Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Tammi Hartung, Herbalist

Reader Contribution by Erica Binns
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Get to know Tammi Hartung of Desert Canyon Farm.

What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR?

In one presentation I will be talking about all the different ways one might bring herbs into one’s daily lifestyle. That might be cooking a delicious barbeque meal with chicken and rosemary, or pampering yourself or one of your friends by preparing an herbal foot bath with lavender and California poppy flowers! We will explore how to make your own herbal honey with ginger and cinnamon, and the steps of tincturing the Echinacea that is growing in your garden. Herbs can and should fit into every part of one’s daily schedule, so this is the talk that will help you discover all the ways to make that happen.

In my second presentation I will be sharing how easy it is to harvest your own herbs from your garden, patio planters or windowsill/tabletop pots. In addition, we will talk about the various methods of storing your harvested herbs. I will be talking about the simple tools that will be needed to both harvest and store herbs. I will also be talking about several specific herbs and their individual needs when it comes to when to harvest and how to process and store them.

In my third presentation I will cover the various steps of designing your own herb garden. We will look at how to determine the garden’s location, what you might want to explore in terms of hard-goods for the garden (pathways, focal points, benches, etc.), and how to plan the theme of the herb garden – whether that is culinary use, a blue herbal garden, a medicinal garden, a patio herb garden, a children’s herb garden, or even mixing it up by planting herbs and other food plants together for a super-practical garden. Really, the possibilities are endless. I will give suggestions of how a number of different herbs might fit into the garden design based on their growing requirements and how they fit into the theme of the design.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees?

Herbs for lifestyle, definitely! I feel that herbs work best for people by incorporating them into all the little and big bits of our daily lives.

Tell us about your background with your particular topic.

I am formally trained as a medical herbalist and organic grower. My husband, Chris, and I own and operate a USDA-certified organic wholesale farm in southern Colorado, where we specialize in growing more than 500 varieties of herbs and heritage food plants. I’ve been growing and using herbs since 1979 and making my living doing so since 1983. In past years I have operated an herb school and a clinical herbal practice, both of which closed in 2009 so that I could have more time to dedicate to writing and our farm business.

I have worked in several capacities around herbs, from managing an herbal extract laboratory, consulting and formulating for other herbal companies within the natural products industry, working as the plant propagator at a large nursery and working as a raw materials buyer of herbs for the natural products industry. I also lecture internationally and have written Growing 101 Herbs that Heal and Homegrown Herbs along with a number of teaching manuals and third-party literature on using herbs. I am currently working on a new book about working with nature to grow a more bountiful food garden.

Why should fairgoers attend your presentation?

I would hope that fairgoers attend because they are just as excited as I am about all the different ways to bring herbs into one’s life. If they are new or experienced with herbs, whether that be growing herbs or using them, I’m sure I will be able to inspire them by offering some great ideas about these wonderful plants. I also feel very strongly that herbs are a perfect fit for those who are trying to make their lives more earth-friendly and sustainable. Everything I will be talking about will support those choices!

How will you get to the FAIR, and how far do you have to travel?

I will be traveling via airplane from southern Colorado. Once there I will be shuttled to the FAIR and my lodging, so as to not rent a car for my stay. That will lesson my carbon footprint just a tiny bit, but every bit counts.

What are you most looking forward to at the FAIR?

Exploring the FAIR! I always enjoy so much being able to present at these events and visiting with the folks that attend my presentations. There is always an opportunity for me to learn from them, just as they are learning from me, and I appreciate that. In addition, I’m hoping there will be time in my schedule while I am there to be able to explore the FAIR on my own time, too. I know I will come away from it with lots of new ideas and projects to bring back to my own home.

What advice do you have for attendees?

Come to the FAIR to explore your life and all the great options you have for making it wonderful and as earth-friendly as possible. Come to my presentations for the same reasons, and expect to leave my presentations totally enchanted by the plants and gifts they offer into your lifestyle.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose?

An herb and food garden.

Thanks, Tammi. We’ll see you at the FAIR!

Please visit the FAIR website for more information about the Seven Springs, Pa. FAIR September 24-25, and upcoming FAIRs in other locations. Tickets are on sale now.

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