Our calendar for the year

We decided to plan ahead this year, and we’ve set the topic and dates for the coming months.

Please note – dates ARE subject to change. We’ll try to post the announcement each month when the date is settled and let you know the location and directions then.

Sunday March 24, 2 pm – Red Clover
Tuesday April 9, 5:30 pm – Kudzu and other Medicinal Invasives
Saturday May 4 – Herb Day Celebration
Saturday June 22 – Summer Solstice
Sunday July 28 – Passionflower Harvesting
Saturday September 21 – Seed collection techniques
Sunday October 20 – Review of sessions from the Southeast Women’s Herbalist Conference
Sunday November 10 – Sharing Blanket and Swap

Please join us – it’s lots of fun, and everyone has knowledge to share and things to learn.

Heal the heart with Hawthorn


NEXT SUNDAY, Feb. 10, join us at Whitestone Farm, Talking Rock – 3 to 6 pm.

Our Herb to Study – Hawthorn. And we’ll have discussion on herbs for the heart.

We will also tour some of Whitestone Farm. If you haven’t been to Whitestone Farm, you will enjoy this outing. If you have, you know how wonderful it is there already! ūüôā
Info about the Farm: click here 
Directions: Click here

Our group will give donations to go toward the purchase of Hawthorn tree(s) to be on Whitestone Farm. Please consider donating money either before or during this meeting for this. Thanks!

Other meetings of the herbalists coming up this year:
March 24 – Red Clover
April 7 – Kudzu and other Medicinal Invasives
May 4 – Herb Day Celebration
June 22 – Summer Solstice
July 28 – Passionflower Harvesting
September 21 – Seed collection techniques
October 20 – Review of sessions from the Southeast Women’s Herbalist Conference
November 10 – Sharing Blanket and Swap
Please join us – it’s lots of fun, and everyone has knowledge to share and things to learn.

Celebrate abundance at the herbal Treasure Share!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 11, from noon to 4 pm. It’s our first Treasure Share!

Time to reflect on our first year together, plant ‘idea’ seeds for next year, and share our gratitude and our love of plants and herbs with each other.

Location:  The beautiful Twelve Stone Farms has graciously offered to host us.

576 Bunch Court, Talking Rock, Georgia 30175
View Map · Get Directions

Have extra of a specific tincture, or dried herbs from your bountiful yard? Bring to share. How about seeds or seedling plants of special herbs? A budding gardner would treasure it! Ready to retire a book from your shelves on plants, herbs, natural living, healing, etc?

Let it educate someone new! Have a hobby or craft that is bubbling out of you? Celebrate it with us! I’ve just listed a few ideas here, but there are no limits, great or small or unique or everyday.Two kinds of Treasure Share – bring something for one, or both!First is the “giving blanket” – every participant puts one share item (maybe the “best” one, or one that has personal meaning) onto the blanket. Then, one by one, we choose something from the blanket that speaks to us. If Crystal starts, and picks the item brought by Jasmyn, then Jasmyn is the next one to pick. Etc.Second is the “share fair,” where all items are laid out on tables and we can all just walk around, browse, and take what we need – or what jumps into our arms!Treats and Drinks – Everyone is invited to bring something to eat and/or drink to share with the group. Let’s try to be creative and get some herbal treats and drinks. (Surely, someone is excited to learn all about herbal cordials!) Don’t let the idea of having to bring something keep you away though. It is you that is that is the most important item to bring. ūüôā

Burn baby burn (moxibustion, that is!)

Ever wondered about moxibustion – the Chinese practice of burning mugwort?

Guest expert Sylvie Augustin will explain and demonstate the techniques at our meeting Sept. 27. She is a local practitioner of medical qi gong, and a food adviser, as well as co-owner of Whitestone Farms (and a dance instructor, too!).

Moxibustion as explained in Wikipedia is used “to warm regions and¬†acupuncture points¬†with the intention of stimulating¬†circulation¬†through the points and inducing a smoother flow of¬†blood¬†and¬†qi.”

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) will be our ‘Herb of the Month’, so study up!

The moxibustion portion will take approxiamtely one hour and we will spend any remaining time discussing the herb from our studies and our personal uses.

We’ll sample mugwort tea for the evening. Be sure to bring a mug/cup.

Date: Sept. 27, Thursday

Time: 6 pm

Location: Natural Market Place, 69 North Main Street, Jasper. Get directions here.


A walk through the garden

Jim Smith is well-known to local gardeners for his long career in the study and care of plants.  As a leader in the Georgia Native Plants Society and frequent speaker on the subject, Jim has given many of us seeds to keep these local greens going.

He’s invited herbalists to come and see his own garden on Wednesday, May 23rd, at 5:30 pm. Attendance is LIMITED to 10 people!

Please RSVP to Crystal Merrell¬†¬†¬†to reserve a spot, and she will send you directions to Jim’s house.

Yellow root: This Thursday!

Yellow root in bloom

Our plant for the month is the bodacious yellow root, which loves rocky streamsides in North Georgia.

Berberine is the active ingredient that give yellow root some of its power – but there’s lots more information to be had about this wonderful plant’s properties, so start doing your homework!

WATCH OUT Рthere is misinformation at eHow and other sites.  Hydrastis canadensis = goldenseal, and Xanthorhiza simplicissima = yellow root. They both have berberine, and treat many of the same health problems Рyellow root is used as a substitute for goldenseal Рbut they are not the same plant.

We’ll meet this Thursday, April 26 at 7 pm, at the¬†Creative and Performing Arts Academy¬†– 95 Whitfield Drive,¬†Jasper. [View Map¬†¬∑¬†Get Directions]

Can’t make it? Please, if you have not already done so, click here to tell us your preference for a meeting time.


  1. What you learned in research
  2. Contribution for the room rental (a dollar or two each if there are 10+ people)
  3. Grain alcohol if you want to make tincture / or a contribution for someone else’s supply
  4. A jar if you would like to take home some of the communal tincture we make
  5. Fresh yellow root if you can gather from private property – here’s some detailed illustrations to help you identify it

Plants of a master gardener

Christi and Crystal are going to meet at the Pickens Extension Office (old Train Depot behind the courthouse) Wednesday March 21st at 10am to identify Kathy Bell’s plants that were salvaged from her greenhouse/home last fall.

Bring plant identification guides/keys that you may have.

For those of you who don’t know, Kathy Bell of Talking Rock was an herbalist who has been in the Pickens community since the early 70s. She passed away last September.

Her husband Jr asked the Master Gardeners to help find new homes for her plants. Kathy began the local farmers market and fought for farmers market rights at the state level. She sold herbal medicine, plants, and was very active as a Master Gardener.

She would have been a key part of this group had it started earlier.