New group for herb fans

Minette Tonoli is starting a local club for herb enthusiasts.

Minette Tonoli enjoys pretty garden plants, but says she is passionate only about the ones that are useful – herbs.

Growing and learning about herbs, as well as running herb-related businesses has been Minette’s focus for many years and she is channeling that enthusiasm and knowledge into a new community group she is forming called Hibiscus Coast Herbs.

Before Minette moved to Stanmore Bay, she ran the North Shore Herb Group which included some members from this area, so she says it makes sense to start a group here.

Around 75 people have already expressed an interest in joining, via social media. A meeting venue and exact start date (tentatively this month) are yet to be arranged.

Minette says her group will be affiliated with both the Auckland Herb Society and the Herb Federation of NZ.

A book given to her by her mother, when Minette was just 10 years old, was the start of her interest in herbs. She eventually left a job as a computer programmer to run various businesses selling and teaching people about the many properties of herbs.

“They have such a wide range of uses and are an integral part of our lives, but many people seem to have lost track of that connection,” she says. “You can use them in food, medicine, cosmetics – really amazing plants.”

All of which provides fertile ground for the new club. Minette says that Hibiscus Coast Herbs will provide an opportunity for herb enthusiasts to get together once a month and discuss topics around growing and using herbs. there will be guest speakers sharing their knowledge, as well as hands-on workshops. Some of the topics she hopes will be covered include fermenting, propagating and making herbal compound butters, flavoured vinegars and oils as well as home remedies for colds and herbal balms.

Info: look for Hibiscus Coast Herbs on Facebook, or email


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