"The most difinitive herb grower's guide on the planet, a book that breathes with aliveness, humor, and how to really do it!" --Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac.
"Richo and I are fortunate in having a diversity of medicinal plants growing in our backyards. The world is fortunate in that Richo has distilled his years of growing experience in this excellent new book. A very different book--no bibliographic echoes, all good personal gardening and nature first hand. This book is a pleasure to read, and a treasure of valuable cultural information. --James Duke, PhD
I love the illustrations and anecdotes that make for reading much like James Herriot--of whom I am a fan! --Pam Grove
Richo was born in 1955 in Iowa City Iowa, the son of a caring mother and an accomplished physician. He was always fascinated by plants and especially seeds, and demonstrated from an early age an unusual talent for collecting and germinating diverse seeds. His professional work as an archaeologist in East Africa blossomed into a nascent ascent into ethnobotany. On his return to the United States in 1975 he and his wife, Mayche, and their fledgling family set up a homestead in a remote area of the coast mountains of Oregon. Here they delved into the art, science, and horticulture of growing diverse gardens of medicinal herbs. Richo has written extensively of these experiences in his book "Making Plant Medicine" and now continues the story in "The Medicinal Herb Grower." His writing style is much like James Herriot (of veterinary fame) but of course he discusses herbs, not horses. The early gardens contained scores of species of plants that were unusual at the time, and later gardens contained hundreds of species. Eventually, Richo and his family produced gardens with over 1,000 species of medicinal herbs from all over the world, with extensive collections from america, china, south america, europe, the middle east, and east africa. Seeds and organically certified medicinal herb plants began to be distributed under the auspices of "Horizon Herbs, LLC" which eventually grew to be a major player in conservation of medicinal herbs, distributing millions of seed packets of viable, organic, hand-collected, open-pollinated, heriloom, and not gmo'd seeds worldwide. Richo's second book "Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs--Cultivation, Conservation and Ecology" was well-received by numerous growers, farmers, medicine makers, and also by the conservation community. It provided detailed information on the cultivation of 20 native american medicinal herbs at danger of extinction, including extremely detailed information on propagation biology, cultivation techniques, processing and yields. In recent years, Richo has been travelling worldwide (e.g. Yunnan, Zanzibar) to collect medicinal herb plants, focusing on finding the native land races of common medicinal herbs. His findings are well documented on his website at horizonherbs.com, and he contributes as a guest lecturer at herb gatherings nationwide as well as Bastyr University. His daughter, Nadja, is an associate professor of chemistry at University of Greensboro in North Carolina, where she engages in medicinal plant research. His daughter, Sena, has now illustrated three books. His wife is an accomplished cellist and editor. His son is a well-known builder of large geodesic domes. He has three grandchildren--Jaiden, Naia, and Nova Rose. The Cech family motto is "Sowing Seeds Worldwide for the Benefit of People, Plants and the Planet."