In Judith Sumner's The Natural History of Medicinal Plants notes that the mid-nineteenth century, few medical doctors in the United States maintained their physic or healing gardens of plants. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the reasons was that physicians had a source of pure, fresh, and clearly labeled plants from the Shaker community.
I was aware of the Shakers and Sabbathday lake through very close friends of my parents. The husband taught himself to make elliptical boxes and the wife was an active friend and, as I recall, in leadership roles for a time in the Friends of the Shakers.
While the ethnobotanical garden in Palikir is a more accurately a weed patch punctuated by at best a dozen useful plants, getting the class out into the garden and working is still a part of SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany.
|Cleaning around the bananas|
|Due to repeated weed whackings, those are actually five year old banana trees|
Charles, usual gardening position.
One member of the class still skilled in traditional arts.