"Harvest Healthy Habits" was the theme of the first Girl's Night Out of 2013. More than two dozen ladies enjoyed the evening of information and fellowship at the Education Center of Hillsboro Area Hospital.
Lola Spears of Nokomis Gift and Garden introduced the participants to "edible container gardening" –– how to grow fresh vegetables in containers made of clay, plastic, cloth and wood (but not treated lumber). The container must have a drainage hole, she said.
In addition to tips on soil, fertilizer and watering, Spears gave examples of vegetables that are and are not pot compatible. For example, tomatoes, peppers and herbs can be planted together in one pot, but tomatoes and cucumbers are not compatible.
Amy Rupert, RpH and the hospital's Director of Pharmacy, discussed "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Herbal Supplements." She urged her audience to be wary of health claims that seem too good to be true, noting that herbal supplements are not subject to the rigorous testing that prescription drugs undergo to get FDA approval.
Rupert listed the most popular herbs, giving the possible benefits and harmful side effects of each. These included lemon balm, parsley, tea, oregano, cilantro, garlic and cinnamon.
Wendy White-Mitter of St. John's Hospital concluded the program with a discussion of how various foods can help heal the body.
The next Girl's Night Out will be on Tuesday, April 2, 6:00-8:00 pm. The free events, open to the public, are sponsored by Hillsboro Area Hospital, Hillsboro Area Health Foundation and St. John's Hospital Women's Services.
To register or for more information, contact Rosanne Heck, HAH Community Relations Director, at 217-532-4320.