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Herb Day 2015 set for Jan. 17

Published November 25, 2014

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Herb Day will be held on Saturday, Jan. 17, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Holiday Inn) near Lincoln Avenue and I-74 in Urbana.

“Attending this event is a great way for people to get a jump start on the 2015 gardening season,” said Chuck Voigt, U of I Extension vegetable and herb specialist and coordinator of the event.  “In addition to the retail exhibit area, we have some great speakers lined up.”

Kirk R. Brown of Orefield, Pennsylvania, is an accomplished speaker, garden writer, and actor, who will present John Bartram, America’s Premier Plantsman, an in-character, costumed, discussion of the life and works of this pioneering botanist of America, and Landscaping with Herbs, as himself, about how herbs can be used creatively and effectively in our yards, gardens, and public spaces.

John Forti is the newly hired drector of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley, Massachusetts. For the past 12 years, Forti was the Director of Strawberry Banke Museum, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He will give two presentations: The Herbalist’s Garden, an illustrated talk, which brings history to life through the exploration of heirloom herbs; and Garden Craft: Preserving and Enjoying the Artisanal Skills of Farm and Garden.

Bob Rowe, the “catering czar” from Classic Events Catering in Urbana, will share his take on cooking with herbs. Rowe was formerly the chef at the Bermuda Onion, which Voigt said is a Champaign restaurant that he still misses.

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.

This year online registration by credit card or check is available Registration is also available by contacting Linda Harvey at 217-244-1693 or by email at

Advance registration of $60, which includes an herb-themed lunch buffet (including vegetarian options), must be received by Jan. 9 to guarantee lunch.

On-site registration on Jan. 17 begins at 8 a.m. and will continue only as long as space allows. On-site registration does not include lunch. The first educational session begins promptly at 9 a.m.