Backdoor Garden – Herbs and Spices

Backdoor Garden

As a tribute to a dear belated friend the herbal wise woman and elder, food historian and artist, Adele G. Dawson, this section of Curious About Cuisine is devoted to her memory, her zest for life and her profound knowledge of herbs. Adele grew hardy gardens that thrived in the rocky hills of Vermont adjacent to a waterfall. I was impressed with her ability to heal with herbs when I saw how she was able to heal a cut by applying a comfrey leaf wrap from her garden.

I met Adele when I was a student years ago, attending her art show at the University of Vermont and she told me all about a marvelous trip that she had just taken to Findhorn. A year late she offered me an apprenticeship with her and now I wonder what such a gift would have been like, had I taken that Path. In her book, Herbs: Partners in Life (Healing Arts Press), Adele wrote in the Preface, “ A garden, small or large, like a nuclear or extended family, gives us a protected, friendly place to grow…to cultivate our potential for being sensitive and responsible citizens of the planet and grateful caretakers of our inherited treasures.”

I was delighted to find her book in my local natural food store and to learn more about Adele’s later years by reading Rosemary Gladstar’s foreward to the book. These women are the herbalists. I am just a cook who enjoys growing and cooking with herbs and spices. -the Editor

Read more about Adele’s mentoring in the interview with Deb Soule in Guests in the Kitchen on this site about Avena Botanicals .

Note: When using herbs, it is important to consult a knowledgeable herbalist about the uses of various plants and which plant parts may be used in food and drink or as an applicationto the body. Some plants or parts of plants are toxic and should not be used at all.

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