Yarb Tales
May 2, 2016

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 is the first week of May. We are in the midst of high spring in the Ozarks. Blue, sand and downy phlox are all blooming along roadsides. Showy evening primrose colonies are drifting pink waves down ditches while spotted cranesbill geranium do the same on shady bluff banks. White, yellow, wood and bird’s-foot violets are flowering in their respective preferred habitats.

Those in the know are munching greenbrier tips and sucking sorrel leaves. The poison ivy and ticks are making itchy places on skin, causing herbal folk to get out the jewelweed soap and vinegar. Pot fulls of wild suggins made with poke, stinging nettle and dock greens make tonic suppers for those who want to go outside to work and play with vigor.

This is also the week of the Medicinal Herb Field Trip and Workshop. On Friday morning we will lead about 70 people out into the woods to see and learn about wild plants. In the afternoon students will choose between five different classes. Phyllis Williams will explain the basics of identifying edible mushrooms. Sasha Daucus will be talking about what it means to be a village herbalist. Susan Belsinger will be making herbal products with Capsicum. Katrina Bogdon will teach students how to make remedies with plants from their own gardens. Students may choose to walk with yours truly to talk about growing medicinal plants.

Saturday I will demonstrate some uses for essential oils in the garden. Susan Belsinger will talk about growing and using chile peppers for medicine and supporting good health. Katrina Bogdon will explain how individuals can search for health care providers that have herbal training. Merry Schepers raises hogs and improves the soil and plant diversity on her pasture at the same time—she will share her methods. Both days feature herbal luncheons that are included in the workshop fee.

Go to www.OzarkFolkCenter.com to the herb calendar for specific details and call 870-269-3851 to register. I hope people who want to learn more about herbs will come out for this event.

If I don’t see you in the future—I’ll see you in the pasture!