Monday, June 7, 2010

Strong Women - Bertha P. Reppert

 The third woman I heard about in the 1970's was Bertha Reppert.  Who could have guessed that later I would meet her daughters, Nancy and Susanna, and learn more about their very special mother.  I asked them to share a little about their strong woman, mom.  I included all their contact information at the end.  If you have a chance, they have great tours and their gardens are amazing.  I met Tasha Tudor by traveling on one of their tours.  Some year I still would like to visit when their Fairy Festival is taking place.

Bertha Reppert was into herbs long before they became fashionable!  She was all self-taught, reading and pursuing any information about herbs she could find, and then sharing this knowledge along the way.
Maureen Rogers, executive director of the Herb Growing and Marketing Network wrote about Bertha Reppert saying she "was one of the most creative, gifted, humorous and wise women to grace the herb industry.  Her books will stand as a legacy to anyone that believes in herbal living and loves good writing."
Joyce E. Brobst, past president of the Herb Society of America said "Bertha Reppert has been an inspiration to so many people wanting to learn about herbs.  On every occasion her wisdom would be shared through her visuals of dried herbs, concoctions and wisps of this and that to enhance one's memory of the presentation.  Every contact with her filled one's senses with herbal memories, and a recognition that here was a person who enjoyed and respected life and all of its mysteries."
Everything with a root was her passion!  She was an active member of Penn-Cumberland Garden Club when Mildred Dunlap presented a program on Herbs of the Bible.  This inspired her to read every book available on herbs and herb gardening.  She then began growing the herbs and using them in every conceivable way from pot pourri, to herbal sugars, to herb vinegar, to following her mothers recipes for goose grease salves and on and on.   A few years later, in 1968, she opened The Rosemary House in charming downtown Mechanicsburg, PA.   They say location, location, location is key to any business but as a mommy, Bertha Reppert chose her location because it was equal distance from all the schools in town.  The Rosemary House went on to grow and prosper and become a source for all things herbal whether it is culinary, fragrant or medicinal.  She went on to author many books on herbs including Herbs with Confidence and A Heritage of Herbs.  Bertha Reppert's herb shop inspired many others to begin herb shops, farms and businesses and so she authored another book called Growing your Herb Business  a practical book for any small business entrepreneur.   Three of her 4 daughters have gone on to own their own business,  Susanna Reppert Brill has continued The Rosemary House, Nancy Reppert owns Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, Marj Reppert owns an antiques and collectibles shop, Rosemary Remembrances II in Jim Thorpe PA.

The Rosemary House
120 South Market Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Celebrating 40 years! 1968-2008!
(717) 697-5111 (Ask for Susanna)
(717) 697-3222, FAX
"Rosemary's Sampler" our blog:
We invite you to visit our Rosemary House Complex, which offers a Retail Store, Private Party Tea Room and Beautiful Display Gardens. We offer workshops, lectures, and herbal dinners. Mechanicsburg is 10 miles west of Harrisburg, PA.
Store Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10 AM - 6 PM and Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM.


Annie said...

Another fascinating soul to be introduced to. Enjoyed this very much, Marilyn.

Joanne said...

It's always intriguing to read about someone really living their passion. How wonderful that her very own herb shop inspired others to do the same ... a very rewarding outcome!

Angela McRae said...

Wonderful! I "know" her daughters through their websites and blog, so it's great to meet Bertha. I have a growing interest in herbs myself and have so much respect for herbalists. I personally think this is going to be even more important a field as the population (OK, me!) ages and people become more and more health conscious. It's nice to learn more about one of those who blazed the (herbal) trail!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Very interesting hearing about Nancy and Susanna's "strong" mother!


Jeanne said...

a toast to bright beautiful woman
Love Jeanne♥

somepinkflowers said...

this strong women series
you are doing!


cannot wait to see who you do next!

{{ not that you should pick me
as i am not THAT strong
Just Strong Enough
to protect my spiderworts

and THAT
is a step
in the right direction,
don't you think? }}

parTea lady said...

Thanks for posting about Bertha Reppert. What a passionate herbalist and an inspiring woman. I also enjoy reading her daughters lovely and informative blogs.

dutchbaby said...

I love learning about strong women, or men, who follow their passions whether or not it is in vogue. Thanks for sharing this.

Steph said...

What a very special post! I know Nancy, and through their blog, her sister, and I'm so honored to know more about their wonderful mother!

La Tea Dah said...

A great post about a wonderful woman! Thanks for sharing it! How blessed we are to know her daughters (and you, to have been able to meet in person!). They carry on her legacy beautifully.


Tina Sams said...

Being lucky enough to live just across the river from the Repperts, Bertha was a trailblazer in herbs, and she led us all.
One of her greatest gifts to us all was in raising her daughters to be as strong, inventive, and wickedly witty as she was.

lemonverbenalady said...

I was so lucky to have met and learned from Bertha Reppert and now to know her daughters and to learn from them. It is a true blessing! Thank you for sharing an herbal treasure with all of us.

~Sheila@tempus fugit~ said...

Bertha Reppert was a trail blazer it seems. With herbs and herbal medicine being so popular today, she took the time to learn and share what she learned selflessly with others.
How wonderful that her daughters are carrying on her work.