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!

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