Once a month, during the gardening season the Herb Society of America sponsors “Under the “Arbor”, a series of herb-related events held at the US National Arboretum. Last weekend we celebrated Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 with hands-on demos, educational displays and lots of hoppy tastings. Herb groups around the country gather together to celebrate each herb of the year and to educate the public about the selected herbs.
The USNA has an amazing collection of plants and is the home of the National Herb Garden–be sure to visit if you are in the area. Check out this calendar for a list of “Under the Arbor” events as well as the new Herban Lifestyle programs. https://www.usna.usda.gov/visit/events-calendar/
Generally, these happenings are held outdoors, under the arbor, however we were rained out so we moved into the auditorium. Though there is a bit less traffic indoors than out in the garden, we still had plenty of attendees. Many units of the HSA come for these fun and educational gatherings–from as far as Conneticut, New York and New Jersey to more local units from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Potomac Unit (Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia) of which I am a member.
These groups of herbal enthusiasts spend a lot of time and energy growing herbs plants of every description, putting together displays, demos, herbal products, foods and beverages for sampling–loading all of this stuff into their vehicles and driving long distances–just to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of herbs. I love gathering with these like-minded friends and colleagues; it is always inspiring, tasty and fun.
If you are interested in learning more about herbs, there is no better way than hanging out with experienced herbies who love to share their plants and knowledge. Look for an herbal group or herb farm in your community; the HSA website lists the various units across the country www.herbsociety.org.
For more about hops see /item/128826/cultivating-and-harvesting-hops-humulus-lupulus and /item/128806/hops-herb-of-the-year-2018.