Mountain Gardens


Special Guest Workshops with Thomas Avery Garran

Mountain Gardens is very pleased to announce a pair of workshops with author Thomas Avery Garran.

Mr. Garran is the author of what are, in my opinion, the two best books (of the eight now available) on the very lively subject of using western herbs in the practice of Chinese medical herbalism: Western Herbs According to Chinese Medicine (Healing Arts Press, 2008) and Western Herbs in Chinese Medicine: Methodology and Materia Medica (Passiflora Press, 2014). He is currently based in Beijing, China and recently completed his PhD at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences: National Center for Materia Medica Resources and Daodi Herbs.


Mr. Garran will join me for a half-day (1:00 – 5:00) workshop on “Using Local Herbs in Chinese Medicine” on July 13. We will focus on native medicinal herbs and easily gathered local 'weeds.'

Even more exciting (if that is possible), he will join me for an all day workshop (9:30 – 5:00) Sunday July 14 on the subject of “How to Grow Chinese Herbs.”

Mr. Garran has, for the past seven years, been growing herbs commercially in China and has worked with a number of farms around the country as a consultant as well as a student (studying what they are doing and helping them to improve and move toward organic production if they are not already doing that). He has a new book coming out shortly, Chinese Herb Cultivation: Daodi Practices for Growing and Processing Chinese Herbs (Passiflora Press, 2019), which is a translation of a daodi agriculture and processing text. The text has 39 herbs in it and will be the most comprehensive text available in English.


Daodi is a descriptor term that designates an herb as coming from a specific region known traditionally for producing the highest quality of a particular herb, but the term also includes the techniques used to grow, harvest and process the herb so that it becomes an 'official' daodi herb.

This workshop will be a rare opportunity for us to learn from Mr. Garran about how top quality herbs are produced in China while examining the actual herbs as they are being grown at Mountain Gardens. I anticipate acquiring much priceless information regarding the accuracy of the genetic material we currently have here. We will also look closely at the ecology of China as compared with this area and therefore the most appropriate Chinese herbs for us to grow and appropriate techniques for each of them, as well as the very complex traditional post-harvest processing for the herbs. Mr. Garran is dedicated to developing commercial scale production of top quality Chinese herbs in America using organic methods. His book and his teaching will be superior to anything we have had available to us in the past and will go far towards accomplishing this worthy goal.

The half-day workshop is $60, all-day $115. A discount is available for groups of 3 or more, also for residents of Yancey & Mitchell counties— write to joehollisherbs [at] gmail for the code. There is a limit of 25 people for the Saturday workshop and 20 for Sunday, which will definitely crowd are facilities but we want to squeeze in as many as possible for this rare, probably unique, opportunity.

To register for Using Local Herbs in Chinese Medicine click here:…

To register for Grow Chinese Herbs click here:…

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