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International Herb Association Conference 2018

International Herb Association Conference 2018

This year's IHA conference in Mountain View, Arkansas, was full of memorable moments--from seeing dear old friends, field trip to Missouri and Baker Creek and Sweetwater Land Trust, fun and educational programs from a variety of speakers, great vendors--to the annual awards banquet and auction and time in the Heritage Herb Garden (even in the rain).

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Citrus Hop Bitters

Citrus Hop Bitters

Nearly everyone who tastes these bitters, asks for the recipe. So I am sharing it here so you can make your own--they are easy to make and store for years (if they last that long). This recipe is published in Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 by the International Herb Association.

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Botanical Brews at the U.S. National Arboretum

Botanical Brews at the U.S. National Arboretum

Catching up on some recent events--one that was new and fun was the Botanical Brews evening at the USNA--what a setting for a party! Last spring, they erected wonderful bamboo hop trellises at the entrance to the herb garden to support the hop vines. the hops were green and hung with strobiles, which was the perfect backdrop to our HSA educational table complete with tastings of Citrus Hop Bitters as guests strolled through the gardens sampling local craft beer.

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Celebrate the Foods, Plants and Folkways of the Southern United States

Celebrate the Foods, Plants and Folkways of the Southern United States

We are gearing up for the 29th Annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival 2018 and Lavish Herbal Feast 6 PM October 4, 2018.The Herb Harvest Fall Festival Workshop is October 5 & 6, 2018 and we will be celebrating the Culinary, Medicinal and Gardening Traditions of the Southern United States, South of U.S. Highway 40. You won't want to miss this event!

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Lowcountry Cooking

Lowcountry Cooking

For my upcoming program "Exploring Traditional Southern Foods and Lowcountry Cooking" at the Ozark Folk Center, I took a trip to the lowcountry in South Carolina--here are some of the foods that were tasted--and what you have to look forward to for the Herb Harvest Fall Festival.

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Low Country Excursion

Low Country Excursion

I recently spent nearly a week in South Carolina doing research for my upcoming program: "Exploring Traditional Southern Ingredients and Lowcountry Cooking". Here are a few places I visited.

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Lemon Basil in the Kitchen

Lemon Basil in the Kitchen

Basil is to tomatoes what lemon basil is to peaches. Of course, this delightful lemon-flavored herb is wonderful with other seasonal foods, however it just complements a peach like nothing else.

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Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop

Although we are enjoying Hops, which is Herb of the Year 2018, we are gearing up for Agastache, Herb of the Year for 2019. Right now, mine and everyone's in my zone 7 neighborhood are in full summer heights. They are surrounded all day long by pollinators from bees to hummers and butterflies

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Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Monarda fistulosa isn't just called bee balm because it attracts bees and other pollinators--it also helps to ease their stings.

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Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Every year, the cycle of the seasons rolls around and we look forward to June 21st as we celebrate the Summer Solstice, which officially signals the first day of summer. The sun reaches its zenith in the sky; it is the day of longest light and the shortest night.

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Weeds: The Gardeners Never-Ending Task

Weeds: The Gardener's Never-Ending Task

We have had lots of rain here in my Maryland, zone 7 garden. And with the rain, the weeds and grass have grown in leaps and bounds--way bigger than all of the carefully planted vegetables, herbs and flowers. So I spent the last three days weeding, which gave me lots of time to reflect on the subject.

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How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

Hops have been used for centuries to brew beers and in infusions for medicinal purposes, however hops have many other uses as you can see in the following recipe for creating your own dream pillow. Herb Society of America members had a hands-on project last week where folks could make their own dream pillows and it was very popular. After a long day of gardening or a hard day at work, relax in a hot tub and then hop into bed with a dream pillow and sweet dreams!

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United States National Arboretum Celebrates Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

United States National Arboretum Celebrates Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

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Once a month, during the gardening season the Herb Society of America sponsors "Under the "Arbor", a series of herb-related events held at the US National Arboretum. Last weekend we celebrated Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 with hands-on demos, educational displays and lots of hoppy tastings.

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Fickle Spring

Fickle Spring

This has been a topsy-turvy spring weather wise—-Mother Nature has certainly given us a rollercoaster ride of temperatures from 82 degrees one day plummeting to freezing the next day. Bringing the Bonnie Raitt song to mind “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About…” Because what else would we gardeners, as well as neighborhood folks at our local businesses, not to mention the national weather forecasters talk about… if it weren’t for the weather?! Aahhh, the fickleness of spring!

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions or Chives and Cheddar

Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions or Chives and Cheddar

There is nothing like homemade biscuits flavored with herbs and/or alliums—make these tasty biscuits flecked with some green alliums for St. Patty’s Day!

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Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

This year, herbies and hopheads from around the country are celebrating Hops as Herb of the Year. The International Herb Association's newest publication Hops, Herb of the Year 2018: Brewing and Beyond is hot off the press! Read all about it!

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Snow:  Poor Man’s Fertilizer

Snow: Poor Man’s Fertilizer

Is this familiar adage an old wive’s tale? In fact, snow does contain nitrogen and other particulates like sulfur, which it collects as it falls through the atmosphere, however so do rain and sleet, and believe it or not, lightning.

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Lunar Happenings

Lunar Happenings

What the heck is a Super Blue Blood Moon? The moon was officially full this morning at 8:27 am EST. This is a particularly eventful full moon in that it is the second one this month, so called a blue moon, since we already had a full moon on the first of January. The Farmers' Almanac names it a Full Old Moon and it is the only lunar eclipse in North America this year , which was visible to those living west of the Mississippi in the U.S. and Western Canada before dawn this morning.

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Winter Musings

Winter Musings

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We have had very cold weather this month and now we have warmed up just a bit--enough to tease us--and make us think spring is in the air. Not. However we can dream of spring and our gardens to be, especially with the seed catalogues coming in and seed sales offered in our emails almost daily.

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Tools for the New Year

Tools for the New Year

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Here are a few gifts that I ask for every year--as well as a few new tools that I received this holiday season. These are items that I find essential to help me during the year, both in the garden and everyday.

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