One of the Mohawk Valley's most highly anticipated events is the annual Herb & Flower Festival, organized since 1996 by Master Gardener volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County.
Each year, the festival features a wide variety of vendors who offer specialty plants and gardening advice on topics ranging from growing rock garden plants to selecting native species for the garden. Plants for sale include organically grown and heirloom vegetable transplants, colorful annuals, fragrant herbs, hanging baskets, small flowering shrubs, hardy roses, fruit crops, evergreens, and specialty perennials.
The Extension’s Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens is the venue of the “Make your Yard a Pollinator’s Paradise!” class.Tim Ballantyne, former Oneida County Master Gardener and co-owner of Ballantyne Gardens located in Liverpool, New York will present the benefits of the pollinator plants and how to create a paradise for pollinators to thrive in a well-rounded home landscape. Many landscapes used to be developed for primarily as an aesthetic pleasing backdrop for a home. Now days, home surroundings take on new meaning as a place to enjoy the outdoors in your own yard and witness the variety of pollinators and the wonderful plants that attract them.
Tim Ballantyne’s approach is to highlight plant species that serve as food sources for the pollinators advantageously proving to help your fruit and other food plants produce bountifully.Ballantyne stresses ‘Changes in how you treat landscapes as nature-scaping create healthy situations for homeowners and pollinators’.Their presence with flowering perennials and food plants provide an educational opportunity for adults and children alike.The healthiness of each local garden boosts the biosphere all around us for greater planetary health of our earth.
Other classes to be presented are “Get the Lead Out”- a synopsis of healthy eating to fight lead imbalances in our over exposed Northeast area, “Jewels of the Woodland”- a photographic walk through the New York woodland to learn of hidden flowering gems, and “Quick Culinary Creations with Herbs”- herbs ‘rock’ easy culinary delights with samples and recipes provided.Besides four classes, being among the blooms and abundant plants for sale on June 16th.It is a gardener’s dream. This annual event is sponsored by the Oneida County Master Gardener Volunteers.
Festival hours are 9:00 am to 2:30 pm and include the hour long classes for gaining new gardening knowledge, and over 40 garden merchants selling abundant plants including trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants.Other items related to gardening are also available for purchase.‘Famous’ Herbal Ice cream sandwiches delight attendees every year, and other food merchants are available for lunch or snacks. The Master Gardener kiosk offers information on a great variety of topics and the chance to ask very specific gardening questions. Complimentary vegetable and flower seeds will be available along with pamphlets for guidance on many common gardening concerns.
CCE Oneida Farm & Home Center
121 Second Street
Oriskany, New York 13424