About Us

"Our mission is to create the highest quality herbal products while nurturing plants, people, and pollinators. We make our products using Fresh, Organic & Biodynamic® Herbs. These vital plants along with a sacred connection to place promote wellness of the body, mind, and spirit and encourage humans to be mindful and loving
stewards of the Earth."

-Deb Soule, Founder & Herbalist

Core Principles

Our Team

Deb Soule
Founder & Herbalist

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 therapeutic uses of herbs at age sixteen. As a young woman in her twenties and early thirties, Deb was blessed to be mentored by VT herbalist Adele Dawson and organic gardener Helen Nearing, and to have met and spent time with Lithuanian archaeologist and author Marija Gimbutas, who respected healing plants and encouraged Deb to follow her passion for helping others with herbs that are grown and gathered in a respectful and prayerful way. Deb's faith in the beneficial qualities of plants includes a desire to make organic herbs easily accessible to women and families living in rural areas.

Deb's passion for plants, gardens and wellness 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.

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On Our Grounds

Biodynamic Farm

Avena Botanicals is the first Demeter Certified Biodynamic farm in Maine. Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic and spiritually alive system of organic and ecological practices and philosophies based on the teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner. One of the core beliefs and practices of Biodynamic agriculture is to help heal the Earth. 

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Herbal Apothecary

Over five hundred pounds of fresh, hand-gathered herbs come into Avena's apothecary annually and are thoughtfully prepared into herbal tinctures, elixirs, glycerites, and oils. Over 70% of these herbs come directly from Avena's Demeter Certified Biodynamic gardens. Our herbs are fresh, aromatic, sweet, bitter, pungent, and beautiful.

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Herb Drying Rooms

Over seven hundred pounds of fresh, hand-gathered herbs come into Avena's drying rooms annually and are immediately weighed and laid onto large screens. Most of these herbs are grown in Avena's three-acre gardens. We also collect a few herbs from nearby islands and meadows.

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Herbal Classroom

The Herbal Classroom offers classes in herbal wellness, women's health, Ayurveda, meditation, Biodynamic agriculture, pollinator habitats, and yoga for farmers and gardeners. Indoor and outdoor classes occur in our beautiful gardens and octagon-shaped classroom. The Herbal Classroom is a non-profit, 501c(3), educational center situated on the same property as Avena's Biodynamic farm and apothecary.

Sanctuary for Pollinators

Avena's gardens have been purposefully planted with protective hedgerows and flowering plants that offer nectar and pollen to dozens of pollinators. Shimmering ruby-throated hummingbirds and various butterflies, honey bees and native bees fill our gardens with an array of colors, sounds, and personalities. The presence of pollinators fills our hearts with joy and gratitude.

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries
of the earth are never alone or weary of life."

-Rachel Carson

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