Sunday, May 14, 2006

Herb Fairs are a blast!!!

We've been looking forward to the festival at Landis Valley for a few months. It was our first herb fest 15 years or so ago, and it was also the first herb festival we've done together since our "hiatus".
This festival has never let us down, and this year was no exception. We went into it with zero expectations, and were absolutely thrilled.
The first picture shows Kathy Musser of Cloverleaf Herb Farm. Her well kept greenhouse was photographed for the cover of the May/June issue of The Essential Herbal.
The crowd started lining up way before the 9 am opening on each day, and the variety of herbs and heirloom plants was staggering. The gates opened and in poured thousands and thousands of herb enthusiasts - all in bright, sunny moods.
It was wonderful to see so many old friends and customers. Generally, we work this way - I chat and jabber while Maryanne conducts business. That really isn't as bad as it sounds.... we came to the realization that we'd need to have some means of doing both. When working a show, you have "x" hours to do all the business you are going to be able to do. Having one of us do the chatting leaves the other to the business. It has always worked out very well for us.

On Saturday, the skies opened (with a vengence!) shortly after opening. The rain came in buckets...oddly able to fall horizontally. Since we were in a very large tent with several other vendors, we just replaced the sides and continued. The rain forced many people inside (good for us!), and other than the river flowing through our booth, all was fine. It left as quickly as it arrived, leaving behind a second gorgeous day.

Our booth was lots of fun. We weren't sure how we'd incorporate all of the parts - the books and magazines, the soaps and toiletries, and the awesome, gorgeous torchwork jewelry.... but it all worked together very well. We put the "road apple" soaps in the front to start conversations. The felted soap balls attracted attention from "fiber folk", the "artzy-fartzy" soap got lots of attention, and the jewelry and magazines got the rest of them. All in all, it seemed to be a great mix.

Now I can't wait for the next fair - the Garden Craft Faire at Alloway Creek Gardens & Herb Farm in Littlestown, near Gettysburg, PA. That one will take place June 2 and 3. It features free garden talks and tours, artists, music, vendors, and tasty herbal food.

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