All posts by Maumee Valley Herb Society Editor

Rose Herb of the Year 2012

Rose water, a byproduct of rose oil production, is widely used in Asian and Middle Eastern cusine. In France, rose syrup is widely used, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, Frenceh rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows. Rose hips, the fruit of some species, is used as a source of Vitamin c. Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin and makeup products. The fruits of many species have significant levels of vitamins and have been used as a food supplement. Many roses have been used in herbal and folk medicines. Rosa chinensis has long been used in Chinese traditional medicine. This and other species have bewen used for stomach problems, and are being investigated for controlling cancer growth.
From The Herbal Messenger, Newsletter of the Maumee Valley Herb Society, January 2012

Toledo Grows Seed Swap February 25

The Seed Swap will be at the Erie Street Market on Saturday, February 25 from noon to 3 pm. As you come in the door, free tickets will be handed to you that can be exchanged for free seed packets. If you bring seed packets with you, then you will receive additional tickets and extra seeds. There will be garden displays and workshops for you to enjoy. Maumee Valley Herb Society members will be at the table where herb seeds are distributed. Come and join us.
For additional information, visit the Toledo Grows website at

MVHS February Meeting

Our February meeting is at 9:30 am on February 15 in the Conference Center at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Our speaker will be Bernie Place from Wild Birds Unlimited. The topic is: Did You Know? Cool, Winter Bird Fun Facts.
Come and join us for an interesting presentation and a chance to converse with our members.

2012 The Year of the Rose

This year we honor the rose as the herb of the year. Perhaps you think of the rose only as a beautiful fragrant flower, but it is much more than that. The definiton of an herb is that it is a plant valued for flavor, scent, medicinal use, and having other qualities. There are many qualities that the rose is known for that characterizes it as an herb.
First, the rose, because of its beauty is the most popular flower purchased on Valentine’s Day. Roses are found in a variety of colors and each color means something different. The red rose signifies immortal love, the yellow joy and mature love, white stands for purity, and pink for innocence. The most popular rose is the red rose.
Secondly, there are many uses of roses. Some of the uses for roses are in lotions and creams, in perfumes and pot pourris, as decorations for cakes and other foods, and also the rose is actually used in cooking. There are many recipes for using rose petals and rose water. Some of the recipes I found use roses in making jellies, syrups, sauces, butters, vinegars, teas, cakes, soups and ice cream. In many Asian and Mideastern and African countries, roses are used to flavor foods much as we use cinnamon and vanilla here in the USA. A popular tea is rose petal tea.
Recipe: Rose Petal Tea Makes one quart
1/2 cup tightly packed rose petals*
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 orange, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 quart water
Place rose petals, nutmeg, sugar and chopped orange into a pitcher. Pour boiling water over petals and steep for five minutes. Strain. Serve hot or cold. If using pink petals, the tea will have a fine flavor and a nice dark pink color.
*When using roses for food, they should be free of pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. Florists’ roses have been sprayed with pesticides and should not be used as food. Many have been imported from third world countries where pesticides and other chemicals are used.
The best roses to use for food are the fragrant, old-fashioned or antique roses such as the Cabbage Rose, Rose Gallica, and Damask Rose.
When using rose petals as food, always cut away the white portion at the base of each rose. This imparts a bitter flavor to foods and beverages.

Officers and Committees for 2012

For the new year 2012, the officers and committee chairs are listed below. If you wish to contact any of them, do so by referring to their addresses in our Membership Directory.

2012 Officers are:
Co-President’s…..Mary Farley, Shiela Thomas
Vice Presidents/Program……Renee Dallas, Marilyn Welborn
Secretary……Mary Campbell
Treasurer…..Libby Boldt
2012 Committees
Ways and Means
Plant Sale…..Gerry Crouse, Carol Edgeworth
Heralding the Holidays…..Renee Dallas, Elaine Roy
Garden……Mary Farley
Garden Volunteers: You will find MVHS members working in the Herb Garden at the Toledo Botanical Garden each Tuesday, April-October, beginning at 9:30 am
Historians….Gerry Crouse, Carol Edgeworth
Library……Marybeth Landis
Membership and Publicity…..Nancy Durnford
Community Outreach….Facilitated by the Officers
Social…..Sue Anderson, Joyce Day
Newsletter……Brenda Sheely
Publications and Graphics…..Tom Durnford

Heralding the Holidays Is Next Week December 2 through 4, 2011

The members of the Maumee Valley Herb Society have been busy getting ready for Heralding. The dates and times this year are Fri., Dec. 2 from 5-9 PM, Sat. Dec. 3 from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sun. Dec. 4 from 10 AM to 5 PM. You will find us in the Conference Center of the Toledo Botanical Garden with our herbal products, craft items, bath and body products and pet products for sale. These will make wonderful gifts, especially if you are looking for something that is a little different. Another gift opportunity is our Silent Auction which is on Friday and Saturday. This will give the lucky winners time to pick up their items on Sunday. Don’t forget we also have a bake sale. There will be plenty of delicious foods for you to enjoy. A new feature this year will be a sale of used herb and gardening books. These books will be in a bookcase near the cashier’s table. Come and join us. We will be happy to see you and can promise that you will not be disappointed!

April Meeting Wednesday, April 20 9:15-Noon

Our April program, “GRANDMA’S OLD RECIPES, REMEDIES, AND OTHER CURIOSITIES” will be presented by Jackie Rosebrock. Her extensive background of herbal knowledge includes owning an herbal store in Grand Rapids long before the use of herbs became so popuar. She has also published an herbal booklet, and will discuss one of the chapters at our meeting. All meetings are open to the public. Come and join us for this interesting program.

Pictures of Herb Garden on Jim Long’s Blog

Jim Long, of Long Creek Herbs in Blue Eye Missouri, presented a very interesting program for the Maumee Valley Herb Society on March 11 titled “Eating Your Landscape”. He talked about many plants that you would not think are edible. That evening his talk was for the general public on “Cutting Edge Plants” that he found on his travels throughout the world, many that are now used in restaurants. He took photos of our Herb Garden at the Toledo Botanical Garden. You can find these photos there plus his thoughts about visiting Toledo. There are also photos from the Michigan Herb Associates Meeting at Michigan State University where he presented two programs before coming to Toledo.

Jim Long of Long Creek Herbs Program Open to the Public

On Friday, March 11 at 7:00 PM, Jim Long will be presenting a program in the Conference Center at the Toledo Botanical Garden. He will talk about “Cutting Edge Plants”. He will show us photos of many of the plants that he has encountered during his worldly travels and tell us how these plants can be added to our gardens for culinary and other uses.
Jim Long has authored the popular “Down to Earth” column for The Herb Companion magazine for the past 16 years and has written 26 books on herbs, gardening, and historical subjuects. He lives in Blue Eye, Missouri.
This program is open to the public.
Admission is $2.00 for everyone who is not a member of MVHS. Refreshments will be served before the talk at 6:30 PM.
Come and join us on Friday, March 11. You will not be disappointed!

Maumee Valley Herb Society’s March Meeting

Please note that our March meeting date has been changed. Our meeting will be on Friday, March 11 at 9:15 am instead of on the usual third Wednesday of the month. This is because we are bringing Jim Long, a nationally known speaker and author to speak to us. He will be the major speaker at the Michigan Herb Associates Conference on Wednesday and Thursday of that week. His program for us on Friday morning will be “Eat Your Landscape”. This is a timely subject, and should be of interest to all of us who are planning our gardens for this spring. Jim Long has written 26 books on herbs, gardening, and historical subjects. We hope that you can join us in the Conference Center at the Toledo Botanical Garden on Friday, March 11.