Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kentucky Herb Festival 2008

Since our move to Kentucky about 15 years ago, we have made the Kentucky Herb Festival in Frankfort an annual tradition. It is not a large festival, but quaint and just big enough to take up about half of the day allowing the rest of the day to get home and plant what was bought! Last year, for the 15th anniversary, the Kentucky Herb Association decided to move the date from the second weekend in June to the third weekend in May. Unfortunately, only their die hard members got the news and the largest city nearby, Lexington was left out of the this year appeared to be much better attended. To give you a taste of why this trip is worth the yearly dedication, I will provide a sampling of the day's activities, including lunch and another favorite garden center visit that makes the day very special.

The day begins with a stop at the Herb Fest located in the farm buildings of Lakeview Park which overlooks a golf course and nice size lake.

The festival is free to get in, but parking is $3.00 and if you want to stay for their herbal lunch held at the beautiful brick building at the entrance, the cost is $9.00 and limited to 120 people.

Other activities include guest speakers, live music and an auction with proceeds benefiting the Kentucky Herb Association.

Now for a few tasty morsels from this year's festival:

One booth we usually make a bee line for is Wash House Herb Farm's homemade herb breads. They sell out pretty quickly, so we load up before heading around to the rest of the booths.

Chrisman Mill Vineyard (the oldest licensed vineyard in the U.S.) offers a very nice wine tasting with wine bread and cheese spread standing by for a wonderful sampling.

The other booths loaded with wonderful smellygood stuff and books about growing, cooking or crafting with your favorite herbs make for a visually appealing and diverse shopping experience.

And then there are the herbs and plants! So many unique herbs, wildflowers, native plants and perennials to choose from!

In fact, there are so many things to load up with at such reasonable prices, we have adopted the habit of bringing along our trusty antique grocery cart. Simply perfect for bags of bread, wine, herbs and everything else we can pack into it. The opening is also just the right size for laying a flat of plants on top. But as you can see, we only bought a few herbs this year that fit into bags on top of the bread.

As we head back to the car, we have thoughts of lunch at Gibby's (voted Frankfort's favorite place for lunch!) and then more plans for shopping at a local greenhouse - Wilson's.

Wilson's Nursery sits on Frankfort's By-Pass and takes up many acres of growing space.

The displays throughout the greenhouse, giftshop and terraces combine to create a gardener's heaven! Once upon a time Wilson's used to participate in the Herb Festival but left several years ago, preferring to put on a nice herb sale at their own place. In years past, the sale has been very significant, but this year the Herb Fest is a month earlier and so the sale is not as wonderful, but the selection is still worth the trip!

The ultimate fairy garden!

And be careful where you rummage through the plants! You may find a feline hiding in the roses. One of the workers said she was very friendly, but didn't know her name....only that her mother's name was Lola! So keep an eye out for Lola's daughter while spending your Saturday wandering through Wilson's!


vonlafin said...

I am so jealous! Our herb society used to put on a festival in the Spring, but it took so much work, and so few people wanted to do it. I sure do miss them.

Mother Nature said...

What a wonderful outing. I see you haven't posted in a while. Do you have another blog. I hope you are well. Happy Gardening