Monday, April 20, 2015

A Dilly of a Weekend!

Several months ago, our friend Debbie Stiffler-Zugates asked if we'd be interested in coming to help the Indiana County Herb Study Group that she helped found celebrate 30 years.  Lately we've been doing less and less scooting around the countryside, but this was different.  We couldn't resist!  So after the PA Herb Fest the previous week, we didn't bother to unpack, and just headed out on Friday morning.

We stayed at the beautiful Dillweed Bed & Breakfast, hosted by Kyra and Corey Gilmore.

There is a Dillweed Herb Festival in June, and I will be posting information at the end of this entry.  The B&B is right next to a trail that was once a railway, and it passes through towns that were once bustling coal or steel towns that are now ghost towns and may now be not much more than a few foundations in the woods.

 That's why they call it the Ghost Town Trail (and we were relieved to hear the explanation).  We wandered a short way in both directions on the trail.  We wandered the gardens in back of the house.

Friday evening we had dinner with several of the Study Group members at a little restaurant in Blairsville.  Delicious and a very nice time.

Then we went back to the B&B to sit on the side porch and listen to the Spring peepers.
Saturday morning Kyra served us a scrumptious breakfast with just the right amount of herbs sprinkled in.

The whole stay at Dillweed was so comfortable and homey.  We really enjoyed it.  I do wish we'd taken the time to visit the gift and antique shop on the one side of the building, as I'm certain it holds treasures galore.
We drove over to The Rustic Lodge in Indiana PA to set up a table with our offerings, and get ourselves prepared to give a talk before lunch.  As the club members began to arrive, they shopped, and shopped, and shopped!  Eventually everyone arrived, and after we posed for a couple news photogs, we hit the lectern.  That hour flew, and they practically had to get the hook out (as I'd warned) to end the talk so that lunch could be served.
We ate, talked with the new friends at our table, and listened to a bit about the history of this vibrant and large herb study group.  This area is really pretty mountainous and rural, so to have 50 people show up was pretty amazing.  Not only did they show up, they were enthusiastic, engaged, and fun to be around.  After another round of shopping, the crowd thinned out and it was time to pack up to go home.
I'm skipping over the part where the GPS couldn't find Dilltown.  And the part where I realized that heights and cliffs and windy roads have gotten scarier than when I was young.  The beautiful vistas were thrilling last time I was there (nearly 40 years ago),  Apparently I need to get out more... I'm also excluding the part where we were lost in Indiana and Kyra had to talk Maryanne to the lodge.  Stupid GPS!
It was a beautiful weekend, and we enjoyed it.  Here's the info on the Herb Festival, just in case you're anywhere near western PA.  They draw a couple thousand people and have lots of great vendors and speakers, so it's worth a drive.

The Herb Festival:

Get ready for Dillweed’s annual Pick-A-Dilly Herb Faire!
 The Dillweed Bed & Breakfast in Dilltown is pleased to announce the 17th Annual Pick-A-Dilly Herb Faire, scheduled for Saturday, June 14th, from 9am to 4pm. Admission is free and open to the public.  The one day event is co-sponsored by The Herb Study Group of Indiana County.   

The herb festival has grown in popularity over the past years, attracting hundreds of visitors to the quiet village of Dilltown.  The event is a great way to spend the day visiting area growers that feature a large variety of flowering plants, HERBS and perennials - all in one location!  Food offerings will not be in short supply this year as Dillweed welcomes Gert’s Concession featuring stadium sandwiches, cheese steaks, fresh cut fries, cheese fries and cold beverages.  And once again the bed & breakfast will provide its’ fresh, sizzling hot Pesto Pizza by the slice!

Enjoy a unique selection of artisans selling country crafts,  handmade beeswax products, hand carved wood items for the home, all natural gourmet herb vinegars, spice blends & dipping oils, lavender sugar, and herb bean soups.  Returning artisans include original botanical artwork, herb teas, hand poured soap products, jewelry, and other garden inspired specialties. 

            Visitors to the event will gain valuable gardening information, growing tips and learn how to care for and cultivate their own herbal gardens.  Explore the history and many uses of this year’s featured herb, Savory ( will be available for sale during the show). Visit the “Ask the Gardening Expert” table with your herb and general gardening questions anytime throughout the duration of the Herb Faire. The Herb Study Group will be presenting three free seminars during the event - just look for the colorful balloons to indicate the location:
(Programs not yet finalized)

For additional information, directions and/or questions please contact:

Corey Gilmore at 814-446-6465.         Dillweed Bed & Breakfast           7453 Route 403 Hwy S
                                                Dilltown, PA  15929

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