When people hear about the “Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine” in Floyd County, they sometimes look surprised and ask, “What’s that doing here? Not only is it serving a local clientele, it’s also working to create a network of farmers raising certified traditional Chinese herbs to supply a growing sector in health care.
More Americans than ever before are turning to Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture to heal and prevent disease. Many states, including Virginia now license practitioners and regulate the industry.
As the sector grows, there is more demand for Chinese Medicinal herbs, an important aspect of the practice. A new project underway to grow Chinese medicinal herbs here is taking root in Floyd Virginia.
“The ones at the top are the ones we can grow at the clinic here but most of these are sourced from China and the west coast,” says David Grimsley.
The mountains of Southwest Virginia were once known for coal mining, manufacturing and agriculture --- and the boom and bust cycles that go with them. Now the region is looking toward more lasting routes to prosperity. They’re using nature and the local creative culture to nurture their economy.
“You cans start here at the waterfall which is the gorgeous 350 foot waterfall cascading over this mossy limestone cliff and then hike into the natural area.”
These days so much of the country seems just like everywhere else, the same national chains, same urban sprawl. And while there are still some authentic regions left, mostly, they’re far from –well – everywhere.
The elements known as ‘rare earths,’ are a relatively new addition to the periodic table. And they have changed the world, ushering in the new age of technology because of their unique properties. They allow us to make smaller and more efficient devices; everything from smart phones to wind turbines.