Shaker Herbal Studies

HCOCM and Fruitlands Museum in Harvard MA have formed a committee to create three summer workshops reflecting Shaker herbal practices and present day herbal methods.

The resources we have collected to study are listed below.  HCOCM has some copies of books to research so let us know you would like to borrow a copy.

If you would like to partake in studying the Shaker methods and/or doing a workshop, contact

Notes From Fruitlands:

Attached is a guide to the Shakers that I give to all of my education staff as an overview reference to the Shakers and the Shaker Museum.  It also gives some information about some of the more prominent Harvard Shakers.  Elisha Myrick was the brother in charge of the herb business.

andrews book excerpt

andrews second book excerpt

The best book in my library is a modern book called “The Earth Shall Blossom:  Shaker Herbs and Gardening”  by Beale and Boswell.  Chapters 6-10 are hugely informative on the history of Shaker herbs, including medicinal practices, “the first herbalists”, the power to cure and domestic use of herbs.

There is also this page on our website that gives a brief overview and links to our Shaker Journal and manuscript collections.  The “more info” link has a nice summary of all things Shaker.  You can also search the collection by searching for “herb” in the description field – I think there are only a few photographs there but there is a good one of a Shaker herb label.  Searching the journals can be fun, too.

Books and articles:

"O Sisters Ain't You  Happy?"  Gender, Family and Community Amoung the Harvard and Shirley Shakers, 1781-1918  by Suzanne R. Thurman

"The Earth Shall blossom" Shaker Herbs and Gardening by Galen Beale and Mary Rose Boswell

“Work and Worship Among The Shakers” by Edward and Faith Andrews

“The Community Industries of the Shakers” by Faith Andrews

Shaker Story - Living Earth Magazine

 Web Sites: