Herb Day 2017 is Coming!


The 20th annual Herb Day, Saturday, May 13, 2017, 8:00 am –3:00 pm, sponsored by Old Alabama Town Herb Society will be held in the ‘Living Block’ at Old Alabama Town, 301 Columbus Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104.

The annual ‘Herb Day’ festival is a free, fun-filled, public educational event for the entire family, offering lectures and demonstrations featuring experts on identifying, growing, and using herbs, including a cooking demonstration.
There will be live music performances, activities for children, and the opportunity to find that perfect Mother’s Day gift in the open-air market as a variety of vendors sell their garden related wares including a huge selection of herbal and other plants, crafts, herbal teas, goat cheeses and various sundry yard art.
“Celebrating 20 Years” is the 2017 Herb Day Theme of the Year commemorating the 20th anniversary of The International Herb Association. The designated Herbs of the Year for 2017 are Cilantro & Coriander.

Permaculture at March Meeting

Permaculture Thinking Creates Solutions
Speaker: Chris Gore
Old Alabama Town Herb Society, Tuesday, March 21, 6:00 p.m., OAT Loeb Reception Center, 301 Columbus St., Montgomery, AL 36104

Chris Gore Permaculture“Over six years ago I decided I was going to do some landscaping at my new home. I had never heard of permaculture design nor did I know just how awful my soil was at the time. It turns out a sandy hill void of topsoil comes with challenges. Adding to those challenges was the high acidity from all the surrounding pine trees that are a staple in southern monoculture forestry land. So without much observation I dug six holes and filled them using four encore azaleas and two peach trees. The peach trees I planted almost immediately died regardless of the care I gave. By the next year all but two of the azaleas followed suit and decided not to live. With such a low return on investment I stopped planting. I stopped trying to grow. It did not make sense to buy more plants just to watch them die…That’s when the idea of making the problem the solution made sense and applying this new way of thinking to my life and plantings began to close the loop of my well being. Now I spend a lot of time, energy, and money creating great soil. I no longer see it as a liability but rather as a priceless asset.”

Join Us for a Garden Work Day!

Though the gardens have never looked better, it’s that time of year when the gardens need some spring cleaning. They need to be tidied up, weeded, and a little straw applied. If you can’t weed, we could use help with the rose pruning, raking, trimming perennials, debris removal, and general moral support.

We are planning to meet in the gardens Sunday, 26 February 1-4 PM. Please enter through either the Old Alabama Town Tavern on N. Hull St , or the Jefferson St gate. In case of inclement weather, our rain day will be Sunday, 5 March 1-4 PM.

Please join us…bring gloves, pruners, hand tools, rakes, drinking water, and whatever you think we may need…cookies would be nice.

February Meeting Features Goldenrod

Debbie Boutelier, 2014-2015 President of the Herb Society of America (HSA) will present a program “Autumn Gold – Exploring Solidago” on February 21, 6pm at the Loeb Center of Old Alabama Town.

The ‘Herb Society of America’ has selected the much maligned ‘Goldenrod’ as the “Herbal Shrub of the Year for 2017.” Debbie will enlighten us concerning the medicinal properties and cultural significance of this lovely gift of nature.

Debbie BoutelierDebbie Boutelier is Alabama’s own precious resource on ‘all things herbal.’ She has extensive horticultural background – ​former Autauga Count​ Extension Agen​t​,​​ Alabama Master Gardener​, over ten years study in​ ​​uses of medicinal herbs, and completed a three year intensive study of the medicinal aspects of herbs at the Appalachian Center of Natural Health. She teaches nationally and gives many seminars on organic gardening, nutrition, the many aspects of herbs, and other garden-related topics.
Debbie was an early member of the ‘Old Alabama Town Herb Society’ and we are proud to call her our friend.

Please join us for light refreshments and an evening of delighting in Herbs with Debbie Boutelier!

January Meeting Features Yarrow

yarrowOATHS member Kathy Quinn will do a presentation about traditional medicinal uses Yarrow (Achillea Millefollium) at our next meeting on Tuesday, January 17 at 6pm at the Loeb Center of Old Alabama Town. Yarrow is a flowering herb that grows in several of the gardens in Old Alabama Town. It has been used since ancient times and has many interesting properties. Herb Society members and other interested people are invited to hear her presentation. Kathy is a pharmacist with 25 years experience who has recently become interested in non-pharmaceutical ways of healing. She completed a certificate in Community Herbalism from the Appalachian Center for Natural Health located in Arab, Alabama. She began studying herbs in the garden and came to Old Alabama Town to Herb day for a number of years, joining the Herb Society last year.

Herbal Thanksgiving

Chef Michael Schwartz of the Capital City Club educated Old Alabama
Herb Society members about using herbs to make wonderful Thanksgiving dishes including Sage Roasted Turkey, cranberry sauce with orange, thyme and pomegranate and rosemary garlic fingerling potatoes. A good time was had by all.

Here is the recipe for that delicious turkey:

Chef Michael from the Capital City Club Thanksgiving Turkey.
The Turkey:
Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. The chef baked two 14 pound turkeys. One was a Butterball the other was a cheaper bird. It was hard to tell the difference when cooked.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Remove neck and giblets from inside the bird.
Stuff turkey with cut up carrots, celery and onion that have been tossed with sage and savory.
Rub outside of the bird with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Put bird in open roasting pan.
Place bird in over, cook at 325 for one hour.
Then lower temp to 225 and cook bird until internal temp reaches 165.
Take bird from oven and let it rest for at least an hour. If the bird was larger than 14 pounds letting it rest is also longer…about 30 minutes for every 5 pounds more. He suggested if you want to warm it one could use microwave for a short session. Or use the gravy to heat the turkey meat.
Carving the turkey:
As the Chef said this might be better done in the kitchen, but could be done at the table if required.
Cut along the top of the bird and come down the front where the wishbone is making an upside down Y. Then work the knife along the top to separate the entire breast from the carcass. You can then remove the drumsticks and the dark meat pulling the bones out of the thighs. Slice the breasts with breasts laid flat on carving board.
The Chef’s gravy:
Use the drippings from the turkey’s roasting pan. In a medium sized pot, put the drippings and add some water. Add the carrots and celery that was stuffed in the bird. He then made a roux using some butter and cornstarch in a sauce pan to mix until smooth and added it to the pot. He stirred everything and let it cook, stirring it until it thickened. He removed the carrots and the celery and the gravy was done.

No November Meeting +

There will be no regular meeting for November or December 2016. 
The next regularly scheduled OATHS meeting will be at 6:00 p.m., on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.
Currently, scheduled activities for November and December are as follows:
  • Wednesday, November 2, 6:00 p.m., (in lieu of regular meeting) dinner by Chef Michael at Capitol City Club (details to follow from President Duane).
  • Saturday, November 19, 8:00 a.m., (in lieu of regular meeting) take down scarecrows at Old Alabama Town; volunteers needed.
  • Saturday, December 10, 8:00 a.m., (in lieu of regular meeting) hanging of Christmas decorations at Old Alabama Town.  Only natural materials to be used; please plan to participate.
Volunteers for refreshments will be needed for the January 17, 2017 regular meeting.  A meeting reminder will be sent prior to January meeting.

Scarecrows at Old Alabama Town!

Monday morning was an exciting time in the Old Alabama Town Herb Gardens. A beautiful day with many wonderful plants growing in each garden dressed up for fall with blazing colors. Art Adventure in the Gardens this year resulted in some wonderful sculptures designed by many. Judging was completed by Mayor Todd Strange with Capitol City Master Gardener taking first place blue ribbon, Ms Lizzie Turnipseed receiving second place red ribbon, a tie for third place white ribbon went to Elmore County Master Gardner and Ms Jane McCarthy OATHS member, and also an honorable mention ribbon to Eat South. Many thanks to all who participated in this fun filled event.

OATHS’ Annual Art Adventure/Scarecrow in the Gardens

Montgomery’s Mayor Todd Strange will judge the Old Alabama Town Herb Society’s annual Art Adventure/Scarecrows in the Garden competition on Monday, September 26 at 10:00 am.  Installation of the Scarecrows will take place on Saturday, September 24th, at Old Alabama Town (Living Block area).

Rosa ParksAwards categories are Best in Show, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place, and Honorable Mention.   The public is invited to attend.

Members of the Old Alabama Herb Society (OATHS) gather each year to create scarecrows for an annual display of Art Adventure/Scarecrow in the Gardens at Old Alabama Town (OAT).  The mayor’s office, local schools and Eat South have participated in the annual event. This year, OATHS are inviting local colleges’ art departments, and businesses to participate.

OATHS president, Duck Mara, said “We really want to expand participation in the annual event.  It’s a fun Fall event and an excellent way to get local businesses involved, and students to display their creativity to the many Old Alabama Town visitors from across the world, thus encouraging interest in the downtown Montgomery area.

scarecrowTherefore, if you are creative and are interested in participating in the Old Alabama Town Herbs Society’s (OATHS) annual Arts Adventure/Scarecrow in the Garden program, or in becoming a member of the OATHS, please contact Jean Szabo at (334) 277-6536 or Maxine Taylor for membership information at oathsblog@gmail.com. Please include Scarecrow Competition or Membership in your subject line. Also, for future events and information on OATHS, please like the OATHS Facebook page, or visit the OATHS blog at: http://www.oathsblog.com/