HSA-DVU member Devah explores growing 2019 herb of the year Hops

October 2020

You will think this is "CRAZY" but I do NOT like BEER! So, "why is this woman growing HOPS?" you ask? Well, not for the BEER! It started out with the flowers of the HOP Bine....

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Rudolph W van der Groot Rose Garden

October 2019

Members of the Delaware Valley Unit toured the sights and of the Rudolph W van der Groot Rose Garden as well as the Fragrance and Sensory garden at Colonial Park, Somerset NJ on September. The group learned all about rose varieties that do well in NJ and were treated to hear all about them from Park Rosarian, (yes, there is such a thing!) Afterwards, the group stimulated their senses further by touring the Fragrance and Sensory garden with the garden’s curator and HSA DVU member, Cynthia Lancaster. The afternoon was capped off by lunch and treats in the garden and a quick business meeting. Thanks to DVU members Shauna Moore and Cynthia Lancaster for pulling this trip together!

Pottery Studio with Sue Thatcher

August 2019

Several members of DVU met on a Friday afternoon at the Holcombe Jimison Farmstead “corn crib” pottery studio with Sue Thatcher, to make pottery herb markers for their garden. The group used garden herbs to press into the clay and make designs. This activity was enjoyed by all so much so that a second session was planned!!

International Culinary Herb Garden Tour

July 2019

The garden team welcomed the Hardy Plant Society and Mercer Master Gardeners for a tour of the International Culinary Herb Garden on July 31st.

Herb Sale a Sell Out!!

May 2019

We thank all our wonderful customers! We sold out all our herbs on the first day of our sale! The planning has already started to bring you MORE herbs next year!! Mark your calendars!

Culinary Herbs of the World

August 2018

HSA DVU member Caren White presented "Culinary Herbs of the World" at the H-J Farmstead on Sunday, August 5, at 2 pm, followed by a visit of the attendees to the DVU-HSA International Culinary Herb Garden after her talk. She was sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NJ (NOFA).

Helen Hamilton Receives HSA Certificate of Achievement

June 2018

In June of 2018, our own Helen Hamilton traveled to the NorthEast District Herb Society of America meeting in Tarrytown NY to receive the HSA Certificate of Achievement for all her many herbal activities. This award was developed in 1976 by the Herb Society of America to honor those people, members of Herb Society or not, who have made significant contributions in various ways to the work of The Society or the world of herbs. Helen has been an active member of the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America for many years and has served the group in multiple ways. She currently serves in the position of Program Chair for the unit and has coordinated the annual Herb Symposium in addition to many programs for the unit as well as the public. Until the advent of email, Helen authored and distributed a printed monthly newsletter. For a time she edited the national HSA Newsletter. She has been instrumental in developing our email connections and our HSA connections, providing publicity for all our events.

While the HSA-DVU was at our prior location, Helen actively gardened in one of the two industrial gardens in the US, the other one being at the National Herb Garden in Washington DC Most recently she maintained the India section of our International Culinary Garden. Helen has held our unit together through good times and bad. SHe has attended and actively participated in many District and National Herb Society events, meetings and symposia. She curates a garden of plants of the Bible near her residence in Princeton. Congratulations, Helen!! We are so proud of you!

Virginia Petree Memorial Scholarship

November 2016

Each year the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America awards a scholarship to a student in horticulture at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA. This scholarship is named in honor of Virginia Petree a founding member of the unit which at the time was located at the Prallsville Mill in Stockton, NJ where the unit maintained an Industrial Herb Garden. Over the years the unit has had an herb plant sale in May to raise money for this scholarship. Virginia, a retired school teacher, and her husband a veterinarian were very active in the Unit and helped to create the Industrial Herb Garden at the Mill. Many years ago, Virginia and her husband moved to Virginia and did not maintain contact with the Unit. Since the scholarship was named in honor of Virginia Petree, the unit has continued this traditional of awarding a scholarship in her name even after moving the herb garden to the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead in Lambertville, NJ.

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A WWOOF Experience

April 2016

In the Fall one of our members, Pat Beckman, participated in a WWOOFING experience in Denmark. The program was founded in 1971 in England to encourage urban dwellers with access to the countryside while supporting the organic movements. WWOOF originally stood for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. By 2000 the program had been so successful that the acronym was changed to Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Volunteers must first choose what country they would like to visit and volunteer in. They sign up for their desired country on the WWOOF website. After signing up volunteers have access to a list of farms located in their country of choice. From this point it is up to the volunteer to review the farm profiles to determine the best match and contact their desired farms and arrange the dates and duration of their stay. The duration of a volunteer's stay can range from days to months, but is typically at least one to two weeks. Volunteers can expect to work for 4-6 hours a day for a full day's food and accommodation. A volunteer could be asked to help with a variety of tasks, including: sowing seed, making compost, gardening, planting, cutting wood, weeding, harvesting, packing, milking, feeding, fencing, making mud-bricks, wine making, cheese making and bread baking. WWOOF promotes participation as a way to experience firsthand a local culture, customs, and nature through farming.

Pat selected Denmark because her grandfather was Danish and she had been to school there. To appreciate how the WWOOF program worked, Pat volunteered at WWOOF farm in Frenchtown, N.J. before going to Denmark where she was for two months. In Denmark there were three to four workers on the 80 acres farm where she volunteered. They fed the livestock, planted and harvested vegetables and even prepared food for tourists to the farm. Pat found the WWOOF program a fascinating and rewarding experience.

Farm and out buildings Potato harvesting Onions drying

Delaware Valley Unit Member Wins Best in Show

November 2015

Grace Majorossy a young member of the Delaware Valley Unit won a Best in Show for her herb garden called: "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme". This was at the Hunterdon County 4H and Agricultural Fair held in Ringoes in August. Grace has been entering her horticulture for at least three years. She has had an interest in growing things for many years and decided she wanted to be a farmer. Her family has had a little pop up green house for 2-3 years and she has grown plants for her friend's gardens in there, as well as for her own family. The teacher at her polytech class has put her in charge of the kitchen garden, where she plants donated and homegrown plants with her fellow students and afterwards they cook with the vegetables and herbs. She has enjoyed learning about herbs and is developing a special interest in culinary herbs.

The herb display is Grace's award winning entry.