Herb Society returns to Beechwood Farms at Fox Chapel with spring sale after pandemic-related hiatus


Members of the Herb Society of America’s Western PA Unit will be back in action for their annual spring plant sale after a two-year covid-related hiatus.

“After two years without sales, it will be great to see and talk with friends and gardeners again,” said club member Rob Marshall.

The event will feature dozens of hard-to-find strains, handmade products, vendors, and information on growing herbs.

Unit president Rin Babson said the nonprofit’s signature Ruby Glow Tea would be among the items for sale, along with a collection of hand-decorated planters and herbs. specialty to use for pizza and other culinary dishes.

“We’ll have traditional products as well as wonderful books on gardening and herbs,” Babson said.

“There will also be a special section of lightly used home and garden items by members.”

Plant-based art vendor Eileen Yeager will also be on hand with her wares.

The sale is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 7 at the Beechwood Farms Nature Preserve in Fox Chapel.

A pre-order form is available on the club’s website, www.herbsociety.org.

Specialty herbs, from anise hyssop to basil to mint, are available. Items will be bagged for curbside pickup from 2-4:30 p.m. on May 6 at Beechwood Farms, as well as the morning of the sale.

Proceeds benefit the unit’s educational programs and projects.

Founded in 1958, the mission of the Western PA unit is to advance the knowledge and use of herbs, and to promote cultural, civic and educational projects related to herbs, according to the group’s website.

The unit has a long and storied history, including early members Mary Lawrence, whose family built Hartwood Acres, and founding member Rachel Hunt, whose love of nature inspired the 1961 inauguration of the Hunt Institute. for Botanical Documentation from Carnegie Mellon University.

Membership is open to the public and meetings are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the third Monday of the month from September through June at Beechwood Farms.

“There has been a growing interest in the importance of native plants and their inclusion in our public and domestic gardens, so Beechwood Farms is a perfect match for us,” Babson said.

The Herb Society kicks off its spring season in April by tending the Elizabethan Herb Garden and Shakespeare Garden at Mellon Park in Pittsburgh’s East End. Members also help with the herbal and tincture gardens at the Old Economy Village in Ambridge.

The club also provides culinary herbs to the Lauri Ann West Community Center along Powers Run Road in O’Hara.

In the upcoming sale, members will feature the featured herb of the year – wild pansy (heartsease) which blooms from May to August with vibrant hues of yellow, blue and purple.

Also featured will be the standout native grass of 2022 – Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis). Traditionally used to treat skin disorders and digestive problems, the perennial can be recognized by its knotty yellow root and purple stem.

Marshall said that for some, a new obsession are Rutgers University’s new basil varieties. They are DMR or mildew resistant.

“They are very exciting for cooks and gardeners,” he said.

Tawnya Panizzi is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tawnya at 724-226-7726, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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