Pumpkin spice cupcakes, apple tartlets and lavender caramels are a few treats that will be available on Gahanna's Herbal Trail during Herb Harvest Day on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Gahanna residents and visitors are invited to explore the Herbal Trail to help celebrate the city's 40th anniversary as the Herb Capital of Ohio, with an autumn festival of fun slated all day long.
The Herbal Trail, highlighting herbal points of interest, was launched May 12. The trailhead is at the Ohio Herb Education Center, 110 Mill St., and trail maps are available at that location to guide visitors to the herbal culinary and garden stops, along with herbal shopping, wellness and eco-learning destinations.
Activities will occur at select locations along the trail, featuring herbal workshops, vendors with herbal and Ohio-made products, public garden tours, herbal shopping specials and herbal cuisine at restaurants.
"When you think about it, you harvest herbs so that you can use them, and that's what all the businesses and restaurants are doing with these great special offerings," said Patty Donahey Geiger, president of PDG Communications. "It's one of the many things we love about having the Herbal Trail. It connects every aspect of what it means to be the Herb Capital of Ohio.
"On Herb Harvest Day, visitors are going to be able to see, taste, smell, touch and learn about herbs. I'm especially looking forward to the tasting category."
An herbal soup cook-off, a "Soup & Sizzle," will offer complimentary samples at 109 W. Johnstown Road, at the historic Ridenour House and Gardens (See related story).
Jane "Bunnie" Geroux, retired director of the OHEC, said she sees the trail as an opportunity to give everyone a way to participate and learn about herbs.
"I'm just so happy to have the Herbal Trail," Geroux said. "We've worked hard for years to keep the Herb Capital of Ohio designation growing. This trail connects it all -- the gardens, the restaurants, the businesses -- everything. I think it's wonderful."
Special points of interest on the trail on Herb Harvest Day will include the Geroux Gardens, 206 S. Hamilton Road, where the OHEC's Wendy Winkler will offer free guided tours from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
The gardens offer an urban oasis filled with a variety of herbal gardens: culinary garden, scented garden, shade garden, rock/biblical garden, pond garden and medicinal garden.
Other Herbal Trail activities will continue throughout the day.
Businesses on the Herbal Trail will offer the following: Cafe Creekside, 53 Granville St., pumpkin pancakes with herb-infused syrup; The Chocolate Tree, 800 Creekside Plaza, complimentary tastings and samples of lavender caramels and Herbal Trail specials on mint fudge, mint cupcakes and mint cookies; Honey Grove Botanicals, 126 Creekside Plaza, half-price pumpkin-scented candles; Koko's Tea Salon and Bakery, 116 Mill St., organic pumpkin spice cupcakes with complimentary samples; Lola and Giuseppe's Trattoria, 100 Granville St., Lola's Harvest of Favorite Fall Desserts, including an apple tartlet, homemade cinnamon gelato, pumpkin whoopie pie and pumpkin creme brulee for $7.50; Old Bag of Nails Pub, 63 Mill St., vodka muddled with sprigs of thyme and fresh blueberries, plus fresh lemonade and soda, garnished with thyme and lemons; Rees Flowers, 249 Lincoln Circle, Columbus, from 1 to 3 p.m., wine tastings with herbal-infused dips, $5, floral arrangements featuring floral rings with herbs and table-top topiaries; Rotelli's, 1344 Cherry Bottom Road, 12-herb marinated chicken sliced over penne pasta with pesto (basil based) sauce and served with soup or salad and homemade garlic rolls, $13.99; Sher Bliss, 1394 Cherry Bottom Road, complimentary samples of truffled, mint-filled ganache and fudge dusted with green tea powder; Wine Guy Bistro, 500 Creekside Green Drive, mustard herb-stuffed pork tenderloin with a sweet potato mash and broccolini and a port wine reduction, served Thursday, Oct. 11, through Thursday, Oct. 18; Wyandotte Winery, 4640 Wyandotte Drive, Columbus, venetian wine cake with rosemary, free samples and $5 discounts on cakes; Zodiac, 69 Mill St., sage smudging demos, sage smudge sticks and organic herb remedy kits by Windrider.
For more information on the Herbal Trail, visit the website at visitgahanna.com or call the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at 614-418-9114 or 1-866-GAHANNA.