March 20 - March 21, 2020
25th Annual Herbal Forum and Plant Sale

2020 Herbal Forum Artwork
Mexican Mint Marigold - Our Herb for 2020

25th Annual Herbal Forum: Saturday, March 21, 2020
   with Optional Workshops on Friday, March 20

***Two-day Plant and Gift Sales start on Friday, March 20***

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

Presenters: Susan Belsinger, Gayle Engels, Linda Franzo, Billi Parus, Autumn Schulze and Tina Marie Wilcox. Biographies below.

Click here to view Herbal Forum brochure.

Registration Fee: $80.00 (Saturday lunch is included; registration is required for participation in forum attendance, Friday Workshops and Friday Dinner)
Friday Buffet Lunch: $18.00 plus tax (optional, reservation required, space is limited)
Friday Presenters' Dinner: $42.00 plus tax (optional, reservation required, space is limited)
Friday Workshops: $40.00 (optional, reservation required, space is limited)
Forum proceeds benefit the Gardens of Round Top Festival Institute and The Herb Society of America-Pioneer Unit Educational Activities.

Four workshops are being offered on Friday, March 20, 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. For workshop descriptions and available number of seats, see Workshops below.

The Herbal Forum begins at 8:45 am on Saturday, March 21, in the Festival Concert Hall with a welcome by Karen Cornwell, Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit Chair and Tony Scanapico, Herb Society of America Pioneer Unit member.

Five exciting and informative presentations are scheduled throughout the day. See description of Presentations below. The midday break includes the traditional Blessing of the Gardens followed by a Garden Buffet Lunch on the rear lawn of the Menke House.

The last event of the day on Saturday, "Wonderful Ways with Herbs," includes demonstrations by some of our presenters and fellow herb enthusiasts. With plenty of tastings and more to learn, this will certainly be a great way to end the day!

***The famous Plant Sale and "Thyme Well Spent" Gift Shop will be open to the public from 9-5 on Friday and 8-5 on Saturday. No registration is required to come to the plant and gift sale. View Plant Sale Flyer.

     "Thyme Well Spent" Gift Shop - Be sure to visit the Thyme Well Spent Gift Shop in Room 9 in the School Building for handmade items prepared by the Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit. Volunteers have spent many hours preparing a large array of items that will help to bring the wonder of herbs to your kitchen, bath, and home. (We recycle 8 oz. jelly jars and would be glad to receive any that you no longer need.) In this room there will also be a table of donated garden-related books and magazines being sold to support The HSA National Herb Garden Internship. We hope that you will browse this table and purchase an item or two to help support this cause. Donations of books and magazines are welcome.

Registration opens Monday, January 20 at 9:00 am. AFTER REGISTRATION OPENS, registration for the forum and reservations for the Friday workshops and 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 13, 2020.

Registration fee includes complimentary Saturday lunch and participation in all Saturday events. Registration Fee is Required to Purchase Friday Meals. You are NOT included in the Friday Meal count until you pay your Registration Fee.

Make it a two-day getaway!  Spend Friday and Saturday on Festival Hill. Overnight accommodations are available on campus. You'll have two days to visit the plant sale and gift shop, and even take in a leisurely stroll in the gardens. A reservation-only lunch is available on Friday. Herbal Forum Registrants are invited to attend the reservation-only Presenters' Dinner in the Victorian-style Menke House on Friday evening, followed by a presentation of the movie, "Hopscotsch," in the masterfully restored Edythe Bates Old Chapel lecture hall. After your complimentary breakfast on Saturday morning (yoga is available too), you'll feel refreshed and ready to enjoy the forum.

For information regarding the 24th Annual Herbal Forum, please email vickieh@festivalhill.org or call/leave a message at 979-249-3129.

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. Email vickieh@festivalhill.org or call 979-249-3129 to make your reservations.

Cancellation Policy:
A 20% fee will be deducted from all refunds requested on or before March 13, 2020. No refunds can be given after March 13, 2020.

Office/Information/Reservations: 979-249-3129

Location: 248 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954  Google Map
      Concert Hall:  #6 on Campus Map
      Menke House:  #16 on Campus Map


Herbs that Madalene Hill Introduced to Us
     Presented at 9:00 a.m. by Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox

     Madalene Hill had a great influence on many herb enthusiasts across America and around the world. Susan and Tina Marie are no exceptions. In this program they will look at seven important herbs that Madalene introduced to them and which they both still grow and use, including our focal herb - Mexican Mint Marigold.

Backyard Apothecary: Choosing Plants That You Can Grow to Help Keep Your Friends and Family Healthy
     Presented at 10:15 a.m. by Gayle Engels

     A look at 12 plants that are easily grown in various climates, have at least some scientific evidence to support their use, are good replacements for at-risk or non-local plants, and also have a long history of traditional use.

How to Raise a Kitchen Garden from Scratch
     Presented at 11:15 a.m. by Tina Marie Wilcox

     If you've ever thought about raising a kitchen garden but don't know where to start or what you'll need, you don't want to miss this presentation.

Herbal Beverages - From Important Potables of the Past to Today’s Trending Tipples
     Presented at 2:00 p.m. by Susan Belsinger

     This program will explore herbal beverages from age-old recipes as simple as a "simple" of colonial times to today's penchant for mixology - crafting herbal drinks for good health as well as pleasure. We will sort through the confusion of infusions and decoctions, teas and tisanes, shrubs and oxymels, cocktails and mocktails, syrups, elixirs, bitters and more.

Herbal Roots
     Presented at 3:00 p.m. by Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox

     Susan and Tina will discuss six plants that are grown primarily for their useful roots; how to grow them and ways they are utilized. A tasting of golden milk, made with fresh turmeric, will follow at the end of the day.


The Bitters Truth—An Aromatic Adventure
     Presented by Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox

     This workshop will feature these age-old aromatic flavoring agents, how they are made and why and how to use them. Long used for their wonderful digestive virtues, bitters have become somewhat of a popular craze in today's mixology scene. There will be many tastings of a variety of bitters and each participant will create their own formulation to take home. $40 participation fee (includes materials). Each workshop is limited to 20 participants.

A Passion for Berry Herbal Gems!
     Presented by Linda Franzo, Owner of The Passionate Platter in Slidell, Louisiana

     Enjoy an explosion of flavors with Berries & Herbs! Let's make it a party with a berry infused vodka cocktail, Mexican mint marigold/chive goat cheese mousse on herbs de Provence focaccia bedazzled with hibiscus rose hip pepper jelly, cherry stuffed Hasselback apples and Mac Berry biscotti. Find Herbal Passion in your garden and on to your plate! $40 participation fee (includes materials). Each workshop is limited to 24 participants.

Tips & Tastes for the Thyme Being
     Presented by Billi Parus, Owner of Lavender House in Virginia Beach, Virginia

     I first met Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay 30 years ago and they inspired in me a love of culinary creativity with herbs. In this workshop I will share their inspiration with you through many tips and recipes which I value as favorites. There will be take-home treats and many tastings. $40 participation fee (includes materials). Each workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Food as Medicine: Dang That's Yummy!!!
     Presented by Autumn Schulze, Plant Lover, Food Healer and 'Herbal Health Coach'

     Herbal focused discovery session includes tastings and recipe handouts. Exploring herbal fudge, syrup, infused smoothies, memory cider and an immune fire cider. There will be a demonstration of Immune Fire Cider creation and you will get to go home with your own 2 oz bottle. $40 participation fee (includes materials). Each workshop is limited to 20 participants.


Susan Belsinger
Susan Belsinger teaches, lectures, and writes about gardening and cooking and is a food writer, editor and photographer who has authored and edited over 25 books and hundreds of articles. Recently referred to as a "flavor artist", Susan delights in kitchen alchemy--the blending of harmonious foods, herbs, and spices--to create real, delicious food, as well as libations, that nourish our bodies and spirits and titillate our senses. She has been blogging regularly for Taunton Press's www.vegetablegardener.com for many years. Her latest publications are The Culinary Herbal and Grow Your Own Herbs: The 40 Best Culinary Varieties for Home Gardens, both coauthored with Dr. Arthur O. Tucker. Susan is currently serving as Honorary President of The Herb Society of America.

Gayle Engels
Gayle Engels is the Special Projects Director for the American Botanical Council (ABC) where she has worked since 1995. She currently manages the development and maintenance of ABC's website, coordinates the development of content on special projects, writes for ABC's publications, guides its education department and the development of its medicinal demonstration gardens, and gives presentations to educational groups and plant-oriented organizations, including tours of ABC's gardens. She enjoys using her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Austin in a nontraditional educational setting. Gayle was awarded the inaugural HSA Madalene Hill Award for Excellence in Herbal Education in 2019.

Linda Franzo
Linda Franzo is owner and instructor of Passionate Platter ~ Cooking Classes & Herb Garden Tours. She is an Advanced Master Gardener of St. Tammany, Louisana, a member of the Herb Society of America (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 Pizzazz in her food & Passion in her gardens!

Billi Parus
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 quilting and smocking. She's a member of the Pioneer 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 from The Herb Society of America.

Autumn Schulze
Autumn Schulze's journey has taken her from a B.S. in Bio-Medical Science and a career in Pharmaceutical Research to an Herbal Medicine Practitioner and Certified Health Coach. In her private practice, Autumn’s Harvest, she coaches clients with a whole foods plant-based approach utilizing lifestyle coaching and herbal support. Autumn’s Harvest Apothecary Line provides supporting herbal products for clients and customers. She is an advocate for natural cancer support, animal welfare and plant-based nutrition.

Tina Marie Wilcox
Tina Marie Wilcox, has been the head gardener and herbalist at the Ozark Folk Center State Park's Heritage Herb Garden in Mountain View, Arkansas since 1984. She coordinates annual herb events and facilitates the production of herb seeds and plants for the park. She co-authored the reference book, the creative herbal home with Susan Belsinger. Professional memberships include the Herb Society of America, which awarded her the Nancy Putnam Howard Award for Excellence in Horticulture in 2017, and the International Herb Association, for which she is currently serving as president. She is known nationwide as an entertaining and enlightening herbal educator. Tina's philosophy is based upon experiencing the joy of the process, perpetrating no harm and understanding life through play with plants and people.

More information will be posted as it becomes available. Information is also available on the Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit website and Facebook page.

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