Jasper Herb Society celebrates 10 years
by Jennifer Cohron
Dec 09, 2010 | 2224 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charter members Carolyn Lamar, Nora Estill and Linda Pair decorate a table for the Jasper Herb Society’s 10th anniversary celebration on Tuesday night. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
Charter members Carolyn Lamar, Nora Estill and Linda Pair decorate a table for the Jasper Herb Society’s 10th anniversary celebration on Tuesday night. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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Ten is a special number for the Jasper Herb Society.

The local group is still growing 10 years after it was established by 10 charter members.

Current club president Nora Estill was one of the people who wanted a place where area gardeners could learn about herbs.

Estill said her own herb garden is like a retreat.

“I’m the closest to God there when I’m tilling in the soil. I’m not thinking about my daily strife. I’m thinking about what I’m growing and planning ahead for another season,” Estill said.

Estill said herbs are good for aroma therapy, medicinal purposes and cooking.

Herbs are an important ingredient in the meals that members bring to club functions, such as their monthly meetings at First Presbyterian Church in Jasper.

“At home, sometimes our families say, ‘Oh, don’t put that in there.’ But here, we all enjoy it,” said president-elect Carolyn Lamar.

During this year’s Herb Day fundraiser, one person brought potato soup that had been made with chives and arugula.

On Tuesday night, members of the Jasper Herb Society ate rosemary turkey and rosemary cookies during the group’s 10th anniversary celebration at Four Seasons Garden Center in Jasper.

Rosemary, the club’s signature herb, was favored by King Charlemagne and Napoleon Bonaparte and was mentioned by William Shakespeare in several plays. It is one of several herbs that grow well in Walker County.

Estill said although she has made many new friends through the Jasper Herb Society, it is much more than a social club.

The group maintains an herb garden at Walker Baptist Medical Center.

The monthly meetings include information about an herb of the month and programs from a club member or guest speaker.

The group also has a cookbook and herb directories available.

Prospective members don’t have to be gardening experts to join the Jasper Herb Society.

“I was learning when I joined. I could grow basil, but I didn’t know how to use it,” Lamar said.

Estill said she has learned from and been inspired by her fellow group members many times. Even she, a charter member, is still adding to her knowledge about herbs.

“You keep growing every day,” Estill said.