WEST MILTON — Mindy McIntosh-Shetter, also known as the “Outlander Botanist,” author of “The Unofficial Outlander Book of Herbs,” will visit Marmee’s Pantry from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, for a presentation and book signing.
Marmee’s Pantry is located at 25 S. Miami St., in West Milton.
McIntosh-Shetter, of Charlestown, Ind., is a former agriculture teacher turned botany writer. After losing her job as a teacher in Louisville, Ky., she decided to change paths.
“I just didn’t want to run the rat race anymore, and you know how they say, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,’ that’s how it felt,” McIntosh-Shetter said.
Turning her attention toward blogging and writing, McIntosh-Shetter made a living providing content for the online magazine The Weekend Gardener for 11 years until the magazine was sold in 2019.
It was in 2017, that McIntosh-Shetter watched “Outlander” for the first time. Since then, she’s watched the entire series and read all eight volumes (soon to be nine) of the book series.
The series features a main female character, Claire, who is a World War II nurse, later becoming a doctor. Claire has a keen interest and talent as a doctor who uses herbs as remedies and elixirs to keep family, friends and patients healthy in the 1700s as an accidental time traveler.
After seeing how herbs are utilized in the show, McIntosh-Shetter was inspired to research further.
“I wasn’t looking for a new project,” she said. “An idea popped into my head, but I thought, ‘You just know someone’s already written a book about that,’ but I did my research and nobody had.”
McIntosh-Shetter soon began writing her first edition of “The Unofficial Outlander Book of Herbs,” which was released later that same year. In it, as well as in the second edition, McIntosh-Shetter examines all of the herbs mentioned and used throughout the eight volumes of the Outlander series.
“I realized if I was going to do this, I was going to have to go back to the basics and teach people how to garden, but it’s going to be from a historical perspective,” she said. “I’m not an herbalist, I don’t teach people how to make medicines, but it’s one of these partnerships; the herbalist can’t do his or her job without the plants and if you don’t have people growing them, they don’t have the materials by which to do their job.”
In her books, McIntosh-Shetter includes things like botanical information on each plant, such as species, grow zones, planting and harvesting, characteristics of the plants, uses, preparations, and how it was used in particular parts of the Outlander series.
“I just want people to grow something, and to experience what some of these characters are experiencing — the sight, smell and taste of some of these herbs,” she said.
McIntosh-Shetter has also published a book called “The Unofficial Guide to Outlandishly Outlander Landscaping Designs.”