The Herb Society of America
South Jersey Unit
The South Jersey Unit is a non-profit organization and a local unit of The Herb Society of America. We are dedicated to promoting the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research and sharing the experience of its members with the community.
About The Herb Society of America South Jersey Unit
The South Jersey Unit meets monthly (except July and August) throughout the southern half of NJ and, as our membership expands, so does our territory. We meet in town community centers, libraries, churches, garden centers, and we sometimes even just set up lawn chairs at gardens we're visiting and have open-air meetings. Speakers are herbal and garden professionals that are experts in their field and/or South Jersey Unit members who have herbal and garden knowledge to share. Seventy-five percent of our meetings are open to the public to help fulfill our mission of herbal education.
Lorraine Kiefer founded our unit in 1997. She is a local educator and co-partner with her son, Joe Kiefer, of Triple Oaks Nursery and Herb Garden, Franklinville, NJ. A few years prior to our formation she attempted to start a South Jersey unit with the help of her friends Barbara Bruno and Joanna Reed but their plans took a while to take root. We now have a very active group of approximately (50) members.
When we want to explore herbs in more detail, we form study groups. Some of them have been the study of medieval monastic herbs, herbs native to New Jersey, culinary herbs, and herbal teas around the world. We have various fundraisers throughout the year and the biggest is an herbal tea party held in early spring. The money raised goes to a yearly scholarship we give to a local horticultural student, and to finance the professional speakers we hire for our programs, and other worthy causes.
Our National Herb Garden Delegate is Joe Kiefer and Lorraine Kiefer is our alternate.
Join The South Jersey Unit of The Herbal Society!
Please Note- Due to the pandemic some of the events listed may need to be rescheduled.
What is an herb?
“The term ‘herb’ has more than one definition. Botanists describe an herb as a small, seed bearing plant with fleshy, rather than woody, parts (from which we get the term ‘herbaceous’). In addition to herbaceous perennials, herbs include trees, shrubs, annuals, vines and more primitive plants such a s ferns, mosses, algae, lichens, and fungi. They (herbs) are valued for their flavor, fragrance, medicinal and healthful qualities, economic and industrial uses, pesticidal properties and coloring materials (dyes).” Copyright, Deni Brown, 2001
Members are invited to attend our in-person craft meetings. Projects vary by month and may include paper making, glass slides with herbs, vintage hankies, holiday decor, and more! We look forward to crafting with you!
We love reading about herbs- fiction and non-fiction- and we bet you do too! Join us as we explore and discuss herbal literature.
HSA Members: Enjoy one of three Herbal Fiction Book Clubs offered virtually! For a list of books and meeting times, please log-in to the website and click on Herbal Fiction Book Clubs.
Thyme to Eat
Enjoy local, diverse restaurants with your fellow members.
Walk local trails and discover the herbs and plants growing in South Jersey!
Barbara Bruno Scholarship Fund
Barbara Bruno was a garden writer, artist, illustrator and the ultimate gardener. Many years ago, there was an effort to organize a South Jersey unit. Back then there was rigid criteria for membership and the plan did not succeed until much later. However, Barbara continued to open her gardens, write and help others with gardening.
She was an illustrator for Cricket Magazine and inspired lots of children and, in turn, some of their parents. She was a member of many plant societies in addition to the Herb Society of America.
Barbara was known and loved by many gardeners throughout southern New Jersey and the rest of the Delaware Valley. The South Jersey Unit would never have been founded were it not for Barbara Bruno. When she passed, it was thought fitting for the South Jersey Unit to provide a scholarship for a horticulture student at Cumberland County College. The College is just a mile from her gardens and is the only local community college with a horticulture degree.
To the end, many of our meetings include a raffle of items donated by members. Other fundraisers are conducted throughout the year in order for the South Jersey Unit to raise funds for this worthy cause.