Friday, June 6, 2008
Herbalist Spotlight Karen Hardage
Name: Karen Hardage
Marital status: Married
Children: 1 daughter & 1 daughter by marriage.
Do you remember what was going on in your life that
lead you to herbs?-- As a child, I always spent lots
of time outside exploring and communing with nature.
That was where I was most comfortable and happy. From
my earliest memories, I have always been drawn to the
plants and the plants have always been my friends.
They have always "spoken" to me.
I remember an older woman everyone called Mrs. German,
who lived alone on the fringes of our community. It
was rumered that she was a gypsy who had gotten too
old to keep traveling with her clan. One day, I
remember going with my older sister to visit a friend.
We were walking through the woods and came to a
clearing above Mrs. Germans home. She was outside
working in her garden. I immediately was drawn to her
and wanted to go down and introduce myself. My sister
wouldn't let me. That's one of the problems with being
a younger sister...lol. It saddens me that I never
actually got to met Mrs. German. She passed away the
following year before I was old enough to walk back to
her house alone, but that day as I watched her work in
the garden, I recognized a kindred spirit much like
How old were you at that time?-- Around 6 or 7.
Can you share some of the work that has most
influenced you? Such as books, blogs, video and
lectures.-- I love any book or writing by Rosemary
Gladstar and Matthew Wood. They have both influenced
me greatly. Also, Eliot Cowan who wrote "Plant Spirit
Medicine" and Stephen Buhner, I really relate to.
When making plant medicine, are you drawn to any
particular method?-- Folkloric Traditional. Most
often when making medicine I use the simplers method.
However, when formulating herbs I use my "instinct"
plus a 3 point technique that Rosemary shared at a
conference I attended.
Do you have a most memorable event, conference, or
one on one experience with any of our herbal
foremothers and forefathers or any other key person
used in your path of herbalism? And how has that
influenced you today?-- I started late in my life with
my "formal" herbal education. So it wasn't until last
September I attended my first herbal conference. It
was The Southeast Women's Herbal Conference in North
Carolina hosted by Red Moon Herbs. I loved it! I had
never been around that many people excited about
plants in the same way that I have always been. It was
While at the conference,I heard Ada-Belinda
DancingLion's teachings on Native Ways and enjoyed
talking with her as well. She's a wonderful person and
Also, last but in no way least, I attended a Medicine
Making class with Teresa Boardwine at the Conference
which was very informative. Teresa is extremely sharp.
Where are you located?-- Pelham, Alabama which is
located between Birmingham and Montgomery.
Do you work with the public and could you descirbe
your work? such as:
Do you teach classes?-- No
Do you offer consultatons?-- Free consultations to
anyone who seeks my help or guidance.
Do you travel for herbal work?-- Not work, just
How can people contact you to find out more about
what you offer, calender of events, blogs, weed
walks, etc?-- Presently, they can email me at
Do you have a vision for your work in the future or
are you seeing how it unfolds?-- Currently, I am just
taking the time to be still and listen for what
direction I am to take with my herbal work. The plants
will let us know what is our particular path to walk.
Most of the readers are new to herbs and if there is
one word of wisdom or sage advice you could leave
them, what would that be?-- Follow you intuition and