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.

The 2014 educational programs of the Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center State Park were well attended. The purpose of Ozark Folk School, the Herbal Fieldtrip and Medicinal Herb Workshop and the Herb Harvest Fall Festival is to provide an enjoyable learning experience that is applicableto the daily lives of the participants. After all, herbs are plants that we use. The most up-to-date 2015 herb class information, including schedules and registration forms may be found at http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/herbs/events/  or by calling 870-269-3851.

Ozark Folk School classes for 2015, which are herb and garden related, include Susan Belsinger’s Herbs Hands-On and Medicinal Herbs Hands-On, and Kathleen Connole’s HypertufaGarden Art. I will be teaching Herbs in the Greenhouse, Cold Frame and Garden.Ozark Folk School classes are small, intensive and highly interactive. Students
spend one to five days, depending upon the class chosen, with one instructor.

The Herbal Fieldtrip and Medicinal Herb Workshop, April 3 and 4, 2015 are for those who want to know more about the flora and fauna that live in the wild. To that end, we have invited the infamous herbalist/naturalist and story teller, Doug Elliott, field biologist and musician, Bo Brown and the up-and-coming John Michael Kelley to teach us how to really see what we are looking at when we are in nature. Herbalists Sasha Daucus and Susan Belsinger and I will share the uses and preparations of the healing plants.

The Herb Harvest Fall Festival connects the herbal cultures of the world to the Ozarks. This very special event is always a sensuous celebration, combined with teaching, which inspires the thirst for knowledge. In 2008, we embarked upon this herbal sojourn on the northern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, featuring tapas from Spain, antipasti of Italy and hors d’oeuvres of France. From there, we portrayed the herbal and folk culture of the entire Mediterranean region, illustrated the roots of Southern cooking and textiles from Coastal Africa and sailed on to experience the British Isles in 2014. The Herb Harvest Fall Festival, October 2, 3 and 4, 2015 will bring the
foods, folkways, textiles and music of Northern Europe. The full schedule and registration will be posted on www.ozarkfolkcenter.com by July 30. Sign up for email updates on the home page to stay informed about all of the Ozark Folk Center State Park cultural offerings.

I want to thank all of the herbal folk who volunteer in the garden and who attend and support the educational work of the Heritage Herb Garden. If I don’t see you in the future—I’ll see you in the pasture!