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RE: Books on Medicinal Plants and Herbs

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Books on Medicinal Plants and Herbs
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
  • Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:24:26 -0400

Undoubtedly some of your gardens have fine herbal collections as well as demonstration gardens of medicinal and Native American plants. These bullet points from the "Fun Facts" link on the Clinton Community Garden's website give list some of the work that our 2002 Garden Chair, volunteer and herbalist Ms. Annie Chadwick ( and husband, Mr. Faser Hardin) have done in our little urban community garden over the years.
Annie Chadwick has mightily enhanced the educational and horticultural value of our third of an acre with her thoughtful work and leadership. We are fortunate also to have more than a few volunteers with similar knowledge ( a retired NYPL research librarian, Ms. Jane Greenlaw continues to be a remarkable resource of horticultural wisdom.) If Annie and Jane don't know what a plant is, then it IS a weed.
Having carefully tended native plant and herb beds in your community garden (with signage to instruct vistors and guide volunteer "weeders") are real enhancements. It's alot of work ( I've moved that 150 lb. stone snakehead more than a few times myself) but well worth it.
Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden     

The Herb and Edible Flower Bed has over 75 varieties of medicinal and culinary herbs and edible flowers that are available to the public for tasting.


The Native American Medicinal Plant Bed contains approximately 100 species of plants indigenous to the East Coast and North America which were all used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes.


The Serpentine Path in our Native American Bed was created in 1995 by CCG gardener and herbalist Annie Chadwick and was designed to allow one to have the feeling of walking through a miniature woodland and emerging into an open sunny field. To Native Americans the snake was the symbol of life, healing and transformation.


The Native American Bed includes 5 major magical plant spirits. Upon entering the Serpentine Path one first passes the mother spirit of the garden - the Elder - ruled by the element water. Here you may make a wish, as she is the wish granter and healer. Continuing on the path you next pass the Mountain Ash or Rowan - ruled by the element fire which is the protection spirit of the garden. Thirdly, walking under the Honey Suckle arbor - ruled by the element earth - prosperity and good luck are added to your journey. Fourthly, one passes by the Hazelnut - ruled by the element air - which is the tree spirit of wisdom. And finally upon completing the Serpentine Path at the snake's head is the Hawthorne - ruled by the element fire - which is the spirit of joy and happiness. Tradition has it that ribbons were attached to the Hawthorne as prayer flags in hopes that the spirit world would answer them through the medium of the tree and the wind.


The Native American Bed is also home to our beehive. The CCG beehive is populated with thousands of Italian Caucasian Honey Bees. In the fall we harvest approximately 80 to 100 lbs of Hell's Kitchen Honey which is sold at our Oktoberfest.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Gordon [mailto:gordonse@one.net]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 4:17 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Books on Medicinal Plants and Herbs

For people that might want to create a demo garden of local medicinal plants and herbs at their community garden site, there are two helpful identification and description books:
1) Peterson Field Guides
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America, 2nd ed, 2000
bu Steven Foster and James A. Duke
ISBN 0395988144
2) Peterson Field Guides
A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs, 2002, by Steven Foster and Christopher Hobbs
Both books
-show where to find the plants
-give uses and tell which parts are useful
-give warnings as necessary
-report findings from medical studies where available
-have clear detailed pictures
-have plant indexes
-have an index by medical topics
Some of the plants shown in the books are endangered, so care should be taken in creating a garden to use plants/seeds that are obtained in ecologically safe ways and to focus on plants that have a good chance of survival in the particular community garden conditions.  Other books would need to be consulted for growing advice though the information on where they are found will give some clues as to their favored habitats.

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