Current – 1963
Minnesota Herb Society
The Minnesota Herb Society was founded by Helen Olsen in 1963 to encourage the study, the growing and the use of herbs. The society, originally called the Twin City Herb Society, met in members’ homes and maintained a limited membership. As interest in herbs grew, the group voted on how they would continue. Most members wanted to open the membership to be more inclusive, thus the current Minnesota Herb Society was formed. We became more involved and committed to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum maintaining the Kitchen Herb Garden, the Fragrant Herb Garden and the Cloister Garden.
The current Minnesota Herb Society has continued to grow and expand. As we look to our future, we will continue to be the herb society that is well known, active, forward looking, and full of fun loving, interested and contributing members.
This history is provided to chronicle the life of the organization for old, new and prospective members to learn about the Minnesota Herb Society. Each year has its own section containing introductory remarks and anecdotes, minutes from earlier meetings, pictures, and other memorabilia we were able to collect.
Original Document Researched and Prepared by
Gloria Danielson, Veronica Malone and Linda White
[To jump directly to a particular year, simply “click” that year in the following list.]
Officers List – 1963 – 1964 – 1965 – 1966 – 1967 – 1968 – 1969
1970 – 1971 – 1972 – 1973 – 1974 – 1975 – 1976 – 1977 – 1978 – 1979
1980 – 1981 – 1982 – 1983 – 1984 – 1985 – 1986 – 1987 – 1988 – 1989
1990 – 1991 – 1992 – 1993 – 1994 – 1995 – 1996 – 1997 – 1998 – 1999
2000 – 2001 – 2002 – 2003 – 2004 – 2005 – 2006 – 2007 – 2008 – 2009
2010 – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 –2019 – 2020 – 2021 – 2022
2022 Herb of the Year, Viola
Officers: President, Patricia Coldwell; Vice President, Renee Pohl; Treasurer, Linda Wendland; Secretary, Deb Carpenter; Members at Large, Elly Hanson, Carla Jefferson
The Sunflower is their national flower and a symbol of peace.
After almost two years of distancing, cancelled plans, and fear of illness due to the COVID19 pandemic, it was affirming to more fully be able to again meet, socialize, and learn together. Most of the Herb Society’s normal activities resumed this year, although we continued to take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves and others. For the safety of all members, guidelines related to meeting attendance if exposed to COVID were approved by the Board in August.
A Word on Herb of the Year: Violets/Violas
Violas generally are grown in the garden because of their ornamental flowers. Although Viola is the genus, it is often used interchangeably as a common name along with violet, heartsease, Johnny-Jump-Up, etc. Violets, violas, and pansies are all in the genus Viola. The major difference between the two is the size of the plant.
You can’t help but smile when you see violets. Cheery and hardy, they thrive in a variety of habitats. They’re found in bogs, dry prairies and woodlands. They are cool season flowers that can handle unexpected spring snowfalls. In Minnesota, violas are planted in flower beds and containers as annuals in early spring to be replaced with warm season annuals when the summer heat rolls in by late June. Native violets bloom profusely in the woodlands along with spring ephemerals.
For this year’s May nursery tour, we chartered a bus so we had more time to socialize, and coordinate our travel. We visited Donahue’s Nursery and Twiehoff Gardens and Nursery in the Faribault area, followed by lunch at the Depot. We ended the day with a visit to a Farmington Greenhouse and refreshments at Mousse Sparkling Wine in Jordan. There was almost not enough room on the bus for us after we all splurged on plants!
Educational field trips
There were two educational field trips in 2022—one in May to Will Heal Farm in Cedar, which included a plant walk/lecture/demo in a yurt classroom. Following that stop, we visited Whetstone Farm in Amery, Wisconsin, to learn about raising grass-fed lamb and growing organic vegetables. It is truly inspiring to see the passion of both these families to farm sustainably.
Our second trip was to Ames’ Bee farm in Waterton in June. Owner Brian Fredrickson educated us on efforts to preserve the pollinator population. Following that, we visited Swenson Gardens Peony Farm in Howard Lake to view their 154 types of peonies. Photo ops all around!
Herb Gardens—Hot and Cold!
A core group of 6-12 ‘garden gnome’ volunteers worked in the herb gardens on Tuesdays throughout the summer. We had a successful May spring planting day followed by a potluck, plant exchange, herb trivia quiz, and of course, Maiwein (May wine). After a hot summer in the gardens, our fall cleanout was a bit chilly, with ice in the birdbaths and mittens on all the workers!
Business Meeting Speakers
We had speakers at two of our business meetings in 2023. Mike Hager, former ARB staffer, gave a presentation on the history of the Arboretum’s gardens/landscaping. I was not aware that the first herb garden was planted at ARB in 1974. It was interesting to see how the gardens have been relocated as the trees and sun have changed over the decades.
Erin Buchholz, integrated pest management Specialist for the Arboretum, provided a wealth of information about jumping worms, their proliferation, and how to contain them.
We had two very successful sale in 2022. In spite of higher prices for supplies and some supply chain issues, we grossed over $9700. Our jams, Swedish meatball mix, towels, vinegars, and organic catnip fish were particularly strong sellers. Many thanks to all the members who made goods for the sale, from vinegar bottling to jams, herbal lotions and potions!
Herbal Interest Groups (HIGS)
Two fun and informative HIGS were conducted this past year: in August, we concocted a variety of rose herbal sprays using dried rose petals and herbs foraged from Carlotta Posz’ garden; and a Chinese cooking class in September at Patricia Coldwell’s home with instruction provided by Shirley Mah Kooyman.
Anderson Horticultural Library Book Donation:
Four books were donated to the library in memory of deceased members Patricia Wiese, Elly Wagner, and Barbara Pavek. The Books are: Homesteaders’ Herbal Companion, Guide to Afro-Cuban Herbalism, Healing with Flowers, and Herbal Handbook: 50 Profiles. We miss these members but are glad their memory lives on in these publications.
More Parties! (Oh, and did I mention there was food involved?) We so enjoyed the August potluck in conjunction with our business meeting at the home of Dee Geary and the winter holiday potluck/gift exchange at the home of Jan Strand.
Both our web site and Facebook page continue to provide timely information for members and the public and showcase our major events.
I can’t begin to express my appreciation for all the contributions members make to our organization. Your talents and commitment are truly inspirational. What a fun year of learning and fellowship we had. I hope 2023 will be one in which we continue to learn from each other and from all facets of nature.
Patricia Coldwell, President 2022-23
2021 Herb of the Year, Parsley (Petroselinum sp.)
Officers: President: Elly Hanson, Vice President: Renee Pohl, Treasurer: Carlotta Posz, Secretary: Patricia Coldwell, Members-at-Large: Jennie Kirschbaum, Shirley Mah Kooyman
Not knowing what to expect with the pandemic in its second year, we persevered starting with our March speaker. Sharon Decker educated us on a Zoom call titled “Starting Seeds Indoors”. She provided wonderful information on the success of starting vegetables and herbs from seeds. I actually put this information to a test. The tomatoes I put in the garden with a night temperature of 36 degrees did poorly compared to the ones I planted two weeks later with a night temperature of 45 degrees. I won’t ever make that mistake again!
Unsure If we would generate any income from the Fall and Winter sales, we decided to try something new this year. Dee Geary graciously hosted a plant sale in her home, splitting her own yard plants and ordering a few trays of herbs. Shirley Kooyman and I, along with a friend of Dee’s, also donated many plants. In addition, Dee’s friend made a generous cash donation. With our wonderful volunteers helping out, this event turned out to be quite successful!
A few weeks later we celebrated spring with our book exchange, produce give away, and plant exchange picnic. Some of us got some fresh eggs from Jill Boettcher and what a treat that was!
The garden tea at the home of Carlotta Posz in July was lovely as usual. It was nice to see amongst her beautiful gardens, the adorable elf that I discovered at a quaint antique shop in Spokane WA and gave her many years ago. And I just loved watching the colorful butterflies that were flitting around her Joe Pye Weed!
Both of our field trips this year provided beautiful weather with the first one at Camrose Hill Flower Farm in Stillwater. Cindie Sinclair gave us all an amazing demonstration of putting together a stunning flower arrangement. We then enjoyed a tasty luncheon at the Lowell Inn. Thanks to Nancy Klammer for working her magic and making that happen when they normally would not have had the kitchen open that day! Shopping and ice cream or a city bus tour were enjoyed by all afterwards. Faith Kelley and I were totally gaga browsing the antique fiesta ware. Needless to say, we were quite happy with our purchases. The ice cream was such a treat as it became hotter throughout the day. My one-scooper could have easily treated two, maybe three people!
Our second trip was to the Treasured Haven Family Farm in Rush City. As we wandered out of their gift shop and out into the sunflower fields, the owner, Tom, provided us with some interesting facts. Next, we enjoyed a nice buffet lunch at Bulrush Golf Course, and then Nancy Klammer became our tour guide and shared her knowledge about many interesting pieces at the History Center in Lindstrom. This event was a nice opportunity to bring along friends and possibly future herb society members!
Our October speaker, Connie Karstens from Lamb Shoppe and Wellness Center, talked about “A Healing Garden”. She shared a plethora of knowledge regarding many herbs and their medicinal uses. She left us inspired and excited to visit Lamb Shoppe and Wellness Center in Hutchinson someday.
Thanks to all of the volunteers that take the time and effort to put our Fall and Winter sales together, both sales were a great success this year. It was fun to see all of the happy shoppers buzzing about finding that perfect gift with a personal touch.
Our holiday party this year was at the Como Park Conservatory. It’s funny, I really don’t remember the meal, although I do remember it was very tasty. And I definitely remember all the mouth-watering bars they passed around for dessert. Oh my gosh, my winner was something of a snickerdoodle flavor, yum yum! It’s always nice in the dead of winter to wander through the tropical room and see all the beautiful plants and the hibiscus in bloom. It was a nice way to spoil ourselves for all of the hard work throughout the year!
As a group, we have so much to offer; picnics, plant exchanges, book exchanges, nursery tours, speakers, field trips, volunteering in the Arboretum herb gardens, getting together to make items for our Fall and Winter sales, and wrapping up the year with a fun holiday party!
I’m looking forward to another exciting year and what’s in store for 2022!
Elly Hanson, President 2020-2021
2020 Herb of the Year, Rubus, ssp
Officers: President, Elly Hanson; Vice President, Jennie Kirshbaum; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Patricia Coldwell; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Dee Geary
Going into 2020, in my first year as president, and with the herb of the year being raspberry, I was excited to dig up some amazing recipes such as raspberry liquor, raspberry bars, scones and muffins, and to share these lovely creations with our herb society friends at our gatherings throughout the year. Because I grow them, I usually have enough to freeze a few quarts for baking over the cold Minnesota winter months. What we didn’t know was by March, we would all be taking in the news about a deadly Covid-19 virus pandemic.
Initially, we cancelled our presence at the Spring Garden Fair and our March business meeting. Once we learned more about the virus and its severity, we cancelled all of our indoor events throughout the year. The Minneapolis Institute of Art’s “Art in Bloom” went digital, with a virtual event only, but we did not attend.
We turned lemons into lemonade and had our plant exchange gathering at the Eisenhower Community Center parking lot in Hopkins in May. We had a wonderful time chatting about and browsing all of the plants laid out in front of people’s vehicles. It was fun to see all the creativity in the protective face masks that people sewed.
All volunteer days at the Minnesota Arboretum were put on hold due to the virus. This included cleaning, planting, and maintaining the herb garden for the entire season. If you wanted to tour the gardens, you had to make an appointment and keep at least six feet of distance between you and other visitors. Needless to say, the full-time employee crew that did work the gardens had their hands quite full and, without all of our volunteer help, the gardens didn’t have the pristine look that they have had in a normal year.
During the growing season, several herbies helped Elly Wagner groom and maintain her beautiful gardens in her shady front yard. She has peaceful places in her yard where one can sit and meditate or chat among other friends while enjoying a sweet tea or a sandwich. I took much joy with a pile of mulch and a wheelbarrow!
In August, we spent a beautiful day at the Oak Hill Park shelter in St. Louis Park. With seating available for 100 people, we had no problem fitting the 20 something herbies with six feet of safe social distancing. With a book exchange on one end of the shelter and extra produce give-away and a half price product sale on the other end of the shelter, it didn’t take long for members to start chatting and enjoying the time together. Many brought bag lunches so we could extend our stay and enjoy a nice meal together. The weather was lovely, and it was nice to get out and see people, mask, and all!
To communicate virtually, we had to educate ourselves on how to use the “Free Conference Call” and free “Zoom” online virtual platforms. Our first large online meeting was in August, where Shirley Kooyman gave a wonderful presentation on herbs. With laptop screen sharing capabilities, she was able to give us great information on several kitchen favorites such as chamomile, chives, cilantro, dill, salad burnet, and some ornamental herbs as well. She also shared some information on harvesting and preserving herbs as well!
Even though we endured “shelter in place” due to Covid-19, we were still able to get outdoors and take walks, work in our own gardens, social distance in friend’s gardens, and put many miles on our bicycles! With the amazing abundance of snow, several people were able to get out and snowshoe or cross-country ski. Some people took the isolated time to curl up with a good book. We had one amazing herbie that read 62 books during the year! We found time to clean out that stuffed-full closet or give the walls a fresh coat of paint.
The warmth of the sun and the beauty of nature were not affected by Covid-19. We truly have been able to enjoy some of the simpler things in life. And of course, we are all looking forward to getting vaccinated this spring and getting back to our usual Herb Society events again in 2021.
I am grateful for all of the friends I’ve made in the Herb Society, and humbled and honored to serve as your president.
2019 Herb of the Year – Anise – Hyssop
Officers: President; Jill Boettcher, Vice President; Jennie Kirshbaum, Treasurer; Carlotta Posz, Secretary; Patricia Coldwell, Members at Large; Faith Kelley, Kathy Koppes
The Herb of the Year in 2019 was Agastache foeniculum, “Anise Hyssop”. It is an often overlooked member of the mint family. It’s medicinal uses include aiding in digestive and intestinal pain and also helps with respiratory problems, sore throat and asthma. Some individuals enjoy anise hyssop in cooking and tea. While it will deter some animals from your garden with its licorice scent and taste, as we worked with it throughout the year it seemed to be kind of a hard sell to people. It was a short time before we realized it wasn’t in the herb garden at the Arboretum. Garden workers quickly made sure it got planted! It can be a difficult, invasive plant as its seeds are plentiful and plant themselves profusely.
It is a very beautiful plant with dark lavender plumes on tall stems. Any kind of bee, butterfly, hummingbird and moth are very attracted to it. That is a delightful addition to any garden!! Anything difficult can still be delightful as well as have plenty of wonder, amazement and beauty!
ART IN BLOOM:
Elly Wagner, Bonnie Hector, JoDee Schumer, and Carla Jefferson participated in Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The name of the piece recreated with herbs and flowers was called Pasture Near Cherbourg. Many visitors to the exhibit got a lot of inspiration from the piece.
Our annual Nursery Tour was held on May 21. We traveled to Twin City Orchards, Hartman Tree Farm & Nursery, The Mustard Seed at Halla Nursery and Brookside Garden Center. Lunch was enjoyed at Patron Bar and Grill in downtown Chaska. A result from visiting Brookside Garden Center and talking with the owners/employees about teaching people about herbs, members Bonnie Hector and Shirley Mah Kooyman conducted two separate herb presentations at the Garden Center. This was a great opportunity for the MN Herb Society.
Two great field trips were organized this past year. The first was held in June to Panola Valley Gardens, Sven Clog Factory, and then to Winehaven Winery. Our second trip was to Sacred Blossom/Crazy Rooster Farm in Mondovi, WI.
The Holiday Party was held at the American Swedish Institute on December 10th. Members were given a tour of the rooms decorated in their holiday finery and a catered Swedish smorgasbord at noon. Gift exchange and great fellowship was also enjoyed on this day.
2019 sales were September 21-22 and December 7-8. As always, we had a plethora of amazing herbal products to sell. It’s so fun to see return customers every year who come back to purchase their favorite MN Herb Society products. Co-Chairs Sue Carver and Julie Vlasnick and shift volunteers worked diligently to sell product and keep things organized.
After the Fall Sale our Vice President/Sales Committee Chairperson resigned. This was a difficult time as we scrambled to finish the year and December Sale. I am so thankful for the volunteers who helped with the Fall Sale and our two Members at Large, Faith Kelley and Kathy Koppes, who took over the Vice President responsibilities and prepared the Herb Society for 2020.
Angela Campbell from Floral + Stone was our speaker in the March meeting. Her program focused on foraging and how we can forage for bark at the time of year. She provided information on many different trees with medicinal uses for its bark.
At our October meeting we had our own members, Carla Jefferson and Eleanor Wagner teach us about “Green Burial”. This was another very interesting topic as we are all going to make these plans someday. Carla and Elly provided many different resource references for burial and cremation as well as books and other media. We also received a list of herbs that have played a part in funerals since ancient times.
Vinegar bottling was held on September 7. Because of conflicts with planning etc. this was a very low attended event. Many gallons of vinegar were provided and approximately 85 bottles were completed. There was a few more gallons made after Bottling Day and we had plenty for our Fall and Winter sales.
Another difficult time during the year was my inability to fulfill my term as an active President. Because of my husband’s complications after surgery I wasn’t up to participate in my favorite end of the year activities – Vinegar Bottling and the Holiday Party. I wasn’t up to leading the January 2020 meeting either. I am forever grateful for the members who stepped in and covered me and for all the prayers and thoughtful notes, emails and good vibes sent my way. MN Herb Society members are some of my favorite people. Wonder, amazement and beauty will always override difficulty.
Jill Boettcher, President 2018 – 2019
Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Faith Kelley; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Elly Hanson; Members at Large, Bonnie Hector, Jennie Kirshbaum
MN Herb Society 2018 Annual Report
This has truly been an exciting year as it has been my first year as
President of the MN Herb Society again! Herbies are my favorite people so
it has been great to work with so many wonderful individuals. We never
stop learning and it has been that kind of a year.
In January we elected two new officers: myself as President and Carlotta
Posz as Treasurer. Also added to the officers was Jennie Kirshbaum as
Member at Large. Bonnie Hector hung on as Member at Large (as expected of
the immediate past president). I’m so glad she did as she was a big help
The year started out busy with the Officers meeting at my home to decide
on the budget and then again at the home of Faith Kelley to decide on some
updating and changes to the Directory and Bylaws. Both meetings were
intense as we, as officers, take this stuff seriously! Good thing we were
well nourished by our hosts afterwards.
Writer and local Minneapolis chef Beth Dooley was our guest speaker at our March meeting. We enjoyed time with Beth and her book signing and sales afterwards.
April is typically our Garden Clean up month but was a little difficult
due to a late snowstorm. Wet and frozen soil proved to be a little bit of
a problem! April was also the month for the annual Art in Bloom. MN Herb
Society was represented with a wonderful arrangement by Bonnie Hector, Elly Wagner, Gloria Danielson, Carla Jefferson and JoDee Schumer. The arrangement featured hops in the form of brown beer bottles with herbs solidago, lavender, white wax flower, ranunculus, bay, scented geraniums, spray aster, chamomile, agapanthus and freesia were used. A painting by Minnesota artist Nicholas Richard Brewer was chosen.
Our May Business Meeting, Planting Day, Planting Day Luncheon and Plant
Exchange turned out to be one of the best days of the year! Members contributed many fond memories and reflections of working in the gardens.
These were recited throughout the meeting and were mostly followed by an affectionate *sigh*!! I also had the wonderful honor of presenting Barbara Dow with an Honorary Membership. It was a beautiful day for members to plant herbs in the gardens so they completed this task in record time – again! The Luncheon was complimented with so many delicious herbal goodies and then, of course, topped off with wonderful Deutsch Mae Bowl! Following the meeting we exited to the parking lot for our member plant exchange. I always feel like a kid in a candy shop when I see so many favorite garden plants and accessories from members that they are graciously willing to share!
With the assistance of members Bev Hass and Shirley Erickson, Bonnie Hector pulled off an amazing Nursery Tour. We visited three nurseries that were “new to us” and came away with beautiful and unusual plants and garden decor — a particularly beautiful ornamental spider, purchased by Carla, comes to mind! We lunched at Colossal Deli in St. Paul and some continued to shop at other quaint interesting shops in the area.
June, July, August, September and October were busy months in the herb
gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum concluding with Clean Up day in
October. Garden Chair Chip Abernathy is continually accompanied by a
handful of committed garden workers. Many visitors who stroll through
gardens will stop to smell the herbs and ask questions. Herb Society
members are always there ready to offer help, give suggestions and even
point out the occasional snake, bird, bee or any other natural visitor to
The annual Garden Tea was held and hosted in the beautiful
(new) garden and landscape of Carlotta Posz. We were blessed with a
gorgeous day and the tea and herbal treats were bountiful.
Patricia Coldwell hosted our annual evening meeting in August. She made us all feel comfortable and welcomed in her condominium “party room”. It was such a beautiful evening some members were able to enjoy their meal outdoors.
Some members were able to attend a field trip to Country Bitters Hop Farm in Center City, MN. Since Hops was the 2018 Herb of the Year, we just couldn’t miss it! We were amazed beyond belief. A trip to the hop field and then indoors to witness the processing. We helped with sorting and were able to view the huge drying process. Refreshments and contributions of hops and bines were also greatly appreciated.
Bonnie also organized a tour of the Noerenberg gardens. It was a rainy but wonderful evening.
Vinegar bottling was held in September at the home of Jill Boettcher, vinegar chairperson. The group bottled 84 bottles of herb infused vinegar. We had 8 different varieties that sold very well at the sales in September and December.
The Fall Sale chaired and co-chaired by Carla Jefferson and Faith Kelley,
was awesome. The best Fall Sale on record. The Winter Sale chaired
and co-chaired by Jennie Kirshbaum and Elly Hanson, was great also. We have so many creative, hardworking people in our group that are willing to
volunteer their time to help the MN Herb Society with these fundraisers.
Everybody working and helping during the sales has a wonderful time.
There are so many people who come to our table and love our products. The
camaraderie amongst members, teaching and promoting our products to
customers and people watching (we even witnessed a wedding proposal at the
December Sale!) makes the day or weekend a very rewarding experience!
Cookbook author and photographer Mette Nielsen was our speaker at the
October Business meeting. She provided a lovely presentation of recipes
and ideas from her book Savory Sweet. We all came away with ideas on how
to preserve in small quantities at the same time using wonderful herbs and
spices – cardamom, lemon thyme, garlic scapes and lemongrass to name a
few! November was the start of crafting for our Holiday Tree for the
Arboretum. Nora Stewart led and encouraged a group of crafters to use natural materials to make ornaments for the tree. We always amaze each other and ourselves with what we come up with. Our tree is the favorite of many people who visit the Arboretum during the holidays. Members enjoy the
challenge of coming up with new ideas every year.
Our annual Holiday Party, potluck and gift exchange was held at the
residence of JoDee Schumer. We all had a wonderful time enjoying each
others company and remembering the events of the past year. It was a
wonderful way to end our year and also look forward with many more ideas
President Jill Boettcher
Herb of the Year – Cilantro
Officers: President, Bonnie Hector; Vice President, Faith Kelley; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Elly Hanson; Members at Large, Chip Abernethy, Carla Jefferson
MN Herb Society 2017 Annual Report
Coriander/Cilantro was the International Herb Association, Herb of the Year for 2017. Love it or hate it – there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground, does there? The MN Landscape Arboretum Herb Gardens, were attended to diligently by Chip Abernethy and her crew of worker bees. They gardened around Arb workers who installed new paths, a new wedding tower, and other hardscape features. Two members earned their aprons for having worked over 15 documented hours of garden work. Congrats to Bonnie Hector & Carlotta Posz for your hard work and earning your aprons. We look forward to your continued enthusiasm in the gardens.
Our March meeting was held at the condo party room of Charlotte Carlson. We had a wonderful speaker, Joe Hatch-Surisook, owner of Sen Yai Sen Lek Thai, who also became our personal chef for the delicious luncheon.
In April, Eleanor Wagner, Gloria Danielson, Carla Jefferson, Bonnie Hector, and JoDee Schumer represented the Minnesota Herb Society at the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s, “Art in Bloom”. The artwork that was interpreted was an Asian piece, entitled Cats by Bamboo and Chrysanthemums. The piece was chosen to highlight the IHA Herb of the Year, Cilantro.
May brought our planting day. Lots of planting was completed in the Herb Gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum. Many hands make light work. And of course, we couldn’t do all that work, without treating ourselves to a splendid lunch.
The Nursery Tour was held in May. Jill Boettcher once again did an outstanding job of arranging another great tour. We landed at Kelley & Kelley Nursery, a beautiful historic nursery in Long Lake and then headed to Spasso for lunch.
Once again, Lotus Lake and the lovely Patty Stamy, hosted our annual summer tea. As always, we enjoyed a delicious selection of food and toured Patty’s beautiful gardens.
Our August meeting was a little unconventional for us, but delightful. It was hosted by JoDee Schumer at the A Mill Artist Lofts in the historic Pillsbury Mill. JoDee and another artist gave us tours of her very cool home and hardscape gardens. And as always, we ate well.
Vinegar bottling was held at the home of Bonnie Hector at the end of August in preparation of the Fall Sale.
At our October meeting, Vice President Faith Kelley coordinated an informative presentation on herbs by our own knowledgeable members. Chip Abernethy told us of her love and the many uses of lemon balm and lemon verbena. Faith, with the help of Gillian Hinson, informed us about varieties and uses of mint. Shirley Mah Kooyman gave a power point presentation on star anise. Carla Jefferson reflected on the storied history and many uses of bay laurel. Members were treated to recipes and samples.
Our Christmas Party was again hosted by Jan Strand at her Chanhassen home. Great food, a lot of visiting, and a fun little gift exchange marked this December tradition.
Our website and blog continue to develop thanks to Carla Jefferson.
And oh, there’s that not so easy transition of the Sales Committee. After numerous years of hard work, Judy Hoxmeier stepped down from her position as “Chairperson Extraordinaire”. We had a year of transition, but it was made easier by the dynamic duo of Jenny Kirschbaum and Elly Hanson, who took on this large responsibility. We can’t thank Judy enough for her work over the years, and we were fortunate to have her help to make this a seamless transition to the new committee. Lots of Herbies pitched in and made our first year under “new management” a profitable one.
Finally, several HIGS (Herbal Interest Groups) were held by various members throughout the year. Shirley Kooyman taught a HIG on the Forsythe pot method of starting cuttings at the Arboretum, Jenny Kirschbaum hosted a Fairy Garden HIG, and Bonnie Hector brought back Terra of Veriditas to give us an in depth study of essential oils.
Finally, I cannot express how much I appreciate all the hard work that many of our members do for the Minnesota Herb Society. Thank You Herbies. It has been an honor to serve as your President of the Minnesota Herb Society.
Garden On, Herbies! Garden On!
Herb of the Year – Peppers
Officers: President, Bonnie Hector; Vice President, Faith Kelley; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Ellie Hanson; Members at Large, Chip Abernethy, Carla Jefferson
MN Herb Society 2016 Annual Report
Peppers, or Capsicum, was the International Herb Society’s Herb of the Year for 2016. What a great herb. Who doesn’t love peppers, whether sweet or hot, they’re not only tasty but beautiful in the gardens. Lots of varieties were growing at the Arboretum Herb Gardens, including some unique capsicum varieties such as Poblano, Chilhuacle Negro, and Chilhuacle Rojo. Thanks to Chip Abernethy and all the members who helped with the garden work this year. Several members earned their aprons for having worked over 15 documented hours of garden work. That is quite an achievement as even I haven’t earned the coveted apron. Thanks, and Congrats to Patricia Coldwell and Jennie Kirschbaum for your hard work and earning your aprons. We look forward to your continued enthusiasm in the gardens.
Shady Acres Herb Farm was the site for our March meeting. We didn’t know it at the time, but that would be the last official meeting at Shady Acres, as Theresa Meisler announced that she would be closing Shady Acres at the end of the season. Since the International Herb Association had designated Peppers, or Capsicum, as Herb of the Year for 2016, Theresa entertained us while making Vegetarian Chili, full of what else, but peppers. We always eat well at our events, and March was not an exception to that rule with an interesting and delicious array of foods. A few hardy souls trudged down to the Greenhouse to get their “green fix”.
In April, Eleanor Wagner, Gloria Danielson, Carla Jefferson, Bonnie Hector, and JoDee Schumer represented the Minnesota Herb Society at the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Art in Bloom. The painting was a challenging one to interpret in herbs, but it proved that our members are very creative. “The Hmong Migration” by St. Paul artist Cy Thao was of interest because the committee was mindful of the recent refugee crisis in Syria.
May brought our planting day. It was nice day, but despite the sunshine and talking, we did get a lot planted in the Herb Gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum. And of course, our tradition of having Mai Wine was enjoyed by all. It’s always a great day of fellowship, fun, and maybe a little wine.
The Nursery Tour was held on May. We had a load of fun. Jill Boettcher once again did an outstanding job of arranging a great tour. We started in St. Paul at Egg/Plant, then headed to Psycho Suzy’s in NE Minneapolis for lunch and some Psycho drinks. Following lunch, we met at Mother Earth Gardens in NE Minneapolis. The varieties at both nurseries were great, but I especially thought Mother Earth had a wonderful selection of unique plants and herbs. Note to self; shop there this spring. Thanks, Jill, for your continued work on coming up with a fabulous tour for the Herb Society.
June of course, brought the closing of Shady Acres Herb Farm, the place that we loved to shop for a wide variety of herbs. But before closing the doors, Theresa put on a wonderful Herb Symposium. Pat Crocker and Susan Betz gave presentations and while it wasn’t an official Minnesota Herb Society event, many of our members attended.
Once again, Patty Stamy, hosted our annual summer tea. Her gardens are quite lovely on the shores of Lotus Lake. And once again, we enjoyed delicious food and fellowship. Are you seeing a trend here?
Thanks to Veronica Malone for hosting the August evening meeting. It was a lovely evening and one that is always enjoyed with a tasty Pot Luck. Veronica’s gardens are always peaceful and fun to walk through.
The Vinegar Bottling Day was hosted by Sylvia Costa in September. Members throw herbs in vinegar for several weeks and then bottle the results to sell at our sales. The only thing that limits the types of vinegar that are made are what our members decide to steep in vinegar each fall. It’s always fun to try new vinegars and we were very successful in selling many varieties.
Our sales continue to flourish. It’s no secret that we are in transition, as Judy Hoxmeier is taking a step down from making all the products. But we did have a successful year. Judy, words cannot express our deep gratitude to you for all the work you’ve done over the years. Although we may see a decline in sales as we go through the next couple of years, I am very thankful to all the members that have stepped forward to make products for our sales. THANK YOU.
We had several HIGs over the past year; Shirley Kooyman hosted a HIG on creating a Forsythe Pot in September, Bonnie Hector hosted a HIG on creating decorative willow balls for our gardens, and Jan Strand hosted a day last winter to create shea butter creams with essential oils. The HIGs (Herbal Interest Groups) are always a lot of fun. Usually they are much smaller, but also a ton of fun. If you have any ideas for a HIG, don’t hesitate to contact me with your idea.
The MN Herb Society also created decor for one of the holiday trees at the Arboretum. The theme was pollinators and the tree was filled with bee skeps, bees made of peanuts, bats, hummingbirds, and many other pollinating insects. As always, the members tried to use as many natural or hand crafted items as possible to represent the pollinators. The brainstorming is always hot, even if the greenhouses are cool. A special thanks to Shirley Erickson, Bev Haas, Nora Stewart, and everyone else that added their creative juices.
Jan Strand once again hosted our holiday party on December 5. We had a wonderful meal of various dishes the members made and a fun gift exchange. It’s always nice to get together socially and not have business to discuss.
There were a few other things to mention that occurred in 2016. Our website was completely revamped and many thanks to Carla Jefferson who spearheaded that project. Now our website, blog, and calendar of events are on one site that is easy to navigate & update. It also offers prospective members a quick way to join using their credit card. Speaking of credit cards, we now have a Square payment method that can be used at our sales. People can now buy more of our product using credit cards. In May, the Minnesota Herb Society made a contribution to the Arboretum for the building of a path in the Cloister Herb Garden. The path was for a beautiful Urn & Pedestal which were given in honor of Wayne Kiefer by his family. Unfortunately in November, our Newsletter editor, Anne McKinsey, resigned from her position. She has opted to take a little time to pursue her own interests, but you’ll continue to see her smiling face around. Thank You, Anne for your dedication and work over the past several years.
Finally, I cannot express enough, how much I appreciate all the hard work that our members do and have done to keep the Minnesota Herb Society running smoothly. While occasionally there is a bump in the road, it is all of you that keep the Herb Society such a great organization. I remember thinking when I first joined the Minnesota Herb Society, that there was so much knowledge in the heads of all you Herbies. I have made some wonderful friends through the Minnesota Herb Society and it has been an honor to serve as your President.
Garden On, Herbies! Garden On!
Herb of the Year – Savory
Officers: President, Carla Jefferson; Vice President, Nora Stewart; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Nancy Abernethy; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Bonnie Hector
Another year of fun with herbs. We who love to create with herbs are happy to report a savory year.
In January members voted to continue renting meeting space from the Arboretum, even though the rent had been increased.
We kept busy in the cold winter months doing crafts and having fun, in February we mixed up our own shea butter flavors at Jan Strand’s house. Fortified with pot luck snacks, members melted down shea butter and added essential oils to create their own personalized hand and body creams. Bonnie Hector hosted a crafting session in her home making Saami friendship bracelets.
Our March meeting was held at Shady Acres Herb Farm where Theresa Mieseler talked about powdery mildew and the varieties of herbs that resist it.
Herbies attending Clean Out on a brusque April day discovered Dee, Jewel, and Penny planting a red willow fence in the Cloister Garden. The willow was trained up diagonal supports to create a striking and airy fence bordering the garden that really sets off the space with style.
Also in April, Bonnie Hector, Eleanor Wagner, and Carla Jefferson participated in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts annual Art in Bloom event. Our subject; Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s “Doorknocker in the Form of Medusa’s Head”. Bonnie made a wonderful felted Medusa and contributed dried snakeskin. The flowers Elly and Carla ordered didn’t come in the colors we expected and yet, with the help of Gloria Danielson (our own 25-year Art in Bloom participant), it came together beautifully. Featuring savory, the 2015 Herb of the Year, rosemary, calla lily, French pussy willow, amaranth, and thistle, it was in my opinion, one of our best efforts.
May is always a busy month for gardeners and for Herb Society volunteers. Our garden tour, arranged by Jill Boettcher and Lyn Bohn, began with brunch at Wise Acre Eatery. Herbies enjoyed a locally grown and deliciously well prepared meal, and each other’s company. We then walked across the street to Tangletown Gardens, a lovely garden store. The tour continued on to Sunnyside Gardens, and more south Minneapolis gardeners’ favorites.
Planting Day, on May 26th was rainy and muddy. We managed some planting, pot luck, and some fun with trivia questions about herbs and the Herb Society. Those who answered correctly won a plant for their garden.
Our volunteers kept busy all of June planting, weeding, trimming, and preparing for the Master Gardener and the American Public Garden Association Conferences. Renee Pohl, our Arboretum liaison, complimented us on our hard work, telling us how impressed the conference attendees were with what can grow in northern climates.
June 2015 saw the placement of the Ted Caspar memorial bench, a culmination of many years of planning by Caspar’s family and the Herb Society and the artist Nick Legeros. The bench has a portrait of Pedanius Dioscorides, a renowned Greek herbalist, physician and pharmacologist etched into its glass top.
In July Patty Stamy, along with Natalie Zasky, hosted the Garden Tea in Patty’s spacious and shaded back yard. It was beautiful and cool in her secluded gardens which featured pools and a running stream.
In August we met at the home of Veronica Malone for our annual meeting, pot luck and tour of her varied and charming gardens.
Pruning, weeding, and trimming continued into September. The Fall Sale, chaired by Jill Boettcher, was a success. Thanks to all who contributed goods to sell and worked the sale.
At our October meeting, members voted to amend the bylaws to allow officers to extend their terms from two to four years. Shirley Mah Kooyman gave an informative presentation on Chinese garden design. Eric Lemke, the project manager for the new Chinese garden at the Arboretum gave a talk on the plans for this project.
All fall, quietly and calmly, the tree elves were working in the greenhouses and wherever the elves lurk, creating the unique and beautiful natural ornaments that adorn the Herb Society tree in the Great Hall of Trees at the Arboretum. This year’s theme was the four seasons. Nora Stewart, Chip Abernethy, Bonnie Hector, Kathy Kinghorn, Anne McKinsey, Sylvia Costa, and Donna Chermak know the elves but aren’t saying where they live.
December brought us a very successful Winter Sale, chaired by Carla Jefferson, saved by Chip Abernethy when she got sick. Thanks to all who volunteered their time and expertise for this sale.
Our annual Holiday Party, pot luck, and gift exchange was generously hosted again by Jan Strand. We had a great time. It was a wonderful way to wrap an eventful and busy year.
Herb of the Year – Artemisia
Officers: President, Carla Jefferson; Vice President, Bonnie Hector; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Nancy Abernethy; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Nora Stewart
Winter 2013-14 was a good old fashioned one with snow and record setting cold. The temperature at our January meeting was 20 degrees below zero. We had 50 days below freezing, putting winter 2013-14 in the top 5 coldest since records were kept in Minnesota.
Spring brought more challenging weather with record busting rain and flooding. Our March meeting was held at Shady Acres Herb Farm, where Theresa Mieseler told us about traditional Cloister Gardens, and filled us in on the redesign of the Cloister Garden at the Arboretum.
Art in Bloom happened in April. Bonnie Hector, Eleanor Wagner and Carla Jefferson interpreted “Merced River, Yosemite Valley” by Albert Bierstadt. Our own Pedestal Floral Artists used a variety of Artemisia, the Herb of the Year, such as dusty miller, French tarragon and silver mound. Plus some of our other favorite herbs like thyme, bay laurel, mint, rosemary and lavender.
We had a great time on the Nursery Tour in May. Arranged by Jill Boettcher, members visited Tangletown Farm and Star Thrower Farm and got to know sheep farming, cheese making, the ins and outs of growing plants for sale and a few Scottish cows, too. While two planting days were planned for May, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. Cold and rain postponed our Planting Days until June. We still had fun at our meeting, with Donna Chermak doing a wonderfully amusing and informative impersonation of Nicolas Culpepper. The new Cloister Gardens had to wait two weeks for the soil to dry out.
July brought more cool weather, but our members volunteering in the Herb Gardens didn’t complain, it made weeding, deadheading, and trimming much more comfortable. Faith Kelley hosted the Garden Tea and Potluck. It was a beautiful day for it, bright and not too hot. Thank you, Faith, for sharing your lovely yard and gardens with us.
August meeting once again was held at the home of Veronica Malone. A pleasant evening, with many members in attendance. What a great space, such pretty and whimsical gardens created by Veronica.
In September, members gathered for vinegar bottling at the home of Sylvia Costa. Jan Strand, Veronica Malone, Barbara Pavek, and Carla Jefferson labeled and bottled 8 varieties of vinegar with a total of 81 bottles. Jan and Veronica also bagged 34 packages of bay leaves for sale. Back at the Arboretum, the volunteers arriving on the 16th found that the arborvitae had been removed from the Cloister Garden, changing the look completely. It was removed so the soil could settle before replanting with a columnar hedge in the spring. The Fall Sale was held the 27th and 28th, chaired by Jill Boettcher. While the sale was a success, the great weather may have hurt sales, arboretum visitors didn’t want to stay inside to shop!
As Garden Clean Out moved along on schedule in October, quietly behind the scenes, Bonnie Hector was leading the tree elves on to greatness. Birds and bird houses were the theme and Minnesota Herb Society members took it up with gusto. Armed with glue guns, pliers, ribbon, raffia, dried plant material and wool felting, members made ornaments happen!
In November, just before Thanksgiving, the elves descended upon the Great Hall of Trees at the Arboretum and worked their magic. I freely admit my bias, the Minnesota Herb Society holiday tree is always the best. No other tree approaches our creativity and playfulness. It delights arboretum visitors, adults and children alike.
On December 2nd our Holiday party was held in the beautiful and spacious home of Jan Strand. Featuring a gift exchange and one of our famous pot luck luncheons, it was a great way to wind down the year. But we weren’t quite done yet. The Winter Sale at the Arboretum was held just four days later. We had an incredibly successful sale, with Carla Jefferson as chair, a cadre of willing volunteers and great merchandise, both new and old favorites.
All in all a busy and fun-filled year. We made connections with new and old members. I am looking forward to 2015 with enthusiasm and good spirits. I don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us, but the Minnesota Herb Society is a great group and our volunteers are up for whatever challenge she delivers.
Herb of the Year – Elder
Officers: Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Bonnie Hector; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Secretary, Marcia Switenki; Members at Large, Sylvia Costa, Sarah Tufford
Elderberry was the Herb of the Year for 2013. Many members took pleasure in finding new ways to enjoy the herb this past year.
Our March meeting was again held at Shady Acres Herb Farm and was hosted by owner, Theresa Mieseler. We had a short business meeting followed by a presentation by Theresa on the introduction of the plan for the new herb garden design at the Arboretum. This was then followed by a pot luck luncheon.
We had many “clean up” dates in April and May before our actual planting day. The gardens needed to be dug up and new soil brought in. Planting Day was May 28. We were all very excited to plant some very different herbs this past year. Thanks so much to our Garden Schedule organizer, Chip Abernethy, for being so diligent and making sure our gardens were kept neat, growing and looking nice. Many members worked hard to maintain them this past year.
April 24-28 Eleanor Wagner, Bonnie Hector, and Carla Jefferson participated in Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. They interpreted “Friendship Blanket”, a Native American art piece. Elderberry, Herb of the Year, and many Native American herbs were incorporated into their floral art.
Sarah Tufford organized the Nursery Tour. We visited four nurseries in the Faribault area. Some members visited the Textile Center also.
The Garden Tea was held at the home of Bonnie Hector this year. It was an exceptionally hot day so we enjoyed many cool beverages and tea items indoors and then made a tour of Bonnie’s gardens. All the while resisting the temptation to jump in her backyard pool!
Sylvia Costa hosted Vinegar Bottling Day. We bottled a great variety of vinegars to sell at our fall and winter sales. With some homemade vinegars to exchange amongst ourselves.
Veronica Malone hosted our August evening meeting once again. Another very hot evening that was enjoyed (for the most part) indoors with air conditioning!
Our Fall Sale was met with stormy weather so the first day was sparsely attended. The Winter Sale was very busy with a lot of workers attending the table. Thank you to so many members for making items for the sales tables. Our group is so talented – and our loyal customers appreciate it!
MN Herb Society was the only garden group that decorated a holiday tree this year. Our theme was The Green Man. Some of us learned about needle felting and decorated several very unique Green Men. As always our tree was a favorite of many.
The December Holiday Party was held at the home of Charlotte Carlson. It was a beautiful day and Charlotte’s home was filled with many joyous Herbies and wonderful food!
I have enjoyed being your President for the past two years. Thank you all for your contribution to the Herb Society.
I am looking forward to a busy year in 2014. New leadership will bring on so many wonderful ideas. I am looking forward to working with past members as well and new members!
Herb of the Year – Rose
Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Sarah Tufford; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Co-Secretary, Carla Jefferson and Nora Stewart; Member at Large, Sylvia Costa
Rose was the Herb of the Year in 2012. We learned a lot about roses and we tried to keep it as a theme throughout the year. We included it in recipes and learned how to use it in many different ways, as is the custom for the MN Herb Society and the Herb of the Year.
In January we elected new officers – President and Treasurer. Jill Boettcher was elected President and Barbara Dow Treasurer. They are both two year terms. We also had Master Gardener, Shari Mayer speak at our January meeting. She presented the work she does at UMore Park. She and a group of others design, plant, maintain, and harvest the herb garden. The gardens display 700 seed-grown herb plants. We were delighted with her program as we all learned about some new herbs.
The planning committee for our 50th Anniversary Celebration continued to meet and make decisions. The committee was chaired by Theresa Mieseler.
Our March meeting was once again held at Shady Acres Herb Farm in Chaska. This is a meeting we all look forward to as we all come away from it with hopes of Spring in the very near future. We are very thankful to Theresa Mieseler for hosting this meeting. Following our Business Meeting Theresa did a program on Keeping the Harvest – Preserving Tour Herbs and Veggies and also included Drying Herbs – How to Store Your Fresh Garden Herbs. It was a great program full of ideas for all of us. Theresa had samples of some of her gardens’ harvest that she processes every year. Recipes were included and also helpful serving tips.
In April Gloria Danielson, Eleanor Wagner, Bonnie Hector and Carla Jefferson represented the MN Herb Society in the annual Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The artwork they chose was “The Poet with the Birds” by Marc Chagall. Traditionally the use of the Herb of the Year is part of the floral design. The group was excited to use the rose as it opened up possibilities of color and form. Art in Bloom is a four- day event held in April. The event showcases the talents of more than 100 artists, whose designs interpret works of art at the Arts Institutes’ museum collection.
The focus of our May meeting is always planting the herb gardens at the MN Landscape Arboretum. Following the Business Meeting the group heads out to the gardens for a couple hours of planting. This usually does not take long as many hands make light work. The luncheon Committee stays inside to plan the activities and organize the food. Before we all left for home a plant exchange was held in the parking lot. These were all plants from our gardens that we divide and share with each other. Those of us who participated all went home with some prizes!
Our Nursery Tour was held May 31st. We had a lot of participants this year. We met at Tonkadale Greenhouses to do some shopping for our gardens. We had a great time shopping at a few of the shops in downtown Excelsior as well as a couple more nurseries. We enjoyed a visit to a local winery also.
The Gisela and Ray Meyer farm in Winthrop was the location for the annual Garden Tea in July. Gisela and Ray have a wonderful yard full of flower, vegetable and herb gardens … and roses … Oh, the roses! It was a beautiful day to be in the gazebos and on the patio as our pot – luck luncheon was served outdoors in the beautiful back yard. Many tasty treats were enjoyed on that day.
Vinegar Bottling was held at the home of Sylvia Costa on July 21. We had a good turnout of bottlers this year and a wide variety of vinegars with 89 bottles available for sale.
August was the month for our 50th Anniversary Celebration held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We had a great turnout. Our speakers were enjoyed by all. Pat Crocker, Susan Betz, Jim Long, and Sharon Lovejoy were our featured speakers. It was a good variety of information. They were also available for a Book Fair and Author signing throughout the day. A favorite part of the day was the “Ten Herbs in an Hour” which was presented by our own MN Herb Society members. We did a short presentation of our favorite herb. Each had a unique story and a little bit of humor! Guests were given a “goodie bag” and had an opportunity to take part in an Herb Bar at the end of the day. We all received an herb plant also. The day preceding the event MN Herb Society members attended an exclusive “Minnesota Herb Society Member Night”. We had a tram ride to the herb gardens where light refreshments were served. An herbal dinner in the Learning Center was prepared by Chef Paul Laubignant. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Honorary Membership to longtime member Gloria Danielson.
Our evening August Business meeting was at the home of member Veronica Malone. We enjoyed a self-lead garden tour and pot luck dinner also.
Many people came together on Tuesday mornings to maintain the Arboretum Herb Gardens. Chip Abernethy does such an awesome job managing and organizing garden work/workers. Help is always welcomed in the gardens. The last work day was October 16 as it was the Garden
The October Business Meeting was held in the Snyder Building Tea Room. Mary Maguire Lerman, a former gardener at the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul was our featured speaker. During her time there most of her work was with bromeliads. She had a very special role in helping restore and expand the gardens at Lyndale Park at Lake Harriet. Her presentation focused on informal design incorporating herbs in the landscape.
We had one HIG (Herbal Interest Group) this year which was hosted by Barb Pavek. There were just a handful of us who participated. We had a great morning tasting different vinegars and sharing recipes. Many new recipes were exchanged. I have been chairing vinegar bottling for several years and I was surprised at the new recipes. We enjoyed a potluck lunch (our contribution was to include a dish made with an herbal vinegar). Barb treated us to a delicious dessert!
Our sales events were again very profitable and successful. Judy Hoxmeier has been very diligent about making so many products for our sales table. We have several members who contribute to the sales table. We are very thankful for our members who can donate items and time to making the products. We are also very thankful to those who volunteer to work the three sales we typically have during the year.
Once again the MN Herb Society took part in making holiday tree ornaments to decorate a few trees for the Oswald Center this holiday season. Members gathered for weeks in the Arboretum greenhouse to make and craft ornaments. They get more creative every year. Birch bark ornaments and dried floral ornaments decorated our tree. Not to mention a very unique garland made from dried bean pods. A lofty fluffy owl, made by Sylvia Costa, adorned the top of one tree. This year we offered a scrolled poem to visitors. We look forward to this project every year as it is a favorite of so many and gives pleasure to guests at the Arboretum.
It was a beautiful sunny day on the 4th of December that I welcomed 25 members of the Herb Society to my home for the annual Holiday Party. The event was a pot-luck luncheon and as always there was plenty of wonderful food! Many unique gifts were exchanged also. I am so grateful to so many of you were able to make the trip without having to worry about poor driving conditions!
It has been a pleasure serving you all as President this year of my term. Thank you so much for the support you have given me. I am looking forward to another year of challenges and fun times. Many thanks for your contributions to the Herb Society.
Herb of the Year – Horseradish
Officers: President, Sylvia Costa; Vice President, Sarah Tufford; Treasurer, Cindy Jacobson; Co-Secretary, Carla Jefferson, Nora Stewart; Members at Large, Nancy Abernethy, Bev Norris
Minnesota Herb Society 2011 Annual Report
Horseradish was the 2011 Herb of the Year. The plants grew well in containers to keep the theme garden free from future horseradish invasion. Thanks to Garden Chair, Chip Abernethy, and members for keeping the herb garden in order and looking beautiful for the visitors. We look forward to seeing more members join us in the Herb Garden in the new year.
Shady Acres Herb Farm was again the site for our March meeting and pot luck lunch. We enjoyed an interesting program by Theresa Mieseler on “A Rainbow of Colors in the Garden” and a visit to the green house. A special thank you to Theresa for hosting the March meeting. We all look forward to this special meeting.
The April/May Minneapolis Art Institute Art in Bloom painting was “The Girl from Alvdalen”. Thanks to Gloria Danielson and Eleanor Wagner for their annual devotion to this project.
Our annual Planting Day in May, was a success as many members were there to help in the garden. We enjoyed a pot luck lunch following the garden work and exchange of plants.
The Nursery Tour was held June 2. Our stops included Crabtree’s Garden Gate and Funkie Gardens in Marine on St. Croix. Then on to Stillwater for lunch at the famous Lowell Inn. After lunch we look a short walk to visit Stillwater Olive Oil Company to enjoy tasting flavored oils and balsamic vinegars. On our way home we made a visit to St. Croix Vineyards. It was a beautiful summer day which made it so enjoyable. Thank you to Jill Boettcher for planning this great tour.
Barbara Dow hosted our Garden Summer Tea on one of the hottest days in July. Despite the weather we had a good turnout and pot luck tea lunch. Barbara’s yard was lovely, green and cool.
Thanks to Veronica Malone for hosting our August evening meeting. It is one of the highlights of the year, enjoying Veronica’s beautiful gardens.
The Vinegar Bottling Day in September had a very small attendance of members, but bottled some wonderful vinegars. We hope to encourage more vinegar making in the new year.
Our sale events continue to be successful. Thank you to Judy Hoxmeier for her work in making so many products and to members that also contributed and helped at the sales tables.
We had three HIG (Herbal Interest Group) events this year. Thank you to Shirley Kooyman for a two part Chinese cooking class hosted by Veronica Malone. We leaned how to make several dishes and of course enjoyed the meals following. Later in the Fall Shirley demonstrated making “Ribbon Baskets” out of flocked ribbon.
Our theme for the Arboretum holiday tree was Mr. Leaf Man. It was a challenge to make our little animal ornaments and not break them. We had very good feedback from Arboretum visitors that enjoyed the “natural” tree display.
Our annual December Holiday Party was hosted by Bonnie Hector. We had a very good attendance, lots of good fun and food. Thank you to our hostess Bonnie.
It has been such a pleasure working with so many of our members. Thank you to all who are so helpful and for their contribution to Herb Society events and obligations.
Year 2012 will be a busy year and I look forward to working with old and new members.
Herb of the Year – Dill
Officers: President, Sylvia Costa; Vice President, Arla Oftelie; Treasurer, Cindy Jacobson; Secretary, Bonnie Hector; Members at Large, Nancy Abernathy and Bev Norris
Minnesota Herb Society 2010 Annual Report
Several new members joined in 2010 and we appreciate their enthusiasm and contribution to the Herb Society.
The Herb of the Year was Dill. There were many problems with keeping the dill plants alive and thriving throughout the summer, most likely because of the weather. The Herb Garden was maintained beautifully as always thanks to the direction of Garden Chair, Chip Abernethy and the help of many members. We hope to see more members join us in the Herb Garden in the new year.
Our March meeting and pot luck lunch was held at the Shady Acres Herb Farm. We enjoyed an interesting program by Theresa Mieseler on “Herbs for Butterflies and Birds” and a fun visit to the green house.
The April/May Minneapolis Art Institute Art in Bloom painting was “The Church at Chailly”. Thanks to Gloria Danielson and Eleanor Wagner for their annual devotion to this project.
Thanks to a large turnout of members for our annual Planting Day in May, we made quick work out of getting the gardens planted and in order. We enjoyed one of our famous pot luck lunches following the garden work.
Our annual Nursery Tour in May brought us to four gardens we have not visited before, starting at Sunnyside Gardens in Edina, on to Tangletown and Uncommmon Gardens in Minneapolis. We enjoyed lunch at Eden Avenue Grill in Edina and our last stop at the Savory’s Hosta Garden in Edina. Many thanks to Jill Boettcher and Betsy Dienhart for planning this great tour.
In July I hosted the annual Garden Tea on one of our hottest days of the summer. I thought we would have a small turnout given the weather, but was surprised to have a very large attendance. We were happy to have our friends from the Arboretum Herb Garden staff join us.
Thanks to Veronica Malone for hosting our August evening meeting. It is one of the highlights of the year, enjoying Veronica’s beautiful gardens.
The Vinegar Bottling Day in September was a small gathering of members, but the attendees enjoyed the day and went home with a variety of vinegars. There were three sales events in 2010. The first in April at Education Fair, in September during the fall events and in December with the Auxiliary sale weekend. Thank you to Judy Hoxmeier for her tireless work in making so many products and to members that also contributed and helped at the sales tables.
We had two HIG (herbal interest group) events this year. In February we made baskets and in December boxwood trees. Thank you to Shirley Kooyman for her directions and guidance. Lets hope for more ideas to continue this program in the new year.
We were asked by the Arboretum staff to again decorate one of the trees for their holiday tree display in the great hall. We spent weeks making the ornaments out of natural materials when able. This is project that will hopefully continue for the coming years.
Our final event of the year was our annual Holiday Party in December. Thank you to our host Barbara Pavek. As always we had great food and an enjoyable gathering.
The sad note of the year was the lost of member Michael DeSmit in August after a long battle with cancer.
Thank you to all members for your time and talents given to the Minnesota Herb Society. It’s a pleasure to work with so many wonderful and gifted people. A special thanks to Donna Chermak for the exceptional job of writing the newsletter.
Herb of the Year – Bay (Sweet Bay, Bay Laurel)
Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Arla Oftelie; Secretary, Cindy Jacobson; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Member at Large, Sylvia Costa
Once again our year started out on a sad note, with the loss of a long time member and past president (1992) Virginia Heinzen. As is always done, money for a book to be kept in the Arboretum Library was given as Virginia’s memorial.
At our January meeting, we elected two new officers: Arla Oftelie as our Vice President and Cindy Jacobson as Secretary.
The year started out busy with our much anticipated March meeting/potluck at Shady Acres Herb Farm, a workshop/potluck at Judy Hoxmeier’s, our sales and information table at the Arboretum Plant Info Day in April. May was our Planting Day meeting/potluck/plant exchange and our Nursery Tour to Venero Gardens and At The Farm, followed by lunch at Lola’s in Waconia.
In June we had a Garden Tea at the Gaylord Farm of Gisela and Ray Meyer. This included a lovely walk around their gardens, prairies, and woods. Also in June a small herb symposium was held, with a cooking class and an afternoon with speakers from North Country Herbalist Guild on Medicinal and Nutritional uses of plants. In September, we continued to hold Vinegar Bottling Day. October’s meeting featured Peat Willcutt as our guest speaker, and in December was our annual Holiday Party/potluck/gift exchange, which was held at the lovely home of Bonnie Hector. The pattern here seems to be lots of fun gatherings featuring food!
With the help of sales coordinators and many members who volunteered their time, we held four sales, making quite a bit of money which we use to purchase plants for the Arboretum Herb Gardens. We had several other projects this year, including the replacement of etched windows in the Wedding Tower and metal/Plexiglass sign holder made which attaches to our iron fence in the theme Garden and holds a sign with our “Herb of the Year.”
This year we also participated in making decorations for one of the huge holiday trees that fill the lobby for Christmas holiday season. Our help was much appreciated and we have been asked to help out again next year, so start thinking of creative ideas for using herbs and plant materials as holiday decorations. For those of us who were able to get involved, it was a lot of fun!
It was still a struggle to always have enough workers in the gardens on Tuesdays, despite the efforts of our intrepid Garden chairs, Sylvia Costa and Bev Norris. We will need to continue to try to get more members to come out and help with this important work.
It is hard to believe my two years as your President are up. I have enjoyed the time, learned a lot and now look forward to helping on other committees and projects. One event we all have to look forward to is our 50th year celebration, which will be 2013. So start thinking now about ways we can celebrate and honor that milestone.
Respectfully submitted, Chip Abernathy, President
Herb of the Year – Calendula
Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier, Sylvia Costa
We started out the year on a sad note, with the loss of Helen Olson. An amazing woman of many talents. Helen started the herb club which has become the Minnesota Herb Society in 1963 and was our president from 1963-65. She was 106 years old. Much too soon after that we lost Ted Casper, who in his many years as a member served twice as our president and inspired us with his love and enthusiasm of cooking with herbs and Dee Wolff, another talented, long-time member. They will all be missed. We have donated books to the Arboretum Library in their memory.
Our herb of the year was Calendula and we featured many colorful varieties in our kitchen herb garden. Thanks to all our garden volunteers who spent so many hours keeping them looking their best with all your pruning and deadheading. It was a daunting job.
Our March meeting was at Shady Acres Herb Farm and is one of our favorite, most well attended meetings. Many thanks to Theresa Mieseler for her continual hospitality and her willingness to share her knowledge of herbs with us year after year.
Throughout the year, we continued with our traditional activities: The spring planting day meeting with potluck and plant exchange. The nursery tour/lunch, on which this year we visited Hastings, MN and Prescott, WI. With gas prices at an all time high, our co-chairs Betsy Dienhart and Jill Boettcher arranged for it to be a bus tour, much to the delight of those who were able to attend.
Our Summer Tea was held at the home of Judy Hoxmeier and our December Holiday Party were held at the lovely home of Veronica Malone and Marlys Hansen. It is always a treat to see their lovely gardens in August and their holiday decorations in December.
At our October meeting, Sara Tufford presented interesting information on seed saving. Members also participated in Art In Bloom and in the Arboretum’s Education Fair.
We held several sales events and while income from the sales was somewhat lower than in past years, we were still able to continue supporting the Arboretum and provide plants for the herb gardens. Over the years we have donated more than $25.000 to the Arboretum and have now been honored as members of the University’s Presidents Club for our continued support. After several years as our newsletter has stepped down and our new editor, Donna Chermak, has done a great job taking over the task. We want to thank Sylvia for her years of hard work. We ask that you all help Donna by contributing articles, recipes, and other ideas.
All in all, we had a busy year and it went by much too fast, but I know that we have another fun year coming up and a lot to look forward to.
Respectfully submitted, Chip Abernethy, President
Herb of the Year – Lemon Balm
Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier, Sylvia Costa
In the year of Lemon Balm, 2007, the Minnesota Herb Society continued its work of herbal education, both at the Arboretum and in the local community.
We as a society continued our long commitment to maintaining the Kitchen, Fragrance and Medicinal Herb Gardens. The Arboretum, as always, gratefully acknowledged our contribution of funds and gardener-power. Special mention must be made of the sometimes faithful few who bent their backs to the effort, and earned their new Herb Society garden aprons! Members were a presence at Arboretum events including the Education Fair, June Herb Day, August Flower Show and Fall Season demonstrations and sale. In the wider community, the Minnesota Herb Society again was a participant in Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, stocked a sales table at St Mary’s Church Craft Sale and provided educational bookmarks for the Minnesota Horticultural Society at the State Fair.
A summary would be lacking if it failed to mention our fun member activities! Starting in January with a food demonstration for the meeting program, we met in March at Shady Acres Herb Farm for Basil potting and potluck, and convened on Planting Day to work and share (potluck) lunch. May saw members on the Nursery Tour and luncheon, then in July to the garden Tea (and potluck), vinegar exchange (potluck), and August Evening meeting and (potluck). Our social calendar concluded with the Holiday Party and gift exchange and yes, potluck. Luckily, our members are creative and excellent cooks!
It has been an honor to serve as your president these past two years.
Respectfully submitted, Betsy Dienhart
Herb of the Year – Scented Geranium
Officers: President, Betsy Dienhart; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, Valerie Lloyd; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier, Gisela Meyer
In our 43rd year, the Minnesota Herb Society continues with our mission to encourage the study of herbs, growing and use of herbs.
The Society, with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, sponsored a three-part Symposium. Plant propagation was the focus in June, followed by a Fancy Tea in August and herbal crafts and appetizers in October.
Our meetings included learning about scented geraniums from Theresa Meisler at Shady Acres Herb Farm, and an interesting program on naturally improving sleep by Vice President, Eleanor Wagner. Members again created a popular entry for Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and staffed a table for the Arboretum Education Fair.
Sales events offering beautiful, useful and wonderfully scented items, have allowed the Society to support the Arboretum. The Society brought plants for the herb gardens, donated a brick for the Arboretum Maze project and made memorial gifts to the Andersen Library.
We combined work and fun in maintaining the herb gardens, and enjoyed fellowship and food at many events – the nursery tour, planting day potluck and plant exchange, bottling day, the Garden Tea, August evening meeting and the Holiday Party.
Trends may come and go, but herbs are always with us!
Respectfully submitted by Betsy Dienhart, President
Herb of the Year – Oregano
Officers: President, Gisela Meyer; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Jim Thompson; Treasurer, Hiroko Shade; Members at Large, Bev Norris and Sylvia Costa
The year 2005 was a good one for the Minnesota Herb Society starting with the January meeting and the election of new officers (secretary and vice chair).
The March meeting was held at Shady Acres Herb Farm. The hostess, Theresa Mieseler, added to it with interesting insights into the world of growing herbs.
In April, the Minnesota Herb Society had a booth at the Plant Information Fair at the Arboretum answering questions about the herb of the year, Oregano, and growing and using herbs. And again we had a presentation for Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
May saw our members cleaning up the herb gardens at the Arboretum. The May meeting was coupled with planting the herb gardens and followed by a potluck lunch. We also had an interesting nursery tour in this month, which was partially rained out.
It was decided to change the symposium to three half days in June, August and October. In June was the first session of the symposia during which a garden was planted and a demonstration using herbs in food was on the program.
The second symposia meeting was in early August with a guest chef demonstrating the uses of Oregano in different kinds of food, even desert. The theme was continued with a discussion about harvesting and preserving herbs. Also in August we had a well attended evening meeting again with one of our famous potlucks.
In September we participated in Herb Day at Shady Acres and later in the month at Fall Festival at the Arboretum.
October was the last of our symposia with a presentation and wrap up of the symposia activities with an array of international soups.
At all of our activities our able sales department was present and as always successful. Without these moneymaking activities we would not be able to donate money to the Arboretum, which amounted to $3,000.00 for the herb garden. At the October meeting we heard a talk about planting a butterfly garden using various flowering herbs.
The last get together of the year was the holiday party at Judy Hoxmeier’s.
Respectfully submitted by Gisela Meyer, President
Herb of the Year – Garlic
Officers: President, Bev Norris; Vice President, Betsy Dienhart; Secretary, Chip Abernethy; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Carolyn Earl and Barbara Dow
The past year 2004 saw a continued involvement of the Minnesota Herb Society in learning and teaching about the wonderful world of herbs.
Herb Day and Herb Symposium were two main vehicles to involve the public in the Herb experience as speakers and members related their knowledge.
The growing year started with a slight delay due to inclement weather but the gardens looked good all through the season. Members kept the gardens in pristine condition with their work on Tuesdays of every week.
The sales projects at the Arboretum, on Herb day, Symposium, Fall Festival and Winter-Wonderland and Herb Fest at Shady Acres were well organized by our able sales Chair, Judy Hoxmeier.
We lost the wonderful large Elm Tree that gave the herb garden character and shade, to Dutch Elm Disease. A new tree will be planted and the shade area adjacent to the Wedding Tower will be redesigned. Members have been working on the design. Another important aspect of the Minnesota Herb Society are the HIG meetings and the numerous social and working events, where we also indulge our appetites with wonderful foods, containing herbs prepared by our members and professional chefs (as at the August meeting).
Our members were also involved in Art In Bloom, the plant information day, festival of trees and other events throughout the year.
All in all it was another good year for the Minnesota Herb Society, thanks to the involvement of the herb loving dedicated membership.
Respectively prepared by Gisela Meyer, President
Herb of the Year – Basil
Officers: President, Bev Norris; Vice President, Betsy Dienhart; Secretary, Chip Abernethy; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Carolyn Earl and Barbara Dow
Basil, the Herb of the Year! What could be better? Versatile, fragrant, it has it all. Unfortunately our garden got a later than usual start due to a rainout on Planting Day, but a little later, visitors were surprised at the many varieties we planted.
A lively group of 26 turned out for the Nursery Tour at Venero’s Gardens, followed by a tasty lunch at Billy’s Lighthouse.
In July the long-awaited opening of the Berens’ Historical Museum was the major event. We were able to hang Helen Olson’s rug in a prominent place there where it would be seen by all who enter.
We chose a book for the Arboretum Library in memory of Mary Bydlon, one of our past Presidents. A memorial fountain was purchased with funds from Bernice Anderson’s friends and money from the Society. This will be placed in the Fragrant Garden in Bernice’s memory.
Linda White gets our heartfelt thanks for her many faithful years of labor in printing our Newsletter. Sylvia Costa was able to take over this task for us for the present.
We had opportunity to fulfill our purpose to educate by working on the Symposium, the Fall Festival, the Herb Fest, and on sales projects. We learned new ideas from our HIGS groups. Along the way we had fun and developed friendships.
Many thanks to all for your support the past two years!
Herb of the Year – Echinacea
Officers: President, Bev Norris; Vice President, Chip Abernethy; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Carolyn Earl and Veronica Malone
The Herb of the Year was Echinacea, a medicinal herb, not too well known and difficult to work with.
The HIG’s Group worked on a variety of projects: rug hooking; dying wool; making stem gems; making chicken pin-cushions; and origami.
Helen Olsen, our first President, had her 100th birthday celebration with us in June. We surprised her with some of her former colleagues who were able to attend.
Our Society also participated at the Dundee open house and Plant Education Day at the Arboretum.
Our nursery tour took us to St. Joseph where we toured Thomsen’s Greenhouse and Nursery.
A one-day Symposium in June focused on teas and blends.
A three-day August Symposium had a variety of activities that included “learning by,” baking bread, making bath salts, fizzies and soap, pressed flower cards, and enjoying a foot soak. Teachers were there to show how to create an herbal first-aid kit and ikebana flower and herb designs. The Symposium concluded with an herbal picnic. Many positive comments have come to us since.
The newsletter went on line for the first time in October.
We were able to have sale tables at the Symposium, Fall Festival, Herb Fest, and, for the first time, at the Arboretum’s Festival of Lights, all adding to record sales.
Our clever and creative members made an arrangement for Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and made bugs for the Festival of Trees at the Arboretum.
We added seven new active members and six sustaining members during the year.
Herb of the Year – Sage
Officers: President, Carolyn Earl; Vice President, Chip Abernethy; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Members at Large, Ted Caspar and Gisela Meyer
Sage was the Herb of the Year in 2001 and its presentation in the Herb Garden was outstanding. We had tiered planters filled with many varieties of sage that created quite a conversation piece for Arboretum visitors.
Our HIGS programs were doing well. There was an average of one meeting per quarter and they covered topics from infusions to pressed flowers made into cards. These groups continue to draw our members who work and have difficulty participating in other events. This is good and we enjoy getting to meet with all members.
There was a change to our format for the 17th Annual Herb Symposium this year. We had an Herb Gardening Education Day in June followed by the Symposium on a Friday in August and a wrap-up Garden Winterizing Day on Saturday. We did not have our usual Thursday evening classes. Attendance was down considerably due to the heat, but the crowd was much more responsive and the information exchange seemed to be better. The sales table took in record profits.
Fall Festival and Herb Fest also brought us an increase in revenue. We have kept expanding the variety of items offered for sale and personal care items seem to be the best sellers. Vinegar sales were down this year but donations of vinegar were up. The bottles that remained after all the sales events were donated to the Arboretum Gift Shop.
Vinegar bottles needed to be purchased this year as all the donated bottles had been used. This was a major expense since we had to buy 2,300 bottles. To reduce inventory we sold some of the bottles.
We had members represent our Society at the Home and Garden Show and at the Uptown Art Fair this year in order to expand community awareness of our group. Response from this type of event is slow so we were not able to gauge the effectiveness of these efforts yet.
Art in Bloom and Festival of Trees showed off the creative talents of our members with lovely displays at both events. Many favorable comments come from people outside our group for our efforts at events like these.
Our focus toward education was enhanced by our future commitment to absorb the cost of speakers for the Herb Symposium. This provides greater control of the program topics offered.
Membership was down slightly this year, but we have commitment to draw new members to our group. Most of our new members have signed on as active members and this is a good asset for us.
Herb of the Year – Rosemary
Officers: President, Carolyn Otto/Carolyn Earl; Vice President, Carolyn Earl; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Ted Caspar.
Carolyn Weiss died February 29, 2000. She was 69.
Carolyn Otto died in September. Her memorial service was held September 25th at her home where family and friends gathered.
Our year started on a sad note with our newly elected President developing a brain tumor and passing away in September. Carolyn Otto had been with us only a short time, but left her mark. She was instrumental in beginning our Herbal Interest Groups (HIGS) which met in homes for evening discussion sessions on such topics as planting, book reviews, Hmong herbs and cooking, to name a few. These lively meetings were informative for all and food was always present.
Rosemary was the Herb of the Year and our garden at the Arboretum had a wonderful display of the many varieties. All of the gardens were especially beautiful this year and were faithfully tended by our members. We had wonderful plans for the coming year. The gardens offered a perfect opportunity for us to educate and interact with visitors to the Landscape Arboretum.
Another great education forum was the Herb Symposium, which was again chaired by Veronica Malone. Attendance was again up from the previous year and our sales tables continued to show substantial gain with many useful and attractive herbal products.
This year we added a new feature – a tour of a private garden. Our first private garden tour featured Veronica Malone and Marlys Hansen’s garden and included a box supper. This was very well attended and enjoyed by all.
Fall Festival and Herb Fest found us again selling our Herb Vinegar, which is always popular and a major source of revenue. Our sales table also expanded to offer many food items as well as personal care products, all naturally in our herbal theme.
We had a lively turnout for the Festival of Trees Workshop. Our tree this year was once again one of the most popular ones on display and certainly the most fragrant.
We again gained new members throughout the year. They brought us fresh outlooks and were a great asset to us, as are all our members. However, one of our goals for the coming year will be to reach out to an even broader base to expand our Society. Our focus is to educate and what better way than to grow and reach out to all?
Herb of the Year – Lavender
Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Carolyn Earl; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Linda White; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Betsy Dienhart.
Once again we continue to be an active, thriving group thanks to all of our members – active and supporting. Unlike so many groups who limit their numbers and, because of close ties, are not able to incorporate new persons, we experienced the enthusiasm and talents of new people alongside those of our long-timers, so this was a great year!
The gardens continued to be our main interest as together we shared and learned by doing. The featuring of the Herb of the Year added a new dimension, such as the many varieties of lavender (rosemary for 2000). Under the leadership of our past president, Veronica Malone, the Herb Symposium took on new organizational form that resulted in both increased attendance and program variations. Judy Hoxmier’s participation in chairing our sales table brought this into a real money maker. The variety of sales items she developed and her leadership in packaging and displaying turned us into professionals. Early plans for 2000 looked like our group would be the main supporters of the event.
The Urn focal-point was placed in the Fragrant Garden and we eagerly awaited the water feature which we were told had been funded.
Participation in the Art Institute’s “Art in Bloom” continued our tradition of enhancing a chosen work of art. This year’s was Gustav Courbet’s “Deer in the Forest.” Gloria Danielson and Linda White were the designers for the floral arrangement this year.
The March meeting at Shady Acres gave lavender the royal treatment. Theresa demonstrated the planting, care, and maintenance of lavender. We then took a trip to the greenhouse to catch a glimpse of the babies growing.
Under the leadership of various chairs, the Shady Acres Herb Fest, the Arboretum’s Symposium and its Fall Festival resulted in increased income through a larger variety of our group’s handmade items. The workshop for and the resulting Festival of Trees at the Arboretum was a sight to see and enjoy, the theme this year was ????
Under our new president, Carolyn Otto, we could look forward to increasing learning and activity in which we could share our love of herbs.
The Holiday Party was at the home of Judy Hoxmier.
Herb of the Year – Mint
Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Pamela Keil; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Linda White; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Betsy Dienhart
1998 was our 35th year. We had the woman who began the Minnesota Herb Society, Helen Olsen, to thank for the very existence of this group and the wonderful membership for making it what it had become! Thank you one and all for creating and sustaining the Minnesota Herb Society.
This was another year of activity and change thanks to the work of Veronica Malone, our past President. Our January meeting discussed her Herb Society Analysis with positive response resulting in changes to be published in our ’99 Directory. Her constant pursuit as liaison to the Arboretum brought the completion of the re-design of the Fragrant Herb Garden project with Peter Olin finding funds to implement. Our thanks go to Veronica for all her efforts.
Our usual activities went along smoothly. Art in Bloom participant Gloria Danielson chose the 3-dimensional artwork, “Dali’s Salad,” for her charming and humorous arrangement.
In June our Garden Party was at Gisela Meyer’s farm. Her gardens were huge. The gazebo her husband, Ray, made in his shop from telephone poles was a welcome treat out of the sun.
The 14th annual Arboretum Herb Symposium was disappointing both in the attendance and our income from the sales table. The report from the wrap-up meeting of that event led us to the style of our participation in the future.
The theme for the Festival of Trees was “Birds, Butterflies, Bees and Blooms.”
This year saw another festive Holiday Party at Maud Primus’ lovely home overlooking Lake Harriet. Santa (alias Linda White) was there, too.
The addition of a well attended evening meeting in August at Veronica Malone’s home and participation in the Shady Acres Herb Fest were both productive events. Last, but not least, was an overview of our newsletter. Not only was there more information about herbs, but also a vast sharing of herbal recipes. The new column “Dear Herby” was well received and we solicited participation from the membership in all of the newsletter columns. Thanks to each and every member for helping to make this a memorable year!
Herb of the Year: Thyme
Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Pamela Keil; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Dee Wolff; Members at Large, Ted Caspar and Frances Reid
This, the third and last year of Veronica Malone’s Presidency, was one of establishing systems for the future managing of the Society. These systems included the refining of the descriptions of the various committee responsibilities, increasing the attention to the study of herbs, presenting an analysis of our activities for review by the membership, and striving for closure on our future direction.
We increased our membership in large part due to our ad in the Shady Acres Herb Farm’s 1997 Catalog, The year ended with 94 members, 56 supporting and 38 active. This was up by 18 new members for the year. While this was wonderful growth, we needed to continue to work at attracting active members.
The year was an active one, with participation in: Art in Bloom – The sculpture by Degas, “Woman in the Bathtub,” was selected and an arrangement by Gloria Danielson with Linda White as her helper; Garden Clean-up; Annual Nursery Tour/Herbal Luncheon; Planting Day; Workshop to prepare for the Symposium; Garden Tea; 13th Annual Herb Symposium; Fall Festival; Vinegar Bottling and Potluck; Holiday Party hosted by Barbara Dow; Garden Planting and Maintenance.
Thanks to the active participation of the membership we were successful in many events. We had a successful fun-filled year working with and learning more about herbs. The Fragrance garden progressed nicely and an Urn was picked out for next spring. The Herb Symposium was only one evening and one day of sales, but our vinegars and wares still sold well. We held a Nursery and Garden Tour/Luncheon. A Garden Tea was held at the home of Frances Reid. The Gourmet Group continued to meet and a second Gourmet Group was identified this year. The Fall Festival was a successful event for all and a successful fundraiser for our group. For Festival of Trees “Babes in Toyland” our chair, Betty Ritter, led us in making decorations of sachet-filled teddy bears and other scented and colorful decorations.
Herb of the Year: Monarda (Bee Balm)
Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Lori Swanson; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer, Dee Wolff; Members at Large: Ted Caspar and Frances Reid.
Helen Olsen and Theresa Mieseler were made honorary members.
David Nachtsheim died November 17, 1996, at 73.
This was a year of continued involvement with herbs and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In keeping with our By-laws we provided many activities for all our members to have an opportunity to participate and learn more about herbs. In addition to the usual events of the Herb Symposium and the Fall Festival, we started the growing season with the return of a more traditional “Planting Day Pot Luck” of delicious food, May wine, a Plant Exchange, great socializing and getting to know each other, and wonderful planning by the Planting Day committee. This event was held in the new Sensory Garden of the Arboretum.
Art in Bloom participants, Christine Gepp and Gloria Danielson, put together an arrangement for the painting “Landscape with Cattle and Sheep.” The Kitchen Herb Garden was really at its best in 1996. This year, in addition to our customary herbs, we planted many varieties of peppers, which added more color and interest. Work in maintaining the gardens was consistent and seemed to be enjoyable for all.
With 6 new Active Members and 6 new Supporting Members we added more new members than during the previous year. This brought our membership to 38 Active Members and 38 Supporting Members, for a total of 76 members, an increase of one. Our membership reported 370 volunteer hours. We began a system of coding the membership flyers so that we could track the sources of new members. We continue to improve upon the Membership Directory with the addition of such information as a page to record volunteer hours, place for notes of meetings, and a listing of past presidents and honorary members. The goal is to have this booklet contain everything our members need to be as involved as they wish.
This year we moved closer to the completion of the redesign of the Fragrant Herb Garden. The design was approved by the Arboretum and our members worked with the staff to remove old plant material and plant new material. Our hope was in 1996 funding would become available to do the “hardscape” of the design. $600 was paid for the design services of Cole Burrell for a new plan for the Fragrant Herb Garden. The Minnetonka Herb Society contributed $1,000 for the purchase of an Urn as the focal point in the Fragrant Herb Garden.
Our two fundraising events went well and provided the funds necessary to meet our commitment to the Arboretum for herb plants and related material. For the “Herb Symposium” we had the responsibility for supporting the Chef’s cooking demonstration and Shirley’s needs, to help make the event a success. “Herbs on High” was the Festival of Trees theme with Jill Boettcher, Gisela Meyer and Gloria Danielson decorating the tree. In July we had our members’ Garden Tour and Tea. We visited the gardens of Cole Burrell, Marilyn Brummer, and Laureen Wastvedt with a tea at Laureen’s and even visited the neighbors/ courtyards. An 8 page article in the August issue of Midwest Living featured the beautifully planned and plantings in Frances Reid’s gardens.
Our holiday party was hosted by Veronica Malone and Marlys Hansen.
Herb of the Year: Fennel
Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Lori Swanson; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer, Dee Wolff
In addition to all the things we normally do each year, we approved the revised By-laws. With the rewrite of the By-laws, the Board of Directors was changed to include two members at large. The election of Frances Reid and the appointment of Ted Caspar completed our new Board. With the use of our membership flyer we continued to take advantage of every opportunity to recruit new members. Through participation in the Linders Nursery Festival event and the graciousness of Theresa Mieseler to distribute our flyer at her Herb Fest we have kept our organization’s name and identity active.
July 19th, we re-introduced a garden tour of members’ gardens. For this first tour we met at the home of Pat Wuest then went to St. Paul to meet and visit the garden of the writer of “Backyard Herbs,” and to Elizabeth Eaton, Linda White and Christine Gepp’s gardens.
Meetings: As is our custom, this year’s meetings all had a business segment followed by a program. We held three of our meetings away from the Arboretum: one at Shady Acres, where we had demonstrations on “Vinegars, Soup Blends and Teas;” one was at Bakken, a wonderful garden tour conducted by our own Aly Sayre; and the third at the Hennepin County Extension Office, where we had a demonstration in wreath making by our own Betty Caspar, Dee Wolff and Shelley Dissette.
Fundraising Events: Herb Symposium – Our participation was a success. We had overall responsibility of the luncheon and table decorations. The centerpieces this year were bags of pasta, kitchen, bath, or bread, all of which of course had as their base, herbs. For the lunches we worked closely with Diane Reed of the Tea Room to develop the menus and then planned and conducted two tastings. Each member of the sub-committee prepared an item and met for a luncheon of tasting and suggested improvement where necessary. Diane was a joy to work with, incorporating our ideas and producing two memorable luncheons. Our variety rich sales table was a great success. Our members were very creative and supportive with their many contributions of time and talent. On this sale we netted $549.90. Autumn Sampler – This, too, was a success. Our sales table had much the same variety as we had for the Symposium. This event netted us $965.03.
Other Accomplishments – We participated in Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Art Institute. Gloria Danielson and Christine Gapp chose “Syrian Mosaic of Birds” to create their arrangement. We held our annual “Nursery Tour and Herbal Luncheon”. The tour on June 6th took us to Stillwater and an interesting time at Camerose Hill Herb Farm with member Cyndie Sinclair as our guide. We had lunch at the famous Lowell Inn and then went on to the Squire House in Afton. We began developing a History of our Society, a copy of which will be kept in the Arboretum Andersen Library. We improved on the Members’ Handbook to contain all the information regarding the society that every member would need in order to be involved throughout the year. We started the process of redesigning the Fragrant Garden. We developed a budget and financial tracking system which we followed during the year. Donations to the Arboretum: $60 to Orchid Lights, $306.70 in plants for the gardens, and $400 for new design of Fragrant Garden.
Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Veronica Malone; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer, David Nachtsheim
This was a very successful year for new memberships: 7 new active members and 6 supporting members joined our group, bringing our total membership to 83.
In January we met at Shady Acres Herb Farm, where Tresea Miesler talked on growing herbs during the long winter months.
We also participated in Art in Bloom. Christine Gepp and Linda White chose the picture “Madonna and Child” by Cornelius Van Cleve. Diana Denecke was asked to interpret which Biblical herbs and fruits would have been used at that time.
A Garden Tea was held at the home and garden of Veronica Malone.
At the Herb Symposium this year we were in charge of filling the bags distributed to those attending. This year’s theme was “Health, Happiness and Herbs.” Programs included:
- “Herbal Health Care: History, Philosophy, and Practice of Medicinal Herbs”
- “Tasty Herb Teas”
- “Cooking Light…Cooking Right”
- “Lemon Fresh Herbs”
- “Vegetarian Cooking East Indian Style”
- “Herbal Body and Skin Care,” and
- “Beginning the Herb Garden”
An evening meeting was held for those who could not come during the daytime hours. Over $2,000 was made through the Herb Symposium and Fall Festival. One of our meeting programs this year was a crafts workshop in July for making herb related items for sale.
At the October 25 meeting, new member Mary Taylor, gave a talk on “How Native Americans Used Wild Plants and Herbs for Food, Medicine, and Crafts.”
The Minnesota Herb Society Gourmet Dinner group was formed. Members were: Virginia Heinzen, Veronica Malone, Gisela Meyer, David Nachsheim, and Laureen Wastvedt.
Beginning with this year, there is more detail of events and activities in the included Newsletters.
Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Lorraine Bruss; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, David Nachtscheim.
One of the programs for the year was presented by Richard Isaacson, the Librarian at the Andersen Horticultural Library of the Arboretum.
Mulching was done in the Fragrance Garden.Donations were made to the Arboretum of over $800 for garden plants, $60 for Orchid Lights as well as an Herb Planted Strawberry done by Janet Sinner.
An herb brochure was printed by the Arboretum in cooperation with The Minnesota Herb Society to be be displayed in the gardens to provide information regarding the various herbs to passers by.
Our missing sundial was replaced.
We participated in the 10th anniversary of Art in Bloom. Christine Gepp and Linda White chose the painting, “Temptation” by Adolph-William Bouquereau.
A Garden Tea was held at the home of Frances Reid.
Our Symposium Workshop was held at Redeemer Lutheran Church with a tour of the Bible Garden conducted by Diana Denecke, who had helped develop this garden. Our responsibility for the Herb Symposium ths year was registration.
The 9th annual Herb Symposium was held August 12-14, with an emphasis on “Health, Happiness, and Herbs.”
An audit committee was appointed to examine finances of the Society for the past three years. A Financial Report was developed.
In October, Betty Caspar, Dee Wolff and Michelle Dissette gave a wonderful “Wreath and Swag-making” demonstration.
Again we trimmed a tree for the Arboretum’s Festival of Trees. Diana Denecke inspired us with a Shakespeare tree “A Winter’s Tale.” Note the crown at the top of the tree. Gisela Meyer made paper snowflakes and home-made paper with embossed designs.
|Place the photo of the tree in this cell||Place the 2nd photo in this cell|
Officers: President, Virginia Heinzen; Vice President, Steve Kelley; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, David Nachtsheim.
Programs for this year were:
- “Decorating and Cooking with Herbs” presented by Laurene Wastvedt;
- “Propagating and Cultivating Herbs” by Theresa Mieseler and Steve Kelley; and
- “Materials Dyed Naturally,” demonstrated by Phyllis Waggoner of the Weavers and Dyers Guild.
The Herb Symposium netted $1,800 this year. A donation was made to the Arboretum of $337 for garden plants, and $887 for the Culinary Garden fence built by Bruce Neuissen. $729 was spent on Elm Treatment. Soil testing and improvement was done in the Fragrance Garden and the Herb Society assisted in paying for the soil refurbishment.
Art in Bloom arrangement was completed in May. “Normandy Pasture” was the painting chosen. Laurene Wastvedt purchased a beautiful box and and created a beautiful arrangement with the help of Christine Gepp and Linda White.
Some of the Herb Symposium speakers and programs this year were Susan Belsinger, “Flowers and Herbs in the Kitchen,” Don Haynie, “Fresh Herb Arrangements,” and Nancy Beaubarie, “Landscaping with Herbs.” Again some of our members were presenters.
A Members’ Garden Tour was held at several members’ homes.
Officers: President, Betsy Dienhart; Vice President, Virginia Heinzen; Secretary, Laureen Wastvedt; Treasurer, Steve Kelley.
The January program was “The Taste of Cooking,” ending with Ham Wild Rice Soup and Bread for all served by Thelma Adair.
The March meeting speaker was Carrol Henderson of the D.N.R., a retired pilot for Northwest Airlines. He talked about herbs and perennials for wildlife. He was working to provide bluebird houses to increase the populations of bluebirds.
We participated in Art in Bloom. The painting was “Springtime Maiden” by Corot. Laurene Wastvedt and Christine Gepp prepared the display.
Planting Day in May with a bag lunch social and plant exchange following at the Ordway Shelter. Also in May we had a Nursery Tour and Herbal Luncheon at Lord Fletcher’s.
Seventh Annual Herb Symposium in August – “New Trends in Herbs.” This was a 3-day Symposium with a variety of topics for every interest. On Saturday, August 17, was a Tour of Gardens and Greenhouses. Lunch was included.
Participated in the Arboretum Fall Festival in September.
“The All Member Garden Review” was the program at the October meeting.
We wrapped up the year at the home of Maude Primus with an “Olde English Christmas.”
Officers: Co-Presidents, Ruth Engelbert and Gloria Danielson; Co-Vice Presidents, Jane Greenberg and Pat Scherven; Secretary, Laura Emmer; Treasurer, Steve Kelley.
At the January meeting, Mary Diehl gave a demonstration on decorating hats with dried herbs and flowers. We brought hats to Maude Primus and Bev Norris, who both had broken bones.
On March 27, Steve Kelley presented a program on “Planting an Herb Garden.” We all got to plant a basket with plants provided by Steve. One basket was delivered to Fran Norton McCoy who was in the hospital.
The artwork, “Princess Charlotte of France,” was selected for Art in Bloom by Virginia Heinzen, Mary Diehl and Christine Gepp.
The Knot Garden was replanted on Planting Day, substituting the green and gray santolina with red barberry and hyssop. $386.05 was spent on garden plants.
Helen Olsen represented us at the Arboretum’s “Mother Nature Day in the Herb Gardens,” answering questions. Where could we have found a more knowledgeable person than our founder? Thanks, Helen, for representing us on Mother’s Day.
An Herb Symposium Workshop with a “Victorian” theme was held at Gisela Meyer’s farm.
On August 28, we had a members’ Garden Tour with our meeting at the first home and a pot luck at the third home. It’s always interesting to see other people’s herb gardens. The homes visited were Gloria Danielson’s, Ruth Engelbert’s, and Missy Heffelfinger’s.
Diana Denecke, helped by Gloria Danielson and Christine Gepp, arranged a “Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s Garden” display at the Minnesota State Fair.
Bottling Day at Laura Emmer’s and Fall Festival September 29.
The Festival of Trees theme was “Nature’s Bounty.”
Christmas Party on December 4, at Ruth Engelbert’s home with the theme, “Christmas in America.”
Officers: President, Nancy Everson; Vice President, Barbara Bursey; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Treasurer, Steve Kelley
Steve Kelley presented a program on creating topiaries. Ann Werler and Frances Feid spoke in March on how to use herbs in the perennial garden and the fine points of compost and mulch.
Again, Stennis Shade Tree Company donated their work in treatment to ward off Dutch Elm Disease. Minnesota Herb Society donated $449.70 in plants for the Herb Gardens.
The theme of the Fifth Annual Herb Symposium was “Herbs From Around The World.” Keynote speakers were Madeline Hill and her daughter, Gwen Barclay, the authors of Southern Herb Growing. They also owned and operated the Hilltop Herb Farm and Restaurant in Cleveland, Texas. Cyrus Hyde, owner of Well Sweep Herb Farm in Port Murray, New Jersey, also spoke. Susan Betz gave a wreath demonstration. The Luncheon Menu was prepared and served by Lightly Epicurean Deli & Catering. Again, several of our members led workshops. This 3-day Symposium was held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and was well attended.
We participated in Art in Bloom.
Questionnaires regarding members’ interests were mailed to the membership.
Welcome packets were assembled to be given to both new and prospective members.
Exhibits – Gloria Danielson, with the help of Betsy Dienhart, received 1st prize and Best of Show for their “Herbs Around the World” display at the Minnesota State Fair.
The Christmas Party was at Diana Denecke’s home.
Officers: President, Barbara Hursey; Vice President, Frances Reid; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Treasurer, Steve Kelley.
After the Annual Business Meeting on January 26, Diana Denecke presented, “Herbs of the Bible.”
Diana had worked on a Biblical Garden for her church as part of the landscaping. Lunch was a potluck affair where we each brought food or seasonings from the Bible. Diana used many props in her talk, i.e. Crown of Thorns blooming and a stuffed lamb. The hotter the climate, the hotter the food.
Two Society Members died: Marguerite Lenertz and Rita Ulferts, who had moved back to her native Germany.
The March meeting was held at the Walker Art Center with Cole Burrell giving us a preview of the new Sculpture Garden and Conservatory that was to be installed in front of the Walker Art Center.
In this year the Society changed the By-laws to address the issue of a quorum as follows:
Section II. Those members present at any regular meeting of the Minnesota Herb Society shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, barring natural disasters including inclement weather.
At the May meeting, members received new work aprons for planting in the gardens. Our traditional pot luck lunch followed. The Cloister Garden was not part of our responsibility this year. The Garden Committee tried to improve scheduling and other matters for the summer in the garden with a printed booklet for keeping track of our hours. Another May event was a tour of herb nurseries: Theresa’s Shady Acres, Ben Gowen’s, and Kelley and Kelley. A new bronze sundial and stone pedestal were purchased and placed at the entrance of the Culinary Garden and the elm tree treatment was donated by Stennis Shade Tree Company.
We again participated in Art in Bloom at the Institute of Art. Bonnie Rutten again was in charge.
In July, workshops for making a variety of herb products were held at Gisela Meyer’s farm during “A Day In The Country,” in Winthrop, Minnesota.
At the Herb Symposium in August, members gave workshops and were guides in the gardens. The theme this year was “Our American Herbal Heritage,” and Adelma Simmons was the featured speaker. We had a fantastically stocked and beautifully displayed shop where we sold our various herb products. We did not participate in the State Fair this year.
October 25, Colleen Dodt of Herbal Endeavour in Rochester Hills, Michigan gave a talk on “Aromatherapy” using essential oils. We invited members of the other local herb societies to join us for this. We also participated in the Fall Festival and Festival of Trees.
December 6 was our Christmas Party with a St. Nicholas theme at Frances Reid’s home. Barbara Bursey brought her collection of St. Nicholas figurines. Steve Kelley was St. Nicholas and passed out gifts.
Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President; Luella Leifeld; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Treasurer, Gaynold Jensen.
Matilda (Tilde) Merkert died January 20, 1987; she was 84. Dr. Leon C. Snyder also died this year.
The January 1987 issue of the Minnesota Herb Society UPDATE, page 1, has a clear statement of what the Society was all about. A comprehensive letter/report regarding the “Wedding Tower,” written by Frances Reid, chair of the committee, was included in this section. A good read. January ‘s meeting was held in the Arboretum Fireside Room with the election of officers.
The future of the Herb Society was discussed due to lack of participation and less input in the Arboretum herb gardens, payment to the Arboretum as volunteers, “Wedding Tower” grievances, etc. Membership included 25 active members and 12 supporting members. $250 was given to the Minnesota Arboretum Endowment Foundation in memory of Arboretum Director, Leon Snyder. A sundial was ordered ($337) for the Culinary Garden.
A Memorial book, English Herb Gardens, by Guy Cooper and Gordon Taylor was given to the Anderson Horticulture Library in memory of Tilde Merkert, who died in January. She was 84.
As there was no quorum at the January meeting, the election of officers was held at the March 24 meeting. Also, members’ grievances were discussed so the group could go “on with the show.” Bonnie Rutten reported the dates for Art In Bloom – April 30 through May 2. She showed a picture of the painting that was chosen titled “Marriages.”
The May meeting was held at the Ordway Shelter, with herb planting and a plant exchange.
August 18-19 was the third Herb Symposium, “Country Herb Days.” Many Minnesota Herb Society members were presenters. Many dressed in long country dresses and hats!
August was a business meeting at the Fireside Room followed by a program and Potluck Country Picnic. Members were to bring both their favorite dish containing an herb as an ingredient and its recipe.
October 27, our program, “Lemon Scented Herbs,” was presented by Christine Gepp. She told about the folk lore, history, growing and practical uses of these herbs. Bernice Anderson headed the committee that made beautiful miniature tussy mussys for the Festival of Trees. Our tree was deemed the “gem of the show.”
The “Christmas Party” was held December 8 at the spacious home of Fran Norton McCoy overlooking Lake Minnetonka. As always we had much good food to enjoy!
Officers: President, Judy Hostnick; Vice President, Christine Gepp; Secretary, Elaine Sundquist; Treasurer, Ruth Engelbert
Minnesota Herb Society By-laws were revised. Donations were made to the Arboretum in the amount of $552.00 for treatment of elm trees, and $294.70 for garden plants, $192.52 was made from the Fall Festival. The group voted to be responsible for the maintenance of the Wedding Structure on an “as needed” basis. It was estimated this would be $200 every seven years.
Mary Bydlon wrote a “History of the Herb Society.” It was said to appear in a guidebook that the Arboretum published. [These current Historians have never seen this History.]
March meeting – Fireside Room, program followed “Herbs and Naturalistic Plants in the Landcape Design” by Ann McNitt. May brought Planting Day and our plant exchange.
May 8-10, Bernice Anderson and Gloria Danielson with Bonnie Rutton as helper selected the statuary, “The Ram and the Painting, The White Bridge” for this year’s Art In Bloom arrangements.
The second Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Symposium was held on “Culinary Herbs” August 14, Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., with a focus on culinary delights. Many of our members were presenters for the various classes. The featured speaker on herbs and the main entre was Beatrice Ojakanges. At 3:15 p.m. the Herb Overlook or “Wedding Tower Sculpture” by Andrew Leicester was dedicated.
The August meeting was held in the Arboretum Ordway Shelter. The program was by Judith Fifer, Editor/Publisher of City Gardens, followed by a potluck picnic. Members brought a dish to share and its recipe.
The October meeting was held at the Fireside Room at the Arboretum. The featured speaker was Gisela Meyer, who spoke on “Weaving Herbs Into Our Lives.”
December’s Christmas Canape Buffet was held at the home of Maude Primus. Members brought a recipe with either a canape or dessert.
Officers: President, Judy Hostnick; Vice President, Gisela Meyer; Secretary, Elaine Sundquist; Treasurer, Ruth Engelbert.
January 22, there were many good reports given at the annual meeting. Basil (Basileua is Greek for King) was the herb of the year. Theresa gave everyone a present of soil, trays and different kinds of basil seeds to plant as she gave us much information on basil.
January – Cheryl Van Horne and Steve Kelley offered to become co-editors of the Minnesota Herb Society newsletter, UPDATE, replacing Mary Bydlon who had been the editor for 6 years.
The Knot Garden, Fragrance Garden and the Cloister Garden were donated to the Arboretum by other groups and were planted near the main Culinary Herb Garden. The Minnesota Herb Society planted and maintained the three gardens. Another $1,500 donation was made by the Minnesota Herb Society for the statuary fund. An Herb Overlook Wedding Tower Sculpture produced by artist Andrew Leicester was selected for the west entrance of the Culinary Herb Garden.
March meeting was held in the Fireside Room at the Arboretum. A business meeting followed the program by Mary Bydlon “Herbs – Friend of the Cook.”
The May business meeting and program took place in a classroom at the Arboretum. Planting of the gardens followed.
Bernice Anderson and Gloria Danielson created an herb arrangement in a brass brazier for Art In Bloom at the Minnesota Art Institute. Pictures are included in this section. This was our first year of participation in Art In Bloom.
May was a busy month. We also had our Nursery Tour.
June 27, the First Annual Herb Symposium called “June Herb Converence” took place at the Arboretum organized by Theresa Mieseler.
The August meeting was held in the Fireside Room. The program “Artistic Arrangements of Herbs and Flowers” by Dorothy Brindle. Potluck Picnic following the meeting.
October meeting in the Arboretum Fireside Room. Program by Joyce Battcher “Quick Creativity With Herbs Using the Food Processor and the Microwave.”
December brought “A Cup of Christmas Tea” at Theresa Mieseler’s new home.
Officers: President, Aly Sayre; Vice President, Judy ostnick; Secretary, FrancReid; Treasurer, Ann Werker.
January 24 – Annual Meeting. Reports were given from the Study Groups.
Dues were raised from $5.00 to $7.50. We planned to have one Tuesday per month for evening gardening. New members, Ann McNitt, Elaine Sundquist, John Wetzstein.
March 27 program on “Strawberries – The Sweet Herb,” with a talk given by Dave Redford of the Hort. Research Center. Lunch was served in the Fireside Room.
The Knot Garden and Monk’s Garden were completed. In addition, we worked with the Weaver’s Guild of Minnesota Dye Group in the development of a Dye Garden adjacent to the Monk’s Garden. A $4,000 gift was donated by Minnesota Herb Society for a statuary fund for the Monk’s Garden. Garden plants were also donated. A tribute was given to our founder Helen Olsen. She was recognized for founding the Society in 1963. The name was changed in 1979 and membership was opened to all. Members of our group set up a Minnesota Herb Society exhibit in the Horticulture Building at the Minnesota State Fair. We held a “Lavender Workshop” to make lavender logs and lavender sticks to be sold at the Fall Festival. We gave our library books to the Arboretum Library in memory of our deceased honorary members. The books were:
- Herbs for Every Garden, by Gertrude B. Foster
- How to Grow Herbs for Gourmet Cooking, by Frederick O. Anderson
- Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens, by Mary Mason Campbell
- Herbs For Use and For Delight, by Daniel J. Foley
- A Modern Herbal, Vol. 1 & II, by Mrs. M. Grieve
- Better Health with Culinary Herbs, by Ben Charles Harris
- Luchow’s German Cookbook, by Jon Mitchell
- Fun with Herbs, by Ruth Seaman
- Gardening Without Work, by Ruth Stout
- The Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening – Herbs
August – During “Arboretum Week” this year, the Minnesota Herb Society was represented by Theresa Mieseler, who gave a demonstration and talk on “Culinary Herbs,” and by Mary Bydlom, who gave a demonstration and talk on “Herb Blends, Butters, the Making of Pesto and the Many Uses of Pesto.” Vinegar bottling – Marge Sterks.
October program was presented by Barb Neil and Jane Duden. They showed how to construct and decorate an authentic German Gingerbread House. Mary Bydlon demonstrated how to bring the holiday spirit into your kitchen with herb and spice ropes, with calico pouches filled with potpourri and topiary trees made of herb bouquet garni packets ready to dunk into simmering soups and stews.
December 4 – “Christmas High Tea” at Mary Griffith’s was festive in the newly expansive addition of her home. A life sized ceramic zebra was quite the sight to behold.
Officers: President, Aly Sayre; Vice President, Judy Hostnick; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer, Ann Werler.
Charter Member, Marguerite Lenertz, died July 5, 1983.
Drawings and time-plans were made for the Culinary Garden, Knot Garden, and a Monk’s Garden with Theresa Mieseler.
March 15, we planted herbs in strawberry jars in the greenhouse with Theresa Mieseler.
May 24 was the date set for planting in the Herb Garden and, lucky for us, an ambitious committee reworked the garden soil. Dr. Devos was scheduled to talk to us on the future plans for the herb garden area.
August, 1983 – the Arboretum was 25 years old. Diana Denecke and Gloria Danielson created a Wreath of Garlic for the State Fair entry. It took First Place and Best of Show and we received $30.00 form the Minnesota Horticultural Society. On August 23rd, our herb Feta Day, we participated in making crafts after demonstrations in readiness for the Fall Festival in September.
October, we met at the Learning Center and Sandy Tanck presented a program full of ideas for making Christmas items, including wreaths. [See page 2 of the November 1983 Update.]
December 6, 1973 Christmas Party at Frances Reid’s home. The theme for the celebration was “Christmas a la Carte.” We had a gift exchange, $5.00 value.
December Gloria Danielson and Ann Rieff trimmed a tree for the Festival of Trees, our first year of participation.
Officers: President, Diana Denecke; Vice President, Aly Sayre; Secretary, Marcia Kelley; Treasurer, Mary Griffith.
Another year of fun activities and member commitment and involvement. Continued media coverage in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Final phase of the reconstruction of the Culinary Herb Garden was finished. The Minnetonka Herb Society donated $25,000 for the Knot Garden.
January 26 – Report from this year’s Pioneer Study group.
March 23 – Rites of Spring. Seeding Seminar. “Seed and Sprout Lunch” in the Arboretum Auditorium. Lunch was a make your own special sprout salad or sandwich.
May 25 – Herb Garden Planting, box lunch social and plant exchange.
August 24 – Victorian Garden Party. A special fun time. This “Victorian Tour and Picnic” was held in Stillwater, which claims to be “The Birthplace of Minnesota.” We toured a lovely Victorian home. The wonderful picnic could not be held in Pioneer Park due to rain so we held it in the warm interesting Library (by special arrangements).
September 14 – Vinegar bottling at Barb Neils’ home.
September 25 – Fall Festival – Everything sold.
October 26 – “Gourmet Gifts From Your Kitchen.” Guest panel members were: Cicely Southernwood, Rosemary Rue, and Myrtle Bergammot. This was followed by a “Brat Fest.
“December 27 – “Williamsburg Christmas Party” at Judy Hostnick’s. She set one large table for all to be seated around in her large addition, a country style kitchen-family room.
Officers: President, Diana Denecke; Vice President, Aly Sayre; Secretary, Marcia Kelley; Treasurer, Mary Griffith.
New Member: Frances Reid.
The membership voted to increase the dues from $3.00 to $5.00 a year. Theme for this year was “Back to Basics.” Herb Study Groups were formed around the following topics and a member volunteered to chair each:
|Champion Bread Baking||Fragrance Garden|
|Knot Garden||Biblical & Shakespeare Garden|
|Cook’s Delight||Crazy About Crafts|
|Pickling Party||Herb Vinegar|
The newsletter began using the new logo and was named “Minnesota Herb Society UPDATE.”
The Culinary Garden plan was selected and construction began. Planning for a trial Knot Garden or Formal Herb Garden in the ground cover area began. $2,000.00 was donated to the Arboretum for Herb Gardens and to expedite the laying of the brick edging and walkway.
March 24 – Arboretum Librarian June Rogier’s, “Unique Herb References” plus a display to identify plants.
April – Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis suggested we put in an Herb Fragrance Garden for the Blind. Nate Siegal, Gloria Danielson, Diana Denecke, Sue Simonten, and Aly Sayre worked on this.
May 19 – Herb Buying Spree – Our first Nursery Tour of local herb growers’ nursery. We went to Shady Acres, Kelley and Kelley, and Ben Gowan.
May 26 – Herb Garden Planting – lunch – plant exchange.
In June 1981, the experimental Knot Garden was planted.
August 25 – Tour Bernice Andersen’s delightful herb garden; meeting and “Mediterranean Madness Luncheon” at Mary Griffith’s home and pool.
September 15 – Bottling Day at Barb Neil’s new home.
September 26 – Fall Festival at the Arboretum.
October 27 – Giving Herbs as Gifts.
December 8 – Christmas Party at Marge Sterks’ home. Fun, joyful and fattening.
Officers: President, Sue Simonton; Vice President, Rachel James; Secretary, Ruth Engelbert; Treasurer, Marilyn Dean.
The new officers listed above were unanimously elected.
January 22 – Professor and Mrs. Ray Shove gave a talk on “Mushrooms and Herbs.” A lecture and slide show on “Common Mushrooms Found in North America.” A greenhouse tour followed at the Arboretum.
Under the guidance of Linda Brandt, the Minnesota Herb Society developed the design for Society letterhead. Our logo was selected by the membership and a two-color letterhead, envelopes, labels, and stickers were printed. A reproduction follows.
Minnesota Herb Society donated $1,000.00 for bricks in the Herb Garden. Memorial made to the Arboretum for a bench to be placed in the Herb Garden.
March 18, Meeting at Abdul Afandy’s, 2523 Nicollet. Abdul talked about Mid-Eastern cooking and its unusual use of herb and spice combinations with lunch after.
April 22 – Special landscaping forum with Dr. Leon Snyder.
May 27 – Native and Wild Herbs “Indian Herbal Lore” with Ann Sigford, naturalist from Woodlake Nature Center. The uses Indians had for plants and trees native to our area.
July 1 – New garden was planted by Herb Society and the next day Helen and Bernice did follow-up work.
August 26 – Herbal Roses – Their fragrances – jellies, teas and rose hips by Mrs. Hazel Sweeney of the Minnesota Rose Society.
State Fair Display by Diana Denecke.
Many workshops were scheduled to make such items as: Herb Honey, Christmas Ornaments, Herb Wreaths and Soap Making. These items were for us to sell at Fall Festival.
September 4 – Amy Core, Past President of Natural Historical Society, spoke on “Botanical Studies of Herbs.” Minnetonka Herb Society was our guest.
September 16 – Vinegar bottling day at Barb Neil’s new home.
October – Speaker from the Dyers’ Garden – Natural plants was Connie Magoffin.
December 9 – Christmas Party at Diana Denecke’s home.
Adah Anderson died this year, at age 88.
Officers: President, Gloria Danielson; Vice President, Sue Simonton; Secretary, Frances Norton; Treasurer, Marilyn Dean.
New members: Ruth Engelbert, Sandy Tanck, Judy Hostinick, Steve Kelley, Mike Hager.
January 10 – Letter to members from Ruth Seaman to Theresa Mieseler regarding change of group.
January 23, Program – Mervin Eisel. Showed slides from trip to Russia and Japan. Through much discussion during the past year, all of the members tried to look to the future for our Herb Society. When our Twin City Herb Society was started in 1963, there was not the interest in herbs that we had seen increasing steadily. Many names were on our waiting list to join and could not because of the set limit. It was at the January meeting that, after much discussion, the vote was taken. All but 5 persons voted to open up the membership, including the founder, Helen Olsen. Bea Palmer suggested that her husband, an attorney, would help to incorporate our name and new constitution, etc. Gloria Danielson was chosen President as she had been a long time member and had been President before.
May 29 – Theresa Mieseler spoke on “Herb Garden Planting Techniques,” with garden planting after lunch.
August 23 – Herb Display in the Horticulture Building at the State Fair.
August 28 – Program: Dr. Francis Devos explained the “new design” of the garden. Then discussion on Fall Festival followed by a Gourmet Box Lunch in the Ordway Shelter.
September 10 – Bottling Day at Helen Olsen’s.
September 28 – Fall Festival (many photos). For several years Thelma Adair brought her motor home to the Fall Festival. Why? to pamper us with her delicious soups, breads and goodies. Also, it provided a place for us to warm up, visit and relax for awhile. This year, Helen Olsen and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We gave her a Loveable Ugly Doll dressed as an Herb Lady.
October 23 – “Something’s Cooking.”
December 4, Christmas Party in Arboretum basement Craft Room. Gift exchange – an ornament.
Officers: President, Theresa Miesler; Vice President – Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Barbara Neils.
The Twin City Herb Society, founded in the fall of 1963 by a great lady, imaginative gardener and cook, Helen Olsen, to plant and maintain the large Herb Garden, about 1900 square feet, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The purpose of the group was to encourage the study, the growing, and the use of herbs.
In the beginning the herb society meetings were held in the members’ homes, but in 1978, because of larger membership and maintenance of the Arboretum herb garden, the meetings were held in the Fireplace Room at the Arboretum.
January 24, Special Meeting – Adele Campbell, “Slides of England and Herbs.”
March 28, Program – “You and Fragrant Herbs.” Dues increased to $3.00 per year.
May 30-31, Program – “Gardening in Herbs.” We actually planted the herbs!
August 29, Workshop – We made items to be sold at the Fall Festival. With Bernice Anderson as the Fall Festival Chair, we had full tables of herb wares to sell and did very well.
December 5, Holiday Party – at Bea Palmer’s home. Good food, fun, and fellowship , and, of course, our gift exchange.
Plans were approved for the first stage of the new Herb Garden to be built in the Spring. A $2,000.00 donation was made to the Arboretum for the garden.
Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President, Theresa Mieseler; Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Barb Niels.
New members: Thelma Adair and Mary Griffith. Inactive Charter Members, Adah Anderson, Virginia Janecek, Marguerite Lenertz and Rita Ulferts were made honorary members.
January 25 was a special meeting with lunch in the Tea Room. Kitty Smith gave a talk on herb teas with the Minnetonka Herb Society as our guests. This was a very informative and tasty meeting and we had a good time sharing it with friends.
March 22 meeting, lunch, program, “You and (herb of choice).” Description, use and what part of the herb to use. This was a “show and tell” meeting of the herb we chose to grow and use. Meeting was in the Craft Room.
May 31 and June 1st, garden planting.
Sunday, July 31 we set up an exhibit of herbs at the Historical Society near the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for their Pioneer Days.
August 30 – Jim Gilbert, always an interesting and inspiring speaker, spoke to us on edible plants.
October 25 – Herb Crafts, Herb Ideas. Merv Eisel demonstrated the many uses of pine cones. All meetings were scheduled for the Fireplace Room, with optional lunch in the Arboretum Tea Room. Programs to be held in one of the Craft Rooms.
Fall 1977 – Virginia Janecek died. (A charter member)
December 6, 11:30 a.m. – Holiday Smorgasbord.
Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President, Theresa Miesler; Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Evy Sand.
The bicentennial year of our United States of America as a commemorative project, our society made larger garden labels identifying each herb plant with their common and botanical names, propagation and uses.
Also, a booklet was printed entitled “Herbs in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum” to commemorate the bicentennial year. The booklet gives a brief history and diagrams the herb garden and plants planted there.
March 23 Biblical Herbs were presented by “Mistress Woodford” at the home of Marilyn Davidson. We began holding our meetings at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in the lovely Fireplace Room.
June 1 and 2 were Planting Days. Members brought lunch in a brown paper bag. Many of the herbs planted in the garden were started in the greenhouse. Only $100 was required but $200 was given to the Arboretum on 7/7/76 for a bench in the herb garden in memory of Edna Rapp, who was struck by a car and died soon after of her injuries.
Many Bicentennial displays were done by members in Edina, New Hope and at the State Fair. Blue burlap was purchased for covering the tables.
August 3 and 4 we displayed for the Diggers Club of Robbinsdale and on August 11th for Beacon Heights Garden Club at Vision of Glory Lutheran Church in Plymouth.
August 31 Theresa demonstrated how to protect herbs for winter and we toured the Arboretum.
September 26 – Fall Festival sale items were vinegar and fresh herbs.
October 26 – Our theme: “Fragrant Herbs and Their Uses.” Bernice led a demonstration on making lavender sticks. Not easy to do but interesting and very fragrant. Just squeeze gently!
December 7 – Our holiday Smorgasbord was held at Theresa Mieseler’s farmhouse this year where she and her husband cook and heat their home with wood stoves. Fun and cozy!
Officers: President, Jackie Reid; Vice President, Helen Olsen; Secretary, Judy Bell; Treasurer, Evy Sand.
In the April issue of the Early American Life publication, appeared Tilde Merkert’s very fine article, “A Heritage of Herbs.” Our member, Judy Bell, had a nice write-up in the Byerly Bag, in February, 1975. This year marked the beginning of our “Bicentennial” theme. Therefore, on June 3rd we were summoned to patriotic plantings. When planting the gardens was done, we enjoyed our picnic lunch and plant exchange, sharing our surplus plants with others.
On August 26 the annual Smorgasbord was held, this year’s theme being “patriotic” with reports on historical information about the herb used in the dish one brought.
On October 28, Connie Magoffin told about the art of using natural dyes. This very informative study was held at Bea Palmer’s home.
The “Herbal Heritage Holiday” was held at the home of Mary Bydlon on December 9th. We exchanged $2.00 gifts and brought food to fit the heritage theme.
Officers: President, Marilyn Davidson; Vice President, Kathy Woodford; Secretary-Treasurer, Edith Kasperson.
March 26 – “Fit for a Governor.” We met at the Alexander Ramsey House where some members prepared a favorite Ramsey meal in the kitchen using pots and gadgets, the iron kitchen range, and even the oven of the time. We also used recipes from an 1853 Cookbook.
The first herb garden at the present location was planted in the Arboretum and maintained by the society. Lists of plants and diagram of the garden. Again the herb Society received much good newspaper publicity.
The excitement for 1974 was the dedication of the new Leon Snyder Building at the U of M Landcape Arboretum. We were glad that we had been given a sneak preview of the beautiful building led by Dr. Snyder himself on May 22, 1973.
Officers: President, Bea Palmer; Vice President, Kathy Woodford; Secretary, Jackie Reid; Treasurer, Edith Kasperson.
We had more committees working at this time. Several people donated books for our use as an herb society. These books were kept at the Arboretum and our group Librarian brought them to each meeting so members could check them out until the next meeting.
April 3 – Happiness was success with seeds and cuttings at Tonka Dale Greenhouse. Tour and meeting with Bob Anderson then to Bernice’s for Matzo Ball Parsley Soup.
May 22 – Met at Arboretum for an on-site discussion of the proposed Herb Garden. Lunch was Gardener’s Potluck (we exchanged lunches in whimsical flower pots). Then a tour conducted by Dr. Snyder of the new Snyder Building.
August 28 – A “Shaker Sampling” at the home of Jackie Reid. Cooking fare was plain but good. Bonnie Ellis showed slides and told us about the use of herbs by this fascinating religious sect.
Arboretum Fall Festival – our 5th Vinegar Sales. We sold all but 3 dozen of the 721 bottles made. Bernice, Evy and Ruth dried and packaged herbs for sale.
October 23 – Tenth Anniversary. The meeting was held at Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka. Ruth Seaman wrote an interesting history of our first 10 years with a copy for each of the members.
December 4 – Williamsburg Christmas at Kathy Woodford’s home.
December 11, 1973 was the date of the second revision of the Constitution and By-laws.
Officers: President, Bernice Anderson; Vice President, Diana Denecke; Secretary, Kathy Woodford; Bea Palmer continued as Treasurer.
March 11 we held an organizational meeting at Boutell’s in Southdale to help others start an herb club because our membership was full. Bernice and Tilde planned the event with help from other members. Food, door prizes and literature were shared. Two new groups were formed.
March 28 our lunch was at the Sweden House, where Dr. Snyder gave an educational and inspiring talk. He showed slides of an herb garden being constructed in Ohio. Dr. Snyder felt that the Arboretum Herb Garden would cost about $20,000. Construction and all! Wow!
A landscape design architect, recommended by Dr. Leon C. Snyder, Director of the Arboretum, was commissioned by Bernice Anderson to design the location and construction of the Herb Garden in the Arboretum. The selection of herb plants for placement in the garden was made by the Twin City Herb Society.
May 1 we attended the Edina Garden Council’s May Day Tea.
May 23, we christened our new herb plot at the Arboretum. To celebrate the occasion, a box lunch social and plant exchange was held at Hill Top House. A nice article by Judy Bell was in the Minneapolis Star on Wednesday May 31 with recipes from our Hill Top House lunch.
August 22, our topic was “Herbs of the Cordon Bleu.” Marion Conlin discussed herbs used in le grande cuisine the Un Dejeaner Buffet. Vinegar sales this year were down due to lack of publicity. We gave $1,000 to the Arboretum for the Herb Garden Project.
October 24 we learned how to make some herbal cosmetics.
December 5 Diana hosted our “Dicken’s Christmas Feast,” complete with costumes and a delicious goose or “Raaft Goose” (early spelling) prepared by Diana. Helen came to the door as David Copperfield, wearing a little boy wig. We brought $1-2 gifts.
Officers: President, Gloria Danielson; Vice President, Barb Freiborg; Secretary, Fran Norton; Treasurer, Bea Palmer.
The membership grew. Virginia Janacek, a charter member, died late this year.
March 23 we met at Bea Palmer’s home. Our program was a study of different Herb Garden Designs, including slides.
May 25, because of cold rainy weather, the Victorian Picnic planned for the Arboretum was held at Bea Palmer’s home. Many came in costumes with much delicious food and our plant exchange. Ruth Seaman and Evy Sand transplanted over 1,000 seedlings at Mr. Kidder’s nursery. Seed was donated from Northrup King and planted by Mr. Kidder.
August 24, 1972, the Smorgasbord held at Marilyn Davidson’s home went Spanish this time with a tremendous variety of delectable foods. Where was the camera?!
October 16 workshops were held at a cooking school building in Hopkins. Bernice showed us how to make both moist and dry potpourri. Bobbi Rowland gave a candle making demonstration; Ruth and Evy demonstrated wreath making. 647 bottles of vinegar were ready for our vinegar sale.
The Christmas party was held at the Majestic Oaks Country Club in Anoka.
Bernice secured and paid an architect to design an herb garden for the Arboretum under the supervision of Dr. Leon Snyder. We had plants “holding” in the ground cover area thanks to Bernice Anderson.
Exhibits: St. Paul Hilton Hotel for the Central Region Convention by Ruth and Evy. Helen gave a mini talk and Bernice helped in preparation.
Officers: President, Marilyn Davidson; Vice President, Gloria Danielson; Secretary, Fran Norton; Treasurer, Bea Palmer.
This was the year of “Out and About.” We toured and had lunch at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
March 24 was “Greek Cooking” at Bobbi Rowland’s. We had another sumptous feast where we all brought food in the Greek tradition.
May 26 we met at Helen Olson’s home for lunch and a program on her “Herb Talk”. Then we had our annual plant exchange. Our prolific writer, Tilde Markert, had an article on “How to Make a Kitchen-Door Herb Garden” which was printed in the Lady’s Circle Magazine.
August was Smorgasbord time. This year, Italian at Diana Denecks’s home. Delicious foods in a fun setting!
September 25 was our 2nd Vinegar Sale at the Arboretum Fall Festival. We doubled the amount made and sold all 289 bottles in 3 hours. Bernice made a hanging basket of herbs – chances brought in $75.
October 27 we met at the home of Barb Frieborg for our business meeting and lunch. Then we learned how to use herbs in swags, wreaths, and potpourris. We were fortunate in these beginning years to receive so much publicity in our local newspapers with photographs and recipes.
December 8 our Christmas party was held at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. We met at 12 noon for lunch and our gift exchange. At 1:30 p.m. we had a tour of the Masterpieces.
Officers: President, Ruth Seaman; Vice President, Marilyn Davidson; Secretary, Edith Kasperson; Treasurer, Virginia Janecek.
New members: Barb Frieborg and Jackie Reid.
The Vice President is the one to plan the programs for the year and Marilyn planned an “International Food Year” for us. Our herb group was asked to plant a Kitchen Herb Garden at General Bartholomew’s historical home in Richfield.
March 25 the meeting was held at the home of Gloria Danielson. Each person had an herb to report on.
June 4 we met with Hank Meadows, Executive Chef of WTCN-TV, at the Royal Market in St. Paul. He prepared French food and gave a lecture. We then toured a gourmet shop and had an herb plant exchange.
Exhibits again at the Edina Flower Show and at the Richfield Library. Diana and Adah had a display at Byerly’s.
Tilde gave us a 2 volume set of Modern Herbals by Maude L. Grier. August was a German Fair at Evy Sand’s â€“ coordinated by Rita Ulferts who was leaving us and moving back to her native Germany. She donated her garden herb plants to the herb society. Bernice Anderson was instrumental in obtaining permission to plant the herbs in the Ground Cover Area at the Landscape Arboretum.
September, 1969 was the beginning of our vinegar sales at the Fall Festival at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. 144 bottles were bottled and labeled at the home of the vinegar chairman, Bernice Anderson.
October 27 the meeting was at International House, 712 Washington Avenue SE. Stanley and Marvel Chong conducted a tour, then we enjoyed an oriental lunch at the Fuji-Ya Restaurant by the Mississippi River downtown at 420 South 1st Street. Luncheon on our own $1.50 â€“ $2.75. Dues were due.
December 2nd was our Christmas Swedish Smorgasbord at Marguerite Lenertz’ home in South St. Paul. Each member brought a gift and a Swedish dish to share.
Officers: President, Evy Sand; Vice President, Ruth Seaman; Secretary, Diana Denecke; Treasurer, Mildred Finley.
New Members: Fran Norton, Bea Palmer, Bobbie Rowland.
On March 26, Bernice, Ruth and Evy showed us how to make parchment stationary.
One of our most enthusiastic and Charter members, Edna Rapp, passed away on May 19, 1968 from injuries sustained from being struck by a car as she crossed Nicollet Avenue in March. She was returning to an herb exhibit she had displayed at the Builder’s Show at the Minneapolis Auditorium. Because her family gave a $13.00 gift to us for an herb garden at the Arboretum, the herb garden fund was started.
June 4, 1968 Verna Meyer, expert cook and columnist, presented a program at Ruth Seaman’s home.
We held exhibits at Edina and Robbinsdale Flower Shows.
On August 27, we met at Rita Ulferts’ in St. Paul and had a delicious Smorgasbord. Rita was moving back to Germany and giving away her special herb plants.
On October 22 we toured the Watkins plant in Winona which was most interesting. Tilde Merkert had two articles printed in magazines.
Our Christmas dinner was at Diamond Jim’s on December 1st and was made very special with extra gifts and decorations made by Marguerite Lenertz.
Officers: President, Marguerite Lenertz; Vice President, Evy Sand; Secretary, Marilyn Davidson; Treasurer, Rita Ulferts.
“Thyme” was selected as the symbol for the society. An enameled pin or charm was ordered for the members. Diana Denecke joined in early 1967 and Gloria Danielson attended and joined at the October meeting.
The group studied Indian lore. Each member agreed to research and share the learnings of a particular herb. The herbs studied included: Jerusalem artichoke; Jack-in-the-pulpit; Butterfly Weed; Wild Indigo; Sweet Flag; Sassafras; American Wild Mint; Wild Geranium; Liverwort; Solomon’s Seal; Spiderwort; Goldenrod; Boneset; Wild Ginger. For the complete list review the contents of the 1967 section of the binder.
The Guthrie hosted a picnic as thanks for doing the herb garden there. In 1967/68, the Walker Art Center adjacent to the Guthrie Theater was enlarged and the herb garden was discontinued.
The Christmas party was held at Jax Cafe, with pomander balls made and given to everyone.
Officers: President, Edith Kasperson; Vice President, Marguerite Lenertz; Secretary, Ruth Seaman; Treasurer, Mildred Finley.
The year’s study was on nature’s insecticides (herbs). Tilde also lectured on the “Doctrine of Signatures.”
The group met March 3rd at the home of Adah Anderson. The slate of officers was unanimously accepted. Edna Rapp made and gave corsages to each of the retiring officers.
On May 5, eleven members attended a special program at Dayton’s Auditorium presented by Rene Verdon, former White House chef.
On May 31 Tilde had an article published in the current Flower and Garden Magazine. The May 1st meeting was held at Edna Rapp’s. As a result of the newspaper announcement of the meeting, Susan Halberg of the Dayton Company called Adah and offered to send a series of 6 pictures of Herbs (11″ X 14″) for each member, suitable for framing. The members reported on information they found on “Nature’s Insecticides” (herbs). Edna and Helen gave talks. The Plant Sale was held at Edna’s garden again.
August 23 was an Herb Smorgasbord at Evelyn Sand’s home. Bill Seaman, Ruth’s husband, a photographer from the Minneapolis Star newspaper and Mary Hart, food editor for Minneapolis Tribune and her photographer, Dwight Miller, and also a writer and photographer from the St. Paul Pioneer Press came and photographed the lovely Herb Smorgasbord table. Diana Denecke came to this meeting as a guest of Marilyn Davidson. We also had displays at the Centennial Convention of the Minnesota Horticultural Society and at the Richfield Flower Show held at Southdale on August 5th.
October 25 the meeting was hosted by Helen Olsen. Tilde had attended the lecture at the Pharmacy Convention and gave a report to the group. Reports were given on the herbs that had been assigned in May.
December’s Christmas Luncheon was at Marguerite Lenertz’s home.
Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Vice President, Edith Kasperson; Secretary, Virginia Jancek; Treasurer, Edna Rapp.
New Members: Bernice Anderson, Marilyn Davidson, Mildred Finley, Tilde Merkert and Evelyn Sand.
By-laws were finalized. Inquiry had been made about planting a Shakespearean Garden by the Tyrone Guthrie Theater. Then Actress Ellen Geer contacted Helen Olsen concerning having such a garden at the Guthrie. Helen and Tilde Merkert designed and provided many plants for this garden which members planted and maintained. Bill Seaman made signs of wood with quotes of Shakespeare. Members were given free passes to some productions. Some members did exhibits and displays of herbs for flower societies, Men’s Garden Club, etc. Edna Rapp’s “Herb Variety Display” at a flower show in downtown Minneapolis was in celebration of the Minneapolis Aquatennial, see photo below.
A photograph was taken for the March 1965 Minnesota Horticulturist magazine.
The March 23 meeting at 10:30 am was held at the home of Edith Kasperson. A staff writer and photographer from the Minneapolis Tribune came. Mrs. Olsen was interviewed and several photographs taken. Two poems were read “Planning for Spring” by Lois Slocum and “Seed Catalog” by Edgar Guest. Helen gave a talk on the culture and propagation of herbs.
May 25 meeting was again held at Edna Rapp’s home. After the meeting a plant sale was held in Edna’s lovely garden.
It was reported at the August 24 meeting that Edna Rapp’s displays at the Minnesota Flower Society and for the Minnesota Men’s Garden Club were done very well. Also, Adah Anderson did an educational exhibit of herbs and display of jellies, cookies, and vinegars for the West Suburban Council of Federated Garden Clubs. A State Fair Exhibit was done on August 30th in the Horticultural Building.
October 26 meeting, a Blue Ribbon for the State Fair exhibit was shown and won $18.00. Helen Olsen gave an informative talk on her teas and their effects. The Christmas articles made with herbs were shown and enjoyed.
December 14 a Christmas dinner was held at Marguerite Lenertz’s home. She served Mallard duck with mincemeat stuffing with herb seasoning and all the trimmings. The $1.00 gifts were placed under her large Christmas tree for later sharing.
Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Vice President, Ceil Walsh; Secretary, Virginia Janacek; Treasurer, Edna Rapp.
In 1964 it became apparent that a constitution was needed. Members reported on various herbs. The group decided to meet on the second Tuesday of the month in March, May, August, and October. Helen Olsen and Adah Anderson became members-at-large in the Herb Society of America.
The Spring meeting was held March 11 at the home of Marguerite Lenertz. Two more members were added to the original 10.
Helen Olsen made contact with Mr. Smith at his greenhouse about securing herb plants for the members. He would plant several varieties in a basket and Helen ordered 14 baskets at about 65 cents each! Rosemary and Tarragon would be sold separately.
As reminder cards would be sent to the members about the next meeting, it was decided that $1.00 would be charged. Helen also proposed that a Constitution for their organization was needed and all agreed. It was decided that the meetings would be held on the second Tuesday in March, May, August, and October. After lunch, reports were given on Savory, Dill, Leeks, Chives, Sage and Tarragon.
The May 12 meeting moved from the Arboretum Picnic area to Helen Olsen’s new home due to inclement weather â€“ cold and rainy. The report on the Constitution and By-laws were reviewed, and after discussion and corrections they were written up for approval at the next meeting. The group then went to Mr. Smith’s greenhouse for the plants. It was decided to meet on the fourth Tuesday rather than the second Tuesday.
The August 25 meeting was held with coffee at Rita Ulfert’s home in St. Paul and then at Ceil Walsh’s home.
The 1964 Roster booklets were made by Helen Olsen and given to each member. A motion was made and seconded to be affiliated with the MN State Hort. Society. The group met October 27th at the home of Ruth Seaman. A film was shown on the many uses of herbs in food preparation. This was followed by a lunch of herbed hot dish, sandwiches and relish and cranberry dessert.
On Tuesday December 29 a delicious luncheon was served in the warm hospitable home of Edna Rapp with blooming plants in her east window. Carols were sung with Marguerite Lenertz playing the old-fashioned organ.
Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Secretary, Virginia Janacek
September 6, 1963 marks the beginning of the Minnesota Herb Society (formerly called the Twin City Herb Society). After two informal get-togethers of 7 women who had a strong interest in herbs, a notice was placed in the Federation of Garden Clubs newsletter inviting anyone interested in herbs to come to the home of Helen Olsen, wife of Dr. E. George Olsen. This founder’s meeting was a delight, she prepared a delicious lunch using herbs for the 9 who came, and after the business meeting showed her large herb garden, giving samples to taste and smell. Helen was elected President and Virginia Janacek, Secretary. The charter members were: Adah Anderson, Eleanor Bacon, Virginia Janacek, Edith Kasperson, Marguerite Lenertz, Helen Olsen, Edna Rapp, Ruth Seamen, Rita Ulferts, Ceil Walsh.
Little did these ladies know that their interest in herbs was the beginning of something BIG. Probably due to the cultural revolution and the making of synthetic drugs, most people knew little or nothing about herbs. What are herbs? Besides chives and parsley and one or two used in ethnic cooking, most herbs had not been used for flavor, cooking, medicines or fragrance for many years. Each person chose an herb to report on at a future meeting. It was felt that only an occasional meeting should be held each year.
In December a Christmas Tea was enjoyed at Adah Anderson’s home. At the meeting membership was limited to 16 as meetings would be held in members’ homes. Attendees were to bring a sandwich and the hostess would furnish dessert and coffee. The months for meetings were March, May, August and October, meeting the first Tuesday of those months.
Thanks to these ladies who in 1963 decided they wanted to learn more about growing and using herbs and sharing their knowledge. Their sharing of plants, books and herb charts made for a fun congenial time spent together in the new pursuit of herbs.
Officer Listing Through Current Year
1963 Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Secretary, Virginia Janacek
1964 Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Vice President, Ceil Walsh; Secretary, Virginia Janacek; Treasurer, Edna Rapp
1965 Officers: President, Helen Olsen; Vice President, Edith Kasperson; Secretary, Virginia Jancek; Treasurer, Edna Rapp
1966 Officers: President, Edith Kasperson; Vice President, Marguerite Lenertz; Secretary Ruth Seaman; Treasurer, Mildred Finley
1967 Officers: President, Marguerite Lenertz; Vice President, Evy Sand; Secretary Marilyn Davidson; Treasurer, Rita Ulferts
1968 Officers: President, Evy Sand; Vice President, Ruth Seaman; Secretary Diana Denecke; Treasurer, Virginia Finley
1969 Officers: President, Ruth Seaman; Vice President, Marilyn Davidson; Secretary, Edith Kasperson; Treasurer, Mildred Finley
1970 Officers: President, Marilyn Davidson; Vice President, Gloria Danielson; Secretary, Fran Norton; Treasurer, Bea Palmer
1971 Officers: President, Gloria Danielson; Vice President, Barb Freiborg; Secretary, Fran Norton; Treasurer, Bea Palmer
1972 Officers: President, Bernice Anderson; Vice President, Diana Denecke; Secretary, Kathy Woodford; Bea Palmer continued as Treasurer
1973 Officers: President, Bea Palmer; Vice President, Kathy Woodford; Treasurer, Edith Kasperson; Secretary, Jackie Reid;
1974 Officers: President, Marilyn Davidson; Vice President, Kathy Woodford; Secretary-Treasurer, Edith Kasperson
1975 Officers: President, Jackie Reid; Vice President, Helen Olsen; Secretary, Judy Bell; Treasurer, Evy Sand
1976 Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President, Theresa Miesler; Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Evy Sand
1977 Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President, Theresa Mieseler; Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Barb Niel
1978 Officers: President, Theresa Miesler; Vice President – Secretary, Gloria Danielson; Treasurer, Barbara Neil
1979 Officers: President, Gloria Danielson; Vice President, Sue Simonton; Secretary, Frances Norton; Treasurer, Marilyn Dean
1980 Officers: President, Sue Simonton; Vice President, Rachel Jones; Secretary, Ruth Engelbert; Treasurer, Marilyn Dean
1981 Officers: President, Diana Denecke; Vice President, Aly Sayre; Secretary, Maria Kelly; Treasurer, Marcia Griffith
1982 Officers: President, Diana Denecke; Vice President, Aly Sayre; Secretary, Marcia Kelly; Treasurer, Mary Griffith
1983 Officers: President, Aly Sayre; Vice President, Judy Hostnick; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer, Ann Werler
1984 Officers: President, Aly Sayre; Vice President, Judy Hostnick; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer, Ann Werler
1985 Officers: President, Judy Hostnick; Vice President, Gisela Meyer; Secretary, Elaine Sundquist; Treasurer, Ruth Engelbert
1986 Officers: President, Judy Hostnick; Vice President, Christine Gepp; Secretary/Treasurer Elaine Sundquist; Treasurer, Ruth Engelbert
1987 Officers: President, Mary Bydlon; Vice President, Luella Leifeld; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Treasurer, Gaynold Jensen
1988 Officers: President, Barbara Bursey; Vice President, Frances Reid; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Secretary-Treasurer, Steve Kelley
1989 Officers: President, Nancy Everson; Vice President, Barbara Bursey; Secretary, Gisela Meyer; Treasurer, Steve Kelley
1990 Officers: Co-Presidents, Ruth Engelbert & Gloria Danielson; Co-Vice Presidents, Jane Greenberg; Pat Scherven; Secretary, Laura Emmer; Treasurer, Steve Kelley
1991 Officers: President, Betsy Dienhart; Vice President, Virginia Heinzen; Secretary, Laureen Wastvedt; Treasurer, Steve Kelley
1992 Officers: President, Virginia Heinzen; Vice President, Steve Kelley; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Secretary-Treasurer, David Nachtsheim
1993 Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Lorraine Bruss; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, David Nachtsheim
1994 Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Veronica Malone; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer, David Nachtsheim
1995 Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Lori Swanson; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer, Dee Wolff
1996 Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Lori Swanson; Secretary, Linda White; Treasurer Dee Wolff; Members at Large, Ted Caspar and Frances Reid
1997 Officers: President, Veronica Malone; Vice President, Pamela Keil; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Dee Wolff; Members at Large, Ted Caspar and Frances Reid
1998 Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Pamela Keil;Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Linda White; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Betsy Dienhart
1999 Officers: President, Ted Caspar; Vice President, Carolyn Earl; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Linda White; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Betsy Dienhart
2000 Officers: President, Carolyn Otto/Carolyn Earl; Vice President, Carolyn Earl; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Secretary, Jill Boettcher; Members at Large, Veronica Malone and Ted Caspar
2001 Officers: President, Carolyn Earl, Vice President, Chip Abernethy; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Secretary, Frances Reid; Members at large, Ted Caspar and Gisela Meyer
2002 Officers: President, Bev Norris; Vice President, Chip Abernethy; Secretary, Frances Reid; Treasurer,Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Carolyn Earl and Veronica Malone
2003 Officers: President, Bev Norris; Vice President, Betsy Dienhart; Secretary, Chip Abernethy; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Carolyn Earl and Barbara Dow
2004 Officers: President, Betsy Dienhart; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, Valerie Lloyd; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier and Gisela Meyer
2005 Officers: President, Betsy Dienhart; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, Valerie Lloyd; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier and Gisela Meyer
2006 Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Eleanor Wagner; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier and Sylvia Costa
2007 Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Secretary, Barbara Dow; Members at Large, Judy Hoxmeier and Sylvia Costa
2008 Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Jill Boettcher; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Secretary, Cindy Jacobson; Member at Large, Sylvia Costa
2009 Officers: President, Nancy Abernethy; Vice President, Arla Oftelie; Secretary, Cindy Jacobson; Treasurer, Gisela Meyer; Member at Large, Sylvia Costa
2010 Officers: President, Sylvia Costa; Vice President, Arla Oftelie; Treasurer, Cindy Jacobson; Secretary, Bonnie Hector; Members at Large, Nancy Abernethy and Bev Norris
2011 Officers: President, Sylvia Costa; Vice President, Sarah Tufford; Treasurer, Cindy Jacobson; Co-Secretary, Carla Jefferson, Nora Stewart; Members at Large, Nancy Abernethy, Bev Norris
2012 Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Sarah Tufford; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Co-Secretary, Carla Jefferson and Nora Stewart; Member at Large, Sylvia Costa
2013 Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Bonnie Hector; Treasurer, Barbara Dow; Secretary, Marcia Switenki; Members at Large, Sylvia Costa, Sarah Tufford
2014 Officers: President, Carla Jefferson; Vice President, Bonnie Hector; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Nancy Aberethy; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Nora Stewart
2015 Officers: President, Carla Jefferson; Vice President, Nora Stewart; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Nancy Abernethy; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Bonnie Hector
2016 Officers: President, Bonnie Hector; Vice President, Nora Stewart; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Nancy Abernethy; Members at Large, Carla Jefferson
2017 Officers: President, Bonnie Hector; Vice President, Faith Kelley; Treasurer, Marcia Switenki; Secretary, Elly Hanson; Members at Large, Carla Jefferson, Nancy Abernethy
2018 Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Faith Kelley; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Elly Hanson; Members at Large, Bonnie Hector, Jennie Kirshbaum
2019 Officers: President, Jill Boettcher; Vice President, Jennie Kirshbaum; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Patricia Coldwell; Members at Large, Faith Kelley, Kathy Koppes
2020 Officers: President, Elly Hanson; Vice President, Jennie Kirshbaum; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Patricia Coldwell; Members at Large, Jill Boettcher, Dee Geary
2021 Officers: President, Elly Hanson; Vice President, Renee Pohl; Treasurer, Carlotta Posz; Secretary, Patricia Coldwell; Members at Large, Jennie Kirshbaum, Shirley Mah Kooyman
2022 Officers: President, Patricia Coldwell; Vice President, Renee Pohl; Treasurer, Linda Wendland; Secretary, Deb Carpenter; Members at Large, Elly Hanson, Carla Jefferson
2023 Officers: President, Patricia Coldwell; Vice President, Renee Pohl; Treasurer, Linda Wendland; Secretary, Gail Glover; Members at Large, Julie Vlasnik; Carla Jefferson