Monday, December 05, 2011

The Essential Herbal begins year 11

10 years of printing a magazine is an amazing thing. A niche magazine is even more amazing. At a time when most magazines are either folding or going to the much cheaper electronic format, to be an indie print publisher all this time, watching our subscription rate climb and our circle ever widening has been a true labor of love.
The first issue of the next decade is currently with the printer. Oddly enough, it is all about love. As usual, we never plan our theme, trusting our generous contributors to lead us as they follow along with the seasons. So it is a rich and wonderful coincidence that as the pages fell together, the general theme turned out to be love and care.
Along the way, it took a while to find out who we were. During the first few years, I'd look at the other herb magazines out there and wonder if maybe we should try this or that, to be more glitzy, less grassroots, or if we should attempt to be more ... well, anything.
In the end, I've always returned to the original vision and try very hard to avoid looking at what others are doing. In the past 5 years, I've probably glanced through other herb magazines 3 times because it sways me temporarily or makes me question what we are about for a moment of unnecessary anxiety.

That first vision, sitting on a porch talking over a glass of wine, the clear idea and mission, was that every day people get up in the morning and decide that they want to learn more about the plants around them and bring them into their lives. I know because I was one of them at one time. They need a publication that feels like they're sitting with friends who share their own ways of doing things. They want something that each time it comes to their door, there will be something that will open a window into the world they are attempting to enter.For some more seasoned herbalists, it might rekindle something hey had already forgottne or remind them of something they had always wanted to try. I learn new things in every issue.
The other side of that is that there are people who have the willingness to share what they know with others. All levels of herbalists have taken the time to hold out a hand to each other in this process, and it has been beautiful to watch. The inclusion and friendships that have formed through the magazine and the various group activities have left me shaking my head in awe at times.

And so, I wanted to take a moment and thank each and every person who has been a part of the first 10 years, and those who are coming along with us or joining the herb party now or in the future, as we move into this next decade. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've made my life richer and more meaningful, and I couldn't have done a bit of it without you.
Here we go!

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