The Western Pennsylvania Unit of The Herb Society of America
The mission of the Western Pennsylvania Unit, founded in 1958, is to further the knowledge and use of herbs, and to promote cultural, civic, and educational projects relating to herbs.
Membership in the unit is open to anyone who has an active, knowledgeable and/or creative interest in herbs. A candidate for membership is required to attend at least one regular unit meeting, fill in an application form and present it to the Chairperson of the Membership Committee, and if accepted for membership pay their yearly dues.
We meet 9 times a year on the third Monday of the month. Meetings are held in gardens
and at various locations around Pittsburgh, PA. Meetings focus on an herb study, a guest speaker or a program on specific topics, at times making herbal products, at times tours, a business meeting and lunch. During the Covid-19 pandemic we continued to see each other and enjoyed our meetings and programs online.
One of the best ways to promote the delight of herbs is to grow them and garden together in the gardens we maintain. These are in Mellon Park in Shadyside and at Old Economy Village,
in Ambridge, PA. We learn to use these herbs in our herbal recipes we share and then publish in our quarterly newsletter, The Herbal Thymes. Many members contribute to this online publication and we always enjoy reading it to learn about each other and how we share of love of herbs.
We study the Herb of the Year, the Notable Native Shrub/Tree, and Notable Native Plants.
It’s so important to create opportunities for safe habitats and safe passage for plants, animals, and pollinators in our environment. Learning the history and lore about the plants around us helps us to value them and ensure they are here for future generations.
So others can obtain these wonderful plants we hold our Annual Plant Sale the second Fri-Sat in May each year. We consider this event the highlight of our year because we delight in meeting budding herbal enthusiasts, as well as learning from other seasoned herbalists, trading growing secrets and uses for our beloved plants. We sell our herbal products at this sale to entice others to want to grow and use these plants like we do!
As a unit of a national society we enjoy many benefits from the Herb Society of America such an amazing comprehensive website, an annual education conference in various cities across the country, and actual live telephone help with unit/ membership concerns. As members of the Great Lakes District we plan yearly gatherings to confer on our love for herbs and learn so much from each other.
Because we care to help fund the education of others our unit established The Kathryn Giarratani Scholarship Fund of the Western PA Herb Society. It is administered by The Pittsburgh Foundation to provide scholarships to college and graduate students following a career path in horticulture/ botany or related fields. A one-year $1,000 award will be given to the recipient. Date due March 31 yearly. For further information on the scholarship see our website: westernpahsa.org
Look on our website and see where to join us for a program, a meeting or come garden with us! We would truly Delight in meeting you!