U. of I. Herb Day will be 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel and Conference Center, just off Lincoln Avenue at I-74 in Urbana.
The schedule of presenters includes:
- Susan Belsinger, a speaker, chef, blogger and author from Brookeville, Maryland. Her talk, "From Mild to Wild: Capsicum," will feature peppers, the 2016 Herb of the Year. She will demonstrate several unique recipes and showcase herbs from the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg.
- Tina Marie Wilcox, the past president of the International Herb Association. She will join Belsinger to talk about Williamsburg. Wilcox, from the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, will present herbal wisdom from "Widder Wilcox," an in-character discussion of the herbs of the Ozark Plateau.
- Joshua Young, from Long Creek Herbs in Blue Eye, Missouri. Young has worked with elder hostels and written a popular newspaper column for years. He will provide tips for living an “herbal lifestyle.”
- Jim Long, Young’s partner at Long Creek Herbs. An herb columnist and author of Bentwood Trellises, Long will talk about the use of art in herb gardens.
- Daniel Gagnon, owner of Herbs Etc. in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gagnon is a producer and marketer of herbal blends and tonics. In honor of capsicum being the herb of the year, Gagnon will share information about the healing properties of cayenne.
“Because I’m retiring soon, this will likely be the last U. of I. Herb Day,” said Chuck Voigt, a U. of I. Extension vegetable and herb specialist, who created the event in the late 1990s. “In addition to the retail exhibit area, we scheduled an extra hour of programming and music.”
An exhibit area will offer a wide variety of herb, spice and gardening products for sale, as well as books and products from the presenters.
Online registration is now open. For additional information about registration, contact Linda Harvey at 217-244-1693 or email@example.com.
Advance registration of $70, which includes an herb-themed lunch buffet, including vegetarian options, must be received by Jan. 15 to guarantee lunch.
On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. Jan. 23 and will continue as long as space allows. On-site registration does not include lunch. The first educational session begins at 9 a.m.