Hyde Park farmers say nation's demand for organic herbs outpaces local production

Hyde Park – Standing recently in a neatly tended field of orange-blossomed calendula, Melanie Carpenter looked over at her family's sprawling vegetable garden nearby and said regretfully, "It's a mess. We just don't have the time to manage it."

By most standards the vegetable garden looked just fine, but at peak harvest season it simply cannot be the priority for Zack Woods Herb Farm co-owners Melanie and her husband Jeff Carpenter.

The couple, with help from a crew of five, cultivates a variety of certified organic herbs and plants on 10 acres of land.

Over the last 16 years, they have built their medicinal herb business from its first year sales of 100 pounds of dehydrated herbs to last year's total of 2 tons.

While many people believe that eating your vegetables will help keep you healthy, the Carpenters believe strongly that regularly consuming certain types of herbs can do the same.

 

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