April 17, 2019

Making Herbal Lotions

Join us as Christie Clark, Maumee Valley Herb Society member, shows us how to make our own herbal lotion. This meeting will be held at Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive, Toledo, in the Conference Center.

Refreshments 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., business meeting 10:00 a.m. – 10;45 a.m., break 10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., speaker and program at 11:00 a.m. The public is welcome and the meeting is free to attend.

The herbal and health information presented at meetings sponsored by the Maumee Valley Herb Society is intended as educational information only. MVHS does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Nothing presented at our meetings should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem or illness. Persons with serious medical conditions should always seek professional care. MVHS is not responsible for the mistaken identity of any plant listed or discussed during meetings sponsored by the Society. 

March 20, 2019

The herb society will be attending the bulb show at Hidden Lake Gardens and will be leaving Toledo Botanical Garden from the Bancroft Street entrance at 9:30 a.m. and return at 4:30 p.m.

The bus has been cancelled for this trip and now we will be car pooling together to Hidden Lake Gardens. Lunch will follow in Tecumseh at the British Tea Room, where you can feel free to shop the streets of Tecumseh afterwards.

February 20, 2019 meeting

Join us as Mary Machon, owner of Bensell’s Greenhouse in Toledo, discusses the New Trends and Medicinal Uses of Herbs. This meeting will be held at Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive, Toledo, in the Garden Forum House, directly off Elmer Drive at the main TBG entrance. Enter Toledo Botanical Garden off Elmer Drive and the Forum House is the first building on your right.

Refreshments 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., business meeting 10:00 a.m. – 10;45 a.m., break 10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., speaker and program at 11:00 a.m. The public is welcome and the meeting is free to attend.

The herbal and health information presented at meetings sponsored by the Maumee Valley Herb Society is intended as educational information only. MVHS does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Nothing presented at our meetings should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem or illness. Persons with serious medical conditions should always seek professional care. MVHS is not responsible for the mistaken identity of any plant listed or discussed during meetings sponsored by the Society. 

January 16, 2019

Healthy Living Tips

Please join us for our next MVHS meeting on Wednesday,  January 16 at  11:00 a.m. Debra Reis, RN MSN NP, Herbalist, Holistic Consultant and Practitioner will share healthy tips for the new year. We will be making a take away Herbal Spitzer.  This spritzer will awaken your senses during these sometimes drab winter days. We look forward to seeing you!

This meeting will be held at Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive, Toledo, in the Artist’s Club building, directly off the main TBG entrance. Enter Toledo Botanical Garden off Elmer Drive and the Artist’s Club is on your left. Follow the drive to the first left and you are there.

March 21 MVHS monthly meeting

Join us in the Artist’s Club at Toledo Botanical Garden for a program on Emotional Healing with Essential Oils presented by Deb Reis at 11:00 a.m. This will be a hands on project and we will be making bath salts.

Refreshments 9:45 a.m. – business meeting at 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – break 10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018 – Join us as Jane Lutz, an R.N. from The Victory Center in Toledo, talks about Bach Flower Remedies, solutions developed by Edward Bach, an English homeopath, in the 1930’s. Refreshments and business meeting from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. with program to follow at 10:30 a.m. in the TBG Conference Room.

 

 

Death of a Rosemary

My Rosemary always dies when I bring it indoors so I thought I’d pass this information along. The easiest way to grow rosemary indoors is to grow the plant in containers. If your rosemary is in containers, start acclimating the plant to the diminished light it will receive when brought indoors. Rosemary requires full sun and even the brightest window is not the same as a sunny garden. If there is time, start acclimating your rosemary by moving it to a shadier part of the garden for part of the day. The longer you are able to do this, the better suited the plant will be to the indoor environment.
Light: Place rosemary in the brightest window you have. If the plant starts to struggle due to lack of light, add a florescent light to the mix.
Humidity: Powdery mildew is a challenge for rosemary whether it is grown outside or indoors. To reduce the likelihood of mildew, use a fan to create a breeze for a few hours a day. The less humidity the plant is exposed to the better.
Water: Rosemary does not like wet feet; AKA wet roots. Once the top inch of soil is dry, water the plant. During the winter, the plant will naturally start to slow its growing process and will require less water.
Cuttings: If you don’t have potted rosemary, or maybe you don’t have rosemary in your garden, worry not. Simply take a cutting, with permission of course, from a friend’s plant.
The best time to take cuttings is in the spring when the plant is vigorously growing. However, fall cuttings will work, too. Take a cutting with clean pruners from the youngest, healthiest looking branch, at least 4 inches long measuring from the tip towards the plant. Remove the bottom leaves with pruners—do not rip or pull leaves off the plant.
1. Dip the end in rooting hormone powder and place it in bright light in a jar of water. Only the part of the stem that has been cleared of leaves should be in the water.
2. Refresh the water every few days.
3. Once roots emerge, plant in fresh potting soil amended with sand, vermiculite or perlite for optimal air and water circulation. Rosemary does best in loose, well-draining soil. You can plant it directly to its permanent container or use smaller containers until the plant has established a solid root base.
4. Consider using a permanent, decorative container at least six inches deep with adequate drainage that you can use year-round, indoors and in the edible or ornamental garden as a focal point.

– Alaina Meister

Peppers /Capsicum/Cayenne or Capsaicin : Herb of the Year 2016

The International Herb Association [http://www.iherb.org/117-2/] has selected Peppers/Capsicum as the herb of the year for 2016. It is an interesting choice as peppers, chili peppers or whatever you choose to call them have been around for thousands of years and are celebrated in many cultures. There is evidence that Native Americans have used peppers both as food and medicine for at least 9000 years. Traditional healers in India, China, Japan and Korea have also been known to use peppers for both culinary and health benefits. Those folks who don’t like spicy foods may baulk at the idea of eating hot peppers but peppers come in hundreds of varieties ranging from mild red paprikas and sweet pimentos to fiery hot varieties. The essential ingredient is cayenne, an oily compound well known for its many health benefits. Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the Genus Capsicum. [spelling is different, not a typo] It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. This short article presents a brief overview. There is plenty left unsaid for those of you who like to write to contribute articles on cultivation, recipes etc. during the coming year.

The hotter a chili pepper is the more capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin has been said to do wonders for the consumer, everything from opening up clogged airways to helping manage diabetes. It is a metabolism booster and will speed up your calorie burning mechanism for a few hours after eating. Capsaicin is said to be anti-inflammatory so it is a good remedy against heart disease. Peppers contain plenty of vitamins A and C along with flavonoids and carotenoids, plant pigments that act as antioxidants.

Cayenne pepper is available in the spice section of the supermarket. It is also known as ground red pepper, not to be confused with black pepper [Piper Nigrum]. Fresh cayenne peppers can irritate or burn skin. Wear rubber gloves when hand-ling fresh hot peppers. Wash hands well after handling and don’t touch eyes or nose. The same goes for the spice. Use a utensil to measure for recipes and not your fingers. Be careful when applying topical capsaicin creams to reduce pain. Be sure to follow directions on the tube.

So MVHS members, lets spice up 2016 with peppers and see how we can use them in our diets, cooking and to better our health. A wonderful chili pepper calendar for 2016 is available at the International Herb Society web site.
How can it be 2016 already? The years do seem to fly by.

Deanna Harwell-Baksh

Savory Herb of the Year 2015

Summer savory is a tender annual that grows up to 18 inches tall. It has small bronze-green leaves and very small white or lavender flowers. The leaves are pungent and spicy. It grows best in a well-worked loamy soil. Cut leafy tops when the plants are in bud. Hang in an airy, shaded place until crisp and dry. Summer savory is popular as a condiment with meats and vegetables and is generally considered sweeter than winter savory.

Winter Savory (Satureia montana) is a hardy dwarf evergreen which can be propagated by cuttings; but it is more economically grown from seed sown at the same time and treated in the same manner, as Summer Savory. It has dark green, shiny, pointed leaves much stiffer in texture than summer savory. It is a woody perennial plant growing to 2 feet in height with small white or lavender flowers and does best in a light, sandy soil. Pick young shoots and leaves at any time. The leaves are almost evergreen but not as pungent in winter. It is best dried for winter use. Winter savory is a condiment often used as a flavoring in liqueurs. Its taste is not as sweet as summer savory.

SAVORY STUFFED MUSHROOMS

12 large mushrooms
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp. onion—finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. savory
Salt, pepper
Olive oil

Remove the stems from 12 large (2-3”) mushrooms and finely chop the stems.
Add 1/3 cup finely chopped feta cheese, the chopped onion, lemon juice and ½ tsp. coarsely ground (I just use the palms of my hands) dried savory. Add a few rounds of ground pepper, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a shallow baking pan.
Press stuffing into the cavity of each mushroom, mounding it a bit to use all the mixture.  Place a bit of feta cheese on top of each mushroom and place in the lightly oiled pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  These can be made in advance, covered, refrigerated, and baked just before serving.
-Submitted by Nancy Durnford

PEARL ONION GRATIN WITH PARMESAN,  SAVORY AND THYME

2 lb. frozen pearl onions—thawed
1 cup heavy cream
3 four-inch sprigs of thyme
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter—melted
1 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly, finely grated
Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 tsp. dried savory — crumbled

Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the onions and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir and separate the onions with a fork as they heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
Combine the cream, thyme, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the cream comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Brush a shallow 2 quart gratin or baking dish with 1 Tbsp. butter. Toss the breadcrumbs, cheese, savory, the remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper.
Spread the onions in the baking dish. Remove the thyme sprigs from the cream. Pour the cream over the onions and scatter the breadcrumbs on top. Bake until the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown and the cream is bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

SAUSAGE, WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP WITH SAVORY

4 Italian sausage links, remove the
casings
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (14.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chopped kale
1 sprig fresh savory or 1/2—1 tsp. dried
juice from half a lime
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Take the sausages and pinch off little sections, rolling them into little balls.
Add the balls to a large skillet and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown all over, for approximately seven minutes. Add the green bell pepper, a bit of olive oil if needed, and sauté until slightly tender, about three minutes.
Add the stock, beans, savory and kale. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a nice pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the lime juice.
Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

Artemisia 2014 Herb of the Year

Photograph of Artemisia Arborescens plant
Artemisia Arborescens. Image credit: Manuel Martín Vicente/Flickr

This year, the International Herb Association has chosen Artemisia as the 2014 Herb of the Year.

Artemisia is a genus containing up to 400 different species of plants. Some of the more common names are Sweet Annie, Mugwort, French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus ‘Sativa’), the decorative Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver King’, and Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) to name a few.

French tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, one of the more popular herbs in this group, is a culinary herb with a hint of anise or licorice flavor. It is a member of the French herb mix ‘fines herbes’, along with chervil, parsley, and chives, and dresses up chicken, fish, eggs, and salad dressings. It does not produce seed, so new plants must be propagated by cuttings. When buying it, be sure to get French and not Russian tarragon. Many garden centers simply label their plants tarragon and you can end up with the bitter tasting Russian variety. When cooking, you only need a small amount to add a lot of flavor to your recipe. French tarragon grows in sunshine and well-drained soil, which makes it perfect for containers. Full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon is considered by some to be the best location. It has a shallow root system so be careful when weeding. The best way to use French tarragon is fresh in recipes, by making herbal vinegar with it or by freezing the leaves in plastic bags or in an ice cube tray with a bit of water or in olive oil to be added to soups, marinades and other recipes later on. Drying French tarragon can be done but it loses most of its flavor when dried.

Educating and spreading the love of herbs and herb gardening