Deb is an herbalist, gardener, teacher and author of The Woman's Handbook of Healing Herbs and How to Move Like a Gardener. Raised in a small town in western Maine, Deb began organic gardening and studying the medicinal uses of herbs at age 16 alongside the internationally known medical herbalist Mary Bove. Deb's faith in the healing qualities of plants includes a desire to make organic herbs easily accessible to women and families living in rural areas.
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 launched Avena Botanicals at the Common Ground Fair in Windsor, Maine. Five years earlier, while enrolled as a student at College of the Atlantic, Deb lived in Nepal close to three Tibetan monasteries. She was deeply influenced by the Tibetan peoples commitment to ease physical symptoms and mental and emotional upsets through plants, prayer and other spiritual practices.
Deb's passion for plants, gardens and healing and her commitment to sharing herbal knowledge with others is central to her work. She frequently is a guest-lecturer at various conferences as well as an instructor for botany and horticulture students, garden clubs, and medical students. In 2005, People, Places and Plants magazine named Deb as one of the 50 most influential gardeners in the Northeast.
Deb's life closely follows the yearly agricultural rhythm. From April through October, Deb spends most days with her hands in the earth tending three acres of medicinal plants using organic and biodynamic practices. During the spring and summer months, Deb teaches a variety of herb classes and offers bi-monthly herb walks in Avena Botanicals' herb gardens. Throughout the year, Deb writes herb articles, develops herbal remedies and consults with clients and health care providers.