Herb seminar on tap

Just some of the Sampson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers’ handiwork, this bed is located at Sampson County History Museum.

The Sampson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are building on the success of this past fall’s inaugural herb seminar with a follow-up session slated for next week.

The upcoming seminar focuses on the power of “healing herbs,” as well as the culinary and various other uses of herbs in everyday life. The seminar is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Sampson County Extension Office, located at 55 Agriculture Place off of U.S. 421 South. It is free to the public.

“The herbs discussed during this seminar are herbs we are familiar with, herbs we grew up knowing about, but maybe did not quite know what to do with them,” said Master Gardener Mary Burke-Bass, who organized the event. “It is amazing how many different ways we can use herbs in our lives. Some of the herbs we call ‘weeds’ can really be a useful source in our lives.”

That message was at the heart of the inaugural herb seminar, which was presented by the Master Gardeners this past November. That seminar, attended by approximately 30 people, touched on the many ways herbs are used — culinary being the most familiar way. The seminar was enjoyed and, since it was held, several have requested another, Burke-Bass noted.

At that session, Annie Matthews gave a presentation on the culinary use of herbs, with attendees enjoying many samples. Extension agent Tom Hroza talked about garlic, Sallie Bean gave another presentation on growing herbs, Eloise Register addressed sachets and sprays and Burke-Bass talked about the medicinal uses of herbs.

“We hope the people of Sampson County enjoy and become comfortable in the process of using herbs in their daily lives,” Burke-Bass said. “The culinary use of herbs has become an interesting subject to a large group of people. People are looking towards healthier foods, better tasting foods, and the satisfaction of growing your own food.”

Next week’s seminar will again explore different ways to use herbs in the culinary realm, exploring ways of cooking with herbs to improve flavor of foods and which herbs to use with various foods. The upcoming seminar will also delve deeper into the art of making different “herbal oils,” as well as a more in-depth look at growing, harvesting and preserving the herbs.

“You can look forward to a program on ‘healing herbs.’ Herbs sometimes can save us a trip to a medical facility,” Burke-Bass said. “They do not take the place of medicine, but some are very useful as a healing agent. Sunburn, burns in the kitchen, spider bites, insect bites, sore throat, fluid retention, joint pain … the list is quite long of herbal healing remedies.”

Members of the Sampson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Association said it is an organization that works to improve and beautify the City of Clinton and the entire county for that matter. Master Gardeners plant and cultivate gardens around the area, as well as work with local schools to help students plant raised beds and other organizations.

The group has projects it utilizes each year to earn monies that are promptly poured back into other community projects.

“We are a teaching, sharing, learning group from Sampson County,” Burke-Bass remarked. “The seminar is just one of the many ways we strive to give to our city and county population.”

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