Thursday, March 24, 2011

Volume XX, Issue 2, April 2011

The Charlotte Herb Guild Newsletter

Next meeting:
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Herbal Plant Exchange
Also, bring your knives and garden tools.  While we meet, an expert will be sharpening our tools at a reasonable price.

Garden Council House
1820 East Seventh Street
Charlotte, NC 28204

Hostesses for April Meeting: 

Theresa Travelute and Trudy Christian

Minutes, March 2011 Meeting

Making Wine with Herbs, Presented by John Peragine of Winston Salem

John Peragine, winemaker, writer and herbalist , brought examples of herbal and mead wines for the members to taste. He also explained the history of herbal wine making and some tips for making good wine. He mixed up a batch of wine and made it look easy.

In North Carolina, it is legal to make wine for personal use. That answered a number of the members’ questions. Herbals wines are drinkable after about 3 months. They are not meant to be aged. John's tips included:
  • Use clean herbs
  • Do not use dried herbs
  • Roots may be used if they are macerated and boiled
  • Parsley and oregano stems and leaves are nice to start with because they work well
  • Floral herbs that work well are hawthorn, dandelion, clover, honeysuckle, rose hips, fireweed and nettle
  • A big bucket is necessary, and it must be food grade plastic
  • Use spring water, not tap, not distilled

To find more information and detailed recipes, consult his book, 101 Recipes for making wild wines at

Dana DeBillis and Theresa Nardi held a “raffle” giveaway of herbal gifts for members. It was a lovely method for sharing with members herbal items from the past.


The meeting was called to order by new President, Theresa Nardi. Her first order of business was to thanks hostesses Madge Eggena, Ann Baldwin and Judy Powell for the evening’s refreshments.   Recipes for all the sweet and savory herbals can be found at the top of this page under the tab, "Recipes from this month's meeting."

The minutes of Feb 08, 2011 were approved.

CHG Treasurer, Dixie Kelly, presented the year-end budget. The report is password protected.  If you need the login and password i
nformation, please contact

CHG Membership Chair, Netta Turnbull, reviewed the membership form and encouraged members to fill it out and include dues for this year. She also introduced guests, Cathy Tolman, Shiloh Wofford-Obey, Nancy Walker, Sally Higgins, and William Kelly.

Hospitality Chair, Mary Beth Collins prepared the hospitality sign-up sheet for the 2011-2012. It was circulated by Margery Orell.

Program Co-Chairs, Theresa Travelute andLenlee Corish organized tentative programs for 2011/2011 based on feedback from the February meeting. Theresa presented the proposed schedule to the group. 

  • April - Herbal Plant Exchange and tool/knife sharpening 
  • May - Hypertufa pots 
  • June - Tentative program on Landscaping with Herbs 
  • July - Demonstration on creating a living wreath 
  • August -Tentative Preparation for York Farmers Market 
  • September - Tentative Preparation for York Farmers Market 
  • October - Pot Luck and Silent Auction 
  • November - Tentative Worm Composting 
  • January - Business Meeting 
  • February - Tea 
  • March - Tentative Cooking with Herbs and Wild Flowers 
Theresa Nardi reported on the Matthews Farmers Market update for chair, Lynn Lytle. Saturday, May 21, 7:00AM –11AM has been selected as the date and time for CHG participation in the Matthews Market. There is no fee for participation this year. The Guild will use two tables and will sell cook books and tussie mussies. Chair Lytle estimates she will need six volunteers total, counting herself and Karen Sullivan who will handle cook book sales. She forecasts that one box of cook books (18) will be needed. On the evening of May 20, Lynn will host a tussie mussie party at her home. If you are free on the evening of May 20 for making tussie mussies and/or on the morning of May 21 to sell at the market, please contact Lynn. She is looking for 4 volunteers.

Sandi Fenton, Julie Courtney and Joan Smith have graciously offered to serve as (Co) Chairs of the Yorkmont Charlotte Farmers Market. Look for news from them on dates for the market and herbal items to make for the sale.

There will be a workday at the Hezekiah Alexander House on Shamrock Road on Tuesday, March 29 from 10:00AM until 2:00PM. Volunteers needed.

Theresa Nardi , Margery Orell and Mary Ann Nagel are in the final planning stages of the May 14 trip to Asheville. The trip to Asheville is going to be a lovely day for all of us. The bus we have booked is a large one, it will accommodate all of us (preliminary count is 17 people) and an additional 15 or so guests. If you would like to invite a guest, you may (on a space available basis, but there is likely space for all). The cost for a guest is $30.00. Members will receive an "evite" in a couple of weeks asking for confirmation of a seat on the bus and that of any guest. The itinerary for the day is as follows. 

Leave from the Council House on a chartered CoachAmerica bus 
Arrive at the NC Arboretum
Tour of the gardens and greenhouse
Visit more of the Arboretum on your own or visit the sale area where there will be dahlias, mums, heritage tomatoes, zinnia and marigolds for sale 
Travel by bus to the Grove Park Inn. Enjoy the gardens around the Inn or sit on the veranda and take in a beautiful day (of course, it will be beautiful) 
Lunch at the Grove Park Inn (choice of salad, entree and dessert, (and, yes, wine if you want it) and beverage 
Board bus for the return by to Charlotte and the Council House 
Expected arrival in Charlotte 

Herb of the Month presented by Lara Barnett.   Horseradish…Some Like it Hot 

Lara used information about this herb from from, a modern herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve (

Horseradish has been used for centuries to cure everything from worms in children to freckles in adults. It had enjoyed a long history of use as a food, as a medicine and as a garden plant (although highly invasive). It is both delicious and useful.

The botanical name for horseradish is Cochlearia Armoracia. It has some common names including, Mountain Radish, Great Raifort, Red Cole and Moutarde de Allemands. In the Middle Ages, an Englishman, Gerard, describes 'the Horse Radish stamped with a little vinegar put thereto, is commonly used among the Germans for sauce to eate fish with and such like meates as we do mustarde,'

In early spring, horseradish is cultivated by root cuttings about 8-9 inch long. They are planted 18-24 inches deep in rich soil. Because the plant is invasive in our area, it might be best planted in a container.

The medicinal uses for horseradish are many. It is used as a stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic. If eaten at frequent intervals during the day and at meals, horseradish is said to be most efficacious in getting rid of a persistent cough following influenza. Horseradish was formerly much employed as a remedy for worms in children. In the 1600s, another Englishman, Coles, says: 'Of all things given to children for worms, horseradish is not the least, for it soon killeth and expelleth them.' In the 1800s, horseradish mixed with a little white vinegar was used to lighten freckles.

It is no wonder that the International Herb Association has names horseradish “The Herb of the Year 2011.”

Business items deferred to the April meeting:

  1. Charlotte Farmers Market participation date: August or September? 
  2. 2010/2011 President Dana DeBellis’ Thank you’s. 
  3. Potluck & Board Tea dates/venues. 
  4. Update and request for any Council House unidentified keys. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Margery Orell, Communications Chair

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