Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Herb House

Did you know that the headquarters of the Herb Society of America is right here in Lake County on Kirtland –Chardon Road? I didn’t, until a couple of weeks ago. I stumbled on the group’s website while doing research for my new book about the West Side Market . The link between the two is Vineyard House. Now the home office for the Society, it was built in 1841 by a farmer from locally quarried sandstone. Benjamin Hubbell, one of the architects for the market house purchased the property in the 1920’s, planting grapevines and stabling his horses there.

The library, a 3000 volume collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets and videos covering everything herbal from aromatherapy and medicinal plants to cultivation and culinary uses, is in what was once a bedroom. Only members of the Society can check things out but the public is welcome to sit and browse.

The national organization, with 48 chapters around the country, clearly keeps a low profile in the community. The Western Reserve Herb Society, which maintains the lovely herb beds at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, is the largest.

My discovery is timely. Vineyard House is open Monday-Thursday 9 AM-5 PM. and this a lovely time of year to visit. But I also learned about the group’s upcoming annual conference in Pittsburgh June 23-25. The schedule is packed with all kinds of fascinating educational programs plus garden tours and a plant and seed exchange. I might just have to plan a trip to Steeler-town, that is if I’ve made enough progress and can justify taking a few days off from writing that book.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

A friend of mine works there! I was able to check it out when the Willoughby Junior Women's Club hosted a meeting there. It's a neat house!