Another excellent resource is the recently updated Good Agricultural and Collection Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices for Botanical Materials bulletin published by the American Herbal Products Association.
This event covered by these videos was part of the WNC Agriventures Project, a project funded by a federal Rural Jobs Accelerator grant with Land of Sky Regional Council, NC State University, AdvantageWest, the NC Natural Products Association, the Community Foundation of WNC, and the Small Business Technology and Development Center.
Videos of the 2015 GAPs for Medicinal Herbs Workshop
Part 1: Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
This video introduces you to the Blue Ridge Naturally Brand, provides an overview of the current Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for fresh produce and how it relates to medicinal herbs, and the beginning of the session on suggested GAPs for medicinal herbs.
Part 2: GAP Resources
(this video starts with a session already in progress and continues on the next video in the series. See Part 1 for the beginning of this session on suggested GAPs for medicinal herbs and Part 3 for the end). This video covers the existing resources available on GAPs for medicinal herbs, harvesting, and washing herbs.
Part 3: Drying and Packaging Herbs
(this video starts with a session already in progress. The session begins in Part 1 and continues into Part 2 of this series and ends in this video). This video covers drying and packaging herbs. It also contains the beginning of the session providing a buyer’s viewpoint on good agricultural practices.
Part 4: Buyer’s Perspective on GAPs
(this video starts about five minutes into a presentation on a buyer’s field based view of good agricultural practices. View Part 3 to see the very beginning of this session and Part 5 to see the end). A buyer’s perspective on GAPs for medicinal herbs.
Part 5: Conclusion
(this video starts with the end of a session on a buyer’s field based view of good agricultural practices. The session starts in Part 3, the bulk of the presentation is in Part 4, and the end is here). This video is the conclusion of the four-hour training session for medicinal herb farmers.