What a delight it was to be invited to speak the the 2020 Home and Garden show! I must admit, I had not been to this event before the day I presented. It just wasn't on my radar as we have gratefully not needed to replace our home's windows, and sadly, do not have a place for a hot tub. I was happy to find that there was so much more to this show than I thought! ...
My gracious supporter, Tisa Watts at the Columbus Garden School, where I teach classes on herbalism, invited me to speak at this colossal event. My presentation, titled 'Herb Garden Remedies'. was given on the Garden Stage, in a much greener environment than the main building where all the home remodeling vendors were. Surrounded by trees, perennials, waterfalls, topiaries, living walls, and an edible garden, I shared some of what I know with those who came to see me present.
It didn't take long to get used to wearing a wireless microphone headset which was new to me. *Little tip: wear it under your hair. This was my first PowerPoint ever, and having taught myself to use it days before the event (I'm not a procrastinator, I just tend to create at the last minute) I had only had one practice run at using the remote but once I had it up on the giant screen I jumped right in and began to gush about some of my favorite plants. But not before we sang a little song. Can you guess what we sang?
Ok, I'll give you a hint: the song dates back as far as the 1600s and was made popular in the 1960s. A song about herbs. A love song of sorts. *I sang it to my little herbalists when they were babies.
What I love about public speaking is having the opportunity to introduce people to a new way of looking at something that they may have had in their mind as being mundane, or ordinary. Our plants are anything but mundane! Take for example, Petroselinum crispum: parsley. Most of the people who came to my presentation had in their mind that parsley was just a flavor, something to add to food to give it a little character on the pallet. I saw their eyes widen while I talked about parsley having so many attributes they hadn't known before. This common, garden herb used in culinary ways is now, to them, something more.
Same goes for Salvia officinalis, Rosmarinus officianalis, and Thymus vulgaris. But when I got to the fifth and last herb, I thought that I would hear groaning. I didn't! Maybe they were just politely grumbling in their heads. Maybe they were wowed with this beauty: Taraxicum officinale: Dandelion. Oh, how lovely. Digestive health, kidney health, vitamins, minerals (not least potassium), and a coffee substitute to boot! Kroger sells the greens in the organic produce section. Tea companies have it in their blends. We have it in our yards! For free!
The presentation was great fun. I loved answering questions as I went along and hearing from folks afterwards. One man even came to just tell me that he was raised by a mother who helped him with the plants when he was ill or hurt, and that she always said, "God created a plant for every ailment". What a wonderful thing to share with me...and she was right.
Sarah is a community herbalist, raising children, teaching children and adults the ways of herbalism and nature, and handcrafting herbal products for the community.