The Delaware Valley Unit of The Herb Society of America
In the early 1980s, the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America started as an herb study group whose members came from both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey side of Delaware River. The group grew as the interest in herbs became more popular. In a short time, the group felt it was strong enough to petition The Herb Society of America for membership as Delaware Valley Unit and was accepted in 1982. Meetings centered at the Prallsville Mill in Stockton, New Jersey. Because of the industrial nature of the mill, it was decided to establish a garden of plants used in industry in the 1800s. However over the years the mills became a center for town activities, so we felt the need to move both our garden and activities.
Our new home is down the Delaware north of Lambertville is the Holcome-Jimison Farmstead Museum which has on its grounds the oldest house in Hunterdon County, the initial building probably dating from the late 1600s. We were welcomed here in 2000 and relocated our garden to the Farmstead. A new garden is being researched. The focus will be to grow the essential plants of Native Americans and the early settlers in this area and then to embellish the garden with plants that reflect the culinary heritage of today's settlers, for example, lemon grass and epasote. Our garden is open to the public, and is handicapped accessible.
We hold our annual herb sale at the Farmstead on the third Saturday in May. We also participate in Farmstead activities with a member often present on summer Sundays when the museum is open. FarmDays, held the weekend after Labor Day, hosts many old-time farming activities for the whole family, and we have an information and herbal harvest sale table. On HerbDay later in the fall, we prepare the garden for winter and share the gardens final bounty with the public. We hold monthly meetings, host teas and talks, and participate when possible in the National Herb Garden. Individual members also give talks and demonstrations on the "use and delight of herbs" with the wider community. The proceeds from our sales go toward a scholarship for a student of horticulture at Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.