Book Authors Gather in Minnesota

Sharon Lovejoy with me -  what a fun reunion!
It was the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Minnesota Herb Society. Sharon Lovejoy, Pat Crocker, Susan Betz and I, were the speakers. It was held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. We had a fun-filled day with lots of long time and new herby friends. The meals were outstanding, the Arboretum is beautiful and it was fun to be "up north" again. I had to stop along the way to buy long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a jacket because it was chilly there (it had been 100 degrees as I crossed the MO line into Iowa).
Theresa & Jim Miesler
My gracious and thoughtful house-hosts were Jim and Theresa Miesler, long time friends through Herb Society of America and the International Herb Association. They're the proprietors of Shady Acres Herb Farm and kind and generous hosts. They hosted a Minnesota style barbecue at their farm after the day of speaking. Once again, amazing food, prepared by a professional chef. We ate very well!

One entry of the herb garden at the Arboretum.
Part of the audience for one of my programs at the Arboretum.
Food is always a big part of any herb event. I sometimes think people join herb societies and have events, just for the food! Look at this homemade sage cheese, made by one of the members:
Sage cheese, from homemade cheese.
She said she started with several cups (I forget how much but the amount isn't important) of heavy cream. She added about a 1/4 cup of buttermilk and let that mixture set out on the counter, covered, for a couple of days. Then she poured it into a cheesecloth and let it drain for 3 more days, then mixed in finely chopped sage. Good thing I photographed it early, as it didn't last long! My homemade crackers would have gone well with this. (To find the recipes for the cheese ball and other foods at the event, visit my Recipes blog).
A view of Shady Acres Herb gardens.
Theresa took Pat Crocker on a 4-wheeler hunt for an herb they needed for a dish.
My favorite vegetable of all was in plentiful supply at the barbecue!
Part of the food at the barbecue at Shady Acres.
Just a small hint of the menu: Honey Sesame Grilled Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Beef Bulgogi (a marinated Korean barbecued beef), Sweet Corn, Couscous Salad, Cucumber Salad, Heirloom Tomatoes, Watermelon and Dark Chocolates. Needless to say, we ate and ate and ate.

Sharon Lovejoy has a fantastic new Bird Book, just out, so new she didn't have any with her. It's packaged like a bird feeder, very clever. Sharon is a prolific writer and you may know her other titles, Toad Cottages; and Shooting Stars; Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots; and Trowel and Error, all can be found on her website.
Sharon Lovejoy
Susan Betz had her new book, too, and I'll be telling you about that soon. Her book, Magical Moons and Seasonal Circles is about the cycles of nature and the connections to Native American traditions. More about it later.

Susan Betz with Magical Moons.
Pat Crocker and husband, Gary, had driven all the way from their home in Canada for the event. Pat, like Sharon and Susan, also has a new book about canning and preserving. I'll be telling you more about her book soon, too.

Pat Crocker and her Preserving book (500 pages!)
With the new books in had by these wonderful writers, I realized I needed to get home get more books ready. I have a new one, coming in a few weeks to tell you about. It was wonderful to see all these creative gardening friends. More stories and some recipes coming up from the trip, a bit later!
For several of the great recipes from the MN Herb Society, click here for my recipes blog.


Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Jim, Sharon was bemoaning the fact she didn't have a good photo of you. I see one of the two of you that you should share with her! It will make her happy! Nancy P.S. Onions took a week to get to Rose Marie but they survived and she is happy!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Ahhh, what SWEET, sweet memories we made.

I loved this posting.

Jim dear, not only does my book LOOK LIKE it is a bird feeder, IT IS in a package of a real, biodegradable, window-mount birdfeeder so kids can be up close and personal with the birds.

Miss you and love you,