Most goldenseal comes from North America, where it's either cultivated or harvested from the wild. Goldenseal plants in the wild are diminishing due to over harvesting and habitat destruction. In some states, goldenseal is listed as endangered or threatened, and international trade in goldenseal is regulated due to its growing scarcity*.
We believe that only ethically wild-crafted or cultivated goldenseal should be traded. All of our goldenseal root and leaf is certified organic and is cultivated in the state of Oregon.
Our goldenseal Well Earth Sourcing Program partners have been growing goldenseal since 1999. They are committed to sustainable farming practices and producing high quality, potent goldenseal. They are owners of a small family farm in the state of Oregon. Meet our Well Earth goldenseal partner.
*Goldenseal was listed as Appendix II on CITES (International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1997. This listing requires that international trade of goldenseal root be regulated so as not to be detrimental to its survival in the wild, but it does not affect domestic trade.
In 1996, concerned with the dwindling number of goldenseal plants in the wild and the overuse of the precious herb goldenseal for non-effective purposes, Frontier launched the "Save the Goldenseal" project. One of the aims of the project was to encourage cultivation of this important medicinal herb so that we could eliminate wild-crafted goldenseal from our purchases. In only three years, we were able to do just that. Frontier has sold only cultivated goldenseal root ever since and much of the industry has moved to cultivated goldenseal, greatly reducing the pressure on the plant's wild populations.
"Save the Goldenseal" led us to meet growers Roger and Kathy in 2006. Since 1999, they had operated their small farm in Washington, primarily growing organic goldenseal as a cash crop and produce for their own needs. Roger and Kathy built their business slowly and sustainably with the help of several long-time employees. Roger and Kathy describe their relationship with their workers as "extremely family friendly." Employees' families spend a lot of time at the farm, growing and processing organic vegetables with Roger and Kathy, as well as feasting on fresh garden produce to celebrate the summer holidays. Roger and Kathy even added a poultry flock because their workers asked for it.
In spring of 2010, Roger and Kathy's farm became a Frontier Well Earth partner. We especially like how they have worked to build a sustainable goldenseal farm, utilizing local waste materials to build their soil, developing an intercropping method of controlling fungal disease, and producing their own goldenseal rootlets on the farm to ensure organic planting stock. Other sustainable practices include composting crop residues, recycling gray water to use in irrigation, maintaining a five-acre wooded buffer along the stream that runs through the farm, and maintaining a natural grassy, wetland on the property. We love the quality of the goldenseal we get from Roger and Kathy and are pleased to have them as a Well Earth supplier. We are also pleased that, as part of our support for Well Earth suppliers, we were able to award them a grant for $6,500 towards purchasing root cleaning equipment and to purchase seed stock to conduct trials of new herbs for cultivation.
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