Although Meg Vandereedt, herb plant orderer extraordinaire, has been working on EHS’s participation in Mounts Fall Plant Sale for months and weeks beforehand, it was not until Friday afternoon, the day before the sale, that there was anything green to see. And what that was, was wonderful. Our big tent had been set up by Past President Dennis Hessing, who stores it between the biannual sales. Meg saw to all the herbs ordered from Kitchen Garden in Naples and Pinder’s Nursery in Stuart arrived in good shape. Mounts Horticulturist, Mike Page set up our herb display tables in good time, and then magically found their way onto the tables arranged in alphabetical order, and the tent supports were decorated with luscious hanging baskets. When I arrived with herb bamboo-pole ID tags I’d made to stick in the plant trays, the EHS tent looked impressive and impeccable, filled with the choicest of green and gray plants that literally perfumed the air. EHS’s tent really looked professional and so pretty. No wonder, our displays, years ago, at the South Florida Fair Horticultural Tent always took “First Prize.” Nothing beats bushy, well-grown “filling the air with scents” plants.
On Saturday when I arrived at Mounts, pre-lunch time with a cooler of sandwiches I’d just finished making, I was surprised – and delighted- to see that our herbs met everyone’s expectations. The tent display tables were more than half empty and all the trays of backup herbs that had covered the ground beneath the tables were sold too. That’s the way EHS likes to see a sale go!
Lunchtime was salads, sandwiches, fruit, heavenly lemon verbena cake and more. No herb tent volunteer went hungry! Now Ingrid will fill you in on lunch/volunteers and the rest of the sale because by 2 pm, I had faded with what I’d been sure I’d been rid of, baby-size bronchitis, and was sent home with my collection of hot pepper and heirloom tomato starts, to cough and hack away in private. I left so impressed with how willing all our volunteers were and what a good time we all had together at the Plant Sale. The sales are such a good way to get to know your Plant Society members, to keep up with old friendships and experience Mounts Garden at its most festive – it’s a Garden Party. Thank you all for participating so well and cheerfully.
Donnie Brown, President Emeritus
The weather cooperated up to a point for the Plant Sale. There was no rain during the sale, however, those who were there can attest that it was hot and humid.
However, it did not hold back the customers from coming to the sale on Saturday morning. The rush started at 8am and never let up till about lunch time. Thanks go to Brenda Skaggs and Kitty Philips who were there both days from opening to closing time. Brenda sees a customer and says ‘Can I help up you’ and she’s made a sale and is on to the next one. She may not know it, but I have adopted her line and it’s been successful. Also, many thanks to Marci Green, Susan Colfels, K.C .Foster, Zaneida Moreno, Linda Spillane, Lee Laupus, Kathleen Burford, Mary Wickensheimer, Leslie Rigg, Roberta Lima, Ginny McCreery, Palm Chalker. All of the volunteers are members of EHS and all I can say, without you we could not do this and be successful. The money we banked was $867.50 which allows us to keep our society functioning and donate to the Mounts. Marci and Meg always bring interesting eats and tasty ones. Donnie brings delicious sandwiches, prepared for the herbivore and carnivore. Ingrid supplied Honey Dew Melon. Kitty brings unusual stuff and some of us ask “Did you make that?” Brenda brought her famous Verbena Cake that I only wanted to eat a small sliver of, but it was so, so good that I ate two more and this time respectable pieces. How is that for will power! On Sunday morning, Mary brought her expertly brewed coffee that was so appreciated. There was candy on the table. I don’t think anybody left hungry either day.
Some of the left over plants and there were not that many, are already planted in the Wellness/Herb Garden at the Mounts. In a couple of months, look for the cornflowers that should be blooming then. You will find blue salvias with blooms and some without blooms. There was a new entry at our booth which came from Pinders and it’s called “Rose Basil,” and the left overs are now in the Herb/Wellness Garden. It will be interesting to see how they develop and how long they last. The rosemary in the center around the fountain has faded and we are in the process of replacing those plants. The Holy Basil is doing well, some of the gingers have died back as they always do this time of the year. I will be planting Nasturtium seeds soon.
I want to mention that at the October meeting, Marci made a “Pumpkin Sauced Ravioli Bake” that everyone enjoyed so much that we all want the recipe. The tasting table was overflowing for that meeting. You are all such awesome cooks.
Ingrid Menz, Treasurer
I will be addressing significant herbs and how they benefit the skin. Herbs have been proven to assist in: tightening the skin, reducing wrinkles, healing common skin issues such as acne and rosacea, as well as many more serious conditions like eczema and psoriasis. I will also be discussing different herbs to use on each skin type. Medical research has shown that medicinal herbs should be our first defense in avoiding the harsh chemicals and side effects that come with mainstream pharmaceuticals. Let me show you step-by-step how to manage your own skin the ORGANIC, SAFE and NATURAL way!
I began my journey in rural Illinois, surrounded by vegetation, farming and natural ways of life. As a child, I found pleasure in gardening and cooking in mom’s kitchen, honing my skills for many years into young adulthood. When I moved to Florida in late 2000, I knew I had to share my passionate knowledge with the world. Although I have always preferred natural products and remedies, it is apparent that South Florida (as well as many other parts of the world) shares a more “convenient” and chemical filled mindset.
Once I had my two children it was clear to me the kind of world I needed to bring them into: one that although convenience IS important, health and well being should never be sacrificed! Looking for the best most organic and natural products was not easy, so I found my best solution was to head straight to my own home (the kitchen). That’s where The Crunchy Home was born. I went on to manage and run my own all natural health and juice bar, making every product from scratch (let’s just say there were a lot of sleepless nights!) I took classes and taught seminars on why choosing the right products are important. I graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Broward College and am continuing classes to become a certified Nurse Practitioner specializing in Holistic Dermatology. I am currently working as a Medical Assistant at Minars Dermatology in Hollywood, FL.
The Crunchy Home started from my innate love to create. From tinkering and concocting in my mom’s kitchen to running my own all natural product line, it has been what I do for as long as I have been “me”. My goal is to spread awareness and help teach others that there is an alternative to the modern chemical filled world!
SEPTEMBER MEETING: We definitely learned from September’s enthusiastic speaker, Dave Weychert, founder of Majic Earth (worm castings), that earthworms are truly the gardener’s friend. The addition of worm castings, made easy to acquire and use in bags of Majic Earth, makes an astonishing difference to our herb plants, indeed, to all the plants, including orchids in our gardens and backyards.
Dave retails Majic Earth in three different size bags and whole-sales it by the ton. It’s non-toxic, people and pet safe, 100% organic, how much better could a fertilizer be? If you didn’t attend September’s meeting and get a bag or two or three like Fatima NeJame, visit www.majicearth.com for a store near you. Ingrid Menz was the enthusiastic first purchaser of a big bag of worm castings which she’s already applied to some of her favorite plants, watching and waiting to see how their growing process improves. Ingrid is a good grower: her Ylang-Ylang from seed plants and Moujean Tea or, as the locals call, Bahama Berry, show up regularly on the Herb Raffle Table at EHS Meetings, as do her scented Geraniums and Begonia plants.
HERB/WELLNESS GARDEN: Recently Mount’s amazing horticulturist, Joel Crippen and our own Herb Garden Angel, Ingrid Menz, are in the process of updating our garden beds, removing delicate plants like basil and sage plants that suffered too much in the excessive summer heat, pruning that grew too much, preparing the garden beds for winter season additions as our best herb growing season begins in October. New plantings are always on the agenda this month, including our now iconic winter flourish of Nasturtiums, so delightful to see in their full, bouncing glory and with such useful, edible flowers, leaves and seeds. Ingrid has seeds saved from this past growing season, Joel is bringing young plants from the Mount’s Nursery, and I, committed to being a Nasturtium grower from the age of five, slipped a couple of packets of seeds to Ingrid for inclusion in the garden.
The red “false” Roselle with its carmine-colored, edible leaves is very large and an eye-catcher in our green garden. The “false” green Roselle, green leaves and red stems, has the most deep red flowers that resemble red velvet. “Absolutely beautiful,” reports Ingrid. Note that red and green Roselle’s leaves are a tasty vegetable, and the flowers make a delicious tea.
Joel and Ingrid have renewed the raised garden beds with the beautiful and light mix of soil that Mounts Garden has available. The Gingers are slowly giving it up as the weather is changing and now is the time to harvest edible Ginger. The Gingers will rest during our winter (and it’s supposed to be a chilly one) and reappear in the Spring. The Bay Laurel bushes at the Garden’s entrance are a show stopper, they’ve grown so large and very healthy. Bay is one of the Christmas herbs, along with Rosemary. Follow Joel and Ingrid’s example: Refurbish your garden now. October/November is the time to plant herbs!
MOUNTS FALL PLANT SALE: EHS’s big Herb Booth is in the same place as always. Volunteers work a shift or two, some the entire day; Sunday’s shifts particularly need volunteers so ante up and call Ingrid (561-762-6749c.) or sign up at the October Meeting on the 27th. If you don’t volunteer, you don’t get to enjoy the weekend lunch spread the Board Members make and donate (and, WOW, how neat, volunteers often bring a dish or a plate of cookies). No chairs are allowed in the tent, so if you’re a bit of a “sitter,” bring your own chair and remember to sit behind the tent. We’re continually grateful to Past President, Dennis Hessing for storing our 10’ by 20’ tent and all its gear every year and then, setting up and taking down the tent. It’s such a “guy thing,” and Coconut Art and Craft, Marcus Alphage is always there to help too.
Past President Meg Vandereedt has been working on ordering the herbs for the Plant Sale since the summer. This is certainly one of the most taxing jobs at EHS. How many of each variety of herbs to order, going over past sale lists of ordered herbs, and then the close-up list of what sold and what didn’t... and one can never be completely sure. We run out of Catnip, baskets and pots, one sale, so we order a bit more for the next sale and we have enough Catnip left over, for all the feral cats in Palm Beach? Why? Who knows, but it’ll drive you crazy. Anyway, Meg has been ordering plants for years, successfully and professionally, and the plants always look good and scent the air around EHS’ Booth in such an appealing way. Keeping track with our growers, Kitchen Gardens in Naples and Pinders Nursery in Stuart (our major supplier which Meg found for EHS) about how the growing season is going, and no growing season is ever the same, weather and plant disease and insect infestation are all possible. Meg is so good at all this, the growers love working with her, and EHS always has an enticing tent of herbs, but as in any horticultural event, a lot of finger-nail biting has gone into it, because as any gardener will tell you, “It’s a crap game out there”.
When the plants do arrive at Mounts, the day before the sale, Dennis has the tent set up and Ingrid Menz and other volunteers whip the flats of plants into alphabetical order and get the hanging baskets up on the tent poles. They’re very good at this and have it down pat, having it done for so long. We are ready for the next day!!!
The Plant Sale opens on Saturday, November 7th, at 8 am for Mounts Members with a free continental breakfast in the Hutchinson portico, until 9 am when the Garden officially opens to the public. We, at the EHS Booth, hope to see all of you there, Saturday or Sunday. Some of us will be there both days, since there’s so much to see and buy and carry home.
SEPTEMBER TASTING TABLE: Apples and their many uses was the food of the month, and a good half of the Tasting Table did feature apples. No one brought their recipes in for publication in this Newsletter and we, the grateful members who ate all that good food, love recipes and we love to print them. Cooks, work on this, won’t you?
Punch/fresh cider & fruit also sliced Carambola/Starfruit from Donnie Brown; Tropical Hibiscus Tea with Lemonade, also a fantastic Waldorf Salad with Romaine Leaves from Marci Green; Kale Salad with Apples from Ingrid Menz; Chaya with Onion, Butter and Olive Oil from Jeanie Fernsworth; Quinoa-Apple-Swiss Chard Salad & Blue Corn Chips from Ruth Lynch; Apple Galette from Kitty Philips; fresh Apples from Sagaponack, L.I. NY from Ginny McCreery; Triple Ginger Snaps and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Vanilla Wafers from Jane Lee.
HOLIDAY POTLUCK DINNER: Start thinking about what delicious dish you’ll be bringing to our annual celebration. The Fall issue of the Mount’s Leaflet listed the time as 7pm, that is INCORRECT. The time to sit down to eat and celebrate is 6 pm. The date is December 8th, a Tuesday, and as usual, we’re in the Auditorium. Do come on time, so that the Holiday Table is full and the food is still warm.
Donnie Brown, President Emeritus
Born and raised in Philadelphia, David received a B.S. in chemistry from Allegheny College and an M.B.A. in accounting and finance from Drexel University. He is a licensed CPA in the states of Pennsylvania and Florida and an accredited associate of the Institute for Independent Business.
As a small business advisor, he formed Majic Earth with one of his clients in 2009. That relationship
Well, July and August were not shy in showering us and making us sweat. The rain brought my grass back to a green color and the brown patches are gone. But now I long for a little cooler weather.
Did you do some fun stuff lately? We went to a family reunion in Maine. First, we stopped in Boston and took in the sights and history. It’s a great place and I plan to go back. From there we drove to Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Driving on 1-95 was not too interesting but once we