The Essential Herbal

“The Magazine for Everyday Herbalists”

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About Us

Tina Sams

Tina Sams is the editor of The Essential Herbal. After many years of running wholesale and retail herb businesses, she decided to pull together some of those resources and friends made during those careers into an herb magazine. Based in Lancaster County, PA, she lives and works with daughter Molly.

Molly Sams

Molly Sams is (as many of you know) Tina’s daughter. She will have been working for The Essential Herbal for one year in January. Like everyone involved in the making of the magazine, Molly wears many hats from soap-maker to delivery girl but mainly focuses on the social networking of The Essential Herbal and the copyediting of the magazine and other publications.

Maryanne Schwartz

Maryanne Schwartz does the layout of the magazine and all of the books we publish. She manages to increase the amount of content by at least 100%, while still keeping it a pleasure to read and view. Even more importantly, her hidden super power is returning Tina’s feet to the ground during extreme flights of fancy.

Bob and Harry

The guys behind the scenes—Bob and Harry Schwartz—keep all of our lives running smoothly. Bob keeps the farm beautiful and functional with a lifetime of experience. He can flip a dime with a backhoe. Harry maintains the websites and keeps us abreast of developments on the interwebs.

About the Magazine

Note from the editor: We started out with big dreams, wanting to be like the other well-known herb magazines. After all, we all had to start somewhere. It took a little while to find our niche; we learned that our strength lies in being different, being ourselves, and being inclusive. We remained a black and white publication for the first 14½ years (!) for a reason. Color is very expensive, and we are and most likely always will be a tiny, independent magazine. Oh, but what an improvement a little color would be, eh? YES! But as with everything along the way—from doubling our page quantity, to adding color covers, to luring in a cover artist—we waited until we were sure we could afford it and sustain that expense. While there is every intent for this venture to make money, we also want to be in a position to always feel that our content is ethical and true to the community we have become. We didn’t want the cost of printing a colorful glossy magazine to shade our dealings or our focus. We just want to fill it with great stuff, and for our advertisers to get what they pay for. It is a great honor to put together an issue that may have a well-known herb writer right beside a recipe from a newbie. The people who read our magazine have become part of it, guiding us and telling us what they want.

Before the Internet became a part of everyday life, it was difficult to connect with other people who shared interests. The only way to do it was trade conferences, travel, and the written word—through books, magazines and letters. It has now become easy to find those people, but sometimes that connection is impersonal, chilly, and intimidating. We try to re-create that feeling of knowing each other. Many of our contributors have been extremely generous with their time and creativity, sending articles and recipes from almost day one. Gradually, I’ve met nearly all of them in person, but they have all become dear friends. That is my wish for all of the readers—to find new friends, and be emboldened by what they learn in the pages of The Essential Herbal.

Our mission statement: The Essential Herbal is an ever-growing magazine dispersing herbal lore and uses as we allow businesses and hobbyists alike to shine by sharing their knowledge.

Contact Us

For subscription inquiries, site or product questions, media or advertising inquiries, or to share a resource, please email us or write to:

The Essential Herbal
1354 N. Strickler Road
Manheim, PA 17545