Our History

The Herb Society of Central Indiana was co-founded in 1966 by Sarah Palmatier and Adele Klingberg with interested persons assembling in a small building on the site of the Indianapolis Art Museum. Adele served as the first president and Sarah served as the third president. Seventy-three names appeared on the Charter membership role when the group received its charter from the Herb Society of America in March 1997. Approximately a dozen charter members maintain membership in the organization, which, after twenty continuous years, still numbers over sixty members. Both men and women are welcome.

From the beginning our purpose has been to educate people and develop an appreciation of herbs, especially their practical application in daily life. To that end, member Charlene Rupp recognized the need for a community-wide symposium to educate members and introduce the organization to the larger community. The first Symposium was held in April 2000 and is held annually each spring. It boasts upwards of 200 attendees. Our monthly meetings always have an educational component as members and guest speakers inform us on all aspects of herbs.

Members are active in numerous gardening and educational activities including maintaining an herb garden in the garden design area of White River Gardens, presenting workshops at Garfield Park, sponsoring an award for the best herb grown by a 4H member at the Indiana State Fair and providing a scholarship for an aspiring culinary student at one of the local colleges. The Herb Society touches lives of people of all ages.