A Weekend at the Herb and Garden Faire

May 13, 2014

The 27th Annual Herb & Garden Faire took place over the weekend at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The two day event included plant sales, gardening lectures, arts and crafts, music, delicious foods, and garden themed displays.

What started out as a small plant has grown over the years into what may be the largest event of this type in the northeast. There’s always an impressive lineup of nurseries, herb growers, and plant lovers offering an array of rare, heirloom, and unusual, plants for sale. From vegetables to fruits, and herbs to flowers, if there is a plant that you’re looking for chances are good that you can pick it up at the Herb & Garden Faire.

Overheard in the Speaker’s Tent at the Herb & Garden Faire

Each day there were interesting gardening lectures on the schedule and I was able to sit in on one by Pat Brodowski, the vegetable gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Pat shared details on Jefferson’s extensive gardening experiences and what it was like to garden back in his days. A lot of effort goes into recreating the garden layout and even the exact plant varieties that were grown by Jefferson.

One of the things that I learned was how meticulous Jefferson was with his record keeping and how that played an important role in the success of his gardens back  then, and in the ability to recreate them now. Pat also shared some great gardening tips related to seed saving, old-fashioned cultural techniques, and a simple idea for making twig trellises that I am looking forward to trying out in my own garden.

Touring the Museum Grounds during the Annual Plant Sale

The Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum is always a great place to tour if you are interested in the local history and culture of the Pennsylvania German rural community, and grounds are always overflowing with activity when the Herb & Garden Faire take place. Here are some pictures of the scenes from this year’s event:

Heirloom Seed Project

The Heirloom Seed Project Marketplace is where the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum offers their own selection of heirloom vegetables, roses, annuals, herbs, and perennials for sale.

Speaker's Tent

The Speaker’s Tent hosted interesting lectures by Joe Schott on square foot gardening; Pat Brodowski on the history of vegetable gardening; Susan Smith discussing growing vegetables in containers; and Holly List on making teas with plants.

Backyard Fruit Growers

The Backyard Fruit Growers were on hand with a selection of antique apples that were grafted by members at one of their annual fruit grafting workshops.

Black Crow Primitives

Black Crow Primitives offered some very nice ornamental skeps, butterfly puddlers, and other works of art for the garden and landscape.

Putnum Hill Nursery

Putnum Hill Nurseries was one of many vendors on hand offering a wide selection of herb plants, natives, and perennials.

Musical Entertainment

Here’s a photo of a couple of the musicians getting set up and selling their recordings before a performance.

Heirloom Tomatoes

These tomatoes are from Meadow View Heirloom Greenhouse out of Bird-in-Hand, PA where I heard some interesting discussions regarding seed saving and the intentional crossing of some flower varieties.

Happy Cat Farm

Tim and Amy of Happy Cat Farm brought their usual collection of heirloom seedlings… my favorite stop for pepper plants and the place where I was introduced to the Rat Turd Pepper!

Fig Trees for Sale

Off the Beaten Path Nursery tempted my to purchase yet another fig tree that I don’t have space for; fortunately that particular Lyndhurst fig tree that was calling out to me was sold by the time that I returned to their stand.

Manheim Central Ag Program

I did have enough of my own heirloom tomatoes waiting at home that were started from seed but I couldn’t resist picking up a couple more from the students at Manheim Central High, one was a green fruited “Emerald Apple” and the other was a “Mortgage Lifter” variety.

Fiber Crafts

Fiber Arts are popular with both vendors and shoppers at the faire. From weavers to knitters there was a nice selection of plant and animal fibers on hand, regardless of whether you were looking for yarns to do your own knitting or finished products like clothing or even handmade straw brooms.

Birdhouse Gourds

These birdhouses are made out of gourds and the birds really do like them. I have a couple in my landscape and they are usually occupied by wrens which are great to have around the garden.

Well that’s a just a peek at what was on hand this past weekend at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum’s Herb and Garden Faire. If you’ve never attended the fair and it looks interesting to you then mark your calendar for next year as the event is held on Friday and Saturday, the same weekend as Mother’s Day.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

Previous post:

Next post: