Sunday, April 15, 2007

PA Herb Festival '07

Yesterday was the second day of the PA Herb Festival, and we were there. Maureen Rogers (Herbnet) could only be there for the first day, so we set up, and covered her booth the second day.
This festival kicks off the season in our part of the world.
It was so much fun to see old herb friends again! Over the fall and winter, we may speak on the phone or via email, but there's just nothing like the burst of seeing everyone together doing what they love. The crowd was enthusiastic and friendly, and even though the weather is not cooperating for the growers, people were buying plants - and everything else. This year I notice a lot of herb blends and dip mixes. There were several semi-local wineries represented, and although we were hesitant to take along soap because of the number of soapers there, most of them were glycerine based melt and pour - so ours stood out.
I wish I had taken more pictures! I saw a really great calendar for Planting by the Moon, from Sue of Sue's Salves (link and info to come). She did all the photography and set-up, and it looks great! Every day has something to do or think about. There was a guy who had beautifully decorated gourds, and an old ren faire friend was there with her Gypsy Garden shop. TONS of great garden art. There was a wonderful mix of products, and we pigged out on baklava made with blueberries and raspberries.
Jason Spring of Spring Thyme Herbs showed me pictures of his new (11 months) baby girl Leah. She is a doll - looks like Mom, Silke, and is lending a new challenge to their family business. I'm not sure how they snuck her in during the year... His plants look great, and we had a discussion on chamomile tincture. His mother is always there helping, but I could tell he missed having his wife by his side.
Some people I only get to see at this show in York. Roxane Kain has worked on the festival from the first year, and after years of doing mountains of paperwork and correspondence, now handles the announcements. I love to watch her bop around covering for speakers and giving vendors breaks.
Pat Myers is a Master Gardener that I met a few years ago, and she gets a lot accomplished, getting the show together. There are some really neat people involved. Lots of volunteers. Some of the organizers I don't know.
As always, it's fun to see the Repperts - Susanna and Nancy, and Barb Steele from Alloway.
More than anything, I enjoyed meeting subscribers. Several made a point of coming to the booth and introducing themselves this year. That was great!
Another rewarding point was selling several of the wild foods cookbooks. There is a definate upswing in interest in the subject, and that's exciting. People are starting to see the value in finding the food growing all around them.
All-in-all, it was a pretty good show. I'm looking forward to the ones to follow!

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