URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Herb Day will be held on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden Hotel and Conference Center, just off Lincoln Avenue at I-74 in Urbana.
The schedule of presenters is as follows:
Susan Belsinger is a speaker, chef, blogger, and author from Brookville, Md. Her talk, “From Mild to Wild: Capsicum,” will feature peppers due to their selection as 2016 Herb of the Year. She will demonstrate several unique recipes and showcase herbs from the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg.
Tina Marie Wilcox is the past president of the International Herb Association. She will join Belsinger to talk about Williamsburg. Being from the Ozark Mountain Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., Wilcox 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, Mo., will provide tips for living an “herbal lifestyle.” Young has worked with elder hostels and written a popular newspaper column for years.
Young’s partner at Long Creek Herbs, Jim Long, is also one of this year’s presenters. Long is an herb columnist and author of Bentwood Trellises. He will talk about the use of art in herb gardens.
The final speaker of the day is Daniel Gagnon, owner of Herbs Etc. in Santa Fe, N.M., who is a high-quality 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, 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.
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 on Jan. 23 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.