Fishing Creek Herb Guild
Bleeding Heart blossoms in red, white, or pink.
Pinch the yellow flowers of this attractive perennial and presto - the petals turn red. St. John's Wort was said to bloom first on the birthday of St. John the Baptist and to 'bleed" red oil on the day that he was beheaded.
Blue Vervain - Verbina Bastata


Publ. of The Fishing Creek Herb Guild

SEPT & OCTOBER 2011      Vol. 22, no.4


Thought of the month: “As the garden grows, so does the gardener.”


Thursday, September 15, 7 p.m.

Program: “Beneficial Insects in the Garden”, presented by Joyce Brobst.

Hostesses: Karen Musitano, Dotty Moore, et al.

Greeter: Linda Nichols

Herb of the Month: Bergamot

Herb Study Presenter: Louise McCormick


Thursday, October 20, 7 p.m.

Program: “Playing With Your Food”, presented by Toni Farides.

Hostesses: Denise Gray, Susan smith, Cheryl Wilt, Emily Shultz, Karen

Reigel, Loretta Fulton, Barbara Craig, Karen Edwards, Sandy Downs

Greeter: Joanne Reichart

Herb of the Month: Horseradish

Herb Study Presenter: Dotty Moore


THE ANNUAL HERB GUILD PICNIC….was another success in July. The venue of the Barton House on the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds lets members eat, relax and stroll through the lovely gardens. For pictures from the picnic see the website


And, don’t forget to visit the Herb Guild’s other lovely garden site at the Bloomsburg

Town Park. All the gardeners on the Barton House and Town Park Garden committees

deserve a big bouquet of thanks for making Bloomsburg a lovelier place.



-----The Guild members voted to increase our yearly gift to St. Matthew’s Church from $300 to $400. We greatly appreciate being able to meet in this convenient location and want to help offset some of the church’s rising costs for maintaining the facilities.

-----One of the beneficial uses of mint, the herb of the month, is to keep mice away. Scatter fresh mint inside the house, especially in the kitchen, for no-more-mickey-mouse.

-----Because not enough members have been volunteering for hosting duties, September’s food will simply be desserts, just desserts. And drinks.

----We still do not have a complete 2011 membership list. The list passed out in June and again in August is missing the “L” to “S” page. Hopefully, the missing page or a full copy will be available at the meeting in September.


AUGUST’S presentation by Len Janis, who for many years owned Vileniki Herb Farm, was a brief look at how to start an herb garden. First, consider the type of garden, such as edible flower, medicinal herb, plants to dry, butterfly, or theme such as blue or yellow or other single color. Then, collect and research information from catalogs, books, magazines, and now, Internet, to find what plants and varieties you want. Make a plan on graph paper. Think about raised beds, mixing herbs and vegetables, using containers or pots for patios or balconies or small spaces. The following best tips from his 25 years experience follow. The best time to plan the garden is in the winter. A good shade plant is Sweet Cicely, with its anise smell and fern like leaves.  Don’t use too much fertilizer on herbs; it reduces their oils. To start seeds, use vermiculite and cover with sand to keep them from dampening off.  Take cuttings of woody herb such as rosemary, lavender, lemon verbena in the spring [especially in the month of May] and use at least  ½” of old wood stock. When starting plants from cuttings, dip cuttings into a liquid” tea” made from young willow branches to help them root better.


GARDEN TOURS from members.

Thursday, Sept. 1st,   Deb Baigis is giving another one of her popular “Ten Best Gardens in Bloomsburg” walking tour. The last private garden on the tour ends at Herb Guild members Barb and Steve Colodonato’s garden with refreshments! Wear walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Meet at St. Matthew’s Church, 6 pm, our usual meeting location, on the front steps. Shine only.


Charlene Samsel gave several tours of her own lovely gardens to individuals and small groups in July and August. If you would like to venture to Nescopeck, you won’t be sorry. Just give Charlene a call for a delightful stroll.


PICTURES FROM THE SPRING BUS TRIP are now on the website, including the group photo of all the intrepid bus trippers at Chanticleer. The trip was sensational and inspirational!

OUR VERY OWN SOAP for SALE at the Bloomsburg Fair.  Remember to visit the Barton House at the Bloomsburg Fair to buy the homemade lye soap we made at the June meeting! It’s a fundraiser for the Barton House. Rely on the lye!

LOOK FOR THE HERB GUILD EXHIBIT at the Bloomsburg Fair in the Agriculture Building. Joan Silver, Shirley Herb and Bonnie Burke, have stepped up to install the exhibit. John Shott is the provider of many of the plants.


The October Herb Study of Horseradish will feature the National Herb of the Year for 2011. Spring was the time to plant it, Fall is the time to harvest it. The Oracle at Delphi told Apollo that the radish was worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver, and the horseradish its weight in gold. It’s hard to imagine red beet relish or shrimp cocktail sauce without horseradish! Roots are planted up to six inches deep and one foot apart in almost any soil, though slightly acidic is preferable. Then they multiply, once planted you’ll have this perennial forever. [Be careful what you wish for!].


Publ. of The Fishing Creek Herb Guild

      JULY & AUGUST 2011     

               Vol. 22, no.3


Thursday, July 14th, 7 p.m.

[please note this is the Second Thursday

of the Month]

        PICNIC at the Barton House Garden, 

          on the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds.

           [In case of rain, meet at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church]


Yes, this is the annual Outdoor Picnic, held slightly later in the evening than in previous years. With some luck it will be cooler and more pleasant to feast and socialize. You may bring a spouse or family member, if you wish.

Please bring --A covered dish to share

                        --Your own place setting: plate, silverware, cup, napkin, and/or other necessities

                        --Lawn chair or blanket, on which to sit

               **The Picnic Committee will provide the drinks.


The Gardener’s Yard Sale will be held at the picnic. Members who wish to contribute garden related items, books, tools or plants to the sale may bring them to the Fairgrounds [or to the Church, in case of rain]. All sale proceeds go to the Fishing Creek Herb Guild. Please be aware that you will need to take home any times which do not sell. Anyone who wishes to sell individual crafts or wares should bring his/her own table or set up.


In case of rain a notice will be posted on the website by 3 pm.

Thursday, August 18th, 7 p.m.

Program: “Starting Your Herb Garden”, presented by Gerry and Len Vileniki, proprietors of Vileniki Herb Farm

Host/Hostesses: Shirley Herb, Debbie Wilson

Greeter: Charlene Samsel

Herb of the Month: Mint, presented by Norma Chest



Thank you to Theresa Wotjon, first time chair, and the other old- and new-timers on the committee who worked so hard to make May’s plant sale a success. Thanks also to all the Guild members who grew, potted, and donated their treasures. Special thanks to our president, John, whose blooming chairs and floral birdcage were spectacular. Our treasurer reports that the sale made $460.56---you’ll have to ask Louise about the 56 cents!



July 28, 11 am until afternoon. “The View from the Garden” By Petals and Pods

Garden. at Ponduce Farms, 270 White Church Rd., Elysburg, PA 17824  (Numidia). Cost is: $3.00.

Pay at the door. Please RSVP before July 24 to 799-0591,
Registration is from 11:00 - 11:30; Lunch available from 11:30 - 12:30. Programs include

“Meet Garlic and his Family” & “The Perennial Vegetable Garden - Horseradish, Rhubarb, and Asparagus”. Free food samples & recipes. Plants/roots available for sale.

            Saturday, July 2, 9 am- 4 pm. Garden tour with the Back Mountain Bloomers Garden Club in Dallas, PA. See beautiful stone wall landscaping, sweeping perennial beds, ultimate country garden, a mix of artistry and landscaping, & Shakespeare themed garden displays at Misericordia University.  Call Julie McMonagle at 570-696-5082 or e-mail her at



Sharon Reichard suggested using an old lampshade’s metal “innards” as a plant cage. It’s sturdier than the traditional tomato cages. She also suggested trying to use women’s knee-high nylons to hold together the bunches of leaves of daffodils instead of tying them with string or ribbon.


How to keep deer out of the garden? Pull out old videotape tape and string it tightly as a fence, preferably in three layers. As the tape moves, it makes noise, and deters four-footed pests.


Did you know that Ruth Vaughan’s husband sharpens tools? Well, now you do!

Theresa Wotjon runs Whispering Pines Camping Estates, Stillwater, and her store is a delightful mélange of bulk foods, Aucker’s honey, and camping gear and gadgets.

If you have any other interesting tips of business ventures or trades or crafts for sale, please let the Newsletter Editor know, maybe we could have a Business page on the web!



It’s not the cilantro that tastes bad…it’s really your taste buds. According to Shape Magazine, cilantro contains a chemical that, depending on your genetic makeup, can taste citrusy or soapy. If your taste buds say “soapy”, you can use leafy tops of celery to mimic the bright fresh flavor that others find refreshing about the herb.


Herbs such as parsley, thyme, mint, cilantro, basil and others contain the same nutrients found in leafy vegetables, including potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C. According to researchers it’s not how much you consume, but how often. Even a teaspoon a day will make a difference, according to Martha Stewart’s Living.


Conventional produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before reaching your home, according to Family Circle. So, be buy locally grown food, or grown your own.

A few more gems in the longer newsletter at website!


THANKS FOR ASKING TO READ THE NEWSLETTER ON THE WEB PAGE…..   Approximately 40 members, roughly 1/3 of the total membership will be reading the newsletter only on the webpage. Although there will continue to be an email reminder that the new newsletter has been posted, the newsletter is always posted by Shelley Crawford, website editor, by the first of every other month. The full website is available at 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year.


The website is the only place to check on up-to-date information, announcements, and events.

There is no longer a complete email list of all members of the Guild for mass emailings. For example, when the April meeting had to change its date and program the information was posted on the website as soon as it was known, two weeks prior to the new date.

So, please remember to check the website, or, in case of specific questions, telephone an officer.


NO BAKE CHOCOLATE COOKIES                                                            Leah

2 c sugar            ¼ c cocoa                        ½ c butter            ½ c milk

Combine and boil these ingredients for 2 minutes. Add a dash of salt.


1 tsp vanilla                        3 c oatmeal                        ½ c peanut butter

Mix and add to the boiled mixture. Drop on waxed paper. Enjoy!


FOUR BEAN SALAD with cranberries, almonds & feta cheese            Janet Dalberto

1 can green beans, drained                                    1 can wax beans, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained            1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

¼ c slivered green pepper                                    8 green onions, thinly sliced

Marinade:   1/2 c. sugar; ½ c cider vinegar, ¼ c vegetable oil, ½ tsp salt

Toppings: slivered almonds, dried cranberries, feta cheese [the amounts depend on your taste]


Combine beans, peppers, & onions. Mix the marinade until sugar dissolves.

Pour over bean mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring several times.


Next day, drain the salad and transfer to serving bowl.

Top with toasted slivered almonds, lots of dried cranberries and crumbled feta cheese.


Seed Sowing…The Second Season

There are many weeks of good growing weather ahead. Seeds planted in July and August need at least the top ½ inch of soil to be kept moist. It may help to run a length of permeable row cover over the just seeded beds to conserve moisture. And if you see your seedlings wilting in the heat, block the afternoon sun with any sort of object you have—boards, bricks or cardboard boxes.

            Arugula—plant for a late-sown crop, which will be less assertive in flavor.

            Asian greens such as pak choi, komatsuna and others—can be sown ‘til late summer. Many will continue to grow well after hard frosts and under snow cover. Cool or cold weather suits them.

            Basil---sneak in a late crop until the first frost.

            Beans—for late planting, chose a filet bean you can harvest in 50 days.

Beets—count back 8 weeks from a hard frost and that’s your cutoff date for a

fall crop. Even if the plants don’t have time to mature, you can add small leaves

to your salads and steam the large ones.

Cabbage—July and August sowings will yield a late fall crop.

Carrots—you can get in a late-July sowing; they will be ok for the first frost.

Dig up all carrots before the ground freezes.

Cilantro—cut back just 55 days from the first frost for a harvest of foliage. A light frost won’t necessarily do them in.

Kale—one of the sturdiest cold weather crops, kale tastes better after being frostbitten. Small leaves of the “Red Russian” kale can be harvested in just 25 days for salads and steaming.

Kohlrabi—look for the newer varieties that can be harvested in just 40 days.

Peas—will do well if planted 2 months before freezing temperatures.

Rutabaga—sturdy root crop can be panted up until the middle of summer---generally need 90 to 100 days to mature. In the fall, place straw mulch over them for warmth.

Shallots—plant the bulblets in the fall and you can look forward to green onions at winter’s end, followed by an early crop of mature shallots

Spinach—when temperatures moderate, you can start a fall crop. Or plant seeds from Sept. through a hard frost and pick next spring.

Swiss Chard---sow in mid summer and allow 50 to 55 days until harvest.

Turnips---plant from July though early August for a fall crop. Greens may be ready in one month; the roots need nearly 2 months to form.

From: Newspaper, Pennies, Cardboard & Eggs…


CHAIRPERSONS and Committee Volunteers…..NEEDED

There are still committees, host/hostess duties and other volunteer needs that are not filled.

Committee members are needed for Christmas Favors, Christmas Party, Nominating Committee, Bloomsburg Fair Exhibition Committee, and the Cook Book Committee, among others.

Please, if you have not volunteered this year, check the committee lists or speak with the officers and volunteer to be an active member!


Your Talents are Wanted at the Bloomsburg Fair This Year

Scott Edwards, the new Superintendent of the Horticulture Building is asking for your help. An addition to the Horticulture Building this year will be a demonstration stage. Scott is asking for volunteers to do demos of any kind on that stage during the Fair. If you have a talent or skill and would be willing to demo, please call the Bloomsburg Fair Association at 784-4949. 


The FISHING CREEK HERB GUILD is committed to helping the environment. Please bring your eating utensils to meetings. n general, remember to Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.


BUS TRIP PHOTOS still requested. Please send digital photos of the Guild’s May Bus Trip to the Phila area to Shelley Crawford for the Website & Archives.


The directions on making lye soap presented by Holly Beagle at June’s meeting are in

July/August’s newsletter on the website.


Additional Materials found only in the Newsletter on the Website


More CALENDAR LISTINGS… from our members

August 13-14---97th Annual Lithuanian Days at Schuylkill Mall, Route 61 and I-81,

Frackville. Website: Ed. Note: I’ve been there in the

past and it is lots of fun and food.

August 26-27—Kielbasa Festival, Plymouth, Route 11. Older than the Shenadoah

Kielbasa Festival, but just as tasty. Ed. Note: I’ve also been here in past years

and it is lots of fun and food.

August 27-28—Hot and Stinky Garlic Festival held at Zanolini’s Nursery and Garden

Center, Drums, PA. [just off Rt. 93 and I-81]. Ed. Note: Will try it!


MORE….It must be true…I read it in a magazine….


Violets’ ability to soften offensive odors made them the most popular air freshener in stinky 19th century London. A fresh picked cucumber is particularly refreshing because its internal temperature is several degrees lower than the surrounding air. Botanists consider every bump on a raspberry as an individual itsy bitsy tiny fruit, because each has its own seed. These gems are probably from Martha.


Finally….Use eggshells to get rid of stains in a teapot or thermos by pouring hot soapy water over them, then shaking. You can also sprinkle eggshell shards around the stems of outdoor plants to keep slugs and snails away. From Real Simple.


This and That…

A five-percent solution for Weeds

The Environmental Protection Agency approves vinegar as a weed killer. When weeds are young, spray them with vinegar based week killer available from the garden center or grocery store. White vinegar is a 5 per cent solution and it will kill young weeks. Use it undiluted in a plastic sprayer and weeds be-gone

Picnic Food Safety Info

Just in time for the picnic, thought I would share info from the USDA’s publication from “Safe Food to Go—A Guide to Packing Lunches, Picnicking and Camping Out”, 1968.


---Contrary to common practice, it is not safe to thaw meat or poultry on the kitchen

counter. Take meat or poultry out of the freezer and put it on the refrigerator

shelf a night or two before you need it.

--If there isn’t a faucet to wash your hands, when touching food, use wet handi-wipes.

--While all mayonnaise based salads should kept on ice, the mayonnaise you buy at the

store is not a food poisoning villain. Its high acid content actually slows bacterial

growth. But homemade mayonnaise, if made without lemon juice or vinegar, can

be risky.

--When transporting food, put the cooler chest in the passenger area of the car. It’s much

cooler than the trunk.


Spice Power

[And we’re not talking Posh or Scary]

Did you know?

Cayenne has capsaicin, which has been known to help reduce ulcer symptoms and has a

related ability to lower the risk of stomach cancer.

Nutmeg—extracts were able to help cause a type of leukemia cells to self-destruct.

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help protect against colon


Turmeric may inhibit the development of cancers of the breast, cervix and uterus, as

well as helping keep colorectal cancer cells from spreading.

Cloves contains substances which could protect against a type of skin tumor.

Cinnamon compounds may help prevent cell damage that increases cancer risk.

                                    From, October 2009



Internet Sites to Help your Garden Grow people who want to know what “plays well together”, includes unusual culinary herbs such as amaranth, angelica, mace.—specializes in “high-yield and disease-resistant” varieties of seeds. videos on planting and pest control, as well as help you to  figure how many seeds to buy depending on your garden site.—focuses on hybrid and heirloom varieties.

                                                                                                From The Week—detailed growing instructions and zip-code searchable base for nurseries they supply.—how-to videos and catalog of plants.—famous, need we say more. ($21/yr after free trial)—online garden journal to track plantings, chores, etc.

                                                                                    From Family Circle


From JUNE’S MEETING…Making Lye Soap with Holly Beagle



Prepare molds

Sprinkle 3T lye into ½ c cold water

Melt 2 c. lard until clear

Check temperatures, slowly add lye to lard

Stir until like thin cake batter

Slowly stir in ½ c. water

Stir until it starts to thicken

Pour into molds.

Homemade Lye Soap

Spray molds with cooking spray and line with waxed paper. In a small glass bowl add 1/2 C water. Slowly sprinkle and stir in 3 T lye. Set aside, this will heat to 200 deg.

In larger glass bowl, microwave to melt clear 1 1/2 C lard. Add 1/2 C glycerine or any oil, soy, olive, safflower, baby oil, etc. Cool lye water and lard mixture to 100 deg. Lard will be warm to touch, test lye water by touching bottom side of bowl. Slowly drizzle and stir lye water into lard mixture. Stir continuously til the consistency of thin cake batter. It will look creamy and will take at least 15 minutes. Stir in slowly 1 bottle "Elegant Expressions" (2 fl oz.) concentrated fragrance oil. Fill empty bottle 1/2 full with water and add to soap mixture. (you may use essential oils and 1/2 C of water, honey, cream, additional oils (etc.) Stir continuously for about another 15 minutes (longer if you have heavier oils like olive oil) until the consistency of yogurt. Pour into wax lined molds. Cover with cardboard then cover all with towel. 12- 24 hours later, cut soap into bars while it is still in the mold. If soft, leave in the mold a day or two.

Let soap air dry before using. 

Clean up lye spills on your skin with vinegar - water will only make it burn more. 

Lye soap is a good pre-wash shaved into laundry. It makes clothes come out clean and bright. It is good for sensitive skin and helps clear acne, eczema and psoriasis. For hunters it eliminates the human scent (lye soap with no fragrance). To eliminate the itching and burning of poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac, lather up the area and let dry on the skin. Also works on mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, sunburn and athlete's foot. Cleans the language of children too. Lye soap will make your skin softer, hair shine, helps eliminate dandruff and kills head and body lice. For your pet it kills fleas and reduces dander.

Shavings in a nylon bags tied on the porch keeps bugs away. Spread outside the home and it keeps ants and termites away. Keeps snakes, spiders and roaches away from the house




Publ. of The Fishing Creek Herb Guild

           MAY & JUNE 2011      Vol. 22, no.2

Thursday May 19, 7 pm

The Program is the Plant Auction. Everyone is asked to look in his or her garden and dig deep and share the wealth, so to speak. All plants are welcome, but if you have any plants from the members’ specially requested “Plants Wanted” list, please try to donate. Also remember, the May meeting, featuring the Plant Auction, is only open to currently paid-up 2011 Herb Guild members.

Herb Study: “Salvia Divinorum” presented by Nancy Houck



Please put your plants in any container you have available. Label each plant with the following information:                               

                --Plant name

  --Name of grower

                --Growing habitat [such as shade, full sun, drought tolerant, etc]

              Arrive early, please, and unload near the church entrance.

Auction committee members will be available to help move plants into the church. If you have time, please feel free to arrive early and help move plants inside.

Plants will be organized by the auction committee members while the regular business meeting is in progress.

 When the plants are organized, you will have approximately 20 minutes to place a silent bid on paper for any plant that you wish to purchase.

   Bids : Minimum bid will be 25 cents and above that in 5 cent increments. (No pennies, please). Place your bid by writing your name and bid on a piece of paper and attaching it to a clothespin, which will be in the  pot.

     After the bidding is complete the auction committee goes back to work to determine winning bidders. The winning bidders name and bid will be revealed and attached to the clothespin.

                   If there are identical bids for the same plant, a random selection will be made as to the winner.

     Paper for bidding will be provided, but if you choose, you may write your name on your own slips of paper in a special color. This may be helpful in locating the your winning bidded plant.

                   Remember to bring a box or bag to carry all of ‘em!


All proceeds from the plant auction goes to the Fishing Creek Herb Guild treasury and will be used for future guild expenses. It’s for a great cause, so bid high and have fun!


“Plants Wanted” Special Request list

Poppies       Bee Balm     Flat Leaf Parsley      Lavender     Catmint

Shade Plants     Hostas [Unusual Varieties]    Coral Bells          

Mint [All Varieties]      Primrose     Dutchman’s Pipes    Clematis  

Lemon Verbena   Lilacs      Ladies Bedstraw

Thursday, June 16

Program: “Soap Making with Holly Beagle.” Learn how to make home-made soap from scratch. Holly will guide us through the process and at the end of the program the soap will have to “cure” for several months until it can be handled. All the soap made will be sold as a fundraiser for the Barton House. No special dress is required and this is a “no muss” affair, but you may wish to wear an apron. All materials will be provided and more details will be announced at the May meeting.

Greeter: Mary Hopkins

Herb Study: Lavender presented by Marion Krum


Mark Your Calendars…. for these Events

May 4th and 5th---Fishing Creek Herb Guild’s annual trip, this one is to the Philadelphia area. The full itinerary can be found further in this newsletter.

 May 12th—Herb Society of America’s 72nd Annual Herb Sale. 10 am-1:30 pm at Historic Yellow Springs. Reservations accepted until May 9th. For info see or call 610-970-5264.

   June 20 & 21st –“Herbal Delights”, 29th Herbal Symposium. Registration

accepted until June 6th by mail. Pennsylvania Heartland Herbal Symposium, reading, PA. For info and registration form see



Garlic was the herb of the month and John Shott shared a recipe for keeping deer and other critters at bay by making your own “Liquid Fence”.™ Combine garlic juice, eggs and milk. Let this mixture rot; strain and use. Odiferous, but effective according to John.


Karen Musitano suggested growing a cute spring “surprise” by planning seeds in half of an egg shell.


WEBSITES TO TICKLE YOUR FANCIES: From Deb Baigis….Three great garden websites: A Way to Garden; Mary Janes Farm; Garden Design Magazine

From John Shott… this site is a live webcam of bald eagles up close and personal in their nests at


Remember to look for the Fishing Creek Herb Guild at the website. This is the first time we will be sending notices to members who wish to only read the newsletter online. The email address for the editor will be coming from “” to keep this list separate. All other inquiries or information should be sent to Janet Dalberto at her “” email address listed on the Membership List.

The website has more information and details on other items which are more lengthy or more timely than the newsletter.


HONEY BEES STILL IN DANGER…how you can help?

Brenda Aucker announced that the honeybee colony collapse syndrome cause has not been solved and bees and other insects, which pollinate crops, remain in serious danger. Pesticides seem to be one of the main culprits. She urged members to sign the following petition letter. (You can also mail your support in an individual letter).




                         Mail support for these goals to:

                   PennApic, Box 141, Lewisberry PA 17339


The goal of the petition:

1)    Gain support of the public though involvement, education, promotion

2)    Keep the plight of the honey bee and other beneficial insects in the public’s mind

3)    Collect enough support to encourage a meeting with government officials and ask for continued support and considerations of beekeeping industry problems.

We, the undersigned, acknowledge the problems and plight that the honey bee is enduring. Recent massive honey bee colony deaths, at levels not seen previously in history, are signs that something is wrong in the environment. Native pollinators, bats, frogs, butterflies and the honey bees, in particular, are being killed off due to a host of agriculture practices. The increased use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, and new classes of approved chemicals are contributing g to the loss of honey bees. Without honey bees for pollination, our food crops are in peril. And we seek support and change to allow honey bees to thrive.

Name                        Signature                        Location (town and state)

Please help by mailing support and urging your friends, fellow gardeners, family and friends to support change.


RECIPE from March’s meeting


Cream Cheese Lime Jello

3-oz packages of lime jello            2 3-oz packages cream cheese

2 cups of boiling water                        crushed pineapple


Blend together lime jello and cream cheese. Stir in 2 c boiling water to dissolve jello.

Stir in the crushed pineapple. Chill until firm.


[Editor’s note: Just like my Mom used to make!]

[ Please remember to put your name on your recipe for the cookbook!]


Herb Guild’s Annual Trip-Philadelphia Area-Final  Itinerary

Hope you’ve booked your seat for May 4th and 5th. As of March’s meeting

 there were still a few seats left according to JoAnne Fogelman.


May 4thMt. Cuba Center. The former home and family estate of Mr. And Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, near Wilmington DE. Dedicated to the study, conservation and appreciation of plants native to the Appalachian Piedmont Region.

Winterthur. The estate of Henry Francis du Pont is the premier museum of American decorative arts. It has a 60-acre naturalistic garden and research library.


Staying overnight at the Holiday Inn Express, Exton, PA.


May 5thJenkins Arboretum and Gardens. One of eastern PA’s great botanic gardens with native trees shrubs wildflowers and ferns as well as rhododendrons and azaleas.


Chanticleer. Tens of thousands of bulbs bloom in the spring, followed by orchards of flowering trees with native wildflowers in the woods. The estate also features majestic trees and verdant lawns.


Highlands Mansion and Gardens. A 44-acre historic site with a Georgian mansion and two-acres of formal gardens highlight early 20th century estate gardening.


Meadowbrook Farm, a nursery, garden center and gift shop



APRIL’S PROGRAM was “Eggs-ceptional”

We are so glad so many of you were able to make the changed meeting on March 14th. Because Jessica Walliser was unable to change her schedule we had an interesting program presented by Janina “Yanka” Everett, who demonstrated and spoke about the art of Ukrainian Easter eggs [“pysanky”]. Not only did we see lots of samples of pysanky, but we also learned that you cannot melt wax or dye cold eggs! And that you should definitely use eggs with the insides “blown out” to avoid a full raw egg from exploding sometime in the future.


The Pysanka is decorated by the batik method (wax resist). The designs are meticulously drawn on the egg with wax. Then the egg is immersed in a dye. The process continues with successive applications of wax and dying. Once the final pattern and colors are achieved, the wax is removed by heating by a candle and gently rubbing with a cloth. Then the shell is protected by four applications of clear varnish. The eggs are fragile, but can be carefully kept for many years.


The design and color are symbolic of different virtues and blessings. The combinations of these symbols convey the meaning of the egg. Some of the symbols follow:


1)Geometric—Star—Beauty, Wisdom                        3)Animals—Bees—Hard Work

            Sun—Good Fortune                                             Butterfly--Resurrection

            Cross- Christianity                                                Fish--Christ

            Diamonds—Knowledge                                        Birds at Rest--Peace

           Dots—Constellation, Star, BVM’s tears                Rooster--Fertility

            Endless Lines—Eternity                                        Deer --Wealth                             

            Ladders-Prayer                                                       Lion—Strength, Virility

            Spirals—Good luck                                                Bear Paw—Strength, Stability

            Triangle—Family or Trinity                                   Wolves Teeth--Protection

2) Plants—Leaves—Life, Growth                        4) Colors—White--Purity

            Flower-Love, Charity                                            Black--Remembrance

            Tree—Youth and health                                         Red--Love

            Grapes—Good fruits of Christian life                   Yellow--Spirituality

            Pussy Willow—Spring                                           Orange—Warmth

            Wheat—Bounty                                                      Blue--Health



                                                                               Purple—Strength, Power

For more info contact Yanka at or 759-2824

Additional Newsletter Material

On the Website Only!


Another RECIPE from March’s meeting

Chicken Tetrazzini

16 oz vermicelli broken into thirds        

4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size

1 can cream of chicken soup                   

1 can cream of  celery soup

1 can, 15 oz chicken broth                      

1 cup chopped onion                

8 oz sour cream

1 c shredded Parmesan cheese                 

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic chopped fine                     

1 tsp pepper                           

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp salt


Cook vermicelli until done. Brown chicken in olive oil & poultry seasoning. Add other ingredients. Heat through and then put in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Cover with additional cheese. Bake 350 degrees covered 3 minutes, uncover & bake 10 more minutes.




Teresa Wotjon, who owns Whispering Pines Camping Estates in Stillwater, announced that the camp store is beginning a program for co-op purchase of bulk foods. The store opened April 15th and carries foods from Dutch Valley Foods for bulk purchases for a $10 membership. Interest in other foods or distributors can be shared with Teresa for future addition. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. See her website at or phone 570-925-6810 for more information.



Carol Fraind is selling an “Almost New” 6 Horsepower Craftsman Rototiller, rear tine 17”. Please call her at 759-1130 for more information.


As Spring Approaches…

think about attracting Butterflies to your garden

There are many programs and more awareness of butterflies and their importance to the garden. Here are some suggestions for helping them combat declining habitats.


“A garden of native plants represents a return to a natural and evolving system. Encouraging a community of select plants and insects to thrive in your garden will actually reduce the need to apply pesticides and herbicides since nature provides its own system of checks and balances.”


--Learn about the butterfly species in your area and encourage them to live in your garden.

--Plant nectar foods for adults and host plants that serve as food for caterpillars.

--Heirloom species tend to have more nectar more scent and more appeal.

--Butterflies are extremely sensitive to pesticides and lawn chemicals. Dandelions, clover and other “weeds” in your lawn may actually attract more butterflies.

--Provide sunny areas for basking, such as heat absorbing rocks, shelter from wind and wet areas (though not open water) for puddling.

--Since some eggs, larvae and pupae spend the winter on twigs, branches and dead leaves, cut back the garden early in autumn to avoid discarding latent butterflies with your garden waste.

Butterfly Larval Host Plants:

Tulip Poplar---Tiger Swallowtail

Paw Paw---Zebra Swallowtail


Spice bush---Spicebush Swallowtail


Dutchman's Pipe---Pipeville Swallowtail


Pearly Everlasting---Painted Lady

Dill/Fennel/Parsley---Black Swallowtail

Heath Aster---Pearl Crescent

White Clover---Eastern Tail Blue

Butterfly Attracting Nectar Plants:

Flower shapes that draw the most attention are those which allow a butterfly to perch while sipping nectar.

---Daisy like Coneflower, Aster, Coreopsis

---Clusters of spikes of blossoms like Bee balm, Button Bush

---Umbrels (flat cluster of flowers) like Yarrow, Milkweed

Clumped or massed plantings in blue, purple, yellow, white, orange, pink or red spectrum

Fragrant flowers advertise nectar, but use heirloom varieties

Butterfly Bush and Lantana, although excellent nectar plants aren't native species.

From a Smithsonian Horticulture Gardening Sheet

See also


Make Your Own Herbal Blends

Herbs in a bunch can be made by gathering sprigs of herbs such as parsley, thyme, & rosemary with a length of stem attached. Gather in bunch and bind tightly with string that you can dunk and remove the bundle from soups and stews as they simmer.

Alternatively, you can put herbs in a reusable cotton bag, sewn or purchased, or inside a square of cheesecloth tied at the top. Some traditional blends are:

France: Bouquet garni: bay, parsley, thyme

Fines herbes: chervil, chive, tarragon

Herbes de Provence: basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, thyme Mexico: Recado rojo: allspice, annatto, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, cumin,  

garlic, Mexican oregano, salt

Northern Africa: Chermoula: chili peppers, coriander leaves, cumin, 

garlic, lemon, olive oil, paprika, saffron

Harissa: caraway, chili peppers, coriander, cumin, garlic

 Middle East: Zatar: sesame, sumac, zatar

 India: Garam masala: black pepper, cardamon, cinnamon, clove,  

            coriander, cumin, mace

            Curry: black pepper, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, fenugreek, ginger

 powder,  mustard seed, red chilies, turmeric

 China: Five-spice: Cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds, star anise Szechuan



Herbal Medicine for cuts and scrapes

Aloe [aloe vera]—You can rub the “juice” on burns to take out the sting. It can also soothe and reduce inflammation; plus it's antibacterial.

Calendula [calenula officinalis]—anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic. You can usefresh or dried flowers in a compress. Many homeopathic commercial remedies like Nelson's or B & T cream use calendula.

             Comfrey [symphytum officinale]—Speeds healing. For a compress, wrap fresh or dried leaves in a clean, wet cloth and apply.

  Plantain [plantago spp.]—This weed contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory substances. Mash a few leaves into a poultice and apply to a wound.

Not just recycle, but “upcycle”

and be gentle to the environment….


Entrepreur magazine’s April issue for Earth Day had an article on the trend more and more companies are embracing—“upcycling”—that is collecting recyclables and incorporating them in new products. Some companies they list include:

Equator Coffees and Teas, who use their coffee waste to promote sustainable farming in developing countries; Hermes uses their leftover materials and damaged goods for a new line of accessories and decor, Patagonia makes fleece out of plastic bottles, and TerraCycle uses trash to make new products. So, the next time you see a museum shop or small boutique which features purses or products made from plastic soda or juice bags---buy “upcycle” and save the environment!

Coneflower - what a beauty!
Nothing better than a fresh strawberry!