ROCHESTER, NY, August 30, 2021 – The Rochester Herb Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary and invites the community to join in the celebration on September 14, 2021. Festivities will be hosted at the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s (RMSC) Garden of Fragrance at 1pm. This venue was chosen as the site for the celebration as the Herb Society has been renovating and maintaining these gardens for the past 14 years.
During the celebration, guests will hear from members of both the Herb Society and RMSC who will share the history of the organization and illustrate the impacts made by Rochester Herb Society over the past 50 years. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary tour of the newly renovated gardens.
“I feel privileged to be a member of the Rochester Herb Society for 25 years. Originally, I joined for socialization, but I have gained much more than incredible friendships and fun times. My appreciation, knowledge, and enjoyment of herbs and their infinite uses has grown with each program and activity,” said Jean Bolster, a member of the Rochester Herb Society. “If I could, I would say thank you to the founders for envisioning and founding such an enjoyable, successful, and lasting organization,”
The first record of Rochester Herb Society, then known as “The Flower City Herb Society,” was July 12, 1971. Two women founders, Sue Fergeson and Sue Marshall, and 12 other local women with a common interest in cultivating the many uses of herbs started the organization and their work continues today.
Currently, Herb Society membership consists of 44 women and men who meet monthly for most of the year. The objective of the members is to disseminate to the public, and share with each other, the knowledge of herbs and to promote the enjoyment of them. To this end, members have taken part in activities of the larger local Federated Garden Club as well as programs at the Genesee Country Village & Museum, Stone Tolan House and local arts and crafts shows.
The 50th anniversary celebration is free and open to the public. Benches are available to sit and enjoy the beauty of nature and the joint efforts of the Rochester Herb Society and the Rochester Museum & Science Center. For those unable to attend, the Herb Society encourages people to visit the gardens at their own convenience.
About the Rochester Herb Society
With the common desire to expand the untapped knowledge of herbs, the Herb Society continues to research and share the culinary and medicinal benefits of the herbal plant world. The history of community service includes creating and tending to gardens across the city, namely, the Herbal and Flower gardens on the property of Warner Castle, the home of the Rochester Civic Garden Center, the gardens at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, formerly located on Highland Avenue, and the gardens located at the RMSC’s Rochester campus.
“The Rochester Herb Society is an extension of my teaching career, where each day we are together is another learning experience… but, now, I am the student,” said Carol Reisenberger, member of Rochester Herb Society since 2002. “I believe it’s important to learn from the past to enhance our future. As I grew older, I realized that I was always too busy to see the knowledge that nature and history were giving me.”
In 2007, the Rochester Herb Society committed to continuing to serve the community by restoring and maintaining the Garden of Fragrance, located behind the RMSC Museum. The current renovation spearheaded by members of the Herb Society executive committee, started in the Fall of 2019 and was completed this past Spring, 2021. Special thanks to members Carol Reisenberger, Joanne Barry, Jean Bolster and Sandra Happ for their years of dedication to these gardens. Another special thanks to Joe Reisenberger, who coordinated the recent work in the garden while also mentoring Carter Halpin for his Eagle Scout Badge.
The organization maintains a strong belief in preserving the natural beauty of the earth. The program committee plans educational presentations from local herbalists and garden professionals to educate the membership in specific ways to maintain the insect and animal population by planting a variety of herbs and flowers which support their existence. This in turn, helps maintain nature’s balance within the “Circle of Life.”
The beauty of fresh and dried herbs also speaks to how these “gems” in nature promote an untapped inner talent of its’ members and the community at large. In addition to tending to gardens, the members of the Herb Society channel their creativity through group-oriented, practical creations. Their past projects include:
- Herbal Teas
- Herb Packets with recipes
- Soothing Eye and Neck packs
- Salves, Sprays and Sachets
- A comprehensive cookbook, completed in 2015
- Home décor from herbs, including wreaths, holiday decorations, dried flower and herb bouquets and potpourri
If you are interested in more information about The Rochester Herb Society or you wish to join the group, go to rocherbsociety.com