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. Visiting the farmers market hasn't been quite the same since COVID-19, but we still have food to sell and you can still participate in the local economy! Thank you for your patience and support as we all find our way through this challenging time.

Late 2021 News:

Whew! Where did 2021 go? It's been quite awhile since the last update, so lots to catch up on.....

Markets:

We just finished up an excellent season (our 14th!!) at the Granville Summer Farmer's Market in Oct. Thanks to all who came out rain or shine -- fortunately more of the latter than the former this year -- to support your local farmers.

Now on to the winter season.... this will be our 9th season selling at the Worthington Winter Farmer's Market and there are some important changes to note. First, due to the sale and redevelopment of the Shops at Worthington Mall, we will be selling OUTSIDE on High St. in downtown Worthington through the holidays. That's the same location as the summer market and our spot is just across the street from the Market booth, on the west side of High St. at the corner with New England Ave. More details about the move can be found on the Worthington Farmer's Market website.

The first winter market is Nov 6, starting at 9 AM; the current forecast is for sun and mid-50s, although starting out a mite cooler, i.e., upper 20s. The sort of day we used to describe as "bracing". Being a born & bred Minnesotan, I'm up for it and I hope you are too!

In addition, as we have for the last however many years, we will be selling at the special Granville Thanksgiving Market on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Held at the usual Racoon Valley Park location at the south end of River Rd, starting at 9:00 AM. You see, we've already had practice selling outdoors in the winter ;-)

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. And their new and improved website is due to be released any day now. Be sure to check it out.

Herbs and Mushrooms:

It always makes me melancholy to see so many plants shrivel up and die with the first hard frost, but I'm also usually (more than) ready to call it a season and move on. Many Blue Owl herbs are perennials and, just like humans, need a good rest from time to time. Others are tender herbs, out of place here in our cold winters, so those need to either be brought indoors for the next few months or restarted from seed again next spring. I do some of both and with the exception of a few bulbs, have saved what I could and said a sad farewell to the rest. There is a cyclical pattern to it that somehow feels reassuring, even as the days get shorter and the temps colder. Winter is the time for looking back and learning from this year's growing experiences and looking forward to next year's plantings.

Given that spirit of contemplation, I want to pass on a short but excellent essay on lessons learned from a long life spent in the garden. Written by Scott Kunst, the found of Old House Gardens (and one of my favorite plant suppliers) in Ann Arbor, MI in his retirement farewell newsletter, you can find it online. I particularly like the concept of "editing" one's garden!

There was a bit of garden editing this summer at the Blue Owl, some intentional and some not (thank you, rabbits!). But we still have hundreds of herbs and herbal products put by for sale this winter. Most of those products are listed on the Blue Owl Products page.

The fresh herb season is mostly over, but we will still be able to bring some of the hardiest herbs, e.g., sage, to market up until Thanksgiving. In addition to the green leafy herbs, I also have heirloom garlic, shallots, and horseradish available. If you have requests, let me know and I'll see what I can do!

That brings me to the mushrooms. The higher than average rainfall made for an excellent mushroom growing year. We have LOTS this week! Shiitake, nameko, chestnut, and mukitake are all popping out after the recent rains. This is our first year with the log-grown chestnut mushrooms, so there are fewer of those, but everything else will be at market in abundance. We'll also have reishi and dried maitake available. For those thinking ahead to holiday gift-giving, we have a smaller than usual supply of shiitake grow-your-own mushroom logs, so buy/order early.

Sabbatical Redux:

So some of you will remember that I was planning to take a long-anticipated sabbatical in early 2020. Then there was the pandemic and all that got thrown out the window. Although the next attempt won't involve the travel and major projects in the original scheme, I am going to try again in early 2022. That means that January through March 2022, the Blue Owl will NOT be doing any farmer's markets, although products will still be available at Keller Market House and by special order. I haven't re-worked my sabbatical plans/goals yet, but I am most definitely looking forward to the additional time to play around with new ideas, learn about plants (and mushrooms) both old and new, and think deeply about what the next 15 years might bring. Undoubtedly there will be classes and events and workshares still happening as well so stay tuned!

2021-2022 Blue Owl Schedule:

Worthington Winter Farmers Market
For the 2021-2022 winter season, the Worthington Winter Market will be located outdoors in the heart of downtown Worthington OH on Saturdays, from 9 AM to noon, November - December and April. There will be no markets the week after Thanksgiving and Christmas and no markets the month of January. February and March location TBD. Blue Owl will be in attendence on the following weeks:
  • Nov 6
  • Nov 13
  • Nov 20 (see Granville Thanksgiving Market below)
  • Dec 4
  • Dec 11
  • Dec 18
  • Apr 2
  • Apr 9
  • Apr 16
  • Apr 23
Nov 20, 2021. Granville Farmers Market Thanksgiving Market.
Saturday, 9 - noon. Market is located at Racoon Valley Park at the South end of River Road in Granville.

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

Current Nov 4

Fresh this week:

Loose-leaf teas:

Seasonings:

Dried herbs
(200+ varieties)

Crafted products: