Episode 12: Theodora Brennan Herbalist from Theodora’s Garden in NW Montana
Theodora Brennan makes salves, creams, lotions, etc from natural herbs that she grows or gathers in NW Montana.
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
My mother’s garden in Southern California.
What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?
Leaving the land better then you found it.
Who or what inspired u to start using organic techniques?
How did you learn how to garden organically?
lots of failures….some successes
Tell us about something that grew well this year.
Strawberries & Kale
Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.
Brocolli and cauliflower
Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful everytime
Lettuce, beets, carrots … cold weather crops.
Something you’d steer new gardeners away from that you find is typically challenging to grow in your climate
Corn, watermelon, and cantaloupe (there is a corn out of Alaska that’s been successful)
Do you have any secrets for preserving food-making it last?
This year was able to dry garlic and onions in a dry place.
Eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time?
Pick enough for one cannerful at a time
Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?
(I also found this recipe for Chickweed Pesto online at Produce on Parade’s website)
A favorite recipe you like to cook?
Leafy greens sautee’d with eggs for an omlette for breakfast . For dinner – a salad with flowers like nasturtiums, hollyhocks, or daylillies. Daylily roots can be roasted like potatoes and the blossoms can be stuffed with cheese, and the flowers can be cut up into egg rolls.
A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.
A favorite internet resource?
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can
If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?
Theodora’s Garden – ill in early 90’s went on a quest to heal herself and began to study herbalism. School of Natural Healing
First salve was a 3 herb salve – calendula, plantain and marshmallow
Depends on where you live and what is prolific in your area, and what do you want to do with the salve heal or cosmetic – but calendula is one of my favorites that grows just about anywhere.
Mix herbs, beeswax, and oil and you’ve got a salve.
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
Bend down, pick up some dirt in your hand, see what it feels like and plant something. Just do it. Just start in a pot on your balcony.
Pictures of Theodora’s Garden were taken by Lynne Campbell
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