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Carole Brown

Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
State: California
Business: Owner - Brown's Herbs

Biographical Information

Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.
I'm into using natural products--foods, herbs, essential oils, supplements, homeopathics, body work, any of these that can help a person to be more healthy. I am a Young Living Essential Oils distributor, and think their products are really pure and well thought out. I also sell Metagenics (mostly supplements and neutraceuticals), and Standard Process - mainly their herbal products which are made by Medi-Herb. I recently went to a class with herbalist, Kerry Bone, who is a scientist, also, and makes the herbal products sold through Medi-Herb. His classes are wonderful. The last one was on anti-aging herbs, and I'm hoping to write up some notes on his talk and put them in my newsletter.

Where can members get more of your advice?
Herbology Class through Cuyamaca College 3 times a year and wherever I will be speaking.

Background Information

Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
In Nebraska, but that was many years ago. In San Diego for about 3 years, and now over 30 years in Spring Valley/Casa de Oro.

How long have you been gardening?
35 years

What triggered your interest?
I was kind of surprised that I wanted to garden since as a kid I was forced to work in the hot Nebraska sun picking corn, beans, peas, etc. My sisters and I used to sing "Workin' on the Chain Gang" while we did it. When we got our first house in East San Diego over 30 years ago, we had a large yard--maybe 1/4 acre. Somehow I decided I wanted to grow vegetables and a few herbs and started taking organic classes and joined the organic gardening club. That was a huge group in the early '70's --there were well over 100 people that came to meetings. My gardening teacher was Pops Canaday who had worked for Kate Sessions as a child. He was also into having worm boxes. It was quite an experience to be able to study with him.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Herbalist, herb grower, nursery owner

Carole's Book Recommendations

New Encyclopedia of Herbs

Sunset Western Garden Book

Carole's Favorite Websites

Las Pilitas Nursery
It gives good information about native plants, how to grow them, has good pictures, tells where they are found naturally etc.

What formal education do you have?
B. F. A. English, course work for Master of Public Administration, a number of courses in computer programming and analysis. Herb Classes from Amanda McQuade Crawford, MNIMH, including 2 years of Herbal Therapeutics and 2 years of Student Clinic, plus classes and seminars with Kerry Bone, MNIMH, Matthew Wood, John Finch, William LeSassier, Brigitte Mars, Feather Jones, etc.

What formal horticultural training do you have?
I have attended talks and seminars by Richo Cech, owner of Horizon Herbs, Organic Gardening class with Pops Canaday (1972 or so), talks at the Hort. Soc., Water Conservation Garden, and various other venues.

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
I like to talk about growing herbs, native plants, succulents, and also about having a Certified Wildlife Habitat at my home/garden/nursery. I also garden organically.

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
I guess a pet peeve is people who think the plants won't grow without chemicals.

How much time per week do you spend gardening?
20 to 60 hours.

How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
It varies.

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
San Diego Herb Club, San Diego Herb Society, American Herbalists Guild, California Native Plant Society, American Herb Association, United Plant Savers, San Diego Floral Association, San Diego Horticultural Society--I think that's all, but there may be more.

What other biographical information would you like to share?
I grew up in Nebraska where to plant, you turn over the soil and stick seeds in. At our first house in east San Diego, my husband told me I had to dig out all of the Bermuda grass first. I'd never experienced that kind of grass. We had red clay which became a really wonderful rich soil after lots of compost and mulch. When we moved to Casa de Oro, I discovered that Bermuda grass was not really a problem compared to gophers. I planted a row of Artichokes, and they went right down the row and got them all in a very short time. The soil here is granite, decomposed granite, clay and sand--depending on which part of the yard it is. It's been a challenge, but I now know which plants the gophers don't like, and how to get the plants to survive in spite of them.

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
Getting out in the dirt, planting and transplanting.

What do you dislike most about gardening?
My physical aches and pains when I do too much out there, or twist the wrong way.

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
I like potting up the small plants into bigger pots.

What is your favorite time in the garden?
When it's nice and sunny with a slight breeze.

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?

What is your favorite color in the garden?

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?

What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
Old pants, t-shirt, and comfortable shoes.

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
Tom Piergrossi

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
How often do I water it?

And what's the answer?
The answer is one they do not want to here: When it needs it!

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
A lot of people think they or others are allergic to Goldenrod.

And, what is the reality?
Actually, it's used to stop hay fever. I take a teaspoon of tincture of Goldenrod to stop a hay fever attack. The main problem is that it grows near ragweed, so since goldenrod is much more obvious, people assume that the allergy is from the goldenrod. If you check out bouquets in the grocery stores, they almost always have Goldenrod in the bouquets. It's also used for kidney and bladder conditions, such as incontinence.

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Beginners, people who are interested in horticulture but are not sure where to start or what direction to go.

Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started (it's easy and a great way to promote yourself).

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