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DELMAR, N.Y. Expanding interest in traditional Chinese medicine in the United States is fostering a potentially lucrative new niche market for farmers who plant the varieties of herbs, flowers and trees sought by practitioners.

While almost all practitioners still rely on imports from China, dwindling wild stands there, as well as quality and safety concerns, could drive up demand for herbs grown in the U.S. Several states have set up 'growing groups' to help farmers establish trial stands of the most popular plants.

Published in Livin'

ITHACA, N.Y. A physicist from Armenia, a juice-maker from Bermuda and a Burmese sushi chef are crafting new careers in agriculture under a program that applies the business incubator model to farming.

The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is one of dozens of incubator farms springing up around the country to nurture the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. The projects help would-be farmers get started by providing a plot of land, shared equipment, mentoring on business planning and marketing, and the opportunity to build a track record of success that will help them qualify for startup loans when they're ready to launch their own farms.

Published in Livin'

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