Chateaugay, Franklin County
Herbalist & Native Plant Conservationist
While growing up in Plattsburgh, Jane Desotelle helped her parents raise and sell gladioli and berries from their garden. This experience and visits to her grandmother’s large garden in Ohio fostered in Jane an intense appreciation for plants. As a young woman, she sold vegetables and set out to learn everything she could about the traditional uses of herbs. When friends kept asking for the herbal tea mixes she made, Jane decided to found her company, Underwood Herbs, to reach a wider audience. Long before the current interest in “eating local,” Jane advocated for farmers markets and built her business through direct contact with her customers. All of Jane’s products are made from sustainably-harvested wild plants. At the end of summer, Jane begins cutting balsam boughs for the hundreds of traditional holiday wreaths she makes and sells each December. Recognizing that development projects often destroy wild plants, Jane has started a botanical sanctuary at her home, where she has been able to coax fruit out of such finicky plants as May apples.