Susan Betz - No Restrictions on Travel

Presentation TopicS

Herbs for Pleasure and Purpose -
Thymely Tips and Sage Advice -
Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles
Native Treasures:  Tales from The Plant Kingdom
GreenBridges: Safe Passages for Plants and Pollinators

Business Name, Contact Information and Honorarium 

Fresh Start Herbs
1477 East Hastings Lake Rd.
Jonesville, MI 49250

(517) 849-2470
(517) 212-6032 cell
Preferred method of contact:  any of the above

Honorarium: $500.00 & up - sometimes, depends on the group.  
Travel: I travel all over the US and Canada, again depends on the organization.

Presentation Topics:

Herbs for Pleasure and Purpose
Pretty and practical plants, herbs are very adept at multi-tasking in and out of the garden.  Whether tucked in a pot or planted in a plot herbs bring a spirit of creativity and comfortable sense of connections to the natural world.  Growing herbs contributes to the development of sustainable natural communities by attracting beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife.  Easy to grow, they are useful for crafting highly personal landscapes or gardens in keeping with family interests, health needs and hobbies.  Their ornamental attributes and fragrant foliage blend artfully with annuals, biennials and perennials to create lovely high performance landscapes.  Susan’s presentation will cover the fundamentals of choosing herbs that blend with and complement your lifestyle and home landscape.  Choosing the right plant, for the right place and the right person.

Thymely Tips and Sage Advice
Herbs serve a multitude of household uses.  This presentation will focus on drying, freezing and storing your herbal harvest for future use.  Learn how to make herb seasonings, vinegars, drinks, fragrant potpourris and natural cleaning products.  Samples and recipe handouts will be included in the presentation.  

Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles
Mother Nature keeps a date book, an exciting schedule of mysterious and magical events unfolding daily in our backyards and beyond.  She does not want you to wait for an invitation or schedule an appointment; she is ready and willing to entertain and educate on a moment’s notice.  Phenology is the study of the timing of natural periodic events in the plant and animal world influenced by the local environment, especially weather, American Indians’ daily tasks, economy and celebrations.  Their knowledge of “nature’s calendar” kept them in harmony with the natural world.  Magical Moons and Seasonal Circles follows nature’s annual cycles according to Algonquin full moon names, demonstrating how seasonal weather patterns and climate effect the ice cycles and interactions of common native plants, animals and insects living in our backyards and local communities.  Based on my book: Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles Stop-Look-Listen Stepping into the Circles of the Seasons.

Native Treasures:  Tales from The Plant Kingdom
Prairies and savannas are a rare and unique part of Michigan’s natural legacy.  Up until the 1800’s they represented two of the most significant plant communities occupying lower portionsof south central Michigan.  Today these dynamic and varied communities have nearly vanished (less than 1% remain) along with the numerous species that rely on the habitats they provide.  Susan has been working with pubic and private conservation groups, volunteer and students to restore and preserve the Hastings Lake Fen and Oak Savanna located in Hillsdale County, Michigan.  Her presentation chronicles the process of restoring a natural landscape.  The steps taken to remove invasive species, harvest trees and carry out a prescribed fire will be presented.  The native plants, insects and wildlife that have developed and co-evolved over centuries within this ecosystem play the starring roles in this exciting tale of restoration, preservation and celebration.  

GreenBridges: Safe Passages for Plants and Pollinators
A family friendly program created by the members of the Herb Society of America to help develop a nationwide web of green corridors to increase the number of avenues through which pollinators may safely and successfully travel from one plant population to another to increase and protect the genetic diversity of our native plants.  GreenBridges gardens serve as corridors for the safe movement of birds, bees, and butterflies that are pollinators for native herbs.  The program provides encouragement and support for gardeners who want to connect more closely with our environment and each other.  I am chairperson for the HSA program.

Gardening Education

Susan Betz is a charter member and past president of the Michigan Herb Associates, founded in 1987 to educate the public about the joy of growing and using herbs.  She has been actively involved with community and youth herb gardening projects for the past 30 years and the Michigan State Master Gardener program for over 25 years.  She worked at Slayton Arboretum as Education and Outreach Coordinator.  Susan has been a member of the Herb Society of America for thirty years, and served on The Society’s board as Education Chair.  She is the past owner of a Michigan herb shop.  Susan is a member of the International herb Association, Garden Writers Association and the Ecological Landscape Alliance.  She serves on The HSA’s Native Herb Conservation Committee and Green Bridges, the Society’s sustainable garden initiative.  She is currently working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and conservation groups to document and preserve the native plants and animals in the Hasting Lake Prairie Fen & Oak Savanna located on her property in Jonesville, Michigan.  Author of the book Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles Stop-Look_Listen Stepping into the Circles of the Seasons.