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.

Happy New Year 2023:

The new year is upon us and it's starting off fast here at the Blue Owl. Mushroom logs are being harvested, woodland trails are being cleared, planting lists are being made (and slashed back to something resembling reality), seed and plant orders are being placed, seeds requiring cold-stratification are being sown, tools are being repaired..... And plans for the new year are being put into motion.

Classes, Workshares, Workshops:

OEFFA Conference workshop:

2023 Annual OEFFA conference, Thursday-Saturday February 16-18 at Cherry Valley Hotel and Ohio Event Center, Newark OH

The OEFFA conference is the largest gathering of people who are interested in sustainable food and agriculture in the region. Janell will be presenting a workshop (first thing Friday morning at 8:45 AM ;-) titled:
Plant Marauders of Field and Forest: Invasive Plants to Know and Control What is a weed and what makes a weed an INVASIVE weed? Learn to identify and understand several of Ohio's most common plant invasives and then join me in exploring alternative -- and sometimes unexpected -- ways to combat them without the use of toxic herbicides.

Thank you to all who attended the talk, esp. those who helped with the show! Below are links to the workshop materials. Gird your loins and go forth to battle those invasives with confidence!

Keller Market House: Mushroom Production for the Home Grower

Thursday March 9, 6:00 - 8:00 pm; Keller Market House 134 S Columbus St, Lancaster OH

Mushrooms make a wonderful complement to freshly harvested herbs and vegetables from your garden and are not any more difficult to grow. Janell Baran of Blue Owl Hollow Forest Farm will demonstrate a straight-forward log inoculation technique suitable for small-scale production of several different culinary mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster, and lion's mane. Given the right situation and basic maintenance, these logs will thrive for years in your yard, shade garden, or woodlot. Log harvesting, site selection, care of inoculated logs, and various mushroom cultivation resources will be discussed. Optional: In your registration, you may choose to pre-order an inoculated mushroom log from Blue Owl to take home the night of the class. Class fee is $30, shiitake-inoculated logs are $50. Please RSVP by calling Keller Market House at 740-277-6305 or emailing info@kellermarkethouse.org.

Plan Ahead for Blue Owl workshares:

The Blue Owl Mushroom Inoculation workshare is coming!

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'll have spawn for a couple kinds of shiitake,3 oysters, mukitake, nameko, chestnut, comb's tooth, lion's mane, reishi, maitake, 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:

That includes some new Blue Owl creations, in particular the long promised umami mushroom seasoning blend. We've come up with several possibilities and they should be available by mid-February at the latest!

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 sees some of these selling out, keep them in mind for next summer and fall when they will be replenished during the growing season.


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.

Don't forget that we stock items at Keller Market House in Lancaster OH year-round.

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

Current Feb 2023

Loose-leaf teas:


Dried herbs
(200+ varieties)

Forest products:

Crafted products: