For a number of years, The Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine has been tending their own herbal medicine garden to help supply the treatments needed by their patients. 18 months ago, BRCCM, a non-profit in Floyd County, received a large private donation and $150,000 in matching funds from the Tobacco Commission to expand their efforts. This funding will help BRCCM meet the burgeoning national demand for these herbs and provide an additional income stream for local farmers. So far, BRCCM has helped plant medicinal herbs on 27 farms with over 13,000 plants, primarily in Floyd County. They have a waiting list of farms wanting to participate in growing other higher-value crops that can help diversify their revenue stream and sustain their operations. BRCCM has already purchased harvesting equipment, but is now working on a way to dry and process these herbs at a larger scale as well as test, certify, and ship these herbs.