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I am researching and growing some medicinal herbs (yarrow, echinacea, St. John's wort, lavender, chamomile, etc.) Some grow easily from seed, others better from cuttings.

My question is: Would you buy starter plants of medicinal herbs from a farmer's market with a little brochure regarding care and "traditional use" of the herb, including how to prepare it? For $5 each? Do you think it's a viable market? Thank you.
 

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I think you need to be very careful about describing your plants as 'medicinal' and even more careful about handing out a brochure describing any medicinal uses. The FDA takes a very dim view of anything they can describe as "practicing medicine without a license". Don't get me wrong. I am not averse to herbal remedies for myself. But without knowing a full medical history, whether buyers are on any medications that may interact with any of your herbs or whether they will have an adverse reaction, that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I (personally) would go ahead and sell the herbs, perhaps with a brochure giving care instructions and a statement to the effect "for further information" a link to a reputable and comprehensive website. But be aware that even that can leave you open to a lawsuit given a determined lawyer and a sufficiently motivated complainant.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, NSIG and HH, for your reply. I am well aware of liability risk/FDA, and will be careful. Just wondered if you would buy starter herb plants (not for food, but for other use) for $5 from a farmer's market. Maybe? Again, thank you.
 

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Joie de vivre!
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It would depend on pot size/age of plant. Walmart and some nurseries sell a variety of herbs. Maybe use their prices / pot size as a rough ball-park guide for your area?


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I agree that it would depend on the herb itself, the size of pot and the condition of the plant. $5 is cheap for - say - a patchouli or a lemongrass plant, but not for a basil...
 
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I would too. Especially if they are plants that are hard to start from seed like FarmerKat said.

Also if they are grown 'organically' that may be a draw for some people.. Not necessarily 'USDA certified organic,' but if you mention that you don't spray or used organic seed or use your own compost.

For some people a cheaper price at Walmart is the way to go. Some people prefer locally grown, and supporting small business even if it is a little more money. Some people prefer not to support large corporations.
 

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I found it much easier to sell potted herbs then I did with fresh cut herbs. Folks would come to my booth, love the scent of the fresh oregano or thyme and then say "oh, I don't know how to cook with that"......but they'd drive to the store and buy overpriced dried oregano and cook away.
 

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There you go, Thistle Mary! Part of the informational literature you create can also include harvesting, drying and other preservation methods.

Please keep us posted of your herbal ventures!


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You may want to go online and or call your state to see what or any regulations
there are for selling LIVE plants. In this state, one has to have a nursery license in order to
sell any plant in a pot.
If that is true for your state, maybe sell the plants dried in little bags.
 
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