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Yarb Tales

August 24, 2015The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants. 

A stand of Siberian or Chinese motherwort, Leonurus sibiricus, is in full bloom on the hill of the root cellar in the Craft Village. These herbs are related to motherwort, L. cardiac, which are native to Europe. read more

August 17, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center State Park graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
This season has been a roller coaster ride for tomato gardeners. This spring, into summer, we had record rainfall and cool temperatures. The beds had to be well drained to support tomato life. Then it turned off hot and dry for a couple of weeks. This helped the tomatoes make fruit. Then the temperatures cooled down just a bit, which allowed the fruit to ripen. Just when it looked like smooth sailing, hornworms hatched out. In just two days, these hungry monsters ate their way through most of the tomato foliage and several of the green fruit in the Kitchen Garden. read more

August 10, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants. 

Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, is a native perennial wildflower and herb. Its white clusters of flowers are in full bloom now at the top of the plants. The lance-shaped leaves are long and pointed with serrated edges. They are arranged opposite one another and are without leaf twigs. read more

August 3, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants. 

This column is written to give readers of Yarb Tales the first opportunity to register for the Lavish Herbal Feast, October 1, 2015, featuring dishes from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Susan Belsinger and the Skillet Restaurant staff have collaborated to create an authentic menu to compliment the theme of the 26th annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival. The South Central District of the Herb Society of America will be holding their Annual District Meeting in conjunction with the festival. We will be hosting HSA members from all over the region, including Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas and look forward to seeing our loyal friends from all over the country who attend every year. read more

July 25, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.  Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, is a sweet smelling perennial herb from the Mediterranean region in south-central Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. It is in the Lamiaceae (mint) Family. read more
 
July 18, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants. 
 
Whiskey and Tango, the donkeys who work the picnic swing at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, are my boys. They graze a five acre pasture at home during the growing season and eat hay in the winter and while at work. During the work day, they are led to grassy areas so that they can eat some green food. They are fed pressed oats and alfalfa cubes and a hoof supplement as well. read more
 
July 11, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
Seed harvest is underway, as a part of herb gardening at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. This week I am yet again thankful to Elizabeth Warner and Billy Joe Tatum for planting a Vitex agnus-castus in the original country herb garden here at the park. This huge shrub is also called chaste tree, monk’s pepper and summer lilac. read more
 
 
July 3, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
This week there are many seeds ready for harvest in the garden and many in the landscape that threaten to shatter and populate next season’s garden with unwanted invaders. read more
 
 
June 16, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
Elder, Sambucus nigra var. canadensis is in bloom right now all over north central Arkansas. Tiny flowers are borne in flat-topped, umbrella-shaped corymbs, in masses—they are cream-colored and sweetly fragrant—some can be as wide across as a dinner plate. Elderflowers begin to appear in our zone 7 areas in late May and last a couple of weeks. This is a small window of time read more
 
June 8, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center State Park graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
Summer heat is building and fiery-flowered tiger lilies are opening their faces to the earth. The most common varieties sport clusters of two-inch blossoms that are bright orange with black spots. The petals curve backwards, towards the sun, from the downward-facing flowers. Black bulblets form in the leaf axis and drop to the ground after the plants flower. This is how Asian lilies reproduce. The plants grow to between three-and four-feet tall and are true lilies (Lilium spp.). Read more

 
June 1, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center State Park graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
The abundance of rain occurring this spring is both a blessing and a challenge in the garden. Plants are growing without the help of irrigation. Some Mediterranean herbs, roses and other specimen plants have developed fungal diseases. One of the best organisms to help plants resist disease is called mycorrhizal fungi. Read more

 
May 11, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas and potential for delicious flavors. With their natural display, they help us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
Composting is a natural process that has been taking place on earth since life began. It is the biological reduction of organic waste to a stable material called humus. The dark-colored, crumbly, sweetly fragrant layer of material found just under the leaf litter in the woods is humus. Worm castings are humus. Loam, the best soil, is composed of humus, clay, silt and sand particles.  Intentional composting is the single, most important human activity that can be performed to improve and maintain healthy soil.
 
May 4, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas. With their natural display, they help us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
The frequent rains, though welcome, have slowed progress in the garden. Walking, and especially, the use of heavy equipment in the yard and garden, when the ground is muddy, compacts the soil. Clay particles become elastic and sticky from water and soil disturbances.
 
April 13, 2015
 The Heritage Herb Garden, at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
This time of year, observant hikers and gardeners are noticing long, slender stems with thin hirsute leaves draping across other low growing vegetation in the garden and in open places in the woods. The leaves, usually eight, occur in whorls around the stem at every node.
 
March 30, 2015
The Heritage Herb Garden, at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
In the spring landscape our eyes are awed by the blooms of underground stems. Yes, jonquil, daffodil, iris, bloodroot and violet flowers all arise from bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes which are botanically designated as stems.
 
March 16, 2015
 The Heritage Herb Garden, at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
 
This minute I am anticipating walking the woods with friends and mentors during the Medicinal Herb Field Trip and Workshop coming up the first Friday and Saturday of April. Every spring I get the fever to smell the warming soil and look at all of the plants that are awakening to grow another season.