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Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 PA Herb and Garden Festival

Last night, me and my girls headed into the 14th Annual Pennsylvania Herb and Garden Festival, like we do every year.

We had a great time, but we felt it was a little subpar this year.  A LOT more food vendors were added, which is ok, I guess, since most of them all were somewhat related to herbs and gardening.

There were a lot of spice and herb blenders there and I came home with some rubs to test out (and probably use to create some new one's myself this summer).

But… the actual amount of herbs for sale seemed much, much less than last year.

That was a bit disappointing.

Having started all of my own this year there was really nothing I needed to purchase except rosemary, but I'm holding off for more consistent weather so I can just plant them outside. Still, I was in search of any unique or not-to-common herb starts.

I did find a few Love-in-the-Mist plants but I've started my own.

We visited Sweet Sally's Soaps, like last year, for some homemade soaps. I'm a big fan of homemade soap and have purchased from a lot of different individuals, Sally's soaps are my favorite. They last a really long time and her scents are a treat.

I came home with some Vinaigrette as well. Not only was this stuff the bomb, but the guy who makes it was the most entertaining vendor hands down. When I couldn't sample his veggie & crouton samples, he quickly put together a GF sample for me.

I would drink this stuff straight from the bottle
if people wouldn't look at me funny, it's that good. 

He makes a note even at his booth that it is GF and that he uses real foods, no preservatives or other junk. It was refreshing to read an ingredient list I recognized.

I happened to luck out and stumble on a vendor selling healthy organic baked goods who just happened to have a few gluten free options. I scored some great gluten free carrot cake and felt pretty darn special.

It's a rarity to find any GF food options at these events.

The show runs today yet and there are workshops all day for a variety of topics.

I briefly attended last nights Edible & Medicinal Wild Herbs of Ohio and Pa workshop but there were no actual plants and not much discussion on preparing them other than a brief talk by the presenter (who also had a stand selling her products) on how she prepares them for her products, but it was not in much detail.

After that we just followed along a handout where she noted the benefits of various wild edibles. Nothing that I didn't already know.  I had hoped for there to be actual plants there for us to see and demonstrations on preparing them for use, but sadly no.

My ADD got the best of me and I had to step out.

There's a few more shows coming up that we usually hit, so I'm looking forward to them.

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