by Ann Armbrecht

As a native West Virginian, I’ve wanted to document the tradition of wildcrafting in Appalachia since beginning my journey following herbs through the supply chain. I’m thrilled to share this video based on our visit this fall to southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky. This will be the first of a series Terry Youk and I are producing to raise awareness about forest botanicals from Appalachia in collaboration with Katie Commender and the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub.* You can read more about our trip here.

In this 10-minute video, wild harvesters and others from Appalachia talk about the tradition of harvesting forest botanicals, how that tradition is being lost, and efforts to revitalize practices that steward medicinal plants from the forest.


*Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub facility, based in Duffield, VA, provides seed to sale training, shared-use commercial herb processing equipment, and aggregation and marketing services to forest farmers in Central Appalachia.

Map of registered ginseng buyers used by written permission from John Munsell. Citation: Kruger SD, Munsell JF, Chamberlain JL, Davis JM, Huish RD. “Projecting medicinal plant trade volume and value in deciduous forests of eastern North America.” Forests. January 7, 2020; 11(1)74: 1-20;