Gahanna will celebrate its roots on Herb Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Creekside Plaza, 117 Mill St.

Laurie Jadwin, Visit Gahanna executive director, said more than 5,000 plants representing 100 varieties of herbs will be available for purchase.

The Ohio Legislature passed a resolution in 1972, officially declaring Gahanna the state's herb capital.

Visit Gahanna, also known as the Gahanna Convention and Visitors Bureau, took over the operations of the Ohio Herb Center, 110 Mill St., and programming in March.

This year's Herb Day, presented by Andrea E. Taylor, State Farm Insurance, will include herbal experts discussing subjects from health and wellness to culinary uses.

Jadwin said the plants sell quickly, so shoppers who want the best picks should arrive early.

In addition to the herbs for sale, she said, close to 50 vendors will be on hand.

"It's more of a variety than what we've ever had before with vegetables and flowers," she said. "The variety has shifted a lot, with it being more plant-oriented. I really like the variety of what we have. We have Wild Birds Unlimited coming. That's a new one for us."

Herb Day also will feature the unveiling of the Ohio Herb Center gift shop, focusing on Gahanna-centric items.

"It will turn into a retail location, not only focusing on herbs but some of the wonderful Gahanna products and vendors," Jadwin said.

She said the retail space is in the same location, on the center's first floor, but it looks vastly different.

"One of the local vendors we're excited to be adding is White Oak Handmade, that makes farmhouse projects," she said.

She said Herb Day also would focus on do-it-yourself projects people can take away and do at home, such as how to build herb gardens in small spaces for seniors who might not have a lot of space, or apartment or condo dwellers.

"We're partnering with Home Depot, who will be doing a presentation on that," Jadwin said.

She said Amanda Ferguson of the Ohio Herb Center would show people some ideas for seed germinators.

"There are things you can find around your house to start your seeds, like egg cartons," Jadwin said. "You have people buying starter kits and you can use things around your house and save money."

The keynote speaker at Herb Day will be Dawn Combs of Marysville's Mockingbird Meadows, whose topic will be "Honey as a Medium for Medicine: Electuaries, Oxymels and More."

Combs said she would share the history of how cultures around the world have understood the combination of honey and herbs and its synergy.

"I'm going to be talking about how honey has been used alone and in combination around the world," she said. "You can't use every herb to make an infused honey."

Combs said she would offer information for people of all interest levels, from the new herbalist who wants to make medicine, to the person who is a honey fanatic.

"There's something that will be taken away by any level," she said. "I tend to use plain English when it's complex terms."

She will autograph her newest book, "Sweet Remedies: Healing Herbal Honeys," at the Ohio Herb Center, following her talk at 10 a.m. on the plaza.

Other speakers include Jerry Hinton, of Hinton Apiaries, discussing "Perfect Pollinator Plants" from 9:15 to 10 a.m.; Shannon Barnett, of Daydream Acres Homestead, discussing "Culinary Garden Ideas" from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; and Andy Evans, of Home Depot, talking about "Building Herb Garden Planters in Small Spaces" from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

For a schedule of Herb Day events and vendors, visit ohioherbcenter.org.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla