March 15 - March 16, 2019
24th Annual Herbal Forum at Round Top
Featured Presentations by Caroline Caswell,
Abianne Falla, Saurabh Kajaria,
Autumn Schulze, Amanda Vermillion
August to April Series

2019 Herbal Forum Artwork

24th Annual Herbal Forum: Saturday, March 16, 2019
with Plant and Gift Sales starting on Friday, March 15

The famous Plant Sale and "Thyme Well Spent" Gift Shop are open to the public from 9-5 on Friday and 8-5 on Saturday. No registration is required to come to the plant and gift sale. View Plant Sale Flyer.

Join us on Saturday as we explore

Tea: Herb of Comfort and Friendship
with a focus on Camellia sinensis - Our Herb for 2019

Click here to view Herbal Forum brochure.

Presenters: Caroline Caswell, Abianne Falla, Saurabh Kajaria, Autumn Schulze, Amanda Vermillion    Biographies below.

The Herbal Forum begins at 8:45 am on Saturday, March 16, in the Festival Concert Hall with a welcome by Karen Cornwell, Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit Chair and Tony Scanapico, Herb Society of America Pioneer Unit member.

Five exciting and informative presentations are scheduled throughout the day. See description of Presentations below. The midday break includes the traditional Blessing of the Gardens followed by a Garden Buffet Lunch on the rear lawn of the Menke House.

The last event of the day on Saturday, "Wonderful Ways with Herbs," includes demonstrations by many of our presenters and some of our fellow herb enthusiasts. With plenty of tastings and more to learn, this will certainly be a great way to end the day!

Make it a two-day getaway!  Spend Friday and Saturday on Festival Hill. Overnight accommodations are available on campus. You'll have two days to visit the plant sale and gift shop, and even take in a leisurely stroll in the gardens. A reservation-only lunch is available on Friday. Herbal Forum Registrants are invited to attend the reservation-only Presenters' Dinner in the Victorian-style Menke House on Friday evening, followed by a presentation of the movie, "Tea with Mussolini," in the masterfully restored Edythe Bates Old Chapel lecture hall. After your complimentary breakfast on Saturday morning (yoga is available too), you'll feel refreshed and ready to enjoy the forum.

NOTE: Workshops are not being offered this year.

For information regarding the 24th Annual Herbal Forum, please email or call/leave a message at 979-249-3129.

Accommodations at Festival Hill:
Enhance your experience by staying overnight on the campus of Round Top Festival Institute. Most rooms are within easy walking distance of the Herbal Forum activities; all have private baths and air conditioning. Rates include all linens and a continental breakfast served in the Menke House Dining Room from 8 am to 9 am. Email or call 979-249-3129 to make your reservations.

Cancellation Policy:
A 20% fee will be deducted from all refunds requested on or before March 8, 2019. No refunds can be given after March 8, 2019.

Office/Information/Reservations: 979-249-3129

Location: 248 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954  Google Map
      Concert Hall:  #6 on Campus Map
      Menke House:  #16 on Campus Map


Around the World in a Tea Daze
     Presented at 9:00 a.m. by Amanda Vermillion

     Hang onto your hats and grab your passports! Get ready for a whirlwind tour of global tea culture, including where tea originated, how it spread throughout the world, and how tea is enjoyed in various countries.

The Medicinal Uses of True Tea (Camellia sinensis)
     Presented at 10:15 a.m. by Caroline Caswell

     The tea plant is a well-known and well-loved plant, commonly drunk in the mornings and afternoons throughout the world, across cultures, and in almost every home, making it a widely accessible and relatively inexpensive medicinal plant. This presentation will explore the traditional and evidence-based uses of green tea, black tea, and white tea for acute, chronic, and preventative medicine.

An Introduction to Herbal Teas—Homegrown Herbal Support
     Presented at 11:00 a.m. by Autumn Schulze

     This presentation will include an introduction to using herbal teas as home remedies; brief medicinal herbal use from a historical perspective; introduction covering basic herbs, recipes and their support uses; recipes for everyday support herbs such as lemon balm for calming, peppermint for digestion and rose for grief; and hydrotherapy baths such as comfrey used for bruising and bone healing or nettles and lemon balm for bites. There will be an herbal tea tasting, plus "using herbal tea in gifts" demonstration as door prizes!

Who's Picking Your Tea—A Tea Maker's Perspective
     Presented at 2:00 p.m. by Saurabh Kajaria

     We can all appreciate a good cup of tea, but how many of us have wondered who are the people who deserve some of that appreciation for their hard work in bringing that tea to us? It should not be a surprise that the condition of labor is a closely guarded secret in China, and some countries in Africa just doesn't want to talk about it. We are living in a conscious consumer world where people demand to know everything they can about the product they purchase. Tea is a complex product and we should take a minute to know some of the stories behind the cup that brings us so much joy - it will surely be inspiring.

Yaupon—It's Texan, for Tea
     Presented at 3:00 p.m. by Abianne Falla

     As the only naturally-caffeinated indigenous plant in North America, yaupon was brewed for centuries by Native Americans. And then...lost and forgotten. This enlightening session will explore the history, health properties, preparation and current state of yaupon; a vibrant American resource blossoming into a booming botanical industry. Always a large consumer of caffeine, America has only recently rediscovered its ability to produce a viable and delicious domestic source with yaupon. Join as we explore the growing interest in this fascinating, healthy and invigorating plant; an interesting journey of rediscovery of the largely forgotten beverage tradition of yaupon - or as we like to say, "It's Texan, for tea".


Caroline Caswell
Caroline Caswell is an herbalist, artist, and educator living in Austin, Texas. Upon completing the Clinical Intensive path at the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, Caroline focuses her herbal practice on the folk medicine traditions of Western Europe from which she descends, and thoughtful interactions with bioregional ecology. She works as the Education Assistant at the American Botanical Council and now teaches for the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine.

Abianne Falla
Abianne Falla is the co-founder of CatSpring Yaupon, one of the largest producers of yaupon in the world. Based in Cat Spring, Texas, where the majority of wild growth yaupon is sourced, CatSpring Yaupon has led the field in development of sustainable yaupon production, while also employing ethical labor practices by creating dignified employment opportunities.

Saurabh Kajaria
Saurabh Kajaria is a co-founder and creative head of Trishnna Tea, a Houston based company specializing in specialty tea for mass consumers. Saurabh has over 10 years of product development and marketing experience backed by degrees from Texas A&M and UT Austin. He is an avid tea drinker who loves to promote Indian teas from North Eastern India- Assam, Meghalaya, Dooars, etc. He is passionate about supporting small scale industries in India that in turn support the under-privileged community.

Autumn Schulze
Autumn Schulze's journey has taken her from a B.S. in Bio-Medical Science and a career in Pharmaceutical Research to an Herbal Medicine Practitioner and Certified Health Coach. In her private practice, Autumn's Harvest, she coaches clients with a whole foods plant-based approach utilizing lifestyle coaching and herbal support. Autumn's Harvest Apothecary Line provides supporting herbal products for clients and customers. She is an advocate for natural cancer support, animal welfare and plant-based nutrition. Autumn Schulze is current co-president of the Austin Herb Society.

Amanda Vermillion
Amanda Vermillion, a.k.a. The Tea Mistress, has had a lifelong interest in teas and herbs. Amanda's French mother introduced her to "tisanes" (herbal teas) as a child. While in college Amanda became interested in the healing properties of herbs. She earned her Tea Master Certification from the International Tea Masters Association in 2013 and her New World Tea Certification from I-TEI in 2014. Founded in 2013, The Tea Mistress, LLC combines Amanda's passion for, and knowledge of, teas and tisanes with her extensive event-planning experience. The Tea Mistress began with event planning, talks, classes and presentations. The focus of the business soon expanded to include retail sales of specialty teas, herbs, coffee, tea accessories and teaware. For almost 39 years, Amanda has led social groups, volunteered, and organized hundreds of events, meetings, convention and social activities. Amanda currently serves as Director of Lone Star Houston Tea Festival, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She has been the driving force behind the Lone Star Iced Tea Festival and the Houston Tea Festival.

Information is also available on the Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit website and Facebook page.

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