老許談參 – 金雞報喜 2017威州國際花旗參節

轉眼間又到了新的一年,中國習俗中雞年因為象徵”吉祥”,所以相當喜氣。從今算起300年前,也就是1717年,剛好是美國野山參外銷去廣州的紀念年。而300年後的今年對美國花旗參產業來說,也絕對是重要的一年,因為今年9月15-17日許氏將和威州州政府一同舉辦首屆威州國際花旗參節。而地點就選在花旗參的故鄉~威斯康辛州沃沙市舉辦,而許氏則是扮演相當重要的協辦角色, 因為許氏為美加首家專職種植花旗參的華人公司,同時也是最大的花旗參自產自銷企業,具有非常重要的代表性。此花旗參國際大展,在美國是第一次舉辦,史無前例。許氏將偕同主辦單位威州州政府、與沃沙市觀光局一起合作,聯合舉辦展覽。現場除了可以提供各種花旗參相關產品試吃與銷售,還有各種參田旅遊觀光解說導覽,趨時遊客將會從世界各地齊聚一堂,一同參與活動,把美國最好的威州地道花旗參推廣到全世界。欲知更多展覽詳情,可上威州國際花旗參節主辦單位網站查詢。

論正野山參之特性

野山參自古以來被譽為[百草之王][萬藥之首],向來是進貢皇室的稀世珍品,被全球公認為最佳的天然補品。而北美原產的野參可追溯至1715年才被發現挖掘,三百年來都是出口亞洲的貿易大宗,產地多數集中於加拿大東部、美國中部和東北部。但由於市場需求熱烈,引發狂墾濫採的風潮,以致產量快速減少。野山參已於1975年被世界CITES公約(瀕危野生動植物種國際貿易公約)訂為第二級瀕危物種(沒有立即的滅絕危機,但需要管制交易),加拿大更是早在1992年便已全面禁止採收出口,美國則在1975年由聯邦及各州政府立法嚴格管制野山參之採收、買賣、和出口等交易事宜。

野山參的生長對環境要求十分嚴格,自然條件,植被條件,林象條件,林地條件以及其他特殊的條件:如空氣、土壤、溫度、光照、水分等等都必須具備其生長要求,否則,野山參很難存活。野山參通常生長在冰冷地區,位於美洲的中部和東北方丘陵地區。因為野山參不喜光,所以多生長於陰涼的森林深處的陰濕地帶。野山參通常要參齡十年以上,而參齡愈長,價格愈高。三十至五十年的野山參已非常稀少,而能到達百年以上的野山參,可謂是鳳毛麟角,極致珍稀(見下圖,為許氏百年珍稀正野山參,為鎮店之寶)。野山參體質輕盈,參面橫紋顯著,人參皂甙含量約是人工參的數倍,依參齡而倍增。其味苦回甘屬溫補,具有強心、安神、補氣、回元等頂級功效,實為極致尊貴、四季皆宜的上等藥品及滋補品。尤其近五年來,中國用野山參來治­­­”三高”的人越來越多。野山參也常見用於輔助癌症患者的治療。癌症患者接受化療後,可用野參來恢復精力、增強免疫力或防止白血球減低等化療副作用。美國著名的醫學研究中心Meyo Clinic對此也做過科學研究,發表了花旗參能幫助癌症化療病人有效恢復體力的醫學實驗報告。(來自Wisconsin Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) to Improve Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial,發表者Debra L. Barton, R.N., Ph.D)

野山參的食用方法多元,主要比較常見的有蒸服、燉煮、泡熱水、泡酒、切片或純粉等進服方式。比較常見的一般用法是切片含在口中,每次2-3小片,置於舌下吸收較好。另外就是燉煮,比較常見的是和雞肉、排骨、牛羊肉、鴿子、雛雞或魚肉一起燉補服用,文火燉至肉熟湯濃,每周2-3次即可。而野山參酒也是非常常見的食用方法。通常是將新鮮的野參(乾野參亦可)和其他補藥材等浸於濃度高的酒內,使其養分溶於酒,30天後即可服用。有強健身體、大補元氣和增強免疫力等效果。

許氏傳家寶

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(許氏傳家寶鎮店之寶之一,九代同堂參齡百年以上)

由於野山參採收不易,同時必須經由美國聯邦及各地州政府核發執照及審核認證方能採收販售,消費大眾除了提防魚目混珠買到假貨之外,若無許可擁有野參,一旦查獲除遭沒收,更有刑法上的顧慮。許氏所收購的野參,全都是有聯邦及州政府發證之合法產品,其大都是經由我親自挑選和檢定,品質極佳。從極品的野山參中,我又再精挑細選選出獨一無二的單支野參,製作成「許氏傳家寶」。「許氏傳家寶」的野山參,每一支都是由我親自嚴格挑選。其野參不論在年份、形狀、紋路跟質地上都非常具有獨特性和代表性。其野參齡至少都在二十年到五十年之間,其外型獨特完整且稀有,顱頭形狀明顯可認,參紋密集,質地結實,又精選獨特,極具收藏意義和價值。每盒「許氏傳家寶」都會附上我的親筆簽名證書以資鑑定,保證其稀有性和真實性。

欲知更多購買詳情,請上網查詢。網路上會放各個不同形狀的許氏傳家寶圖片來供您做選購。

延伸聯結:

許氏傳家寶

許氏正野山參

威州國際花旗參節

中國廣東省蔘茸協會赴美參訪許氏參業集團

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今年11月底,廣東省蔘茸協會特地遠從中國來到威斯康辛州沃沙市拜訪許氏人參。協會一行人有會長黃岳招先生,常務副會長沉小葵先生,副會長卓秋生先生,李炳輝先生,理事謝冰女士,和秘書長肖漢發先生。

廣東省蔘茸協會長黃岳招先生表示,協會這次主要到美國的目的,就是為了要尋找品質優良的花旗參。隨著中國對食品安全把關日益嚴格,和民眾對食品安全的知識越來越高;高品質、低農殘,和藥性好的美國花旗參,正好符合目前中國市場對補品要求日益漸增的趨勢。

廣東省蔘茸協會副會長,同時也是廣東永生行的董事長卓秋生先生此行也表示,過去這幾年他們一直在尋找品質優良的花旗參,其中充滿焦慮和等待,幾年過去了,生意和商機仍然在尋找。而這次來到美國許氏參業集團,他認為是一個非常好的利機。卓先生認為,做為一個企業,想要在市場中長久生存,毫無疑問,就是要不斷超越自己、不斷提出創新,和不斷提升改善產品的品質。當今整個中國都在談論大健康,健康才是人生最大的財富。而廣東省參茸協會做為健康行業的一個平台,正有幫助中國發展健康知識和創新的使命。

卓先生表示:「這次正好有機會,我們來到美國威州拜訪了美國許氏業集團進行考察。我們就協會與協會之間互相進行洽談,促進了互相了解,也推動了生產與交易之間的深度合作。這次非常感謝美國威斯康辛州許忠政先生的熱情接待,周詳安排,我們獲益良多,也感觸良多。未來,希望能有機會一起攜手共進,為全球花旗參產業共同創造美好的明天。」

黃會長在拜訪威州參農總部時也強調,威州花旗參的優良品質眾所皆知,不管是藥性,品質,味道,和農殘檢測都是一等一的好。在中國對優良品質花旗參需求與日俱增的情況下,雙方合作有望在未來開啟一道中美之間花旗參國際貿易的橋樑。未來,廣東省蔘茸協會將會和威州參農總會偕同許氏參業集團將加強交流,將威洲最好的花旗參能一起推廣到全世界。

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Aftermath: Natural Products Expo East

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Booth 5330 at the Natural Products Expo East was well-represented at the large-scale convention in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  Each year Hsu’s sets up for three days of meetings, educating consumers, and learning more about the scope of the Natural Products industry.

Of the many reasons to attend a trade show of this magnitude, the most important is exposure.  Depending on the show, the potential for visitors nears the tens of thousands.  Two symbols that grab the attention of passers-by are the Something Special From Wisconsin logo that we feature on many of our products, and our Hsu’s Root to Health logo.  Sometimes, we run into someone who is, or was, from Wisconsin and then we get into a conversation about beer, cheese, or the Packers and we feel right at home.

We quickly learned from our past experiences that the Natural Products industry has some good eggs, but also maybe a few cracked eggs too.  I for one learned my lesson last year when I got somewhat sick from eating off of each exhibitor’s counter.  Our advice to new exhibitors and visitors is to stay disciplined and try new products sparingly.

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High volume of traffic at Baltimore’s Natural Products Expo East

One thing we realized at last year’s expo was that a gap exists between the Eastern (Asian) and Western (U.S. and Europe’s) outlook on ginseng.  To bridge that gap is to essentially identify an international customer.  More specifically, it means tailoring to both Eastern and Western values simultaneously.  The world is getting smaller and our online presence is continuously being revamped and reevaluated to fit our global needs.  The addition of Hsu’s Amazon page is one way we can stay current.  Our trips to Expo West in Anaheim give us the insight into a broadened demographic with the large Chinese population on the West Coast.

The scope of competitors we find at the show typically doesn’t vary outside of Korean ginseng companies, but even they do not always travel to Expo East because of the lack of an Asian demographic on the East coast as opposed to the West.  This year we had the second American ginseng company join the Expo, the Ginseng Herb & Coop from Marathon, WI, along with a representative from the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin.

Brand identity is very important to all of the exhibitors because for every category of product there could be up to fifty or more competitors or like-minded businesses competing for the same pool of consumers.  At Expo East, one can see a lot of similarities in brand strategy, aura, and even product likeness among vendors.

The most volatile yet buzz-generating section is most always the food/confectionery aisles where vendors are displaying their organic cookies, smoothies, candies, and even finished pizzas, tacos, and much more.  Another pro-tip we have is to remember that even if something is labeled as organic, certified organic, all-natural, etc., do your research on the products, consult your physician, and know what you are putting in your body.  Non-dairy products almost always contain nut products such as cashews and coconut and the amount of children and even adults in the United States that suffer from food allergies is overwhelming.

We prepare for the Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas starting on Thursday, October 6th by shifting focus to our ingredient division.  Hsu’s supplies many large-scale operations with clean and potent American and Asian ginseng powders and powdered extracts for private-label use.  Our ginseng is found in supplements, liquid extracts, and even a beer or two.

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許氏養生特約專欄 – 藥上堂杜醫生談花旗參

花旗參(又稱西洋參)和我們所說的人參真的非常不同。首先是生長的地方,一個在西一個在東,也就是美洲和亞洲兩處截然不同的生長環境。再來發現花旗參和人參好處的人也不同,花旗參是北美原住民所喜愛使用的清熱草藥,而人參相傳是尚未有人類的白堊紀就已存在的植物。所以這樣說起來,我們就知道花旗參是較年輕而富有朝氣的藥用植物。花旗參和人參以前都是野生品種,兩者的大規模商業種植,都是在這兩百年左右才開始的。也就是地球上的人口越來越多,藥用植物的需求越來越大,於是人們開始了商業生產。而野生花旗參還有嗎?當然有。野生和人工種植的差異在哪裡?是否野生的天然的就一定好?這個可以以後慢慢討論。

 

今天我們就來講講比人參更普遍被使用的西洋參吧!在科技和醫學高度發展的現今,反而我們的身體似病非病的狀況越來越多,也就是所謂的『亞健康』:

  1. 上班族使用電腦時間過長,到了下午開始兩眼酸澀,口乾舌燥,煩悶出虛汗。
  2. 高階主管用腦過多,衝成績拼事業,到了晚覺時間異常清醒,躺下了也睡不著。
  3. 中年婦女進入前更年期,偶有潮熱盜汗,心情憂鬱,但尚未停經。
  4. 小孩子學習專注力不佳,讀書時老是喊累想睡覺,打電動時卻又興致勃勃。

 

以上這些狀況你會去看西醫嗎?不如掛中醫門診才能講明白你的不舒服。這是個醫生和西藥太便利的年代,我們反而開始渴望尋求最自然樸素沒有添加物的天然草藥來解決自身的不適。最多人喜愛送禮的花旗參,其實就是拿來照顧自己的最佳選擇。花旗參在中藥的性味上來說屬涼性,也就是說不太寒也絕非溫熱。光是這個涼性,就已經奠定了花旗參迄立不搖的地位,解決了現代人許多虛火上炎的症狀:

 

胃的虛火:吃太飽噯氣吞酸,早上起床有口氣卻不一定是口臭,緊張時容易磨胃。

—->可考慮飯前一小杯150c.c.花旗參泡茶溫服,可改善以上症狀。

肝的虛火:口乾眼乾,容易打嗝,精神緊張,忘東忘西,晚上容易做惡夢。

—->餐與餐之間飲花旗參茶,溫熱茶飲小口慢喝以茶代水,可改善以上症狀。

心的虛火:晚上睡不著,睡著了又淺眠,淺眠又夢多。

—->每週犒賞自己2-3盅簡單的花旗參燉雞湯。溫熱香甜的參雞湯不上火好喝極了!

 

富裕的生活和進步的科技,導致我們身心磨損更嚴重。美食太多,常常一不小心就過食或雜食。科技進步,導致我們長時間只能與電腦相處,上半身的痠痛多過於下半身的勞動,腦袋瓜和五官變得更需要好好保養。這些因為人體使用過度的氣虛和精神虛虧,可以讓花旗參來來幫幫忙,少吃一點胃藥制酸劑,少吃一些安眠藥,你的身體會謝謝你!

 

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杜丞蕓 中醫師Charlotte Duh, L.Ac.

美國執照中醫師,中醫大學中藥營養學教授,中醫藥膳專家

來自台灣,活躍於美國華文媒體的杜醫師,在洛杉磯看診已十三年。在美創辦了Medi Yoga Clinic『藥上堂中醫診所』,Medi Yoga『琉璃瑜伽學苑』,Meal 4 Mom『杜仲月子養生餐』,DrD Herb『杜草藥鋪』網站商店,和Medi Herb USA 『藥上堂』養生中藥專賣鋪。

杜醫師專精內婦兒科,提倡預防養生中醫,食療藥膳先於未病。 小兒調理,青少年轉骨,月經失調,懷孕養胎,月子調理,皆可以用天然藥材調理而無副作用。另外如美容瘦身,季節過敏,腸胃紊亂,慢性疲勞等,杜醫師也是鼓勵少針少藥,先以自然食療方式為宜。

曾接受東森美洲電視台,美國鳳凰電視台,中天,天下等多家華文電視台的新聞採訪及電視座談。和東森美洲電視購物台有合作商品『轉骨方/益乳茶/藥膳系列』,於美國鳳凰電視台『養兒育女』節目中主持藥膳示範, 在台灣的Wow Woman 網站有專欄著作。

教育大家健康無病的生活方式是杜醫師的熱情,讓人們內外兼美更是杜醫師的心願。自然醫學是可以全面採用於生活中的,讓杜醫師打造一個全天然的食療養生法獻給大家。

 

杜醫師的聯絡方式:

E-mail: mediyogaclinic@gmail.com

Wechat: DrHerb

Line: CharlotteDuh

Brief: Wild Ginseng

September 1st marks the beginning of the Wild Ginseng season in Wisconsin. Each State is allowed to set its own parameters for length of season, but since ginseng is most potent after August the trend is roughly the same across the country. Also, with Wild American Ginseng being listed as endangered, the season does not typically last more than two months.

Already, Hsu’s has seen its fair share of Wild Ginseng hunters bringing their fresh finds in exchange for hard-earned money. With the season being short, and the value of Wild Ginseng being as high as it is, thousands of people across the country are searching through anything that remotely resembles a forest.

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Kaitlyn Backhaus (left) and the Wisconsin DNR representative auditing the Wild Ginseng brought in by various hunters.  Pound for pound they must be inspected for the State’s records.

In its natural habitat on the forest floor, ginseng is able to sustain itself for many years and gain considerable potency as it ages. The only way to estimate Wild Ginseng’s age is to count the ‘rings’ that appear on top of the root. Those rings are actually the lifeline of the root, and if the original root dies, the lifeline, known commonly as the ‘mother root’, will spawn a new root in its place. If a root sustains a series of harsh winters and conversely a series of favorable winters the lifeline will expand and contract based on its conditions under the surface. The fluctuation of size found throughout the lifeline is how we determine the root’s age and thus will eventually be separated by age and size for its use as a finished product.

Rumors of 100-year-old roots are not uncommon, as we may have one of our own. However such an anomaly is something few hunters will witness within their lifetime. Given the amount of Wild Ginseng harvested every year, the days of finding a root of that caliber and age may be over, especially for future generations. That is why the cultivation of American ginseng may become more important than ever in the next few decades.

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EST. 100-Year-Old Wild Ginseng Root.  Found by Hsu’s founder and President Paul C.Hsu, east of Wausau, WI

 

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Berries – Field and Forest

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Late August is a special time for ginseng growers in Marathon County, WI. The arrival of the ginseng plant’s berries is a sign that the harvest season draws near, and simultaneously thousands of Wild Ginseng hunters are scouring the woods across the nation for the most valuable ginseng in the world.

In our fields, groups of workers are beginning to manually pluck those berry clusters from the plants and collect them in their baskets.  From there, they will be transported to our new farm facility which is the hub for creating seeds and sending them through the stratification process.  Each berry contains up to two seeds, and a mature ginseng plant may yield between twenty and thirty seeds every year. Through stratification, we are able to store our seeds throughout the entire winter so they can be used for next year’s planting season starting in July.

Harvesting berries to create a seed stock is important for two reasons:  we are able to maintain our own stock for future harvests, as well as offer our seeds to aspiring ginseng growers around the nation; and, when the berry cluster matures and is harvested, the potency of the root increases as the plant is signaled to send its resources downward.  For that reason ginseng farmers in Marathon County will wait until the end of September to harvest.

For Wild Ginseng hunters, the arrival of ginseng berries makes the search significantly easier. In the viridescent forests of Wisconsin, the bright red clusters are far more telling of the presence of ginseng than the plant’s other physical characteristics.  Hunters have a fairly small window of opportunity to find, dig, clean, and sell their Wild Ginseng (legally).

But for some, finding it is over half of the battle.  In Wisconsin, places like the city of LaCrosse and many towns along the Mississippi River in Southwest Wisconsin are still the leading areas where hunters can still find ginseng in its natural state.  Outside of Wisconsin, the most abundant source of Wild Ginseng is the Appalachian Mountains in an area that span from New York to South Carolina.  There, hunters and poachers alike take part in the fast-paced and often lucrative Wild Ginseng hunt.

Certain social blights have marred the U.S.’s Wild Ginseng trade’s reputation in recent years.  In the opening week of Wild season in 2015, a North Carolina farmer reported that over $6000 worth of Wild Ginseng was stolen from his property.  It is a situation encouraged by over-dramatized reality TV shows such as ‘Appalachian Outlaws’ and will likely continue as the price of Wild Ginseng per pound remains high.

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Wausau Marathon 2016

Saturday August 20th, 2016, marks the 5th annual Wausau Marathon in Wausau, WI.

The importance of this race can’t be stressed enough as it serves as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon in April of 2017.  Runners from all over the country, even the World, participate in the Wausau Marathon because it has that small-town atmosphere yet is serious enough to advance runners to other marathons across the United States.  The featured runs are the full marathon, the half marathon, a 5K (3.1 mile run), and the Kid’s Fun Run.

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Since most runners are exhausted and starving by the end of their 26.2 mile endeavor, Hsu’s involvement in the marathon expands to offering each runner, staff member, and volunteer a gift of our Ginseng Granola, Gin-Max, and a discount on a future purchase.  We believe the granola would be a favorable snack after the race, before everyone starts slamming burgers and beers that is.

If you haven’t already signed up for the Wausau Marathon or the affiliated races, you can register here.

Last year, Brendan Thielsen took first place with an elapsed time of 2 hours, 53 minutes, and 28 seconds, which believe it or not was actually faster than some of the half marathon runners at a 6 minute and 40 second per mile pace.  So if you are a running enthusiast, or you’re just in need of some action on August 20th, head to Marathon Park around 7:00 AM.

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The Grant

On Thursday, July 14th, 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism granted the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival committee, led by head organizer Lisa Berry, a lump sum of nearly $40,000 to facilitate all of the activities planned for the upcoming festival in September 2017.

The grant will help cover the costs of transportation, use of products from the affiliated ginseng companies, such as ourselves, and the use of facilities such as the Monk Botanical Gardens here in Wausau, WI.

Will Hsu hosted the grant ceremony with about thirty attendees at our ginseng gardens on the outskirts of Wausau, WI.  He was interviewed by WAOW TV 9 (ABC) on a few quick facts about ginseng and also what the festival means to him as the largest exporter of American Ginseng in the U.S.

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Accepting the grant check at our gardens in Wausau, WI

“Let’s not just think about the international aspect of this festival, but also the Chinese-American consumers here in the United States that will be traveling from California, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, and other pockets of the United States where immigrants have settled here over the last one hundred to two hundred years and are still consumers of this product to this day.” – Hsu said.

The amount of work and effort going into the festival is sure to give everyone  who attends something to remember about Wisconsin tourism, agriculture, and way-of-life.

For more information on the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival you can visit their website here.

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Hsu’s Ginseng Tours

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From Friday, July 22nd:

Paul Hsu himself hosted a high school tour group from Zhangjiagang China.  Starting off with a group lunch, the group was treated to a full showing of our gardens and facilities.

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From Thursday, July 14th:

The Knabenmusik Group from Switzerland joined us in the fields on their tri-State tour through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

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From Friday, July 7th:

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Ginseng and Straw, Lifelong Friends

60 semi loads.  That’s how much straw we will go through as we are finishing up our planting season.  The piles of straw bales form a mountain aside our fields as our modified shredders distribute them over the terrain.  Groups of workers led by Nick Sandquist, Farm Manager, send whole large bales through our shredders and plaster our gardens with a thick layer of straw.  The ginseng root itself is so susceptible to the elements that without the protective straw, our yields would simply plummet to pre-World War II capacity.

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Mount Straw – a mere fraction of the straw we go through during our planting season.

Groups of workers rake the straw with pitchforks to spread the straw evenly so that the seeds are well-hidden from wild turkeys, yet not too deep so that next year the plants can emerge from the ground.  The straw will remain there through the entirety of the plant’s life cycle.  It fills several needs:  protection from the elements of rain, ice, snow, and even wind; shields our ginseng from turkeys, slugs, and other creatures we run into in the fields; protects the root itself from additives applied to the plant that protects it from invasive pests and fungi.

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Straw is applied with our customized shredding machines that can fit under our shaded cloths.

After the straw is evenly distributed by hand over the raised beds, we can begin to stretch our shaded cloth over the garden.  Shaded cloth is an upgrade over traditional wooden sections because it gives us more control of the drainage during heavy rains and it is consistently blocking out 78% to 82% of the sunlight at all times.  The shade structure is removed around our harvest season in October so our plants may go dormant.  None of this would even be possible though, if we did not have our straw.

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This is what our garden will look like one year from the planting date.

You can watch the latest video of spreading straw here.

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