Members of the Fayette Garden Club were greeted by Marjorie Clifford and her assisting hostess, Linda Morgan, as they arrived for their July meeting.
President Pam Rhoads opened the meeting by reading lyrics from a song written by Nat King Cole. Roll call was answered by each member naming their favorite herb. Toni Rogers, guest of Chris Boylan, was introduced to the club.
Secretary Susie Meriweather and treasurer Debbie Carr gave their reports and they were approved as read.
The horticulture tip was given by Joanne Montgomery on drying herbs. Drying herbs at home is easily done by hanging bundled herbs to dry. Secure stems with twist ties or rubber bands. When herbs are dried, they are safe from bacteria, mold and yeast and will remain potent for at least six to 12 months.
To remove moisture, all you need is air circulation. Harvest herbs in mid-morning before newly-developed essential oils have been burned off by the sun, but after the dew has dried. When you harvest herbs for their seeds, the seed heads should be turning brown and hardening, but not yet ready to shatter. To harvest herbs for their flowers – such as chamomile flowers or thyme spikes – snip flower buds off the plants close to the first day the buds open. Home-dried herbs can be crumbled easily, but don’t crumble them all. The whole leaves and seeds retain oils better in storage than crumbled herbs.
The program was given by president Pam Rhoads on culinary and medicinal herbs. Some of the culinary herbs are basil, thyme and mint. Most herbs will “perfume the air” when they have been barely touched. Some of the medicinal herbs are chamomile, sage, rosemary and calendula. Chamomile, with its leaves and flowers, gives off the pleasant odor of ripe apples. Rosemary tea helps to restore memory. Pam made dips, cookies, butter and a cake using herbs to share with the members. The members were then invited to the bountiful table of different foods and drinks made using herbs.
The members present for the meeting were: Carole Anderson, Chris Boylan and guest Toni Rogers, Vicky Cardenas, Debbie Carr, Marjorie Clifford, Mary Estle, Julia Hidy, Jodi Kirkpatrick, Connie Meriweather, Susie Meriweather, Joanne Montgomery, Linda Morgan and Pam Rhoads.