Susan Belsinger lives an herbal life, whether she is gardening, foraging, photographing, teaching,researching, writing or creating herbal recipes for the kitchen or apothecary—she is passionate about all things herbal. Recently referred to as a “flavor artist”, Susan delights in kitchen alchemy—the blending of harmonious foods, herbs, and spices—to create real, delicious food, as well as libations, that nourish our bodies and spirits and titillate our senses.
Ms. Belsinger is a culinary herbalist, educator, food writer, and photographer whose articles and photographs have been published in The Herb Companion, The Herbarist, Herbs for Health, Mother Earth Living, Natural Home & Garden, Fine Gardening, GRIT, Kitchen Gardener, Organic Gardening, The Herb Quarterly, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Woman's Day, The Washington Post, and other publications. She has been featured in the Baltimore Magazine, Better Nutrition, Organic Gardening Magazine, Mid-Atlantic Magazine, Victoria Magazine, and The Washington Times.
Susan has co-authored several best-selling, award-winning cookbooks. The Culinary Herbal: Growing & Harvesting 97 Flavorful Herbs is her most recent book co-authored with Dr. Arthur O.Tucker, published by Timber Press, January 2016. Her book The Creative Herbal Home coauthored with Tina Marie Wilcox is the second in the living with herbs series published by herbspirit. It was translated and published in Japanese in 2012. Not Just Desserts--Sweet Herbal Recipes is the first in the series. Susan compiled and edited, as well as contributed both text and photographs to six Herb of the Year ™ books for the International Herb Association; she continues to contribute text and photographs to each Herb of the Year book, as well as proofread.
For more than eight years, Susan has been blogging for Taunton Press’ Website
www.vegetablegardener.com (since she is a weekly contributing blogger, there are hundreds of her articles and recipes posted). Besides gardening organically and teaching, Susan travels throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe giving lectures and demonstrations on subjects including gardening, herbs, edible flowers, chiles, garlic, healthy and vegetarian cooking, the Mediterranean diet, the art of flavor, cooking with kids, wild foods, using herbs for a healthy lifestyle in the home, how to use essential oils safely and for aromatherapy, spa herbs (this is just to name a few of the subjects Susan teaches about). She taught at L'Academie de Cuisine, an accredited cooking school in Bethesda, Maryland, for more than 25 years. She has volunteered in the public school system and taught children of all ages, from elementary through high school,about herbs, gardening and cooking.
Susan has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, The Willard Scott Home & Garden Show, National Public Radio, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, PBS’ Cultivating Life, Ultimate Kitchens, DeLiteful Cooking, and many national and local cable stations. She has given presentations at nationally known places such as the American Botanical Council, American College of Healthcare Sciences in both Portland, Oregon and Syros, Greece, Atlanta Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, The Corcoran, Denver Botanic Gardens, Epcot Center in Disneyworld, Festival Hill, Gilroy Garlic Festival, Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Library of Congress, Memphis Botanic Gardens, Michigan State University, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the National Cathedral, New Orleans Botanic Gardens, Ozark Folk Center, Philadelphia Flower Show, Richter’s Herbs, San Diego Botanic Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts, United States Botanic Gardens, U.S. National Arboretum, Wave Hill Garden and the Women’s Herbal
Conference, not to mention numerous garden shows, herb festivals, farmers’ markets, plant nurseries, garden centers and public libraries.
Susan resides in Maryland with her husband, Tomas, in the passive solar house they built over 35years ago. Daughters, Lucie and Cady are young adults, pursuing their own careers, though theystill can often be found at home. She has lived in Italy and California and has traveled throughout Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico. She is a member of the Herb Society of America, both the Potomac and Ozark Units, International Herb Association, American Botanical Counciland United Plant Savers; she was a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier for 18 years.
Susan was honored by the International Herb Association with the Otto Richter Memorial Lecture Award in 2009; she was the 2008 recipient of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow Moondancer Fellowship for Nature and Outdoor Writing; in 2006, Susan received the Herb Society of America’s Joanna McQuail Reed Award for the Artistic Use of Herbs; in 2004 she received the Professional Award from IHA for her outstanding contributions to the herb industry. Her Habanero Shrub was chosen as a Best Syrup & Elixir 2013 and her Exotic Ginger and Vanilla Bean Elixir was voted Best Syrup & Elixir 2009 at the International Herb Symposium.
Susan was a contributing editor writing regularly for the Herb Companion for over 20 years. Shehas written numerous articles for The Herbarist, published by the Herb Society of America and contributed to their Herb of the Year publications. She was the editor for the Herb of the Yearbooks for IHA from 2007 through 2012 and was the editor for the IHA newsletter from 2005 to 2008. She had a regular feature column “Fresh and Flavorful” in Washington Home & Garden Magazine from 2007 to 2008. In 2005, she completed an herbal apprentice course with Rosemary Gladstar. In 2003 and 2004, she had a regular feature titled "Season's Eatings" in Natural Home magazine. Susan was a contributing editor for Vegetarian Times and wrote a monthly column titled "Going Veg" for the year 2002. She has been moderator, coordinator and presenter, for a number of day-long seminars on herbs and gardening for the Smithsonian Associates.
Susan has boundless enthusiasm for the herb world. She loves growing plants, being outdoors in the garden, walking in the woods, foraging for herbs and herborizing with like-minded folks. Herbal collaborations with colleagues especially delights her, be it programs, demonstrations,reenactments, books, articles or events. She enjoys doing research and learning new things as much as she does sharing and teaching about them. Susan takes great pleasure in preparing herbal creations—whether it is healthy food using homegrown herbs and seasonal produce—or creating a new bitters, tincture or herbal spa product for well being. Some of her favorite pastimes are traveling, road trips or hanging out with herbal pals, visiting gardens, being at the beach, doing yoga, reading, and taking herbal baths.