June 2007
The Herb Lady

Farewell with Thankfulness

Farewell with Thankfulness

Dear Readers,

As stated in a previous column, one night in 1981, I got out of bed at midnight to write what would be my first newspaper article.

Here I must tell you that my relationship with God is very informal. I do attend church regularly but feel His presence wherever I am. I cannot abide anyone shouting or using pressure to get their religious message across. My prayers are very simple — never fancy or pretty. However God must approve of me.

One day as I made my journey down highway 225, across the causeway and through Mobile to my work as a nurse at Mobile Infirmary, I said this prayer, "If writing is to be my assignment while on Earth, please show me how to use it as a benefit to myself as well as others."

Soon I began to hear a message in my head. BUILD A GREENHOUSE AND GROW HERBS. This message played over and over like a broken record both night and day. Of course no one but I could hear the voice. This was 1984.

My Mother was dying with cancer. I was the attending child. I shared with my understanding husband, Richard, my experience regarding the voice. Soon after Mother’s death he said, "Now we’ll build the greenhouse." We did. The message in my head ceased. I had done its bidding.

As I look back on this, I realize that God had me start my herbal education with the basics — by planting seed. Soon my garden in Baldwin County was teeming with fruits, vegetables and herbs around my greenhouse. I became a charter member of THE GULF COAST HERB SOCIETY. I became a member of THE HERB SOCIETY OF AMERICA.

During Mother’s last days I had put my writing on hold. Now I wrote again. Still human interest subjects, but now the theme was primarily herbs. I was something of a pioneer on the subject here in the southeast. This seems to be the area of our country which is the slowest to accept something new.

In 1990, we decided to move back to Pike County where we had both grown up. We brought with us a truck load of potted herbs. We no longer had a greenhouse. Our new back yard became a vegetable and herb garden. Our many visitors marveled at the wonderful scents of the many plants which few had ever seen.

Richard’s progressive illness and my osteoporosis (I have the osteoporosis under control with natural products) plus osteo-arthritis eventually put an end to our gardening. Then suddenly I had a new thought, "I have an ideal spot for an herb shop." This came as we were enclosing our large 16 x 22 foot front porch in 1995. This was evidently another phase in God’s plan for my involvement with herbs. Now I was involved with the medicinal side of herbs — something I had sworn I’d never do.

The words I have written have always rather rolled out of my head — that is until my most recent column was written. The day after it was faxed to you it came to me — it was time to stop. Writing that last column was work, not fun as always before. I repeat, it was time to stop. There is much in my head which will never be printed.

For the time being my home-based herb business will continue. I sincerely hope that I have fulfilled God’s assignment.

With thankfulness and best regards,
Nadine Johnson

Nadine Johnson is a resident of Goshen, Alabama, a member of the Goshen Farmers Co-op, and a long time user and promoter of wise herb use. Her telephone number is 334/484-3580. Her email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..