Welcome to the Blue Owl!

Blue Owl Garden Emporium herb farm offers locally and sustainably grown culinary herbs, edible flowers, herbal seasoning blends and teas, and a variety of other herbal concoctions. With about 200 dried herbs available during the winter and as many as 175 fresh ones during the summer, it's likely we can fill your every culinary herb need. All grown in Licking Co. Ohio without synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

We also offer culinary mushrooms, grow-your-own mushroom logs, native fruits, and various other forest edibles in season from our forest farm, Blue Owl Hollow. Our mushroom selection is seasonal and includes: shiitake, nameko, mukitake, several oysters, wine-cap stropharia, lion's mane, reishi, and maitake. Not content with mere comestibles, we have a growing line of forest-derived crafts, such as rustic "rosewood" buttons (cleverly created from that invasive shrub every forest landowner loves to hate, multiflora rose!), fatwood firestarters, and Swedish log candles.

Our fascination with unusual-but-useful plants ensures that we always have something of interest on hand. Blue Owl products are available at several Central Ohio farmers markets and small businesses. Yes, inflation seems to be the new normal, but you can keep more of those dollars within our community by visiting your favorite Central Ohio farmers markets and patronizing other locally-owned businesses! Thank you for your patience and support as we all find our way through this challenging time.

Thanksgiving 2022:

So it's been awhile since the last Blue Owl update. Looking back, 2022 slipped by so quickly, with its ups and downs, successes and failures, unanticipated obstacles and the occasional bit of good luck. A year of challenges (isn't every one?) but also of getting back on track after the total upheaval caused by the pandemic. For that we are thankful!

One of the ups we experienced this year was the chance to take an actual vacation: after almost 30 years of talking about it, we finally went canoeing in the Boundary Waters! The main take-away from the experience is that we need to do that sort of thing more often..... But it's hard to get away in the middle of the growing season.....

And life being what it is, while we were gone, there were windstorms in Ohio. Upon returning we discovered dozens and dozens of broken off and uprooted trees, many blocking our network of trails. That meant several weeks devoted to mushroom log harvest and inoculation in the heat of summer, to take best advantage of the damaged trees. Fortunately (this is the good luck bit to counterbalance the bad luck), many of the largest trees were uprooted; while functionally "dead", their intact structure and root system acts like life support and means we were able to wait until this winter to harvest them for mushroom logs. No need this year to do timber stand improvement by culling weak or undesirable trees.... everything we'll need for next spring's mushroom inoculation is already (mostly) on the ground waiting to be cut to length!

So what didn't get done during that critical time was herb planting, seeding, weeding, etc. This made for a less that stellar year overall for the herb farm. Many herb favorities didn't make it through this year and will be missed in the coming months: dill, parsley, chervil, epazote, thyme, lavender, Egyptian mint, sweet Italian oregano, to name a few.... But in the end, diversification always pays: the additional mushroom production logs have already started paying back this fall with some fine first flushes of nameko, oyster, chestnut, and shiitake.

Plan Ahead for Mushroom Workshare:

Speaking of mushroom production: we've been getting a lot of interest at the market from people about growing and eating more of their own mushrooms. The perfect opportunity to learn how to do that is Blue Owl Hollow's annual mushroom inoculation workshare. When does this happen? Every Sunday afternoon (noon-4) and Tuesday all-day (10-6) for about 6 weeks in very early spring, you have the opportunity to join me in renewing Blue Owl Hollow's mushroom production infrastructure by inoculating new hardwood logs with various types of culinary mushroom spawn. The experience is totally hands-on; first you will get a tour our mushroom growing operation while hearing about the ins and outs, successes and failures gleaned from more than 15 years of mushroom-growing here at the farm. Then you'll learn the process for yourself by inoculating logs for the farm: each log earns you credit towards a log of your own to take home. For those interested in more, we have book recommendations, recipes, hand-outs, and lots of pictures, too!

Markets:

We're just starting our 10th season selling at the Worthington Winter Farmer's Market and thank goodness it'll be indoors until April! Last year was certainly a learning experience, and we invested in a fine collection of heavy-duty winter woolies, but I'm happy enough not to repeat it. We'll be selling at Worthington most Saturdays through the winter, with some exceptions such as the Granville Thanksgiving market and the OEFFA conference. Note also that there will be no Worthington market on Nov 26, Dec 25, Dec 31, and Jan 7. When in doubt, check the Blue Owl market schedule below.

Don't forget that we still stock items at Keller Market House in Lancaster OH year-round. In addition to in-house items, a number of individual dried herbs are available only through KMH's online order system as well as the usual value-added teas, seasonings, jar mixes, etc. Be sure to check it out.

Herbs and Mushrooms:

Fresh herbs and mushrooms are pretty much done for the season, due to the pre-Thanksgiving deep-freeze. We'll still have garlic, shallots, and horseradish root until sold out. Dried mushrooms are available, esp. reishi.

Always available, we have our extensive dried herb, tea and seasoning selection. A couple of new teas are in the works, but it's the dried herbs that really shine. It really is an amazing collection of herbs.... did you know we have saffron, the most expensive herb in the world? Or makrut lime leaves, impossible to find except in speciality markets? How about edible flowers, such as rose petals (or even whole rose buds), lilacs, meadowsweet, or elderflowers? We also have exotic herbs from around the world such as Mexican tarragon, red shiso, Cuban oregano, Greek mountain tea, Cretan marjoram, to name a few. We carry herbs native to the North American forests as well: spruce tips, spicebush berries, ramps, stinging nettle, smooth sumac, mountain mint, bee balm. And everything in between..... Come check it out a tthe market or visit the Blue Owl website where _most_ current products are listed on the Blue Owl Products page.

2022-23 Blue Owl Schedule:

Worthington Winter Farmers Market
For the 2022-23 winter season, the Worthington Winter Market will be located indoors at the Shops at Worthington Mall on Saturdays, from 9 AM to noon, November - April. Blue Owl will NOT be attendence at the market on the following dates:
  • Nov 19 (Granville Thanksgiving Market, see below for details)
  • Nov 26 (no market scheduled)
  • Dec 24 (no market scheduled)
  • Dec 31 (no market scheduled)
  • Jan 7 (no market scheduled)
  • Jan 14
  • Feb 18 (OEFFA conference)
  • Mar 25
  • Apr 22
Nov 19, 2022. Granville Farmers Market Thanksgving Market
Saturday, 8:30 - noon. Due to low temps and windchills, the Thanksgiving market will be held indoors at the Granville Intermediate School, at 2025 Burg Street in Granville. Tight quarters, but we hope you'll join us!

Past news items of interest, including links to various presentation materials, are also available.

Current Nov 18

Loose-leaf teas:

Seasonings:

Dried herbs
(200+ varieties)

Forest products:

Crafted products: