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A basket fi lled with lavender products and a cinnamon stick dolls will be available for those who attend the Grosse Pointe Unit of Herb Society of America’s annual boutique Saturday at the Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Building. photo by Ann L. Fouty.

November 15, 2012
Aroma. Taste. Healthfulness. Freshness. Members of the Grosse Pointe Unit of the Herb Society of America use these words to describe their connection with herbs they grow, use and share. The sharing part is during the annual Herbs and Holiday Boutique from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Grosse Pointe Woods Community Center. From the event's beginnings as a craft show and wreath sale some 10 years ago to today's boutique, the offerings and community participation have increased, said Sue Ternes of Grosse Pointe Woods. Shoppers can sample foods and taste mulled cider and hot tea made with herbs before purchasing a herb packet or two. For example, customers can buy a freshlymade bean soup mixture or the spice, tea and herb blends to use in cooking or as a fragrance. Pet owners can also find a treat or two for their dogs and cats, Ternes said. But the food for humans walks out the door with speed. Herbal vinegars, mustards, garlic salt blends, homemade horseradish, lavender sugar, dried herbs and pumpkin pie spice blend are purchased both as gifts and as treats for the purchaser and have become among the club's best sellers. "The horseradish is a best seller," Ternes said. But then so are the mustards and the herbal dog bones and catnip items. "The catnip pillows are a big seller," she said. Small, reasonably priced items go quickly. "Last year," she said, "a teacher bought all the lavender sachets for gifts." Lavender in various forms is popular. In addition to the sachets, the boutique has lavender wands, soap, soothers and dried lavender in bags. New boutique items this year are an herbal lip balm, cuticle cream, rosewater spray and a 6-inch stick doll. Her dried cinnamon stick body is covered with the end of a recycled colorful necktie and sports lambs ear wings. Another style of doll has a fl at, hard cinnamon applesauce body with clove hair, peppercorn eyes and star anise for hair. "It's a nice aroma," said Pat Muellenhagen, the event's co-chairwoman, who was putting the doll together one recent Saturday morning. New member Katherine Paquette said items available at the boutique are just right for a last minute gift. For example, the mulling spice makes a nice hostess gift. "It's unique, homemade," she said. The organization is not yet 30 years old but has been teaching young Grosse Pointers about herbs since its establishment in the mid-1980s. "The first herb wreath I ever saw was in Dearborn at an herb sale," said Patricia Cardellio, an early Grosse Pointe unit member. "The chair of the Dearborn unit of the Herb Society of America referred me to a woman in Grosse Pointe who was a national member. Her name was Lottie Crawley. We founded our unit in 1984 with her guidance. We grew and met at the Grosse Pointe Academy where we taught the children. They made herbal gifts for their parents." The club has expanded from the Academy grounds to helping maintain the Grosse Pointe War Memorial gardens and provides a scholarship for a Grosse Pointer to take Master Gardener classes and funds for an herb society member to attend its national conference. The herb society meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, 211 Moross, Grosse Pointe Fa r m s , t h r o u g h December. Beginning in January, the meeting place changes to the Grosse Pointe Public Library, Ewald branch.

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