Each person generally has a harbinger of each season particularly relevant to them. You know, apples/pumpkins in fall, evergreens denoting winter approaching. The yearly herb festival in Asheville is mine for Spring.
Winter is over. It's time to plant and warmth solace is generally here to stay for a while. I am particularly looking forward to this one, the 25th Annual Spring Herb Festival in the aftermath of what seemed the endless winter.
At our inn, we always seek to use the freshest ingredients we can find in the preparation of breakfast for our guests so having herbs right outside our back kitchen door is a glory I really look forward to. Fresh Tarragon Eggs or Fine Basil Pesto cannot be beat.All our guests mention our food and I know the freshness of these herbs put just the right spin on our morning meals.
Held yearly at the very spacious Western North Carolina Farmer's Market, there is more than adequate space for the over 60 vendors that bring their herbs, both culinary as well as medicinal to market. A joyful event with both dogs and humans in tandem scoping out the products for sale which only begins with herbs and extends into all kinds of creative, fun garden things, garden art and a virtual gift mecca.
There will be plants, soap, fragrant oils and essences, cool homemade baskets made by local crafts folk; some for decorative purposes and some to function as plant holders for both inside and outside applications. Each different and always unique. Teas, sauces, fresh jams, new recipes, jellies, honey and more is generally available.
Though shopping at this fest is one of my most anticipated events of the year, it's really about much more than that. It's about knowledge! If it's going on in plants or is something relevant to plants or growing, the most up to date knowledge available on that topic is there for the asking. Drought is facing many areas of our country and whether it is a particular issue where you live right now...It could be. Global climate change is affecting our world and those growing all our foods and herbs alike deal with this issue every day.
Bees are under siege, their numbers dwindling to dangerous levels. Colony collapse, viruses, pesticide use and an unrelenting winter will contribute to the 2013-2014 reduction in bee numbers. As some of our most prolific pollinators, this is of great concern and a hot topic among growers. Asheville is now a Bee City USA backed by our farmers and growers all anxious to reverse this trend.
There will b information at the Herb Fest from representatives of Bee City USA as well as the Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville. These individuals, recognizing the contribution of bees to our food chain seek to understand elements that prove harmful to bees reducing them to create the best "bee helping environment" possible helping bees city by city.
Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday 10:00 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Western North Carolina Famers Market offers both no admission and free parking. Whether there to replenish your medicinal or culinary supplies for what promises to be an awesome summer or to take advantage of all the free learning going on, Herb Fest Asheville NC promises to be a great outing to celebrate Spring. Trust me, I celebrate there every Spring!
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers