All About Marcy & The Backyard Patch
I am the webmaster, chief cook and gardener and otherwise general jack of all trades for The Backyard Patch. My name is Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh.I have been growing and creating with herbs since 1994. I started with a small garden encouraged by the gardening aspirations of my two college friends Lynn Aiken and Elizabeth Haney. Since that first garden I have expanded to almost 3/4 of an acre and I would have more if I could.
When my garden expanded beyond the needs of my small two-person family, I began marketing my products. With the help of a friend in graphic design I produced a three-fold brochure, listing a dozen products which grew to a catalog I had to move to the web because printing it every time I invented a new blend or tea was too costly. I now make more than 39 Herb Mixes, 15 herb seasonings, 25 herbal teas, more than 12 black and green tea blends, and another 50 or so for bath and body products. I also offer seasonal soup and kitchen mixes and herbal vinegars.
In addition to gardening with herbs, I lecture on the subject. I guess I should explain. I went to
Following that I worked in various Midwestern museums for 19 years specializing in exhibit design and collections management in both history and anthropology based collections. During those years of writing and re-writing exhibit labels and giving tours to museum visitors I perfected my public speaking.
So in 2005 when left all of that to spend more time with my herbs and my husband (working with him in Financial Services) I could devote even more time to perfecting my programs and publicizing my greater availability.I now serve as office manager for a set of financial services offices in northern Illinois and spend my spare time lecturing on herbs, teaching Girl Scouts the joy of cooking and gardening, and of course, tending my herbs.
The Story Behind My Site
With this web site I hope to share some of my experiences with herbs and the knowledge of herbs I have gained in the last 20 years. That would include the gardening process, the preservation and use of herbs, and even the folklore and history of plants and those who use them.
As I learned the flavors of each herb I realized they are underused in cooking by more people. I have tried to gather easy recipes for cooking with herbs and formulated my herbal blends to make them simple even for a beginner cook. On this website you will be able to browse the recipe archive for some of my well-loved favorites.
I hope eventually to share some of my research on Native American plants and the historical uses of herbs as I prepare new lectures on those topics.
Please browse the links above and to the left for newsletters, articles and to our Ebay store were all my products are for sale.
We fashion more than 250 different blends of herbs for kitchen, bath and home. Click on the PRODUCT PAGES link to view all our items organized into categories, or click the list below to find the style of herbs you want:
My Contact Information
P.O. Box 21
Elmhurst, IL 60126