Phase one of the SFA Herb Project involved research and demonstration plots, field days and a series of articles. Read all about them here.
As we enter phase two of the SFA Herb Project, we welcome Connie Karstens – a grower, marketer and practitioner with years of practical experience and training – as our Herb Specialist. Building on the previous work on this project, which included herb demonstration plots and field days, Connie will conduct workshops and classes on the cultivation, use and selling of a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs and spices.
The first of these events was a session at our Annual Conference on February 11th in which Connie discussed unique approaches to growing and marketing herbs, including the income potential of adding them to a farm’s product selection. By learning about creative marketing strategies, value-added products and the education of their customers, attendees left with new ways to diversify their enterprises.
Next up is a field day and workshop on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at The Lamb Shoppe west of Hutchinson. Connie Karstens will conduct a tour of her herb plots and on-farm market.
The final programs for the Herb Project will be Aug. 12 at Minnesota Garlic Festival. Connie will lead a presentation for consumers and retailers on the benefits and uses of local herbs. In addition, there will be an exhibit area at the festival with everything you ever wanted to know about growing and using the wide array of herbs and spices available in Minnesota.
2017 Events with SFA Herb Specialist, Connie Karstens
SFA Annual Conference, February 11, 2017
Our Herb Specialist, Connie Karstens, led a session at the SFA Annual Conference, “Growing & Marketing Herbs“.
Herb Project Field Day, June 24, 2017
As part of this event, SFA Herb Specialist, Connie Karstens, will conduct a tour of her herb plots and on-farm market.
9:00 am – SFA Welcome & Introductions
9:15 am – Marketing Herbs with Connie Karstens
10:15 am – Networking Break with Snacks & Music
10:45 am – Growing Herbs & Garden Tour: “Get to know the Plants”
11:45 am – Wrap up
Herb Project Features at Minnesota Garlic Festival, August 12, 2017
Ask the Expert: “How Herbs Can Heal” Connie Karstens, Sustainable Farming Association Herb Specialist
Combining whole foods nutrition, herbs, stress management techniques, and other natural remedies can help support and build overall health and re-balance the body. Connie Karstens, MS, Herbalist and Health
Educator, uses updated research and knowledge with the traditional wisdom of herbs and nutrition to help restore, develop and maintain optimal health and well being. Connie is a 3rd generation natural healer, and holds a degree in Biology, a Masters of Science in Nutrition Education, and has taught college nutrition for 14 years before opening her own wellness center in 2005.
“Game of Herbs”, All Day
A life-size board game that leads participants through a series of multiple choice questions about local herbs and their uses. And there’s even a Garlic Troll, so be careful!
The Herb Project is made possible by a Specialty Crops Grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and through it SFA intends to increase the supply of locally produced herbs, improve the operational efficiency of MN herb production, reduce the barriers to bringing new products to market, and generally strengthen the MN herb industry.