Celebrating 15 Years! 1988 to 2003

Walk down memory lane with The Herb Companion.

| October/November 2003

  • The Herb Companion’s creator, Linda Ligon, inspired a legacy that lives on, thanks to our contributors and readers.

When Linda Ligon, creator and former publisher of The Herb Companion, stepped into a natural foods store in November 1987, she didn’t expect to find inspiration for her next magazine, but that’s just what happened. She describes it as “literally an out-of-body experience.” The idea for an herb gardening and cooking magazine came to her, and The Herb Companion was born. The premiere issue, October/November 1988, appeared in subscribers’ mailboxes soon after.

Early on, The Herb Companion, was available only to subscribers and not sold on the newsstand. When Ligon, of Loveland, Colorado, decided to branch out and put copies in bookstores nationwide, her newsstand distributor suggested she change the serene illustrated cover to match the “pop” of other magazines. But she knew the magazine had a special niche that needed to remain soft and simple. “The Herb Companion was reflecting the sensibilities and aesthetics of serenity,” Ligon says. “Herb gardens have that quality of retreat. They’re not showy.”

Over the years, The Herb Companion has covered the ins and outs of a wide variety of herbs. Asked about her favorite issue, Ligon faces a dilemma any parent would understand. “I could pick one for a favorite cover, one for a favorite article or theme, one for a favorite bunch of photos, maybe. But a magazine is such a living, growing, evolving entity — picking one is like picking a flower off a living plant. Single it out, and it dies. I just loved the magazine as a whole, loved editing it, loved working with the authors, loved the community of herb-loving readers,” Ligon says.

Earlier this year, Ogden Publications of Topeka, Kansas, purchased The Herb Companion and its sister publication, Herbs for Health. Ogden is also the new home of Mother Earth News magazine, the venerable publication that has helped foster natural, sustainable living for more than 30 years. K.C. Compton, editor in chief of both the herb magazines and former managing editor for Mother Earth News, says The Herb Companion is in perfect synch with Ogden’s aim of providing practical, helpful information that makes life easier, healthier or simply more congenial for our readers.

“I love The Herb Companion because it is comforting, informative and real. I can’t think of a job more fun than this!

“So many magazines these days seem designed to make readers feel inadequate if they don’t buy into a particular lifestyle or look,” Compton says. “Our approach is very simple: Herbs are good. Grow them, eat them, enjoy them. This is a legacy we’re all honored to help carry forward.”

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