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As True as the Barnacle Tree: Herb Lore in Woodstock

By Anita M. Smith

Artist and herbalist Anita M. Smith celebrates herb lore in Woodstock.

Published in 1939, this limited first edition (only 1,000 copies) was printed on one of the final runs at Hervey White’s Maverick Press in Woodstock. The frontispiece block print of AMS in her “show-off” herb garden, by Woodstock artists Maud and Miska Petersham, was used for many years by The Herb Quarterly.

“The use of herbs is an ancient practice,” writes Ms. Smith in the opening line of this charming book. Smith, a nationally known herbalist, provides the reader with a brief history of herbalism, interleaving her text with excerpts from such ancient herbals as John Gerard’s The Herball or General History of Plantes, Peter Treveris’s Grete Herball and Nicholas Culpeper’s Complete Herbal. Next are chapers on Native American, Quaker and Shaker herbal legends and usage—as well as a discussion of herb lore in Woodstock. She finishes with a suggested plan for a herb garden, followed by properties of selected plants, and recipes using some of her favorite herbs.

Anita Smith always pronounced “herb” with the “h”; to drop the “h,” she said, was to use Cockney parlance (i.e. the voiceless glottal fricative).

More About the Book

Published 1939; first edition; ISBN 9780967926823; soft cover; saddle stitch binding; 5½ x 7½ inches; 50 pages; 2 illustrations by Maud and Miska Petersham; illustrated cover and 5 drawings by Anita M. Smith.

List price: $25.00 / sale price on this site: $20.00; shipping within U.S. only.

About the Author

Anita M. Smith journeyed to Woodstock from her native Philadelphia in 1912, with money intended for a ball gown. She quickly emerged as one of Woodstock’s talented young painters. In 1934 she built a bluestone house near Woodstock’s Rock City Corners, and embarked on a second career as a herbalist. Her Stonecrop Garden and Shop was one of only four of its kind on the entire East Coast. With it she served clients in all 48 contiguous states during the late 1930s. Her herb practice gained national prominence and garnered press in publications such as the New York Herald Tribune. Today she is well known for her Woodstock History and Hearsay (first published in 1959; second edition released by WoodstockArts in 2006), and her numerous paintings of Woodstock, Provincetown, MA, New Hope, PA, France and Mexico.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1, p. 1
Of Divers Herbs and Their Usage
Chapter 2, p. 11
Indian Herb Lore
Chapter 3, p. 18
Quakers and Shakers
Chapter 4, p. 22
Woodstock Legends and Cures
Chapter 5, p. 31
Suggested Plan for an Herb Garden
Chapter 6, p. 34
Favorite Culinary Herbs

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