Linda Russell
Specialist InFamily herbalism, growing herbs


My love of all things nature and plants started young, with foraging around the swamp close to my home growing up. My first herb was a wild chive that I ate, not consciously knowing that it was edible but it was delicious (and safe thank goodness) and that started a journey of herbs. By high school I was planting gardens in our suburban neighborhood and started the lifelong journey of consuming books, workshops and any information on herbs. I majored in business and have a BS from Worcester State College and MBA from Babson College, specialized in Finance, and kept growing and using my herbs while working in the very different world of finance in tech start-ups in the Boston area. During that time I completed an herbal apprenticeship at Martha's Herbary in Pomfret, CT.
Retiring early in 2001, I followed my passion with herbs and the following year opened Scentsibilities, an Herb & Aromatherapy shop. I saw a great need in Central Mass for a source of quality herbs, herbal education and also herbal camaraderie. At the same time, I studied with Rosemary Gladstar at Sage Mountain in Vermont, completing her herbal apprenticeship. For 12 wonderful years I ran the store, taught an herbal apprenticeship, and held workshops and classes, retiring in November of 2014. I was one of the founders of the Herbal Community of Central Mass (HCOCM), starting the group after apprentices expressed a desire to continue meeting and exchanging herbal ideas and education.
Retirement (again!) allows more time for herbal activities. Writing for the Herbal Academy, working in the teaching herb garden at Elm Bank in Wellesley created by The New England Unit of the Herb Society of America and taking on the membership role at HCOCM is keeping me busy. Taking care of my extensive herb garden, along with wild-crafting, is also a pleasure that I finally have some more time to devote to as well. I have started learning about native herbs in Florida and now spend the winters there, where my daughter and son-in-law live. Attending the Florida Herbal Conference is a special activity my daughter and I now do every year.