March 18 - March 19, 2016
Herbal Forum at Round Top
Featured Presentations by Dave DeWitt, Ann McCormick, Trisha Shirey
August to April Series

Capsicum / Chile Peppers, Herb of the Year 2016

21st Annual Herbal Forum: March 19, 2016
with Optional Workshops on Friday, March 18

Join us as we explore the world of herbs and grow in knowledge and understanding while learning exciting new ways to utilize these plants.

Presenters: Lucia Bettler, Dave DeWitt, Henry Flowers, Linda Franzo, Ann McCormick, Billi Parus, Trisha Shirey (Biographies below.)

Click here to view printable brochure.

Click the "View Schedule" and "Print Schedule" buttons below for the schedule of events for the weekend. Schedule subject to change.

Registration includes complimentary Saturday lunch and participation in all Saturday events; registration is required for participation in optional Friday workshops; extra fee of $35 is required for workshops.

Three workshops are being offered on Friday, March 18, starting at 1:00 pm and again at 3:30 pm. Participation in the workshops is limited to Herbal Forum registrants and is by reservation only on a first-come first-served basis. Each workshop is limited to 20 participants. See description of workshops below.

The last event of the day on Saturday, "Wonderful Ways with Herbs," includes demonstrations by some of our fellow herb enthusiasts on the many ways in which herbs can be utilized--in foods, in crafts, in medicine, and more. If you would like to be a demonstrator for this program please contact Henry at

For information regarding the 21st Annual Herbal Forum, please contact Henry Flowers, Herbal Forum Director, at or leave a message at 979-249-3129.

Registration for the forum and optional workshops, and reservations for the Friday meals may be made here online by clicking the "View Prices and Purchase" button above or by calling 979-249-3129. Payment may be made with MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express, or by check payable to The James Dick Foundation. Deadline to register is Friday, March 11, 2016.

Accommodations at Festival Hill:
Enhance your experience by staying overnight on the campus of Round Top Festival Institute. Most rooms are within easy walking distance of the Herbal Forum activities; all have private baths and air conditioning. Rates include all linens and a continental breakfast served in the Menke House Dining Room from 8 am to 9 am. Call 979-249-3129 to make your reservations.

Cancellation Policy:
A 20% fee will be deducted from all refunds requested on or before March 11, 2016. No refunds can be given after March 11, 2016.

Concert Hall Location: 248 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954
      Google Map      #6 on Campus Map


"New" New Orleans - Savory Spectrum of Edible Vietnamese and Mexican Zeal!
     Presented by Linda Franzo, Owner of The Passionate Platter

After Katrina there was a surge of influence of these two cultures in New Orleans' everyday food. This workshop will be a celebration of those influences and chiles—-a "Party in Your Mouth!" Discover new chiles in Mexican posole soup with salsa, roll your own spring rolls, make bánh mì po’boys and sriracha mayo and much more. Make fireworks with rich chile flavors and mild heat accents!

Springtime Cocktails (Cocktail Gardening)
    Presented by Trisha Shirey, Director of Flora and Fauna at Lake Austin Spa Resort

Learn to flavor liquor, create flavorful liqueurs and enhance your drinks with herbs and flowers from your garden. Stop buying drink mixers full of sugar and chemicals and stock your bar with garden-grown treats!

Sweet Treats with Chile Heat
    Billi Parus, Owner of Lavender House in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Surprise your taste buds with how sweet heat can be! In this workshop we will be creating and sampling many sweet treats with chile peppers infused in their recipes. Chiles can spice up simple recipes and add depth to complex ones. Many extra recipes will be provided for you to try at home as well.


Lucia Bettler is very passionate about herbs and is co-owner of Lucia's Garden, an earth-centered retail shop that focuses on complementary health modalities, such as meditation, herbs, herbal cooking, and aromatherapy. Her herb garden provides fresh herbs for the ethnic recipes she loves and her love for travel and culinary research adds a rich dimension to her teaching. Lucia is a certified aromatherapist, member of The HSA—South Texas Unit, and is a past president of the IHA.

Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods. He got his start in electronic media, but his interest in chile peppers led him to write his first book, The Fiery Cuisines, in 1984. He has written many other books about chile peppers and spicy food, including The Complete Chile Pepper Book (2009), co-authored with Dr. Paul Bosland, the renowned chile pepper breeder at New Mexico State University. He is so much the authority on chiles that The New York Times declared him to be "The Pope of Peppers."

Henry Flowers is the Garden Director at the Round Top Festival Institute and coordinator of the Herbal Forum. He has degrees in Horticulture and Floriculture from Texas A&M University and received the Joanna McQuail Reed Award for the Artistic Use of Herbs from The Herb Society of America in 2009. He currently serves as chairman for the HSA Pioneer Unit.

Linda Franzo is owner and instructor of Passionate Platter - Cooking Classes & Herb Garden Tours. She is an Advanced Master Gardener of St. Tammany, LA, a member of HSA and currently the chairman of the HSA New Orleans Unit. Linda teaches "Hands-On" seasonal cooking from Garden to Table at her herb gardens and many places around the country. She is an advocate for "edible" school gardens, instructing children on garden techniques and how to cook the food they grow. Linda puts Pizazz in her food & Passion in her gardens!

Ann McCormick is the Herb'n Cowgirl. A life-long gardener, Ann has devoted her time since 1998 to writing and speaking about herbs, her favorite subject. She brings passion, depth of knowledge, and a sense of humor to every talk she gives. Her programs are designed to provide useful information to both novice and expert gardeners in a relaxed, entertaining environment. In addition to her speaking appearances, Ann is a frequent writer for Herb Quarterly where she pens the Herbalist's Notebook column and other articles. She has contributed to regional and national home and garden and life-style magazines, including Organic Gardening, Country Woman, Gardening How-To, and Fine Gardening. Ann is the author of 10 Must-Have Herbs for Cooks and The Herb'n Cowgirl Bakes.

Billi Parus resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband John, where they maintain a large herb garden containing several collections of herbs. She loves to experiment and cook with herbs and lectures on a wide variety of herbal topics all over the country. She stays busy with teaching, running her internet business, Lavender House, and also volunteers at the Virginia Zoo, where she maintains a chile pepper collection. She’s a member of the Tidewater Unit of The HSA, The Herb Society of the U.K., and is a Master Gardener and Master Food Volunteer. In 2009 Billi was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by The Herb Society of America.

Trisha Shirey is the Director of Flora and Fauna at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas, where she has worked for over 30 years. At the Spa she has created many organic herb and vegetable gardens, an organic orchard, and a wealth of flower plantings to enhance the 19 acre grounds and brighten the meals. Trisha is an avid gardener, crafter and cook and has taught many classes on organic gardening, native plants, aromatherapy, floral design, herbal crafts, and much more to groups all across Texas. Her gardens at the Spa demonstrate that beautiful, useful, and inspirational gardens can be created using methods that protect and nurture the environment. She is the author of the recently published Timber Press Guide to Growing Vegetables in the Southwest.

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