|Denise Berryhill at the HCAC Fair
|She has jewelry, soaps, creams, lotions, balms for sale
My love affair with herbs began in the late 1970’s, a year
or so after Charles started organic gardening. It wasn’t just any love affair but the beginning of a life long indulgence
of the most abundant kind. But let me tell you how it all began.
Charles and I had our first date in June of 1970, married
in June of 1971, and had our first daughter in May of 1972, pretty fast work for a couple of kids right out of high school.
We were kindred spirits from the very first. We talked about the demise of the environment; the massive cutting of trees,
the chemicals polluting our water and air, and the need for a more conservative outlook. Feeling the way we did about being
responsible for the next generation, we had definite ideas on how we wanted to raise our children. So when Michelle and Melanie
came along we started to put some of our ideas into practice.
I was raised on a farm and my family raised nearly
everything that we ate—cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, geese, eggs, and a very large vegetable garden full of
sweet corn, beans, peas, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions, you name it, my dad and granddaddy probably raised it.
There was the old apple tree near the driveway that my grandmamma used for dried apples and seven giant pecan trees in the
barn lot. Mom and grandmamma froze and canned all our vegetables so we had good stuff all year.
Charles came from
a family farm too. His grandmother and parents had a garden that they enjoyed during the summer so we were both accustomed
to home grown vegetables.
Now comes the problem, as we saw it anyway—both families used chemicals. My granddad
and his father loved Seven Dust (actually a chemical that flea powder is made from). Most anyone who lived during that time
knows Seven. People still use it lavishly today. We didn't like the idea of putting that stuff or anything like it on things
we were going to eat so Charles started looking for alternatives.
He started reading Organic Gardening and he
became hooked on the idea of growing things in healthy soil and reaping healthier foods. He studied and studied and learned
about the gardening methods that organic gardening used. He came to understand about microorganisms and trace elements in
the soil and how most soil today is basically dead soil. He liked the idea that insects preferred unhealthy plants better
than healthy plants that had these trace elements and he started a garden the organic way.
It wasn't always
easy for we lived in Mayfield and not only did we have clay soil but subsoil too, as our topsoil had been scraped away. But
little by little, year by year, Charles made our garden soil absolutely delicious. He did this by adding compost that he made
from kitchen scraps, grass clippings, anything he could get that would rot and turn into soil. Each fall he went to town and
got as many bags of leaves as he could find to put on our garden. Our garden became a thriving place for earthworms and healthy
bacteria. We were able to grow 90%+ of all our vegetables for the entire year.
Now to me. One summer day I was
in the kitchen cooking and sprinkling something over our scrumptious fresh squash and all at once I realized I had no idea
where this herb had come from...and I was horrified that I was probably giving my children chemicals after all. This led me
on my hunt.
I started the very next day looking for herbs that I could use in cooking. I thought this would be
easy, after all herbs are just plants, right? I had a dilly of a time. I hunted and hunted and finally found the first five
plants that began my first herb garden: mint,thyme, sage, oregano (inferior tasting plant but I didn't know any better), and
chives. Did you know they were called perennials not herbs? Anyway it started from there. My love for herbs grew and found
their way from the kitchen to the sick bed to soaps and finally herb products.
We live in Hickman County now and
our gardens haven't had any chemicals on them since 1978—the last time we used chemical fertilizer. Charles makes the
biggest compost piles you ever saw to use on our garden. Our worms are sometimes as big around as your small finger and grow
to a foot or bigger. Our soil is teeming with life and we are positive, grow better, healthier food. My herb gardens help
us in everything—cooking, medicine, fragrance, beauty, and even insect repelling.
Each year we open our gardens
for people to come explore and buy herbs and heirloom plants, heirloom seeds, and herb products, and my jewelry, Earth's Creations.
Come and learn how to garden without a tiller or plow. Experience raised bed gardening. We want you to look and use our old
and new tools that will make your gardening easier and your soil better. And everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair and
sit a spell while we talk about Organic Gardening for Beginners and Recipes from the Gardens. We hope that they will take
some idea or plant home with them and learn to embrace the organic lifestyle.
Here's how to find us: Directions: In Arlington, KY ( Hwy 51 between Bardwell and Clinton)
turn west onto Hwy 80, go approx. 1/2 mile. Turn left onto St Rd 1772 and drive approx 2 miles (just past the 3 mile marker).
Turn left at the very bottom of the hill. firstname.lastname@example.org 270-254-1143