There are many factors that go into selecting appropriate crops for further research. Crops need to be well-suited for the growing region’s weather and soil conditions. Some crops are also eliminated because they are considered invasive and likely to become a noxious weed in future years if introduced to that area.
Next come market concerns – we want to evaluate crops for which there is demand from herbal medicine practitioners. Crops with a high value per acre are attractive. We also want to choose crops that won’t require growers to invest in new equipment or require a lot of time or resources to harvest and process.
Once these criteria are met, field trials are appropriate. We are starting a demonstration garden to learn more about what grows well in the Willamette Valley.