International Herb conference, Midland, Michigan

Glass sculpture at the Dow Botanic Gardens, Midland, Michigan.
This week's trip was to Midland, Michigan, to the annual conference of the International Herb Association, or IHA. The IHA is the organization that created the Herb of the Year project in 1994. My Herb of the Year committee that year established connections with the Herb Society of America as well as herb businesses, wholesalers, schools and garden centers across the nation. This year's Herb of the Year is horseradish. Next year, 2012, the Herb of the Year will be the rose. If you'd like to know more of the history of the Herb of the Year project, visit my Herb of the Year blog and also my YouTube channel to see the video: http://youtu.be/S0_bMc-ZbHs

My part of the conference was a program, How to Eat a Rose (also available in brief form, on my YouTube channel), and my "Favorite Recipe in 10 Minutes" which was my banana salsa. The salsa was a hit and I sold some of my Sensational Salsas, from Apple to Zucchini  and How to Eat a Rose books.

Unlike some of my fellow herbies, I wasn't in costume for the Favorite Recipe in 10 Minutes. But look at some of my competition.

There was an hour full of fun and cooking demos, each kept to 10 minutes each and it was a huge success. Organizer Donna Frawley, cracked the whip and kept the conference organized and on track and an army of volunteers made things run smoothly.
Zachery Kidder and his Cabana Soaps.
One of the vendors in the sales area, and new IHA member, was Zachery Kidder with his excellent hand-made soaps. He's a stay-at-home dad while his wife finishes college and he makes good use of his time making organic, healthful soaps. He sells his soaps at local farmers markets as well as through his website. His company is Cabana Soaps, and he was lovingly dubbed "Cabana Boy" by the other vendors. Everyone enjoyed his being there.
My favorite of all the soaps Zachery makes is Tangerine, which has a refreshing fragrance. He also offers special labeling for gift-giving, with your gift recipient's photo on the label. Great idea for weddings, birthdays or the Holidays!
I spent some time at the Dow Botanic Gardens and visited the kids garden, too. I like to check out kids gardens to see if they take kids serious. Some botanic gardens just create a kid-sized theme park with plants, while others create an outdoors classroom with lots of educational activities. I found this garden to have small plots where kids had their own little gardens for the season. Sometime in the spring Dow had hosted a scarecrow contest and the gardens were full, crowds of scarecrows.
It was fun to see kids actually playing and using the garden.
The boy is looking down at a turtle island, a topiary covered with living plants.
Kids love to run through sprinklers, no matter what location it is.

1 comment:

Rhonda D. said...

Looks like you had a great time! Did you run into any of the heat while you were there? I love the costumes :-)