Herb And Garden Show Coming Up In Mt. Vernon

Chef Chad Howard.

Herb And Garden Show Coming Up In Mt. Vernon
Master Gardener Scoop – January 31, 2018

Majo Bates,
Master Gardener

Are you a little winter-weary?  Despite how hard I try, when it is as cold as it has been, I just get a bit tired of winter and all the coldness with no greenery around except what I have in my home.

As I compose this article, I have not received any seed or plant catalogs for 2018!

Therefore, I got on the internet to look for all I could regarding the upcoming Herb and Garden Show coming up in February in Mt. Vernon, IL.

I always look so forward to it.  I know it is a few weeks away but we need to plan for it.

Here goes!!!!!

This year the Herb & Garden Show will be held again at the Time Square Mall, Broadway & 42nd Streets, Mt. Vernon, Il  62864 . . .

Hours of the show: Friday & Saturday,  February 9-10 from10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday, February 11 from 12:00 (noon) – 5:00 p.m.

I don’t think any weather has ever cancelled this show and I am hopeful it will go as planned in 2018!!!

The show features education classes that Master Gardeners can take advantage of. There are 42 vendors signed up thus far to display their wares.  I believe this show has been a pre-spring tradition for the past 29 years.  The vendors have lots of different wares for us to enjoy and purchase.  There is usually herb plants, cacti, succulents, orchids, flower pots, bird feeders, wrought iron garden decor, painted china, handmade soaps, herbal teas, hypertufa fountains, heirloom seed items – like jewelry, hand forged items, pocket knives, & antiques.  There is also usually fudge, Amish cheese, baked goods and the like.

The keynote speaker on Friday will be Elizabeth Wahle, Commercial Agriculture Educator for University of Illinois Extension which is housed in the Madison-Monroe-St. Clair Unit. The website confirms that Elizabeth received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Horticulture and her area of expertise is commercial fruit and vegetable production.  She is an advisory member to the Illinois Specialty Growers Association board and plays a key role in the Illinois Specialty Crop, Agritourism and Organic Conference.  Elizabeth also coordinates the educational program for Gateway Green Industry Conference, the Horseradish Growers Conference and the  Gateway Small Fruit and Vegetable Conference which is usually held in Collinsville.  Locally, again according to the website, Elizabeth provides continuing education training to Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist in her housing unit.  Personally, Elizabeth is an avid gardener and a lifelong collector of plants and garden books.  When I first became a Master Gardener on April 2, 2009, Elizabeth was our Horticulture Educator in Washington County and I must say she had a real impact on my decision to stick with the Master Gardening program.

On Saturday the key note speaker will be Chef Chad Howard.  According to the website again, Chad asked his mother at 7 years old if being a chef was a job for women, to which she responded, “many of the greatest chefs around the world are men.”  At the age of 9 Chad was making birthday cakes for family & friends which made him feel that people were unusually joyful to get a cake from him.  As an adult, he realized that it wasn’t necessarily the cake itself but the thought that brought people joy.  These two factors, nonetheless, played a major role in the career path he would choose.  This will be a lively session and demonstration with Chef Chad as he teachers and instructs the art of adding herbs to your cooking.  He will show various techniques to be used while cooking Shrimp Primavera in his session.  You can pull up Midwestern Herb and Garden Show on Facebook or go to http://www.midwesternherbandgardenshow.com/ to read Chad Howard’s whole story.  It is very interesting.

I hope you will write down the date of the Midwestern Herb and Garden Show on your calendars and plan to attend.  It is the largest show of this kind in the Mid-West.  And a good time of year for it when we are all needed a lift in our spirits.

If you have any garden questions call a Master Gardener that you know or your county University of Illinois Extension Office.  Nashville’s office number is 618-327-8881.