The next stop on The Essential Herbal's virtual garden tour is the herb farm and home of Gail Edwards, of Blessed Maine Herbs.
I've had the great pleasure of meeting Gail several times over the years, and vended next to her during a very slow (shopping-wise, at least) herb conference one weekend long ago. She has an amazing way of looking at the world that enables her to see the beauty everywhere, but being a Jersey Girl from the git-go, there is a solid base. She has written books, "Through the Wild Heart of Mary; Teachings of the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary and the Herbs and Foods Associated with Them" being the most recent, preceded "Traversing the Wild Terrain of Menopause: Herbal Allies for Midlife Women and Men", and "Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs" (Opening Our Wild Hearts is currently out of print). In addition to offering consultations, Gail teaches many herb classes and most likely if you're interested in herbs you've met someone who learned from her. She recently had a schoolhouse built on the property by her son John at Hilmer Building and Design. This is the schoolhouse *almost* finished.
She also leads yearly spring tours through Southern Italy. As one final note before we begin the tour, Gail will be giving a workshop in October at The Rosemary House. My sister and I are already signed up. Maybe we'll see you there too!
Apothecary Roses bloom.
Baskets of fresh, colorful calendula are gathered for herbal products.
A frog surveys the surroundings from the middle of the pond.
The lemon balm harvest is in full swing.
Hops vines are trained up the poles.
Elecampane is full and lush. You may or may not notice from this series of pictures, but Blessed Maine is really a family farm. Gail's children and their spouses (and soon the grandchildren) are very much a part of everything that happens there. From here on our little commune, it looks mighty sweet!
In a day or so, we'll have the cover and table of contents up for the next issue of the magazine, and then the next garden - here in PA. Happy harvest, everyone!