Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Day in the Herb Garden, virtually that is

Today I attended the annual program of the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America,  "Growing and Tasting: Herbs from Around the World."   Helen Hamilton, multi talented lady, organized and ran the day, and as a resident of the venue where we met, as well as a member in long standing of the DV Unit of the Herb Society, enabled us to use the location and the technical skills as well as the talent of their resident chefs.





The first speaker, Shyamala Sharma, native of India, but longtime resident of the US, is a key member of the Master Gardeners of Middlesex county, and of the E.A.R.T.H Center of Rutgers, our State University.  

The second speaker,Lorraine Kiefer, is owner and director of Triple Oaks, a landscaping, nursery and teaching enterprise in south Jersey.  Both are accomplished gardeners, historians of herbs and spices, and fine cooks, and recognized authorities in the fields of gardening and the culinary uses of herbs and spices.

Both speakers brought samples of herbs to sniff and enjoy, spices to pinch, taste and smell, and take home samples. First time I had the chance to sniff asafoetida and discover just how pungent it is, and to taste tamarind, a sample of which came home with me. And Lorraine brought in as well as a wide range of planted herbs, violet plants in bloom, which were scented, first time I'd smelled the sweetness of violets.  They're quite different from the wild violets which don't smell at all.

And the luncheon at the end of the morning comprised dishes from recipes supplied by the speakers to the chefs of the venue where we met. 

Anyway, it was all great fun and well designed, very good humored, dozens of participants, who all left happy.  And I resolved to make sure I get to visit some of the gardens around here where classes are given and people like Shyamala and Lorraine share their expertise!

Now I have to study tamarind.  Watch this space..also I have to figure out how to introduce 187 new herbs into my little patio space.

 

1 comment:

Quinn said...

That sounds like a perfect day for you! I'll be looking forward to reading about your adventures in planting new things and experimenting with new herbs in the kitchen :)