32nd Annual Midwestern Herb and Garden Show set for February 14, 15 and 16

February 5, 2020

By Martha Ann Lamczyk

Plans are still being finalized for the 2020 Midwestern Herb and Garden Show which will be held for three days at Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. From Friday, February 14 at 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, February 15 also from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and again on Sunday, February 16 from 12 to 5 p.m. there will be plants, art, herbal medicine, food, gardening books, and wares from over 40 vendors to purchase. The event sponsors are Times Square Mall of Mt. Vernon, the Midwest Herb and Garden Club, and Mt. Vernon’s Convention & Visitors Bureau. To date, it has been one of the largest gardening events in the Midwest with visitors either driving themselves in their own vehicles or carpooling with friends, while others seem to come in various tour buses from near or far. There is and has always been free admission for everyone to everything at this event including the speakers, which I have not told you about. This year’s impressive keynote speakers are Father Dominik Gerramone, OBS of the PBS cooking show “Breaking Bread with Father Dominic” which aired from 1999 to 2001, as well as, another quite familiar name in the gardening world, Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs of Gloucester, Virginia! “Where the Home and Gardens Come Alive.”

The Midwestern Herb and Garden Show of 2020’s schedule of speaking events will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on February 14 with a small working system of hydroponics by Laurie George, University of Illinois Extension Educator and should end around 4:00 p.m. after a presentation on Straw Bale Gardening by Perry White. Somehow, I find some of these lectures most fascinating, almost like being at a rock concert. In some of these gardening classes, I have stood an entire hour along a wall inside a very large room with every available seat having already been taken. Sometimes, too, there will be a large screen set up in the very front and maybe a little bit off to the side that also helps to add to the bliss of a midwestern gardener, but rest assured, not every speaker will have such a following and almost all of the time there are plenty of seats available. Only the more famous gardeners, like the most famous musicians will have their “followers,” and instead of having CD’s or T shirts to sell, they will bring books that they have written or perhaps some gardening supplies and, at times, both. This will cause many gardeners to stand and wait in very long lines and then afterwards wait in another really long line just to have it autographed.

It can also be fun to talk to the keynote speakers. Many times, they are common, ordinary, average guys who just happen to be wandering around the various vendor’s displays at the show. Some may even allow you to post photos of them or with them on places like WhatsApp or Facebook.

The best part of all is there will be an informational booth all weekend staffed by Certified Illinois Master Gardeners and Naturalists. The booth is in the center of the mall and welcomes visitors who have questions or just want to talk gardening. Lots of free fact sheets will be available. Please stop by.

For more information feel free to contact 618-232-3151 or Google www.enjoymtvernon.com or just go to one of the Midwest Herb and Garden Club sites at midwestherbshow.com, facebook.midwesternherbandgardenshow, or midwesternherbshow@gmail.com.

Martha Ann Lamczyk, is a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener.