An Herbal Celebration

One of the biggest perks of membership in the Western Reserve Herb Society is that I get to spend my entire summer working in the bountiful herb gardens at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens in University Circle. Our members plan for the gardens all winter long and then begin to plant in late March to prepare for our annual herb fair which this year marks its 69th anniversary.

Throughout the summer, members have been busy harvesting fresh herbs and dreaming up new products. They include flaked sugar crystals for ice creams flavored with basil, pumpkin pie, or cranberry, and a line of delicious cocktail mixers, among them a homemade spicy Bloody Mary mix and a sweet tart apple cider Manhattan mix flavored with Geauga County maple syrup.

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At the herb fair you can sample and purchase all of our member creations including handcrafted jams, jellies, preserves, teas, vinegars, baked goods, handmade wreaths, wonderful scented treasures for bedroom, bath, and body, and herbal soup, stew, and rice mixes, and hand-blended spice mixes. You’ll also find beautiful hand-sewn pillows bursting with French lavender and gorgeous handmade, pressed-flower note cards. The fair is truly a feast for all of your senses.

New this year will be a selection of homemade slow-cooker soup and stew mixes, among them a decadent olive, tarragon, lemon, and honey sauce for chicken or lamb. Just add your favorite vegetables and meat for a delicious no-fuss supper. This is only one of the many products offered using members of the Artemisia family, which has been chosen as this year’s International Herb Society’s “Herb of the Year.”

Three Northeast Ohio vendors will join the fair for the first time: Perennials Preferred, the Auburn Pointe Greenhouse, and Mulberry Creek Herb Farm. Throughout the day you can enjoy presentations from special guests including Will Lynch of Lynch Design Florist and Cleveland Heights chef Robin Blair.

All of the proceeds raised at the herb fair support the Western Reserve Herb Society annual scholarships and the beautiful herb gardens.

The event takes place from 10am–3pm, Saturday, October 11 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Boulevard in Cleveland. Admission is free with Botanical Garden admission. If you want to know more about membership in the Herb Society, visit WesternReserveHerbSociety.org or stop by the garden any Tuesday or Thursday morning this fall to talk to members about the herbs you love.