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!

Spring Greetings 2023:

The OEFFA conference has come and gone, wonderful but exhausting. Seeds have been ordered and received, some have been sowed already, more will get in soon and weeds grow while I watch, but none of that is actually at the top of our current to-do list.....

The main subject on our minds right now is: mushrooms! Or more precisely, GROWING mushrooms. It is time for Blue Owl's mushroom inoculation workshare to get underway. Starting March 19, for 2 days a week, every week until early May it's going to be nothing but mushroom cultivation _all_day_long! Interested in getting involved? Check out the details on the Blue Owl website and then send me an email to sign up. Open spots are available almost every day except Tue, April 18th. I have plenty of spawn for at least 12 kinds of mushrooms and a HUGE pile of logs ready to go (and, for better or worse, there are more that could still be harvested out in the woods, too, if only the weather would cooperate ;-().

Interested in growing your own oyster, nameko, mukitake, chestnut, or lion's mane at home? This is also the time of year when you can special-order grow-your-own mushroom logs for mushrooms other than shiitake. Just like the shiitake logs we have at market each week, these are $50 ea. and come with detailed care and feeding instructions. Logs may be picked up at the farm or at the Worthington farmers market. Reserve your log now.


Speaking of markets, there are several news-y notes to be shared: First, the Worthington Winter Market is moving outdoors for the month of April this year. Since it's still technically the winter market, the market runs 9 AM to noon.

Also starting with the April 1st market: RAMPS are ready! As well as garlic mustard and other really early fresh herbs. Think wild spring greens.... recipes will be provided. To get properly inspired, here is a blog post about ancient traditions centered around gathering the first spring greens via Gather Victoria, by Danielle Prohom Olsen. Fascinating food history, indeed!

Finally, 2023 will be a year of change for Blue Owl: we have decided to stay with the Worthington market through the summer this year. We made this choice with very mixed feelings, since we have sold at the Granville Summer Farmers Market for the past 15! summers and we'll truly miss the loyal customers (and fellow vendors) there very much. However, the economic analysis was unambiguous. Our Granville customers can, of course, still order Blue Owl products for delivery to the Granville-Newark area or for pick up at Denison throughout the summer; just email me and we'll work it out. Despite selling at the Worthington Winter Market for 10 seasons, this will still be a big change for us (e.g., the summer market starts earlier at 8 AM and is twice as far, thus we'll be getting up _much_ earlier on Saturdays; market traffic will be much higher/busier, too), so we're easing into it slowly by doing only every other market. Janell will be using the in-between weeks to ramp up her herb production to me et the greater Worthington market demand. It will be interesting to see how the summer goes.... As always, our market schedule is posted. Hope to see you at the market one of those weeks!

Classes, Workshares, Workshops:

Blue Owl Mushroom Inoculation workshare

There's been a lot of interest expressed at the market about learning hands-on how to produce mushrooms at home. Last summer's windstorm damaged plenty of trees that will now become mushroom logs, which means there will be plenty of opportunities to learn about small-scale mushroom production. Here's how it works:
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. You'll learn the process and have the opportunity to earn your own log to take home. We have spawn for a couple kinds of shiitake, 3 oysters, mukitake, nameko, chestnut, comb's tooth, lion's mane, turkey tail, and wine-cap stropharia mushrooms. Email if you are interested, pre-registration is REQUIRED. Here are this year's dates:

The mushroom workshare is a learning experience: by helping with this particular farm project, you learn the process by doing it hands-on and "earn” credit towards a grow-your-own-mushroom log: for every log you inoculate for the farm, you earn $5 towards purchasing your own log at a discount; inoculating 11 logs gets you a free log ($50 value).

NEW! Introducing the Blue Owl Herb Growing workshare!

Many people have asked about an herb-focused workshare and I think I've finally found the right project: herb bed re-vitalization and maintenance. With 60+ raised production beds for growing herbs, the need to be reinforcing, re-planting, weeding, fertilizing, and generally maintaining beds is never-ending. Sometimes it's just a matter of weeding and mulching existing plantings, but often a bed pretty much needs to be rebuilt from scratch. The last weekend of every month during the growing season (April - October, Saturday or Sunday afternoons, depending on weather), you are welcome to join Janell in renewing one of the Blue Owl Garden Emporium production beds from the ground up. While we work, we'll talk about soils and fertility, crop rotation, pest control, the history and growing requirements of specific herbs, planting techniques, weeding strategies, etc. The workshare is free and participants will leave with a better understanding of how to construct long-term planting areas... and most likely also take away plant starts, herb cuttings, seeds, or other gifts from the garden. Note: this will be a new workshare, so there'll undoubtedly be some refinement required as we go along, please be patient. As with the mushroom workshare, pre-registration is REQUIRED.

Herbs and Mushrooms:

This heading includes some new Blue Owl creations, in particular the long promised umami mushroom seasoning blend. We've come up with several possibilities and 2 are now available! True Blue Umami seasoning has a bit of a kick (and the highest ranked in our popcorn trials) and Four Seasons Umami features a complex herbal flavor that complements the umami background (my favorite).

Several new tea blends are also on the verge of being introduced esp. since I promised Peter I would mix up a new "signature" blend for his birthday in early February. The gray, dreary days of January and February are perfect for experimenting with hot, aromatic beverages, for sure. To pique your interest in herbal brews, here's a Gastro Obscura story on the murky social history of the plant we know as tea, Camellia sinensis: The Medieval Influencer Who Convinced the World to Drink Tea -- Not Eat It

Always available, we have our extensive dried herb, tea and seasoning selection. 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 at the market or visit the Blue Owl Products page. While late winter/early spring sees some of these selling out, keep them in mind for next summer and fall when they will be replenished during the growing season.

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

Current April 2023

Fresh this week:

Loose-leaf teas:


Dried herbs
(200+ varieties)

Forest products:

Crafted products: