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WRHS Herb Fair offering culinary items, more

10/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

The Western Reserve Herb Society’s annual Herb Fair will take place Oct. 12 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, with offerings such as these wreaths by Kate Williams.
Photo courtesy of the Western Reserve Herb Society
CLEVELAND — Fresh herbs, baked goods, home décor items and more will be available at the Western Reserve Herb Society’s (WRHS) 68th annual Herb Fair Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG), 11030 East Blvd.

The event will offer visitors a variety of products, tours of the WRHS’s Herb Garden and an educational seminar.

According to event officials, among the items available for purchase from the Garden Market Shoppe will be fresh herbs and plants, herb blends, artisanal herb breads, herb and fruit vinegars, jams and jellies, soup wreaths, teas, as well as notecards designed with pressed flowers and herbs, potpourri, garden decorations and tools, pottery and books on gardening-related topics. Tussie Mussie bouquets also will be available with a choice of herbs and flowers.

All items are made from the herbs grown in the WRHS’s garden at the CBG, according to WRHS officials.

In addition, there will be displays and information on elderberry, which has been recognized as the Herb of the Year by the International Herb Association. According to association officials, elderberry has been revered since antiquity as a virtual medicine chest, is prominent in folklore, has been known to protect and heal and can also be used to create tasty beverages and foods and to entertain.

According to WRHS officials, the WRHS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research and public outreach, and accomplishes its mission with help from its garden at the CBG.

The garden was established there in 1969, has been heralded as one of the most significant herb gardens in America and has received awards for design and installation, according to WRHS officials.

According to Hester Crawford, a founding member of WRHS, the formal design of the WRHS Herb Garden is adapted from plans for castle-keeps, great feudal manor houses and walled or hedged monastery gardens from the Middle Ages.

The WRHS Herb Garden includes nine herbal-themed sections separated by stone walls salvaged from old barn foundations. Historic features in the garden include a 1910 horse-watering trough, two stone horse-mounting blocks, a sundial dated to 1795 and a round cylinder lawn roller turned on its side to support the metal armillary (sundial), which came from the Shaker settlement at North Union, according to WRHS officials. A “secret gate” designed by the late Melvin Rose, of Rose Iron Works, marks an old entrance to the Herb Garden.

The Herb Fair’s seminar is titled “Home for the Holidays” and will be presented by Beth Schreibman Gehring at 11 a.m. The seminar will include information on holiday place settings and centerpieces and seasonal recipes from the Herb Garden.

Admission to the Herb Fair is free with admission to the CBG — $9.50 for adults and $4 for children — and free for members.

Parking at the Cleveland Botanical Garden is free with a $20 purchase or more at the Herb Fair. For more information, visit www.westernreserveherbsociety.org.

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