Edna McCallion is an herb columnist, lecturer, author, and avid herb gardener. She teaches and writes about the cultivation, culinary uses, medicinal properties, ornamental applications, folklore and history of herbs.
Her cookbook Pesto, the Royal Ingredient sold out its second edition. In 2002 Edna was recognized as a winner in the Viansa Winery recipe competition. The recipe is an adaptation of her pesto and Brie cheese original, and is included in the 2nd edition of her cookbook. She and her husband Mike are gourmet cooks who include herbs in their daily menus.
Her herbal expertise and country herb garden have been featured in the Bakersfield Californian, the Bakersfield Magazine and the Tehachapi News. She made a contribution to Sunset Magazine for a feature article on basil.
She was the herbalist and docent coordinator at Mourning Cloak Ranch and Botanical Gardens in Tehachapi for ten years. Here, Tangleweed Farm, Books and Crannies and Old Towne Nursery are the venues where she has presented her specialized talks on herbs. Edna coordinated the upkeep of the historical Errea House Herb Garden for thirteen years. In 2010 she helped organize the first Tehachapi Herb Festival and presented her pesto making demonstrations there.
Her herb classes and pesto demonstrations were popular at the yearly Basil Festival at Sycamore Herb Farm in Paso Robles, California. She was a judge for their pesto competition until the owners of this venue retired. She was a judge at the Mid-State Fair in San Luis Obispo, California.
Edna wrote a monthly herb and food column for the Tehachapi News that included photos from her country herb garden. She has established the Herbies Lunch Group. Each member brings a dish made with the herb featured in the previous month’s column. Edna also provides the “herb snips” section of the Tehachapi Rose and Garden Society newsletter each month.
In 2004 she taught her pesto class at Tagawa Gardens in Colorado and was a judge in their “pesto contest”. She had the opportunity to share her interest in basil and pesto on the Denver radio program “Food Talk” as well as on a televison segment.
The summer, 2004 edition of the Bakersfield Magazine featured Edna, as the “Pesto Queen”. Janet Wheeler highlighted Edna’s garden, cooking and other herb related activities. One of her recipes is featured in the 2005 edition of the American Profile Magazine cookbook "Blue Ribbon Winners" and their "Home Town Cookbook".
Edna has had her articles entitled "Herbal Beverages Make a Social Splash", "Italy, An Herb Lovers Paradise" and "Herbs and American History" published in the Herbarist; the international magazine of the Herb Society of America.
Edna’s long time passion for herbs is “on growing”! She designed, planted and oversaw the maintenance of the Biblical Herb Garden until it was closed.
Farewell to a Memorial Biblical Herb Garden
The Stallion Springs Community Church Board has voted to “remove” the Biblical Herb Garden and use that space for another purpose. I am permitted to remove the plants. The other donated memorial items are considered the property of the Church and according to their letter, “the Board of Directors has the right to use these items as they determine appropriate”.