Today M and I went to the Baltimore Herb Festival held at Leakin Park. We’d never been before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The advertisement we saw read “wagons welcome” and when we arrived we realized that not only were they welcome, but they were in abundance! Lots of families were toting their purchases as well as their little ones around in them. We also saw a lot of four-legged friends as well. M suggested that we should have brought Mr. Tucker along, however it was probably best that we didn’t as his manners leave little to be desired when we’re in crowded public areas.
We arrived right at 11:00 so we decided to stop in and listen to the lecture given by Rebecca Snow. M was more than willing to taste the flowers and leaves of the Comfrey as we were directed to do, but wasn’t so keen on the meditation exercises that we did. (One of which was a meditation exercise with what turned out to be horehound.) I was a little embarrassed that when we were instructed to close our eyes and breathe deeply to try and connect with the Comfrey my eyes welled up with tears. So many things going on and the sensations of the plant were as the name suggests– comforting. Rebecca seemed very knowledgable about plants and we learned a lot from the short lecture. She is the kind of person you can’t help but enjoy being around because of her positive spirit. I signed up for her email distribution list and would love to take some of the courses she offers. Perhaps she has the cure for my black thumb?
After the talk, we strolled around the festival and checked out all of the different vendors and displays. A couple areas had these beautiful bird feeders and bird houses made out of gourds. I would have loved to get one but I was afraid that someone would steal it since we live in a rental community with close neighbors. (If someone is willing to steal my tomato plants, then what’s stopping them from stealing a beautiful bird feeder?) We also stopped at a table where the vendor (Nature’s Hands) was selling aromatherapy body products and M got me an eye compress with lavender. I have a similar one for my neck and it’s immensely soothing. I’m hoping it will be a comfort to my eyes when I’m having problems with double vision.
We also stopped at the Carrie Murray Nature Center table and got the chance to see a Barred Owl and a Turkey Vulture. Both were kind enough to pose while I snapped a photo of them. There was also a very nice girl with a Corn Snake sunning itself in her lap, but I’m not a big fan of snakes so I didn’t spend too much time there. I will say that the snake did have beautiful colorings and markings– I’m just not a fan of animals that can move without the assistance of legs, fins, or wings– it’s just too creepy to me.
I wish I would have known about the herb festival sooner! Next year I plan on getting all of my herbs from the festival- most of the pots of fresh herbs were only $2 a piece- even for those being sold at the certified organic tent. Since my purple basil fell victim to the rainstorms we had here a few weeks ago I had an available spot in my herb bowl. I picked up some garlic chives and Mexican oregano to fill where the basil was previously located. I loved walking around and looking at all of the different varieties of herbs. I had to rub my fingers on so many of them so that I could get the oils onto my hands and inhale the aromas. There must have been hundreds of different herbs alone, not counting all of the other plants and flowers on show.
Today was warm and very sunny so we decided to share a cup of homemade lemonade before we headed back home. It was the kind of lemonade that makes your mouth and lips pucker up after sipping it. Although it was on the sour side we both found it very refreshing. We decided not to partake in any festival food this time (it was your typical fair-fare which isn’t really my thing) and headed over to the Mongolian Grill in Columbia for lunch. (I had a spicy rice bowl with tofu, broccoli, napa cabbage and water chestnuts- yum! This also marked the first time I’ve ever used chopsticks in public– I was super proud of myself for being so proficient with them!)
We also stopped to enjoy the train for a few minutes on our way out while making pucker faces from the lemonade. (We even jumped the tiny tracks!) M pointed out to me that the conductor was actually shoveling coal and the train had a real steam engine. Sure enough, steam began billowing out. How novel!