Yarb Tales
April 4, 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

Life on our planet depends upon cycles. The movement of elements, which are the building blocks of matter, is achieved through the processes of cycles. Birth, growth, reproduction and death make up the life cycle.

Plants are illustrating the sequences of birth, growth and reproduction right now. The soil that supports their roots and nourishes them is a mixture of dead, decaying plants; rock particles weathered by wind and rain; and living organisms that we can see—and others that must be magnified for observation.

The rotation of Earth gives us cycles of light and dark. The tilt of the globe and its orbit around the sun gives us the cycles called seasons.

Water transpires from plant root hairs, out through the stomata of their leaves. Its evaporation from surfaces, rises as vapor into the atmosphere, and gathers its molecules into clouds, which move on winds to fall back down on to the planet.

Weather is caused by the interaction of the orbit of our planet around the sun and the movement of wind over water, ice and land.

Calcium is the major element of bones, teeth and every living cell. When cells die, the calcium is released for use by another living organism. Nitrogen, the element used by plants for green growth, is always present in protein molecules and in the air, as a gas. Animals eat the nitrogen in plants and then, through digestion, release the nitrogen back to the earth. These are just two of the many elements cycled by plants.

Everything is moving and is a part of countless cycles. As we begin this new phase of growth in our gardens, it is good to keep in mind the cyclic nature of our planet. When we direct our endeavors to move with this inherent energy the result is greater success with fewer struggles. If I don’t see you in the future—I’ll see you in the pasture.