Down to Earth: From Hog Farmer to Herb Supplier

| August/September 2003

I’m always fascinated to learn how people come to be involved with herbs. I like hearing people’s stories about their work and how they came to do what they love in life.

I was on a bus tour with people attending an International Herb Association conference some years ago when I reconnected with a woman from Iowa I’d met the year before. I knew a bit about Jane Hogue’s herb farm, Prairie Pedlar, and about her dream of bringing herbal education and products to her local community. After visiting a bit with Jane, I asked her husband, Jack about his change of career from hog farmer to herb supplier.

I vividly remember Jack’s response. He paused before he answered, looking a bit embarrassed, and said, “Well, I guess I have a confession to make in front of my wife,” and he turned and grinned at her.

Jack related how he always makes an effort to be supportive of Jane’s ideas and, as a family, they plan to do almost everything together. He told about how enthused Jane had been the year before when she returned from the herb conference.

“But it looked like things that I had no part nor interest in,” he said. The following year, Jane urged him to come with her to the conference.

“I griped and groaned all the way across the country as I drove us toward the conference,” he said. “I complained I had corn and livestock to tend, how important the work at home was and how I just didn’t have time for such foolishness as an herb conference.”

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