Our Next Monthly Meeting
Austin Herb Society monthly meetings feature great educational programs.
- Next Monthly Meeting -
March 2nd @ 10am - Virtual on Zoom
The Excitement of Herbs
By William (Bill) Varney, Owner of URBANherbal in Fredericksburg, TX
Join Bill Varney as he speaks about the excitement of growing and using herbs. He will demonstrate new ways for herbs to enhance your life. There will be recipe demonstrations. Bill will excite you with his knowledge and expertise. Plus, there will be a drawing for a gift certificate!
William Varney is the Founder and Former owner of Fredericksburg Herb Farm, which he sold in 2007 and started URBANherbal. He is co-author of "Herbs Growing & Using the Plants of Romance" and "Along the Garden Path." He became interested in plants and gardening at the young age of eight, later graduating with a B.S. in Business and a Minor in Horticulture.
In 1985, Bill moved to the quaint town of Fredericksburg after spending time in Houston TX as a buyer for the landscape division of a large nursery. His small herb shop grew into the four-acre Fredericksburg Herb Farm, boasting gardens, shops, a day spa, restaurant, bed & breakfast, and herbal manufacturing warehouse. Today, URBANherbal is an herb shop and more - with gardens and a classroom for various topics on gardening, hebs, and cooking. Bill is a self-taught chef who has developed award-winning condiments, cooked at the James Beard House in NYC, and has appeared on the Food Network.
Bill is ever mindful that individual's lives can be enriched through the experience of herbs: in their gardens, kitchens, baths, medicine chests, homes, and places of worship.
For more information, visit:
Email us at
for Zoom log in information.
William (Bill) K. Varney
Austin Herb Society
monthly meetings feature
Please join us!
1st Tuesday of each month (Except August)
10:00 -12:00 noon
Want to attend as a guest?
Then email us at
for Zoom log in information.
Past Monthly Meetings
- November 10th Monthly Meeting -
Virtual on Zoom
“The First Thanksgiving:
Herbs in Early America"
Join AHS for “The First Thanksgiving: Herbs in Early America” Nov. 10
Take a step back in time—way back!—to 1621 at our next AHS meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10 when we explore “The First Thanksgiving: Herbs in Early America,” presented by AHS members Norise Jastillana, VP/Communications, and Karla Renaud, Culinary Chair.
Norise will discuss how traditional European and native American herbs were used to flavor Thanksgiving fare while Karla will focus on the history of herbal medicine in early America.
Today’s Thanksgiving menu holds little resemblance to America’s inaugural feast in 1621, when Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians gathered to celebrate a bountiful harvest of native maize, explains Norise.
The first Thanksgiving tables were laden with the “fruit of the land”—from fish, fowl and wild game to native fruits, squashes and Indian stews. Old and New World herbs added the finishing touch to recipes, just as they do today.
Herbs played just as an important role in housekeeping and medicine as they did in cooking, says Karla, who will describe how colonists used traditional and native herbs to promote health and to cure their ills.
For example, colonial housewives were expected to grow medicinal herbs to have on hand to use per doctor’s orders. Plants were also cultivated for use in dyes for linen and wool clothing and for other household uses.
December 1, 2020 - Reflections, Connections & 'Confections
Our December Holiday meeting has always been special—a time to meet and chat, shop with our sponsors, show off our holiday sweaters or ornament earrings that light up, and sample tried-and-true or new edibles. We've always celebrated in a magical atmosphere decorated by our own Roberta Showerman and our hospitality teams.
This year we want to pay homage to all of that with our program, "Reflections, Connections & Confections," at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 on Zoom. Our program agenda includes some recollections of past events, a history of our involvement in the garden, words from some of our sponsors, and a toast to ourselves!
We strongly suggest that you wear your holiday sweater or other festive garb and, if possible, add some seasonal glitz to your Zoom background. We’ll include time for comments and recollections to connect us all as we go forward. See you soon!
January 5, 2021
Cleopatra’s Beauty Secrets - The Anti-Aging Powers of Plants
By Valkyrie Lang
Cleopatra is known for her seductress qualities and mythological beauty. Legend has it that she harnessed the power of nature to enhance her beauty and influence Roman politics. Join us for a fun and informative talk where we will learn Cleopatra’s Beauty Secrets and ancient recipes for becoming a timeless beauty.
Valkyrie Lang is the creative genius and formulator of A Natural High, a company she started in 2000, where she formulates and manufactures her own line of anti-aging skin care and medicinal herbal formulas.
Val holds a certificate in Homeo-Botanical Therapy, representing 1400 hours of study from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. Trained in Herbalism and Aromatherapy, Val is a longtime member and sponsor of the Austin Herb Society.
Although she now works full-time as a Financial Advisor, Val still offers her line at www.anaturalhi.com and loves sharing the wisdom of plants!
February 2, 2021
Four Seasons of Soup with Herbs By Karla Renaud & AHS Culinary Group
Karla Renaud and other members of the AHS culinary study group will present their
favorite delicious unusual soups for each season that use our Texas grown fresh or
dried herbs. Recipes and tips will be shared. When possible, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
and Stovetop versions will be provided. Q&A afterward.
Karla loves to cook for small or large groups and uses lots of herbs. She has a
background in Traditional Chinese Medicine where food and herbs are seen as the first
step towards health. To challenge herself, she once cooked an “all fennel” 4-course
meal for 25 people using the fennel bulb, fronds, seeds and pollen! She likes to eat
soup every day, and cooks a new soup every week. Her favorite herb is tarragon.
If you are not already a member of AHS, and want to attend the meeting as a guest,
we’d love to have you!