The HFNZ 2018 AGM was held on Saturday 24 and hosted by the Stratford Herb Group. We started the morning visiting the Taranaki Pioneer Village, which is the Group’s community project. One of their members, Glenys Campbell, is a volunteer at Pioneer Village and gave a tour of the house, property and the new herb garden the Group has planted.
Next, we moved onto the beautiful Hollard Gardens to hear from Jan Smith. Jan demonstrated some cooking, medicinal and topical uses for a selection of native herbs. She explained the parts of the plants used, their medicinal properties, and her wins and losses while trying to get the most out of each herb. Examples include:
* Horopito (Bush Pepper), Pseudowintera colorata – who’s hot and spicy leaves can be used in place of chilis. Horopito is anti-fungal and anti-septic which makes it good for cuts and ringworm. A yummy infused sunflower can also be made to add a kick to homemade hummus ( we all got to sample 🙂 ).
* Tarata (Lemonwood), Pittosporum eugenioides – leaves have a beautiful lemon fragrance that can be pureed with a bit of water, then drained. Then add the juice some pear and guava fruit juice, top with sparkling water et voila…instant mock tail for those cool summer afternoons.
* The most interesting plant I learned about is the Kōtukutuku (NZ fuchsia tree), Fuchsia excorticata who’s berries turn from deep green to maroon/red only after they have been pollinated and the pollen itself is blue. Crazy! Bellbirds are often caught with blue heads after doing their thing. The berries turn a blue-black in autumn and were eaten raw by Maori and jammed by the early settlers.
The Stratford Group did a very yummy job at keeping us fed throughout the day, and after lunch we had our AGM. We reviewed the earlier reports sent to our members as well as updated those in attendance with our plans for keeping the HFNZ relevant and up to date in the technical age. One bit of feedback we heard from our members is that they would like a bit more communication from the Executive Committee. This includes working on a system for each individual society president to have a better way of staying in touch with the others to share news and tips. This conversation was a good reminder for all members that your executive team is here to support you and to please share with us how to improve our systems. The Exec Team wants the HFNZ to grow and blossom as much as the individual members do.
The day ended with a tour of Hollard Gardens. This place is definitely worth a trip if you are ever down in the ‘Naki. It was a great weekend for me and I enjoyed seeing many of you again, and meeting a lot of new herbie friends.
Our next AGM is the Biennial Conference in 2019. Do you think your hometown has some great herbal places and people to share with the Federation? Contact us if your society or group wants to host and share with us. It can even be just a group of like-minded people living in the same area…say Whanganui 😉…who love all things herbal. You’ve got the support and experience of the Executive Team behind you so give it a go!
Many, many thanks again to Shonagh Hopkirk and her Stratford team!
Be well, Danielle, HFNZ Secretariat