Avena Botanicals Herbal Remedies, Maine's largest established provider of medicinal herbs and alternative health solutions.
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About Avena Botanicals

History of Avena Botanicals

Avena Botanicals was founded in 1985 by herbalist and gardener Deb Soule. As a young woman growing up in rural Maine, Deb was inspired to begin organically growing vegetables after reading Frances Moore Lappe's book Diet for a Small Planet. Gardening came naturally to Deb and a year later, after reading Juliette de Bairacli Levy's book, Common Herbs for Natural Health, Deb began incorporating medicinal herbs into her gardens.

As Deb's knowledge and faith in the efficacy of medicinal herbs grew, so did her desire to be of service to her community. In a small 8 by 10 foot room in her house, Deb began preparing various herbal remedies. In the fall of 1985, with her first mail order catalog and a small selection of herbal extracts and teas, Deb had her first booth at the Common Ground Fair in Windsor, Maine.

Since 1985, Avena Botanicals has continued to expand and serve a broad population of people and health care providers interested in medicinal herbs. In 1995, Avena moved to its current 32 acre farm where Deb was finally able to design and plant a large organic and biodynamic herb garden. This beautiful two-acre garden provides an abundance of organic herbs for the apothecary, a classroom for Deb's students, nectar-producing flowers for pollinators and a peaceful place for visitors to renew their spirit and find healing in nature.

About Our Gardens

Avena Botanicals Medicinal Herb Garden contains over 125 different medicinal herbs and plants. Each herb, flower, shrub and tree growing in and around our gardens has been planted for its medicinal or edible uses or as food for the plant pollinators. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the quiet, tranquil beauty of our garden. Wandering paths, meditation benches and handcrafted arbors and gates add to the colors and textures of our thoughtfully designed garden. A garden map and booklet explaining the medicinal uses of the herbs is at the garden's entrance for visitors who are curious and eager to learn more about the healing properties of plants.

Avena Botanicals' two-acre gardens are certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Certification Services. Beginning in March, several thousand seeds are sown in Avena's greenhouse. From April through June, Deb and two other gardeners are busy transplanting, weeding, watering, and harvesting the spring barks, roots and greens. The summer months are filled with early morning harvests, the ongoing tending of the gardens, and the wild-harvesting of herbs from nearby islands and fields. Fall finds the gardeners building compost piles, digging roots, collecting seeds and preparing the gardens for the long winter ahead.

In 1997 we began using various biodynamic preparations, created by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, to further enhance our soil fertility and the vitality of our herbs. We attribute the health and well-being of our gardens to the use of the biodynamic preparations, our compost, and our love of gardening.

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