Deborah Lee talks about creating a Certified Illinois Herb Garden


The International Herb Association
Herb of the Year™
Every year since 1995, the International Herb Association has chosen an Herb of the
Year™ to highlight. The Herb of the Year™ Program, spearheaded by IHA's Horticulture
Committee, has established Herb of the Year selections up to 2015. All IHA members
are invited to participate in the selection process. Long-standing member, Chuck Voigt
(University of Illinois) has been involved in the selection process for many years. He
explains, "The Horticultural Committee evaluates possible choices based on them
being outstanding in at least two of the three major categories: medicinal, culinary,
or decorative." Herb societies, groups, and organizations from around the world work
together throughout the year to educate the public about these important herbs. The
IHA publishes a booklet each year to celebrate that year's selected herb. IHA members
contribute material ranging from growing information to botanical information to recipes.
Members receive a single copy as part of their membership. Copies are available for
purchase by members, businesses, and the general public at: www.iherb.org
Herbs of the Year
1995 – Fennel
1996 – Monarda
1997 – Thyme
1998 - Mint
1999 – Lavender
2000 – Rosemary
2001 – Sage
2002 – Echinacea
2003 – Basil
2004 - Garlic
2005 - Oregano & Marjoram
2006 - Scented Geraniums
2007 - Lemon Balm
2008 - Calendula
2009 - Bay Laurel
2010 - Dill
2011 - Horseradish
2012 - Rose
2013 - Elderberry
2014 - Artemisias
2015 - Savory
Grow an “Official Illinois Herb Garden"
Illinois Herb Association
Herb garden must contain a minimum of 20 of the “Herb of the Year” plants, and
garden must be at least 80% herbs.
Garden needs to be in a place that is easily accessible to the public for educational
Garden must contain markers or a paper map so that people can readily identify
the plants.
A certificate will be awarded to recipient stating that “this garden qualifies as
an “Herb Garden of the Year as sponsored by the IHA”.
To be certified you must plant a minimum of 20 of the "Herb of the Year" plants listed. The IHA will need a list of the herbs planted and at least one photo. You may use a design of your choice. Prior to certification by the IHA board of directors, a board member will visit the garden to verify that it complies with all guidelines. The association’s goal is to have a certified herb garden in each county of Illinois.
Contact Kay Carnes at kcarnes@illinois.edu
or 217-778-4423 for more information.
IHA History: The Illinois Herb Association (IHA) was formed in 1989 under the
umbrella of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association and part of the Illinois Farm
Bureau. The association is organized and operated for educational, scientific and civic
purposes. The chief priority and purpose of the association is to educate members and the public about the culture and use of herbs and herbal products. IHA provides education, services and professional development opportunities for members engaged in all herbal endeavors. Funds raised through services and activities of the association are to be used for the education of members and the public and/or service to the community.  IHA welcomes both the beginner and the advanced herbalist. Membership in IHA is open to all individuals, associations, clubs, businesses and corporations interested in the objectives and achievement of the purposes of the association.

Josh Greene student member of The Herbs for Fun and Health Club talks about his Certified Illinois Herb Garden

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*Photo and Video credit to Theresa Greene

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