Herb Day Speakers 2013

Old Alabama Town Herb Society is proud to introduce a few of our esteemed speakers and presenters for our 16th Annual Herb Day.


Bio:  Darryl Patton

MA., ND, Master Herbalist, Clinical Hypnotherapist

Darryl PattonDarryl Patton has been hunting, gathering and working with medicinal plants for the past twenty-five years on Lookout Mountain in the Southern Appalachians.  Darryl is an ND as well as a Master Herbalist and brings many years of experience to the field of alternative medicine.  Known for his easy going approach towards teaching the identification and uses of medicinal plants, Darryl has been called a walking encyclopedia of herbal folklore.

For 12 years, Darryl was privileged to spend thousands of hours studying under the late A.L. “Tommie” Bass, one of the last of the old mountain herb doctors.  Known internationally among herbalists as well as the common folk living near Lookout Mountain, Alabama, Tommie Bass used his God-given ability and vast knowledge of medicinal herbs to help thousands of people from all walks of life.

During his apprenticeship with Tommie, Darryl was taught the identification and medicinal uses for literally thousands of plants found in the hills and hollows of the South.  His passion in life is to pass the “old way” of using medicinal plants to his students and others wanting to continue the tradition of gathering wild plants as food and healing.

Darryl is the author of, “Mountain Medicine, The Herbal Remedies of Tommie Bass”, published by Natural Reader Press and has appeared on Alabama Public Television and the Comedy Channel.  Darryl has also been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles relating to the uses of medicinal plants and is in demand nationally as a speaker on alternative medicine.  He has lectured in such diverse places as Las Vegas, New York City, Washington DC and Atlanta.

An Adjunct faculty member of Clayton College of Natural Health, Darryl publishes The Southern Herbalist, and Stalking The Wild…  The Magazine of Outdoor Discovery.

Darryl operates a wilderness survival training school in the mountains of North Alabama where he teaches a wide range of classes such as medicinal plants walks and also offers one-on-one apprenticeships for those seeking to further their knowledge in the world of herbs.

A past publisher of Wilderness Way Magazine, Darryl is the editor and publisher of Stalking The Wild… The Magazine of Outdoor Discovery, The Southern Herbalist and co-founder of Wild Alabama, a nationally recognized environmental magazine.

Primitive and wilderness survival expert, outdoorsman, adventure traveler, herbalist – you name it and Darryl does it.  He is a member of Randall’s Adventure Training and is a veteran of many trips to the Peruvian Amazon, where he graduate from the Peruvian Air Force’s Jungle Operations and Survival School.  He has instructed classes and training seminars on primitive and wilderness survival skills.

Living with his wife Jane, on Lookout Mountain, not far from Tommie’s shack, Darryl operates a wilderness training school in the Mountains of North Alabama.  He can be reached by writing to P.O. Box 8481 Gadsden, AL  35902.


Bio:  Linda R. Griebel


ElderberryFairyLinda especially enjoys propagation, pruning, raising fruits and vegetables, growing herbs and unusual perennials, and sharing plants with friends.  She initiates, plans, and presents a variety of horticultural topics for homeowner education.  Additionally, she works with teams of master gardeners to design and install gardens in public areas, including outdoor classrooms for school children.  Linda is a member of the Central Alabama Master Gardener Association and was Chair of the Master Gardener Community Learning Gardens Committee 2007-2011.  She has received the Advanced MG Pruning specialty in 2008 and the Advanced Landscape Design & Maintenance specialty in 2009.  Linda has logged over 3100 master gardener volunteer hours and also attended the Elmore County Master Gardener Class of 2005. Linda also volunteers at Elmore Co Humane Society, Montgomery Zoo, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, RSVP, and Montgomery Gem & Mineral Society (current newsletter editor). She is retired from State of Alabama as Mid-level Manager on January 1, 1998 after 25+ years of service.

Bio:  Chef Jim Smith


2Jim Smith is the Executive Chef at the Alabama Governor’s Mansion.  As chef, he has placed an emphasis on using the best local ingredients and has made strides to encourage support of local farmers and Alabama fishermen. He uses his position as ambassador of food, to promote farmer’s markets and events that support Alabama food products. This is a critical aspect of his daily routine and is his way of supporting Governor Robert Bentley’s efforts to support Alabama food and Alabama workers. Smith is not only responsible for the daily preparation of food for the First Family, but he is also responsible for planning and preparing menus for events sponsored by the state.

His culinary style embraces traditional local ingredients and technique with a more modern elegance.  Utilizing global approaches and southern style he creates unique dishes that embody a contemporary approach in cuisine.

Smith graduated culinary school at the top of his class, from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He has studied food, wine, and service under the acclaimed chefs, Chris Hastings and Frank Stitt.  He was also the wine director for the “Best of Birmingham” James Beard Dinner.  Most recently Smith worked as a chef for Dyron Powell at Dyron’s Lowcountry in Birmingham, Alabama.

Chef Smith was the winner of the 2011 Great American Seafood Cook-off.  This event pits chefs from every state in the most acclaimed seafood cook-off in the country.  As winner of this prestigious event Smith travelled across the country as the national representative for American sustainable seafood, Gulf seafood and Alabama seafood.

Chef Smith continues his commitment to the art of food through experimentation and development. One day he hopes to pursue the dream of opening his own restaurant. Until then, he is thankful for the opportunity to prepare meals for the Governor and First Lady of the state of Alabama.


Bio:  Judge Peggy Givhan


elderberry-web… who will speak to us on ‘Landscaping with Herbs’

Peggy Givhan is an active retired District Judge and gardening expert in design and maintenance of formal and informal gardens for our region.  She and her late husband, Dr. Ed Givhan, traveled all over Europe studying and photographing the world’s top gardens.  Together they co- authored three books on gardening in the South and produced a video on how to create a formal garden.

For several years the Givhans owned ‘Commercial Garden Design’ a gardening design and maintenance company that provided services to businesses as well as to individual home gardeners throughout the South.  They did extensive work in Alabama and Virginia, as well as Winter Park, Florida .  Their home gardens were featured in Southern Living Magazine and The Birmingham News.  Judge Givhan currently provides gardening consultations by appointment.

Judge Givhan received her Certificate of Garden Design from the John Brookes School of Garden Design in West Sussex, England.  She currently writes a monthly gardening article for the Tri County Gazette.  Judge Givhan has been a sought after lecturer on various garden topics to many different groups including to Master Gardeners, Callaway Gardens, the Mobile Flower Show, Old Alabama Town Herb Society Herb Day, Cahaba Trace Commission as well as garden clubs and literary clubs in this area.