Get Involved
About Us
Our Members
The Earth Shall Blossom: Shaker Herbs and Gardening.
Galen Beale and Mary Rose Boswell. The Countryman Press, Inc., P.O. Box 175, Woodstock, VT 050991. 1991. 263 pp. Softcover. $18.95 ISBN 0-88150-183-2

Having spent four years at the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Community, from 1974-1978, I found this book of particular interest The Earth Shall Blossom provides an original and insightful look at the Shaker herb industry,both in a historical and modern context. The book is centered on the authors' experience at the Canterbury, New Hampshire Shaker village, and largely focuses on the history of herb use in that community, detailing the historical development of the Shaker herb and seed businesses in the nineteenth century. Little-known facts on the Shaker's domestic use of herbs, both culinary and medicinal, and numerous recipes, are included. Shaker physicians and herbalists are profiled in relation to their rules in the development of the Shaker herb industry. The book provides discussion of medicinal herb use within Shaker communities themselves, though without a good historical context of American medical botany to understand the place of herbs in nineteenth century America . Well written, entertaining, highly readable, and fascinating, the book explores Shaker herbs, blending historical detail with practical and useful information for the contemporary herbalist.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.