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Johnson County 
Herb Society

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History of the Johnson County Herb Society


The Johnson County Herb Society was established in the spring of 2003. It's purpose is to educate fellow gardeners in the propagation, cultivation and uses of herbs, as well as their history and folklore.

The first meeting was held at the Old Blue House nursery in Cleburne, where Pam Aaron (president from 2003 - 2005) explained how the Johnson County area could benefit from a herb society like the one in Fort Worth. Following meetings were held at the United Electric Cooperative service in Cleburne.

Members decided to move the meetings to a more central location in 2006. JCHS now meets from 10 a.m. -12 noon on the third Saturday of each month at the Cleburne Library, 302 W. Henderson.

Dues are $20 per year. Meetings feature a herb of the month handout, raffle, and programs from guest speakers or members on ways to use herbs from the garden - to crafting, cooking and possible medicinal uses. (The herb society's purpose is not to diagnose, treat or prescribe herbs.)

JCHS members and guests have gone on several field trips. In the spring of 2004 they visited herbalist Dr. Judy Griffin's garden in Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Herb Society Festival in May. In the spring of 2005 members visited the garden of Lucy Harrell, organic garden consultant in Arlington. In 2006 members and guests went on a field trip to Jo Anne Boudreau's Boudreau Herb Farm in Mineral Wells. Jo Anne spoke from her knowledge of how herbs are used medicinally. In July JCHS visited the garden of fellow member Sandra Buerger to see how herbs could fit into the landscape amongst a water garden, garden fixtures and winding paths.

JCHS presented it's first herb festival "Celebration of Herbs" with guest speakers Dr. Judy Griffin and Lucy Harrell, vendors and a quilt raffle. Proceeds from the quilt raffle were earmarked to purchase a bench for the newly developing Winston Patrick MacGregor park in Cleburne.

Johnson County Herb Society held its second herb festival "Herbal Thymes" show and symposium Saturday, October 28, 2006at the Cleburne Senior Center. In 2007 and 2008 they had booths at the Johnson County Master Gardener spring show.

JCHS has many other community projects on the agenda, including making a demo herb garden and producing a series of herbal cookbooks with taste-tested recipes. The first cookbook "Cooking with Herbs and Spices: Desserts" was released in the spring of 2008. The books and CDs are $10.

Members are often asked to give talks on growing herbs or cooking with herbs. They presented the Cleburne library with a copy of "The Herb Garden Cookbook", their own Desserts cookbook, a herb container garden for the area near the rear entrance, and a white wrought iron bench.

2011

President Pat Kriener

Treasurer Sharon Bates

 We moved our meetings to the 1st Sat of the month to accommodate many members who were also in the Greater Fort Worth Herb Society and the JC Iris & Day Lily Society. Our Workshop this year featured Herbal Vinegar, Drying Herb Methods, Making Herb Dolls & Herbal Seasonings. The Christmas Party was at the Thai Garden Restaurant.

 2012 

President Pat Kriener

Treasurer Sharon Bates

JCHS moved to Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum after several meeting the members decided to help support a demonstration garden. The hardscape of the garden was built by the Horticulture/Landscaping class from the Johnson County Transitional Program at Hill Collage. The horticulture class planted a Vegetable Bed & Pollinator Garden. The JCHS helped with funds for the beds,  plants & donations of materials. Laying cardboard Spreading mulch became a full time job for both groups. The gardens and plantings at the site are maintained between the 2 groups and members of Chisholm Trail.  During the year many of our lectures were geared to the work in the garden and were hands on. With so much to do many hands made it light work. As an example we put together an easy to make compost bin out of pallets and discussed cold & hot compost. Another lecture we discussed Medicinal Herbs and planted many in our Medicinal Herb Bed. A store room was built for tools a for tools & materials, we call it the Outhouse. We were blown away literally for our Spring Plant Sale fundraiser. The winds most have been blowing 40 miles per hour.  We had beautiful weather in October for Pioneer Days, it was a really fun event. The Christmas Party was small but again the weather was great and we spent it outside decorating our garden Christmas Tree.

2013

President Tracy Bryant

Treasurer Pat Kriener

Work on the gardens evolved more plants in the beds, workshops such as Square Foot Gardening - planted a SFG Bed, Culinary Herbs - planted Culinary Herb Bed and many more during the year. Many additions happened this year; the gardens were fenced, beds planted, planting boxes built, new entrance beds, Sunflower Fort, Three Sisters Garden & a new container garden by the Stage Station.  Just for fun we added a Free Little Library which is used on a regularly and has a wide range of books & magazines. We are very thankful that we had the Horticulture/Landscape class to do a lot of the hard work. We joined forces with the Iris & Day Lily Society for a sales table at the Iris Show. That was fascinating to see all of the different Irises and how they were displayed. We are very thankful for such good friends. This year we were not as lucky with Pioneers Days and the Christmas Party the weather was horrible. Pioneer Days we had 2 truck loads of mums to sell that would be over 200 mums and no place to sell them. What to do well we networked via email and delivered mums all over 3 counties. Our other community projects include  donation of newspapers to the Animal Shelter and every Christmas we like to send something special to the Cleburne Pregnancy Center. 

2014

President Tracy Bryant

Treasurer Pat Kriener

Started off with a bang with the 1st Annual Johnson County Seed Swap, it was a blast. Esther Chambliss volunteered to maintain the Herb Study Group that meets monthly at 1:30 on the 2nd Saturday. Created Monday's in the Garden - an opportunity for members and others to attend loose gardening lectures and help with maintenance of the garden. Demo Garden was certified as a National Butterfly Habitat. We were awarded 2 grants to create a Monarch Waystation and received our certification as an Official Monarch Waystation. The Free Little Library is Officially on the Free Little Library Map. August 2nd held the FREE Summer Thyme Festival which included a FREE Seed Swap, FREE Lectures, FREE workshops, diverse group of vendors & a special FREE Kid's Alley.