For many years, Doug Elliott has earned his living as a traveling herbalist – collecting and selling herbs, teas, and old-time remedies. As he searches for healing plants, he seeks out old-timers and elders from many different cultures, who share their knowledge of medicinal herbs, wild food crops, and practical uses of common plants.
At Gaia, we know Doug for his long-time sustainable wild collection practices as he provides us with fresh Slippery Elm bark and fresh Alder bark each year. Harvesting these barks at the peak of sap-flowing season, Doug and his son, Todd, collect most of Gaia’s yearly demand for these two botanicals. Over the past several years, we have watched Doug pass on his entrepreneurial skills to son Todd, and we admire the strong ethical harvesting practices that Doug has instilled in his son. These practices are embedded deeply into the philosophy and daily life of this family.
Doug is also well-known for his humorous songs and lively storytelling of everyday plant life. We are honored with his presence each year at the Medicines from the Earth Conference in Black Mountain and enjoy his performances at the Gaia Farm events each year. Doug is one of the first harvesters accepted into Gaia’s Land Steward Program.