Today we hit the very beginning of the PA Herb Festival in York. It is going on tomorrow, and if you have some time, run on over and check it out. We were pleasantly surprised. It has been a long time since we've seen so many new and interesting vendors at a festival - that didn't include home parties and window replacements. There were a few soap companies, but not many, many companies like before (we always notice that - what can I say?). The fact is that we always have a great time because we see our friends, but it was good to see some new stuff.
So here's the mini tour. I forgot lots of people, especially Barb from Alloway, and the folks from Willow Pond... but there will be other opportunities.
Sharon Magee is in her 25th year with her herbal pottery. Snap it up, folks. You just never know how long somebody will keep making something. We'll be hanging with Sharon a few days in the coming week during another conference. You'll probably hear more there.
Sarah was settling in to her booth space representing Radiance and Herbs from the Labyrinth. It looked pretty homey, and Kara had headed back to Lancaster to pick up some additional items. There were some recently dyed silk pieces on the aisle, and the market baskets appeared to be flying out of there too. I doubt if she got to sit and relax too much today.
Jason Spring from Spring Thyme Nursery in Dillsburg was doing a great business with his nice big herbs. In years past, it hasn't always been easy to have the herbs ready for this show, but not this time. There was lush patchouli, and the signage at his booth was imaginative.
The Japanese Jack-in-the-pulpit at the Charles Racine Co out of Elkton MD just took my breath away. Worth every cent of the $38 price - if it weren't for the fact that our deer would make a beeline for that plant. Hepatica, a wide variety of Trillium, Woodland Poppies, and Bluebells were all tempting - very tempting. This booth also usually has a splendid array of hostas.
As the doors opened this morning, the crowd began wandering, and many of them went directly into Barb Steele's talk on Dill - the herb of the year for 2010.
We wandered around and saw these trivets made from lucite enclosed herbs and botanicals, stained glass outside lamps, mosaics, stoneware, chimes, soy candles, and a good many teas, dips, botanicals, jewelry, and bath and body care items.
Maryanne chatted with Dee Shartles of Downhome Herbals. I think this is Dee's first year at the festival, but I'm not certain because we don't normally get a lot of time to go visiting. Anyhow, she has some lovely stuff.
Debbi Quinn from Blue Moon Herbals was one of the first people I saw upon entering, and her warm smile and happy voice just drew me right in. Besides having some of the most beautiful curly hair on the planet, Debbi has conjured up some incredible perfumes that are named for different deities. She's an advertiser in the magazine, so you'll see her link on the sidebar (as is Sarah).
Chef Tim had his tasty balsamic vinaigrette on sale, and the samples were delish. I still have a good bit on hand here at the house.
There seemed to be a good bit of sampling going on. Lots to see and do, smell and taste.
Finally, as we were nearing the end of our circuit, we noticed that Susanna of The Rosemary House was doing a demo - and leaving her booth unattended. So we decided that we'd go play behind her booth while she was away. Now that was absolutely perfect! We spent about 30 minutes behind a table joking around with customers. It was fun. When Susanna came back, we sampled some of the cordials and concoctions she brought along for a workshop she was doing later (and will repeat at 2:15 tomorrow).
As we drove off to make another soap delivery in another part of the county, we agreed that we'd made the right decision to limit our shows this year.
It was really great to see people - and we'll see most of them again over the next few weeks - but it was truly wonderful to be able to leave.