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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.

Herb Day 2006

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Herb Day 2006 has been scheduled for Saturday, January 21, from 8:00 am (when registration begins and the retail area opens) through 4:30 pm, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center, 1001 Killarney St., Urbana, IL. (217) 328-7900. The Holiday Inn is just south and west of exit #183 off I-74 (Lincoln Avenue), conveniently located and easy to find. This is the same location as the past several Herb Days. Hotel rooms are reserved for Herb Day attendees at the special Herb Day rate ($70 single, $80 double) until January 1. After that date, this rate will only be in effect if rooms at the hotel remain available. Before Herb Day, a new Holiday Inn Express is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy, just across the parking lot from the Holiday Inn, too. The first educational session begins promptly at 9 am.

As has become traditional, herbal experts from around the country will present five educational sessions to inspire herb gardening and use in the coming year.

Sharon Lovejoy, a noted garden author from Cambria, California, will speak twice. Her morning presentation is entitled By Trowel and Error, which is coincidentally the title of her most recent book. Sharon has spent a lifetime working with plants, and she's accumulated hundreds of earth-friendly remedies, design tips, shortcuts, and practical cures that can be used by every gardener to make gardening easier, fight plant infections, rid the garden of pests, and attract beneficial insects. In the afternoon, she will return for a second session with a talk called From Pot to Plot: Designing Your Personal Herbal Paradise. This presentation will focus on ideas that can be easily transplanted into everything from small container gardens to large landscapes. This is guaranteed to shake you out of the midwinter blahs and invigorate your spring planting urges with a bouquet of fresh ideas.

Carolee Snyder, from Carolee's Herb Farm in Hartford City, Indiana, will take us on An English Herb Garden Tour. She will take us into great English gardens which have been included on her previous tours. With her special interest in herbs, you can count on lots of herbal emphasis in this visual display.

Susan Belsinger, noted herbal speaker, cooking demonstrator, and author of several entertaining books, from Brookeville, Maryland, will get us all salivating and in the mood for the lunch buffet with a demonstration called Just Desserts. While we tend to think of herbs in savory recipes, there are a number of sweet ways to use them in herbal desserts, too.

Pat Lanza, yet another successful garden author, comes to us by way of Columbia, Missouri. Her book, Lasagna Gardening, was a big success, and she has followed that up with another, which is titled, Lasagna Herb Gardening, which is her topic for this event. Don't be confused by this title, lasagna gardening refers to mulching technique, not necessarily to growing the herbs to season a great pan of lasagna.

There will be a retail area again this year, selling a broad spectrum of herb, spice, and gardening products. Morning coffee, tea, and rolls will be available near the exhibit area, and an herb-themed lunch buffet will be served in the Atrium. The capacity of the lecture room will again be 250, so be sure to send your reservations in early to avoid disappointment.

Attendees may register and reserve lunch at any time through January 13, as long as space remains available. Registrations will be allotted on a first come, first served basis, so reserve now. Once the available 250 spaces are filled, any additional registrations will be returned. On-site registration will only be available if all 250 seats are not filled by pre-registration. On-site registration does not include lunch. The last three Herb Days sold out at least a week before the event, so act now.

Cost of registration, including lunch, is only $49 per person. This includes seating in the lectures, coffee, tea, and rolls during morning registration, an herbal theme lunch buffet (including vegetarian options), and access to the retail area. A vegan plate is available, but only if specified on the registration form. Reservations must be received by January 13, 2006, to guarantee lunch. Those interested in attending should mail checks, payable to the University of Illinois, to: Herb Day 2006, Attn: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61801. For more information, call (217) 333-7738 and mention Herb Day 2006. Sorry, credit card orders cannot be accepted, and cancellations will not be refunded. Registrations may be transferred to another individual, as long as Carol Preston is notified of the name change by January 13.

No confirmation of registration will be sent. To confirm receipt of registration, please phone (217) 333-7738 or e-mail

Registration Form

For Herb Day 2006 on Saturday, January 21:
Participant(s) name (for nametag), address, and phone number (please print):
Total number of registrations requested: x $49 = $
Number for vegan plate option (no meat, no dairy, and no eggs):
For whom?

Send check, payable to UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, to Herb Day 2006, Attn: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. Sorry, no credit card orders.

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