I purchased two of just about every herb they had available ... one for me and one for my mother. I then purchased a strawberry pot (an upright, about 2-foot-tall pot with small holes arranged all around for planting) and proceeded to plant my mother's herbs in that pot. A gift for Mom.
A few years later I would hear bits and pieces about an herb farm in Cleveland, Texas, run by a mother/daughter team. Along with growing and selling a wide variety of herbs they also hosted herbal lunches and dinners. Along with being a plant-lover I was also an avid and adventurous cook as well. I had entered (and won!) a few local cooking competitions and I loved to cook for a crowd. So the thought of not only growing plants and herbs for sale right where I lived, but also cooking with those herbs for others seemed like icing on the cake to me.
I never made it out to Hilltop Herb Farm in Cleveland, run by Madalene Hill and her daughter, Gwen Barclay, but years later I did have the opportunity to meet both of them at the International Festival-Institute in Round Top, Texas, where they lived. They had sold their business in Cleveland and "retired" to the Hill Country. Gwen became Director of Food Services for the Institute and Madalene was the "Grande Dame" of the plants and grounds. It was a perfect fit for both of them. And again, walking the beautiful grounds of the Festival-Institute, I thought to myself, "Wow... to live and work in a place like this doing what I love best in life... Heaven."
Fast forward to 2013. As I am going through some papers I realize Pineywoods Herb Farm has been an active business for ten years. Ten years! I started selling herb plants, herbal candles and potpourri in 2003, right here where I live. And a couple of years after that I added herbal luncheons, catering, and special events to my repertoire, right here where I live.
As I enter my second decade of selling herbs, native plants, wildflowers, vegetable plants, herbal products, and hosting luncheons and special events here at the herb farm, I realize how very blessed I am to be doing what I love most in life. And of course I could never have made it this far without all my loyal customers and friends. Customers who have become friends.
Friends, please join me in person here at the herb farm, on the Pineywoods Herb Farm website, and here on this blog, as I thankfully enter our second decade. My enthusiasm for what I do is stronger than ever and I want to share it with everyone who will listen.