Keep your eyes open for pussy willows that are just beginning to emerge from the slender branches of their bushes. As you traipse our rural roads, have your clippers tucked in your car AND, watch the Posted signs, well sort of!!! I spotted some of these gems already along the Old Lake Shore Road near Sturgeon Point. Hurray! Signs of spring!
Out on Old Lakeview Road, my daughter's snowdrop leaves have poked up, with those dainty white blossoms soon to follow. I keep listening for the sound of geese gaggles overhead. That will happen any day now!
A long-time friend of mine says every year at this time, "It's happening all over again!"
How did you do with your herbs over the winter? I have made a big dent in the containers of the ones I had dried for the winter. My herb garden is quite protected by brick walls of the house on two sides. I have to confess, I had FRESH Rosemary and Thyme all winter! You can add a few sage leaves to that! I'd brush back any snow that descended on the plants, and there were those scrumptious leaves, ready to flavor my culinary efforts, or to be used as decorations.
Club News: *Our Board held a very productive meeting in January at the home of Denise D. What a GRACIOUS hostess! *When you receive your membership book that Ann R. is currently compiling, you will be delighted with the program schedule that Mary R. has devised. Thanks Ann and Mary! *Remember, the Board HAS to count on ALL members to do their part for Host/Hosting, AND to contribute to a monthly basket every other year. We're glad Pat P. does not charge us per phone call!
It will be a treat to see all of you at our meeting on March 13th ! Dave C. will speak on the Elderberry, Herb of the Year. I hope he includes Elderberry wine!
My Wish for You.....
May the wind be always at your back, May God hold you in the paim of His Hand, - Always!!!
Location for Meetings:
We will continue to meet in the new building at the back of the parking lot (to the right of the gardens when facing the complex from South Park). There is an elevator to the 2nd floor where we meet.
Hosts/Hostesses for Meetings 2013
March 13, 2013: Debbie M., Karen O., Gwen H., Cathy S., Mary M. K., Marlene W. and Siri P.
April 10, 2013: Gail B., Janet P. S., Alice H., Holly K., Sue R. Alice T., and Mary D.
May 8, 2013: Linda F., Kim A., Madge L., Diane N., Roslyn H., Karen R., and Jeanette W.
June 12, 2013**:Sandy M., Mary Lou B., Denise D., Barbara M., Marilee F., and Libby A.
September 11, 2013**: Barbara O., Teresa M., Joan B., Velma L., Elaine D., and Pat P.
October 9, 2013: Sharon S., Joyce L., Shari E., Susan K., Ann K., Teresa W., and Donna R.
November 13, 2013: Judy W., Sonia F., Ann R., Donna S., Sue B., Gerry S., and Karen S.
December 11, 2013: Holiday Herb Tasting Dinner - Everyone will bring a dish to pass. More information in upcoming newsletters.
**We need at least one more person for the June & September meetings. See Pat P.
**Please remember to bring at least 2 items for the refreshment table. Light refreshments will include foods such as candies, cookies, cheese and crackers, fruit plates, hors d'oeuvres, appetizers. Don't forget to bring a written copy of your recipe to share in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.Remember Elderberry is the Herb of the Year!
Basket Raffle Donors
Each month we have our giant Basket Raffle. The proceeds help us fund the speakers that we invite to present at our monthly meetings, our fee to the Botanical Gardens for the use of their facilities, etc. Each basket should have a value of at least $50.00. We would like to have at least 5 members per month to donate towards the basket. See Pat P. to add your name to any of the months that need 5 members.
March 13, 2013: Florence W., Linda K., Judy T., Bridget S.
April 10, 2013: Pamela G., Linda H., Sharon S., Diane N.
May 8, 2013: Ann R., Donna S., Janet P. S., Sue B., Gerry S., Karen S.
June 12, 2013: Nacy K., Doris Z., Jeanette W., Pat P.
September 11, 2013: Bonnie P-K., Cherylyn P., Eileen C.
October 9, 2013: WE NEED VOLUNTEERS--Talk to Pat P.
November 13, 2013: Denise D., Mary D.
December 11, 2013: Earl M., Ed O., Mike Z., Dan F. and the rest of the guys!
Spring 2013 Meetings
March 14, 2013: David C.: A horticulturist who teaches at the Botanical Gardens, will speak on the Herb of the Year, Elderberry.
Mini Herb Talk: Pat P. will speak on Elderberry.
Gift Basket Raffle: Donated by Florence W., Linda K., Judy T., and Brigitte S.
April 11, 2013: Kathy L.S. is an Hebalist and teacher who makes her own remedies and beauty products. She will bring some for sale.
Mini Herb Talk: Judy W. will speak on Marijuana
Gift Basket Raffle: Donated by Pamela G., Linda H., Sharon S., Diane N.
At each meeting we have the Big Basket Raffle coordinated by Barb and Ed O., with the proceeds benefitting the Herb Study Group.
Well, we’ve certainly heard it all before, ‘Is the glass half empty, or is it half full?’ Anxious to start our bus trip to Canandaigua, NY, the first bus driver says he’s going to wine country, and of course we ask, “To Wegman’s Farm?” No, is the reply. The second bus driver is going to NYC. Finally, the correct bus saunters in, and we all climb in and meet Anthony (not Tony), our affable bus driver. (Anthony comes along later as our unsuspecting hero of the day.)
It rains most of the day, and for those of us who are too well heeled for the farm walk, some of us opt to exchange our city soles for rubber boots. This 50-acre organic farm lays hillside, beautifully
overlooking Canandaigua Lake, and one could only imagine if any sun had shown that day, it might have been scenery one would never tire of. What captivated my first impression was the 2005-built post and beam barn, its laborers, and surprisingly, its lack of an austere grand welcome entrance. It’s a farm. A good old-fashion farm with farms tools scattered throughout and if you look up, you see lavender drying as it is hung by twine from the wood beam ceiling.
Only two bathrooms serviced our bus load of eager travelers, and after a very long wait, some of us walked up the muddy hill to the green houses while some rode in the bus. Before stepping into any of the green houses, one must step in a tray of disinfectant to vanquish any organisms, a biosecurity hand-me-down no doubt since the appearance of foot and mouth disease in 2001 in Europe.
So what is it about Wegman’s Organic Farm that was worth the trip? Well other than meeting our very welcoming down-to-earth hosts Roger and Alison, we learn that of the 50 acres only 4 ½ acres are actually used to grow what is brought into the local stores. Of the 4 ½ acres, only 3 ½ acres are used at any one time, while the other acre remains farrow until the crops are rotated. The Vermont Compost Company provides the farm its potting soil. The in-line green houses are actually on rails and can move up to 600 linear feet on the rail system to accommodate early sowed plants. Some of us were delighted to enjoy hand-picked Favorita cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine. How about the mouth watering chocolate tomatoes (more for their chocolate appearance than sweet taste)?
Also noteworthy, did you know that Castor oil on sticks in a raised garden bed keeps the menacing flea beetle away? Did you know that asparagus grows 1 to 1 ½” per hour? But the best this writer walked away learning about was organic micro greens. Think micro arugula, think baby beets. You’ll not find these in the Buffalo market however! They are so fragile, they only make it to stores that are within an hour away.
Here is the run down of micro green production currently growing and much sought after: basil, radish, mustard, arugula, pac choi, amaranth, chard, mizuna, cabbage, leeks and onions. One of the laborers we met makes up 75 potting trays at one time, plants the seeds, and at the right time, uses scissors to lob off the fine fresh cuttings that make it to the market.
After our visit we were all famished and ready to depart from this beloved farm, when Anthony informed us that upon his routine inspection of the bus, he found the driver’s side wheel had a seal that leaked significantly. This bus was not going anywhere.
Anthony saved us from what could have been another bus trip gone wrong at highway speeds! Bless you our professional driver!
With this bus in need of on-sight repairs, and with all of us near-starving, the bus company sent another bus to our rescue to take us to a local Wegman’s store for lunch. We were to meet up with Anthony and our original bus much later after repairs and after we all had enjoyed our meal.
We finished out our day at the New York Wine and Culinary Center where we had the opportunity to taste the season’s best local wines and beer.
Special thanks to our WNYHSG special events trip organizer and first vice president Cathy P-S. Rain did not defeat us, nor a broken down bus!
The Western New York Herb Study Group (WNYHSG) welcomes you to its blog, originally created in June 2011 and approved by our president Donna S. on 06-October-2011.
WNYHSG is a non-profit organization, limited to 100 members, created for the study, education, and social interaction among its membership to study herbs. We do not limit our study to herbs in Western New York, but rather use WNY as a base for our membership. We meet monthly, March through June, then again September through December, and have the pleasure and privilege of using the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden Conservatory for our meetings.
For each month we meet, we will post the herb that was presented and discussed the previous month by our members and/or guests. Please take a moment to take our quick survey below. Lot's to learn, so stop back and visit!