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Planting an "alternative medicine" garden/forrest - anyone have experience in this?

I would like to plant some trees, bushes, shrubs, etc that would be beneficial in alternative medicine as well as a garden of similar plants.

Does anyone know of a good place to start to look for these things? I would be willing to set up a green house to grow that which won't naturally grow in SE PA.

Thanks.
 

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I would like to get back into that again but I need to find a place in North Texas to get all of those I used to grow in California when I was stationed there. So far I havent had much luck in finding anything.
 

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eBay is a surprising source of seeds, just check the feedback and make sure you're dealing with a reputable person.
Also, do some research before buying/acquiring your seeds/plants as they may not grow in your zone (well, maybe in your greenhouse)
Good luck, it's a great idea, I'm trying it on a small scale myself.
 

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First things first. What plants/trees/shrubs do you ALREADY have?

Identify everything on your place, map it, and research it.

Map and mark the lighting, soil, and moisture at various places on your property.

Visit your neighbors and find out what THEY have. (No need to say you're growing a pharmacy - you're looking to plant a garden and interested in what grows locally will suffice) Maybe they'll even donate some slips and cuttings to your cause.

Check freecycle for perrenials. They often are invasive and people get overwhelmed, best way to thin them out is offer them up to whoever will dig them.

Then consider what medicinal benefits you'd LIKE to have on hand and research all the plants that provide that. Seek them out by use.

Keep a journal of all your findings. Because there are SO MANY uses for many plants and so many things look identical or very nearly so that it can be overwhelming quickly. And who knows? Maybe some day you will need the healing power yourself and the journal could provide the information someone else needs to heal YOU.
 

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Decide what issues you think you can handle on your own. Do you want to be able to deal with colds and flu, broken bones, infections, what? Then research what grows on it's own in your area for those issues and grow those herbs. Otherwise you'll certainly need the green house. Just because I could grow echinacea in CA doesn't mean there isn't a suitable alternative available naturally in PA if echinacea doesn't grow well there. It's always better to try native plants that you can most likely depend on than non native species that you have to really take care of.
 

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We call echinacea 'elk root' but it's the same thing and does grow in PA naturally (ie. in the wild). It grows in fields and sick elk and deer eat it. (Even the animals know herbs have value! LOL)

You might even HAVE SOME already that you didn't know about. That's why the first step is to find out exactly what you have.
 
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