Local guild donates festive herbal tree to Shawnee Lodge –
By Patricia Beech –
Bringing seasoning to the Season! It’s an idea that has become the unique calling card of the Adams County Herb Guild whose members have added their Herbal Christmas Tree to the copious holiday trimmings that deck the halls of Shawnee Park Lodge in Scioto County.
“Ours is the only tree in the lodge that features herbs,” says Guild President, Pam Westfall. “All the other trees are supplied by local flower guilds.”
The guild’s 17 members share an enthusiastic interest in herbs – from preserving the ancient knowledge of their healing powers to promoting their use in a variety of cuisines. “This is our second year at the lodge,” says Westfall. “We hope our tree helps to educate others about all of the different uses for herbs.”
The Guild, founded in 1986, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and Westfall says that its members all share a common vision.
“Our purpose has always been to promote interest in the cultures and uses of herbs through education, and to share the knowledge we have gained with others in our community.”
The guild was established as an extension of the Lewis Mountain Herb Festival. After the Lewis festival ended the guild continued to remain active in the Wheat Ridge Herb Festival held each fall at Grindstone Farm on Tater Ridge Road, as well as many other local fall festivals where they share their knowledge and skill.
“We sell our own blend of herbs and spices at the local festivals,” says the guild’s Vice President, Lindsay Willman. “And we talk to people about growing and using herbs for different purposes.”
Guild members are committed, not only to maintaining a group of people who share generational knowledge of herbs, but who also actively contribute to the community. “We buy our plants from local nurseries, and we invite and pay local individuals to speak at our events,” says Willman. “Next year we’re hoping to put up a herbal Christmas tree right here in Adams County.”
The guild meets the third Monday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church at 104 South Second Street in West Union.
“We encourage anyone who is interested in herbs to join us, whether they’re long-term herbalists or just beginners,” says Willman, “We give our members the opportunity to share their knowledge and talents, and each month we have a speaker who shares their knowledge and skills with the group.”
Anyone interested in joining the guild or attending a meeting may call Lindsay Willman at (937) 779-7991 for more information.