Continues to meet weekly at Morton village hall, 10am. There is a varied programme of presentations and entertainment.
The subject on July 4 was ‘Herbs of the Bible’.
The speaker, Brian Holman, previously gave members an introduction to herbs, and reminded them on this visit that the definition of a herb is: a plant which has properties and characteristics of benefit to us, although in the case of hemlock the benefit is perhaps dubious.
Using photographs and biblical texts, Brian spoke about a range of herbs and spices which existed in those times and are specifically mentioned in the Bible. He also talked about trees and shrubs, oils gums and resins. Members learnt about specifically religious derivations of names, for instance marigold being associated with Mary the mother of Jesus, rue coming from repentance. The special uses and benefits of each plant was outlined.
Some of the plants we recognise today in Britain, for instance rosemary, mustard, garlic. Others require the hotter climate of the Holy Land to exist and prosper. Some have the same names today while others have changed, for instance bulrushes are better described as papyrus now, caraway as was known then is now called filch. All still exist, 2,000 or more years on.
At the end of this instructive talk, Brian gave members a flavour, or rather scent, of myrrh, by heating some of this natural gum over a candle.