Wild Yam, mother of the pill,
Changed us more than most herbs will. ~Jim Duke
Helen Lowe Metzman, Director
Helen has tended to and educated others about the medicinal plants of Jim Duke’s Green Farmacy Garden since 2006. In addition to her time spent in the garden, Helen works part time for the Howard County Maryland Department of Recreation and Parks in the Natural Resources Division as a Natural Resource Specialist and an Environmental Educator. The study of natural history, botany, and art has been her lifelong passion, and she is able to integrate these passions in her work in the garden and for Howard County. Helen is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Tai Sophia Institute’s Master of Science Program in Herbal Medicine.
Jared Gulliford, Garden Curator
Jared became interested in herbs as teenager following a variety of illnesses and generally weak immune system. With real results, his love and reverence for plants grew. He continued to study herbs and food medicine with encouragement from his brothers; volunteering, interning, and working at various farms and gardens along the east coast. He first volunteered at the garden in 2012 and began attending the weekly music sessions, drawn to the pairing of Duke’s tangible research to herbal folkloric traditions and beliefs. He is excited for the opportunity to further his education, produce medicine, and teach others.
Elana Eve Metzman, Garden Curator, Medicine Maker/Experimenter
Elana used to believe her mother was a witch. There were always bubbling pots of odd-smelling concoctions going in the kitchen. Jars of dried plant material. Skulls of all types of animals on the porch. She would be dragged up the hills and around the reservoirs close to home, fearfully observing her mother who pointed at plants and muttered long latin words under her breath. “What is this nonsense and why are we sitting here listening for frog calls?” Elana would often think, as she exhaled audibly, signaling hungry impatience. Not all, but much has changed. Now, Elana eagerly walks through the woods, muttering long latin words, enthralled by the bountiful beauty of nature, ever-curious of how things come to be and how us humans can return to health.
Last year, Elana completed an intensive program at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. Among countless lessons learned and skills gained, Elana found that she has a strange fascination with oozing topical wounds and irregular digestive functions. She is beyond delighted to dive deeper into the wild, engaging, important, tangible, complicated, beautiful world of herbal medicine, and couldn’t think of a better place to hone the craft of raising and maintaining plants than the Green Farmacy Garden. Elana believes Jim Duke is quite spectacular, with all that genius flowing through his being, and is grateful for the opportunity to embrace his stories, laughter, wisdom, and clever tunes. Elana plans to continue working towards accessible healthcare by participating in free clinics and offering workshops in medicine-making and first aid. She also plans to continue fermenting things, dancing to funk music, cooking nutritious foods, hiking tall mountains, and appreciating her mother for instilling the witch gene in her as well.
Green Farmacy Garden gurus under a mammoth sunflower…Hillary, Helen, and Wendy
Wendy, Hillary, and Molly ~ GFG buttercups
Wendy and Hillary