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Herby Turns Ten!

A memorable lesson: 10 years of writing about herbs.
By the Herb Companion Staff
December/January 1997
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The Herb Companion is celebrating its first decade. Join us in 1998, our tenth year, as we look back at where we’ve been and what we’ve done. In each issue, we’ll present snippets of stories, projects, and artwork that we’ve featured over the magazine’s life.

This has been a time of exploration and excitement as we’ve ­watch­­­ed the subject of herbs become a national fascination. Once the pastime of a small but devoted group, herbs are mentioned in almost every national magazine on the newsstand today that deals with cooking, health, or gardening. We’re proud to have had a part in that.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Here are some snippets for your enjoyment:

A memorable lesson

In 1994, the year that ‘Lady’ lavender won the All-America Selections flower award, The Herb Companion staff concocted a grand scheme. We designed ‘Lady’ seed packets with botanical artwork and our logo, filled them with seed we had arranged to get from Burpee, and tucked them into 198,000 copies of our February/March issue, along with a splashy package of stories on lavenders.

The first office copy arrived from the printer, and we turned eagerly to that page, only to see that the seed packet in its place of honor was spotted with oil. Inside, the seeds had been squished to powder by the weight of the other magazines stacked atop that copy. We cried.

Then we hurried up and printed more packets and bought more seed and sent out fresh packets to all our subscribers, but there are probably still people out there trying to get that strange powdery lavender seed to germinate.

The art of herbs

On The Herb Companion covers, we have featured botanical illustrations by dozens of talented artists across the country. Our first cover, October/November 1988, was a watercolor by Denver artist Mike Eagleton.

Tom’s Harley

“I’ve always fancied that growing herbs is a lot like doing headstands on a moving Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s a juxtaposition of natural and mechanical, and of things you can control and things you can’t. Both activities demand attention to details—and natu­ral balance.”
—Thomas DeBaggio,
February/March 1990

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