Once a gardener, always a gardener is certainly true for me: I have gardened for as long as I can remember - to feed my family and to continue the herbal tradition I grew up with in Germany.
Wherever I've lived I turned some plot of land, no matter how small, into a garden. Sunflowers for the row house in Pittsburgh; echinacea for the sidewalk island in Washington, DC; mint-encircled newly planted trees in Philadelphia.
When I became the Herbalist at Canterbury Shaker Village I really spread my wings. Restoring the three acres of vegetable and herb gardens was a welcome challenge. It was there, steeped in Shaker herbal practices and ingenuity, that I developed a serious appreciation for soil: the foundation of plant life. A shovel of dirt holds microbes enough to stretch to the moon and back. I embraced the practice of organic herbs as Partners in Life.*
The basis for organic herbs as Partners to Soil came to me while brewing a cup of medicinal tea. "If they enhance my own health, it makes sense that herbs can also contribute to soil deep plant resilience."Heidi's Maine garden in June
I recognized the veracity of this statement at the time but it took twelve years of research and experimentation to arrive at the present formula for PlantPep™: an organic fertilizer that delivers nutrients to activate the entire soil food web.
I am a Certified Herbalist, a Master Gardener, and a Historic Landscape Curator. Some of my projects include the founding of the Titusville Nature Center in New Jersey, designing Bowman's Tower Plant Saver wildflower trails, historic trails in the Shaker woods, and a Medicine Wood Trail at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum.
I earned my MS from Bank Street College, NY, NY and my Master Montessori Diploma at St. Nicholas Training Center in London (UK). Using the Montessori teaching principles I designed an environment curriculum for young children that is used in early childhood education in the States and uproad.
While producing and marketing PlantPep™ takes most of my time these days, I also teach an herbal apprentice course, design herb gardens, and lecture.
Articles: The Herb Companion, Gourmet Magazine, Audubon Newsletter (New England), and WREN Magazine.
Memberships: Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA), International Herb Association (IHA), International Montessori Association (IMA), United Plant Savers.
*Adele G. Dawson, Herbs: Partners in Life, Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT. 1991.