Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Meeting

The March 10 meeting of the Genesee County Herb Society was held at Carman-Ainsworth Senior Center.
Our president Ulrike updated information on our participation in Garden Day at Heavenly Scent Herb Farm:  we will be located in the various demonstration gardens, the Matthews will be giving a free plant for every guest, and there will be refreshments. Sounds like fun!
 Ulrike sent around the Frontier catalog for orders. Norma and Ulrike will get together to order teabags for our Tea. Ulrike mentioned ordering lavender to fill both cellophane and cloth bags which are big sellers at the Ladies Night Out sale at Crossroads Village in November. Ulrike also mentioned that she will order Cinnamon, Cloves, and Orris Root, so we can get a head start on making pomanders for decorating the Eldridge House for the holidays, which is in November.

Mark your calendars! Norma Jones reminded us that our annual Tea is scheduled for our regular second Thursday meeting night, September 8, 2011.  Norma reported that she found a guest speaker for our Tea, which should provide us with a timely theme: Jim and Wilma Dodder, local beekeepers who own Bees and Berries, will present a program on beekeeping and honey and wax related products. Their business is located on 744 N. State Rd., just north of Davison.

Ladies’ Night Out: We were again reminded to look for teacups with saucers, not mugs, for the sale. If everyone brings at least one, we'll have a good selection for our "deer widow" shoppers.

Michigan Herb Associates 2012 Herb of the Year will be The Rose. Lois Meldrum reported that she would like to have a committee to spend this year collecting interesting information about roses to share at our outreach table at next year's conference (in March).

Herb Study: Milli sent a parsley plant along with Joanne Belill, and Joanne provided information on parsley, Petroselinum crispum.

Our Speaker, on "Crafting Creative Garden Pots" was our own Norma Jones, who teaches various crafts for the Flint Community Education program, and occasionally sells her work at craft shows in the area. She showed us various projects she's created, including painted and mosaic covered pots and containers, and she included lots of tips and hints about how she does her art work.

First, Norma showed us one pot I particularly liked, which was a mosaic of colored broken glass glued on a clay pot with a glue made for mosaic work.

She had several containers and pots from the dollar store, made of plastic and wood, that she decorated with different painting techniques (Norma is an expert painter.) She recommended up to three thin coats of glaze on these.

Norma recommends using enamel paints from the craft store for outdoor decorative painting. Enamel paints have an E on the lid to make finding them easier. Enamel paint has the advantage of drying to a nice hard finish.

She also uses acrylic based 'patio paints' - the textured type is particularly nice looking - and she seals them with an outdoor rated clear glaze. Enamel paints need a chemical medium for thinning and clean up, whereas acrylic paints can be thinned with water, or used with other mediums.

Norma showed us an attractive container painted with a crackle medium. First the base coat is painted, then the crackle medium is painted over it "with a single swipe", and white acrylic is painted over the crackle medium. As it dries, the cracks appear. (I think thats how it works. Norma, please correct this if it's in error!)

She talked about her preference for an angled brush for getting into corners, and her preference for shading with the use of a "float" medium. She said she used transfer paper to trace her chosen designs onto the surface, and had several tips for the care of paint brushes. Never leave your brush point down in the rinse water, it will become misshapened. Instead, rinse it and shape the bristles into a point with your fingers. Norma recommends soaking in Simple Green cleaner if your brushes get clogged with dry paint.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Sharon P. gave me this recipe to share from Lois M., who attended the Conference at the MSU campus in East Lansing. Horseradish is the Herb of the Year for 2011, and these mashed potatoes featuring horseradish were served at the conference banquet at the Kellogg Center. Lois mentioned some great horseradish-laced cheese spread, and some intriguing horseradish-encrusted pork chops. (I want THAT recipe!)

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

(Make a pot of mashed potatoes and) stir in 1/2 cup finely grated fresh horseradish, and 1/2 cup sour cream.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

February meeting

(For a detailed account, after the minutes have been accepted at the March meeting, members may sign in to the Yahoo group and read the February meeting minutes, located under Files.)

Our plans for participating in a community outreach at Heavenly Scent Herb Farm are taking shape. The Fenton, Michigan business is celebrating its 23rd year in business and is planning a free Garden Party on Sunday, June 12, from 11 to 4. We will be in the gardens demonstrating various ways to use herbs, and showcasing the activities and talents of our group. In return, we will earn a donation of live plants from Heavenly Scent, to restore the gardens that we sponsor at Crossroads Village. Sounds like a win-win-win arrangement. Wish us good weather!

Our activity this month was an program about Tea,  Camellia sinensis, presented by members Lois Meldrum and Milli Paxton. They discussed the history and cultivation of tea, and how to prepare some of the various types of tea with plenty of tips and a tabletop full of tea samples and accoutrement. 

(For more information on Tea, check out the April, 2010 entry.)

I particularly liked seeing Lois' 1800's tea 'brick', a pressed brick of a pound of tea leaves that Lois told us once was worth an average week's wages and was used for money in older times.
One point Milli made, that I never really considered, is that kettles are used for heating the tea water, and tea pots are used for steeping the tea. I guess some modern gals don't know such things!
She also shared that different teas require differing temperatures of water: the stronger teas, like black needing a more rolling boil, while the more fresher, delicate types, like white or green need water that is not quite to the boil. The heartier teas also can take a longer steeping time.

Milli made the most delicious scones with a recipe she found in some literature from the Bigelow Tea Company. I do need that recipe:) Milli shared that she used a Berry flavored tea bag for flavoring, and dried currants. Lois told us of spreading the trimmed edges of tea sandwiches with a spread, such as mayonnaise, and then dipping the edge in chopped fresh herbs, for a special presentation.

And Lois gave some wonderful direction on setting up a personal tea "sanctuary" - a peaceful spot with a prepared tea tray, ready to use when needed. The spot should "call to you", with nothing that is not pleasing to the eye and the spirit. Along with the tea tray, Lois suggests having a chair and table, a book, a candle, or perhaps a bud vase for a fresh flower. (I'd like to add, maybe, a picture or a view.) The main thing is to have a place with relaxing surroundings to cultivate the spirit. Lois reminds us that taking out a little needed quality time for one's self will help us to be a better wife, mother, relation, friend.

It was a nice presentation to go along with our Tea themed evening. Our members each brought favorite teacups and saucers, and we all supplied the refreshment table with finger foods, and then we enjoyed our good company.

Hi all, 
I found a few of Lois' tea notes on the back of a recipe that she shared, so I thought you might like to read a few more of her most excellent thoughts about making your Tea a pleasant occasion for all ...

Cut your food one bite at a time, never all at once.

Do not use your silverware as a mirror to check your lipstick or teeth. Grooming should be reserved for the privacy of the powder room.

And finally, manners are a sensitive awareness of the feeling of others.
This last one says a lot, eh?

January Meeting

Big news! Ulrike reported that we have been invited to participate in an herbal garden outreach event on June 12, at a local Fenton herb farm. Stay tuned!

The Herb Study on Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, was presented by Norma Jones. We sampled sugar cookies flavored with some fresh rosemary that she found in her planter under the snow. There was a good discussion of rosemary, and Norma provided a handout with some recipes.

Here is Norma's recipe for Rosemary Roasted Walnuts
(makes 1 cup)

1 cup walnut pieces
1 Tblsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine walnuts and olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

We rounded out the meeting by making Valentines to donate to a local nursing home.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Christmas Party

Norma sent me her photos from the Christmas Party which was this year celebrated at Brick Street Restaurant in Grand Blanc. Our chairpersons, Julie and Sally, did a fine job of finding a wonderful location and hostessing the party, and Ulrike led a hilarious "regifting" game.
Here's one of Norma's pictures - I'll post the rest in our Yahoo Group page's photo album.

Ladies' Night Out

One of our few, but important, fundraisers to keep our organization going is our annual winter sale at Crossroads Village. It is predictably scheduled for the first Monday evening of deer hunting season, and the prices are low in order to attract "deer widows" out to the Village ... to get a jump on holiday shopping in a truly beautiful setting. The Village workers have been busily spending the time between Halloween and this night in November, stringing lights and setting up displays, and decorating the Village for the upcoming holidays. A night for inspiration!

These photos were taken in the afternoon, but when the sun sets and the holiday lights are lit, then - the holiday season has begun!

Here is a portion of the email our president, Ulrike, sent out the next day:

GCHS Members,
I feel so blessed, to be part of such a dedicated and generous group of herbal friends.
Yesterday was an incredible day/evening, with all the participation at Ladies Night Out. It makes me so very happy, to see so many of you, partaking in our activities.
We did good – really, very good at our sales table. We heard patrons say, “this is my favorite booth to come to” - that does make your heart swell!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Herbal Holidays

The ladies of the Genesee County Herb Society presented our Annual Tea, September 9, 2010, in the Dining Room at The Warehouse, Crossroads Village, Michigan.

First, our program (click to enlarge):

Here are a few photos that I managed to catch while our hostesses were setting up their tables. I did see a few members with their cameras working - if you have some good shots, send them to me and I'll post them!
(Note: I posted these photos directly to Blogspot using Picasa and am still not familiar with the details of getting it to look right. Patience, grasshopper, I'll figure it out eventually.)

Jan made the centerpiece from her own flowers.

Sue does a very professional job!

Simple, lovely.

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Norma teaches painting - and generously shares her talent with this painted gourd.

Diane's table is soooo elegant.
One of our original members, Della travels a good way to share her style.

Julie, on the go!
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Our Speaker, Connie Hansen, from Grand Shire Farm, Rockford.

Can't wait for the buffet!

The roses were a door prize!

Blurry, but you get the idea.
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Sharron is the soul of hospitality.

I need a name here, one of our new members.

Barb's centerpiece - fairies!

Barb and pals enjoy their creativity.
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Friday, July 02, 2010

Gardens in Thyme - June 2010

Some of our gals volunteered for an herbal outreach project at Crossroads Village, our second year of participation in "Gardens in Thyme".
This year, on Saturday, we were located on the shady front porch of the Eldridge House, and in the front room. We enjoyed a hot, humid, sunnny day full of friendship. (Much better than the thunderstorms on Sunday that kept us home.)

Here is Robin, demonstrating herbal weaving.

Here is a Village worker who portrays "Mrs. Eldridge" from the 1880s, taking a moment to sew after baking lavender and rosemary sugar cookies, and apple crisp on the wood stove. Our bottles and bags of herbs are set up on the dining room table, for educating visitors about growing and using herbs for tea and culinary use.
When visitors came through the house Norma demonstrated making herbal tea bags with coffee filters and cotton string.

Our club president, Ulrike, enjoys watching Pam demonstrate making lavender wands.

Ulrike, past president Norma, and Marion. Marion demonstrated making lavender bottles, a variation on lavender wands.

Friday, April 23, 2010

a favorite memory: making cement leaves

 Sorry for the cross-posting, but I thought you might enjoy this past post I made about the time we gathered at Joyce's to make cement leaves...

Friday, April 09, 2010

April meeting

I enjoyed the meeting last night at the Carman Ainsworth Senior Center. We met in the big main room, because the other group that usually meets there was absent. Old business done*, Symposium business updated*, then Norma Jones gave us an informative herb study covering "Huckleberries", a topic she wanted to study after trying some huckleberry tea. As Sue (humorously) exclaimed, "You've ruined my childhood memories of going huckleberry picking!", Norma told us that the berries that so many of us have picked "Up North" are not huckleberries, as our folks told us, but are instead a plant known as "low-bush blueberries."
Huckleberries are actually a plant know to herbalists as Billberry!

Huckleberries grow in the western U.S. in elevations of 2,000 ft and above, and are tall bushes. The berries we pick in Northern Michigan are definitely below waist high.
(I have dear memories of picking low-bush blueberries in the sandy soil piney woods in the UP when the boys were young, and every year I visit one of my favorite low-bush blueberry picking spots near Ludington, but you won't get that spot from me easily. I never get much more than memories there, because our vacation week is just a tad early for ripe berries, but the memories are delicious.)
They won't transplant easily to lower elevations, and there is some thought that the very deep snows of the western mountains protect the shrubs from deep cold temperatures and killing winds.

While Norma talked, some of us served her hot Billberry tisane (made from berries) to the gals. She searched "fruitlessly" for a huckleberry tea like she had before, but finally found these Billberry teabags at Dale's Health Foods store. I think it needed sweetening - Billberries are apparently not a sweet fruit.After her talk, I was reading the package, and it told of WWII pilots having eaten Billberry jam before night time flights, because they swore it improved their night vision!

Norma gave me the website address for an informative site she was able to  find on Huckleberry and Billberry: and bilberries.htm

*NOTE: One note about our business meetings - since I'm not officially reporting on our meetings - that is the Secretary's job! - members who need to catch up should refer to the Yahoo Group which is restricted to members of the GCHS, or call someone who was there. I'm using this blog space to tell about our herb studies, our activities, our projects, our history.

Well, after we helped ourselves to refreshments, we listened while Lois Meldrum spoke on Tea Tips. I took some notes to share ... but really, if you would like a speaker on "everything Tea", Lois is the one to call.

Here are a few highlights, just skimming the surface:

Tea is like a sponge for kitchen odors - buy small quantities and store in a sealed box.

Black tea has a longer shelf life.

You can buy excellent tea in tea bags these days, not like in the past when teabags earned a bad name.
For instance of today's good tea, a tea by Revolution comes in silk bags and you can see the whole leaf.

Use just boiling water - you need to preserve the oxygen in the water to make good tea.

To de-caffeinate tea, pour off the water after 30 seconds and recover with fresh water. The first rinse removes 75 percent of the caffeine, without losing the flavor.

Stronger tea? use more time, not more tea.

No milk with lemon, add sugar before lemon.

Lois has a recipe for tea for a crowd- but I didn't get it all. Call her!

At a Tea, it is considered an honor to be the "Mother" of the teapot, a guardian who is trusted to keep the pot warm, full and poured.

Lois had some sweet suggestions for sharing tea. One was to give a Tea Shower for a new bride, a useful suggestion considering how well-stocked so many independent young ladies kitchens are these days. Shower her with all the things she would need to have a proper tea party.
Or... for a birthday of a close friend, ask her and a few friends to lunch, but arrive at the restaurant early and ask the waitress if you could "dress the table" before your friends arrive. Set the table with real china, cloth napkins, a centerpiece, you get the idea - it will be a special lunch, and you don't have to clean the house!
Or... for a hospitalized friend, bring a thermos of hot water, some muffins or special treat, and table setting - again those real napkins and china - and set up a tea for two on the rolling table in the hospital room.

Lois gave us recipe suggestions for tea sandwiches, and interesting additions to flavor tea. I'm definitely going to try adding berries to my hot tea.
She shared buffet hints, and this very handy tip about keeping tea sandwiches fresh: put your prepared sandwiches on a plate or tray in a single layer, cover with waxed paper, then cover the wax paper with a wrung out damp tea towel. Refrigerate until serving time.

Here is a recipe Lois shared for Orange Honey Butter that several gals were copying down:

Lois's Orange Honey Butter

To one stick of softened butter, stir in 2 Tblsp. thawed orange juice concentrate and 2 Tblsp. honey.
Allow flavors to meld in the refrigerator overnight.

"Finally", Lois told us, "Have fun with it! Tea is supposed to be relaxing, not stressful!"
Amen, Lois, and thank you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Meeting

March was a very good meeting - easy driving weather, plans for the Herb Symposium are moving right along, and the refreshments were great (see the previous posts - Sharon's scones and cranberry tea). We had one guest who found us over the internet. We learned of our very own Lois Meldrum being honored as the Michigan Herb Associates person of the year at this year's conference. Ulrike reported that Lois' Tea Talk at the conference was extra special. I know she does a beautiful job.

As we were admiring Lois' green and white corsage from the MHA conference banquet - which incorporated the Herb of the Year, dill, I wrote down some tips from the discussion:
Dill will retain its green shade if dehydrated in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Ulrike told us she presses orchids and calla lily flowers between wool pads in the refrigerator as well. The discussion turned to the practice of dehydrating herbs in the car during the summer - a sort of solar dehydrator - and Lois told us it was mentioned at the MHA conference that lavender might be the one herb we shouldn't car-dry ... the fragrance can put one to sleep!
Lois also brought a hot off the press copy of the Herb Society of America's great yearbook on Dill, which will go into the GCHS library next month. I have just quickly leafed through it, but it does look like good reading for "we herbies".

April 24, 2010 Herb Symposium: our speakers will be  Iris Lee Underwood, owner of Yule Love It Lavender Farm, and Jan Burns, from Seven Ponds Herb Group.

Sue Doyle provided an Herb Study on Stevia, including some commentary of the controversy over this natural sweetener versus artificial, growing and harvesting directions, and a sample of lemonade made with Stevia extract. She told us her recipe:
Sue's Stevia-Sweetened Lemonade
 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juce
8 cups water
2 tsp. stevia extract

Our meeting ended with an extra treat, Sharon Paulsen brought a crafty project for us all to make and take home - these embossed paper butterfly bookmarks featuring lavender. After putting them together, Sharon provided her own homemade lavender powder to dust them with, giving them an extra herbal touch. Thanks Sharon!

March Meeting Tea

Here is the info on the cranberry tea that we had at the March meeting.  It is produced by the Metropolitan Tea Company and can be purchased online at  My favorite tea from Metropolitan is Canadian Breakfast Tea which I have in the house all the time.
Sharon P.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sharon's Cinnamon Scones

Sharon Paulsen served these delicious cinnamon-y scones at our March meeting last evening.

Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe
12 Servings

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min.
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk
1 package (10 ounces) cinnamon baking mini-chips
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Fold in chips.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 10-12 times or until dough is no longer sticky. Divide in half; gently pat or roll each portion into a 7-in. circle. Brush with butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Cut each circle into six wedges. Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen

Mock Devonshire Cream

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and salt; stir until well blended.

Stir in whipping cream.

With an electric mixer, beat mixture until stiff. Store in refrigerator

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tea memories

The GCHS has presented an annual autumn Tea for our invited friends and for other local Michigan herb groups for several years, now. I have programs going back to 1993. It is a free, invitation-only event.

Our venue for the Tea is the beautiful pink dining room at The Warehouse in Crossroads Village. The decorations are always interesting to look at. Our professional florist/party planner, Linda Patterson has taught us so much about elegant decorating, and we have some naturally talented members who always come up with lovely decorations. The buffet and welcome table are staffed and decorated by our members. Many years, table favors for our guests are provided by the committee. All of our members, by pairs, serve as hostesses, individually decorating and hostessing each table. One charming aspect of our Tea is that our hostesses provide their own personal table settings - especially our personal tea cups - and themes, so that each table is different. It is an enjoyable evening just to stroll around and see the table decorations!

We have a guest speaker and we provide a wonderful, l-o-n-g buffet of sweet and savory foods that keeps our guests coming back. We defray some of our costs (Village tea helper's tip, linens) by maintaining a ways and means sale of crafts contributed by our members. The Village has (so far, in this economy) been quite accommodating in allowing us (as a partnering volunteer group) to use their facilities.

On October 14, 1993, we had a dulcimer player provide music. Our guest speaker was Lila Baker, who talked about Herbal Folklore.

On October 13, 1994, our speaker was Della Helton, who talked about Herbal Tea.

On October 12, 1995, our speaker was Lynn Morningstar who spoke on Culinary Herbs and Landscaping and Garden Ornaments.

In 1996, our speaker was Mary Ann Last, owner of Liberty Tea Room in Crystal, MI. This tea was billed as a Victorian Herbal Tea. Several of our members loaned their husbands to act as escorts to accompany our guests to the parking, and Linda Patterson conducted a (Victorian) Fashion Show. The Tea committee was Linda, Milli Paxton, Diane Jacobson and Sue Burks.

On October 9, 1997, our Tea program speaker was Nikki Lennox, owner of Crab Apple Creek of Macomb County, who talked about Moonlite Gardens and Bathtime Teas. Our chairpersons were Diana Jacobson and Frances Haerens.
Our guests included herb groups from Frankenmuth Unit of HSA, Bay City's Valley Herb Society, Owosso's Potpourri Guild, Midland, Davison and the Herb Study Group from Seven Ponds Nature Center, near Metamora.

Monday, March 08, 2010

21st Anniversary Party

On May 5, 2007, we celebrated our 21st year as a herb society!

The idea was inspired by our committee chairperson, Barb Kaiser. Our venue was Faith United General Baptist Church. Photos of the day are posted in a photo album on our Yahoo Group page. Here is one of those photos, a line up of some of our past presidents.

Here is a page from the program brochure:

For a special souvenir for our members, we had Rice's Garden Ornaments make a specially designed garden stepping stone. What a job THAT was!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Symposium Remembrances 2008

Our 11th Bi-Annual Herb Symposium was titled "Cookin' With WHAT? Herbs!" Our guest speaker was Donna Frawley, from Frawley's Fine Herbary of Midland, MI, who gave two herbal cooking presentations, "Cooking With Herbs" and "Herbal Breads".

Norma Jones and Betsy Stevens chaired the event on April 26, 2008. It was our last year holding the Symposium at Faith United Baptist Church. Wouldn't ya know it, I don't have my program - can anybody help?
The speaker bio is from the brochure:

Workshops (and teachers) were:
Dried Herbal Seasonings "Better Than Store-Bought" (Betsy Stevens)
Herbal Tea in a Decorated Jar (Norma Jones)
Stamped Place Cards for your Tea Table (Robin Mickiewicz)
Post-It Notes with Pressed Flowers (Ulrike Vanover)
Holiday and All Occasion Table Favors (Lois Meldrum)
Herbal Meals in a Jar (Sharon Paulsen)
Using Herbs for Medicinal and Cosmetic Purposes (Marion Armstrong)

Here's a link to a post on Betsy's Herb Garden blog about the 2008 Herb Symposium. And here's a link to a discussion of this year's planning.

Symposium Remembrances 2006

Our 10th Biannual Herbal Symposium was held on May 6, 2006. The theme of "The Garden, Mind Body & Soul" featured guest speaker Brenda Ginther, owner of Wooden Shoe Herb Farm in Mason, MI. Brenda spoke on "Lovely Lavender" and demonstrated "Designs from Nature". Brenda brought lavender plants to purchase. Her bio was in the brochure:

This year our chairpersons were Julie Hubbs and Sally Gifford. I should mention that every year we have had a beautifully staged "groaning board" breakfast pastry and tea table for our guests to partake as they shop and get settled in the hall.

The luncheon menu included: Oriental Chicken Salad, Fruit Kabob, Cranberry-Orange Bread with Orange Butter and Mint garnish, Brownie with Raspberry Sauce, Lavender Lemonade and Scented Geranium Punch.

The workshops (and teachers) were:
Simple Wreaths (Marion Armstrong)
Tea Tasting (Della Helton)
Gift in a Jar (Norma Jones)
How to Create a Theme Tea (Demo by Linda Patterson)
Labyrinths and Garden Mazes (Demo by Betsy Stevens)
Stamping Creations (Robin Mickiewicz)
Language of Flowers - Tussie Mussies (Barb Kaiser)
Pressed Flower Card and Magnet (Ulrike Vanover)

Symposium Remembrances 2004

I believe this is the year we began to hold our Herb Symposiums on alternate years. The theme for our 9th (now) Biannual Symposium? "Herban Renewal"! with returning guest speaker, Beulah Hargrove.
Beulah demonstrated "Making a Living Wreath" and "Making and Using Herbal Tinctures". Our speaker also brought live plants to sell. (All of our speakers have been encouraged to sell their specialty wares, to help defray their costs.)

Our May 1, 2004 event was chaired by Glenda Stevenson. The price was raised to $30.
The Luncheon menu included: a Fruit-Vegetable Skewer, Creamy Leek Soup, Chicken Salad on Lettuce Leaf, Mexican Wedding Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Rosemary infused Punch.

Workshops (and teachers) were:
Starting an Herb Garden (Marion Armstrong)
Make Tea, Taste Tea, Take Tea (Della Helton)
Glass Painting (Norma Jones)
Flower Arranging From The Garden (Linda Patterson)
Herbal Housekeeping (Betsy Stevens)
A Bag, A Tag, A Box (Glenda Stevenson)
Herbal Recipe Book (MaryLynn Turner)
Pressed Flower Photo Holder (Ulrike Vanover)

True to Glenda's stylish creativity, the programs were packaged in folded stamped envelopes with the recipes provided on small cards. Neat!

Symposium Remembrances 2002

Our 8th Annual Herb Symposium, on April 27, 2002, was again titled, "The Enchantment of Herbs", with our guest speaker, Deanna House, returning for another visit. Her talk was entitled "Food Kissed With Herbs".

Glenda Stevenson and Lois Meldrum were our chairpersons. Glenda always went the extra mile - our programs covers were a lovely handmade paper (made by Glenda) tied with beaded jute, and the programs were done with her own calligraphy and stamping. Cool!

Another fun feature in this event was our herbal fashion show "Adventures in Fashion" - a tongue in cheek salute to the silly.

The luncheon included Spinach Bisque, Colorful Chicken Croissants (the color from celery, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and chopped red onion), Potluck Apple Pie, flavored with maple syrup, and Sparkling Citrus Punch.

Classes (and teachers) were:
Press On - a pressed flower project (Ulrike Vanover)
In The Bag - a gift bag (MaryLynn Turner)
Brighten Your Life - a decorated candle (Norma Jones)
Making Scents - potpourri (Milli Paxton)
A Proper Tea - the fine points of making and serving tea (Della Helton and Lois Meldrum)
Pour It On - herbal lotion (Rachael Ramirez)
Take Note - designer note pads (Glenda Stevenson)
Rub-a-dub - aromatherapy bath (Janice Tierney)

Symposium Remembrances 2001

"The Enchantment of Herbs" was the theme for our 7th Annual Herb Symposium on March 31, 2001. Our guest speaker was another winner - Marilyn Edmison-Driedger, owner of The Herbal Touch in Otterville, Ontario. Marilyn spoke on Herbal themes, and I particularly enjoyed her construction of a herbal fairy garden planted in the seat of a wooden chair.

The luncheon included Three Cheese Twists, Herbed Chicken Breast on Mandarin Orange Salad, and a Raspberry Brownie Dessert. The salad was served imaginatively in clay flower pot saucers with centerpiece ideas on how to make yard decor such as flower pot bird baths with the take-home lunch containers.

Our chairpersons were Ulrike Vanover and Lois Meldrum. The addition of a second make and take workshop made this quite an event.
Workshops (and teachers) were:
Fragrant Aromatherapy Spritz (Janice Tierney)
Botanical Stamped Notecards, gift boxed (Lois Meldrum)
Friendship Card with a Pressed Flower Bookmark (Ulrike Vanover)
Herbal Glass Magnets, gift packaged (Jean Johnson)
Folded Pocket Nature Journal (Rebecca Johnson)
Decoupaged Birdhouse (Linda Patterson)
Herbal Salve and Lip Balm (Rachael Ramirez)
Painted Clay Pot Candle Holder (Norma Jones)

Symposium Remembrances 2000

Our 6th Annual Herb Symposium had a name! We called it "Herbs for Flavor, Fragrance, and Fitness".
This year was a treat! Our speaker was Kathleen Gips, owner of The Village Herb Shop, from Chagrin Falls, OH, who spoke on "Herbs for Flavor, Fragrance, and Fitness" and a second talk on "Rosemary, the Herb of the Year".
We were back to Faith United for our venue - a more comfortable space, to be sure. We added door prizes and evaluations. The event was on April 15, and the price was $25.00. Our chairpersons were Jean Johnson and Ulrike Vanover. The menu wasn't included in the program, but I'm sure the luncheon was wonderful as usual.

Workshops (and teachers) were:
A Pressed Flower Decorated Candle (Ulrike Vanover)
Herbal Tea Blend (Della Helton)
Rosemary Flowerpot Bread Mix (Robin Mickiewicz)
Aromatherapy Spritz (Janice Tierney)
Embellished Garden Treasure Boxes (Milli Paxton and Linda Patterson)
Stamped Plant Stake (Jean Johnson)
Spiced Orange Pomander (Bonnie Keen)
Lavender Spice Cookie Mix (Norma Jones)