Visit Gahanna hopes to bring gardeners together for a Virtual Herb Day on Saturday, May 2, replacing the traditional get-together at Creekside Plaza.
“Herb Day is an event that Gahanna residents and visitors look forward to every year, and since we aren’t able to gather in person, we are excited to be able to offer it virtually instead,” said Lori Kappes, director of Visit Gahanna, the organization that hosts the event. “We want to recognize the sponsors, vendors and speakers that were planning to be part of the event on May 2, and encourage people to follow and support them online.”
The state legislature approved a resolution in 1972 officially declaring Gahanna as 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 2019.
Herb Day traditionally features more than 5,000 plants representing 100 varieties of herbs available for purchase at Creekside Plaza.
Madison Ashby, Visit Gahanna marketing and communications manager, said the Virtual Herb Day would last 11 days on the Ohio Herb Center’s Facebook page.
She said information that was scheduled to be presented at Herb Day began being posted to the page on Earth Day, April 22, and would culminate on Herb Day, May 2, when the Herb of the Year will be announced, as well as the vendors who were scheduled to be at the event.
“We will be showcasing vendors and speakers that were planning on attending Herb Day,” Ashby said. “This way, attendees can have access to vendor information and can learn about herbal topics from a safe distance and in the comfort of their own homes.”
This year’s scheduled main speaker is Erika Galentin, a clinical herbalist and aromatherapist from Buchtel.
She will share information about aromatherapy and her new book, “The Family Guide to Aromatherapy: A Safe Approach to Essential Oils for a Holistic Home.”
“Erika has been a partner of the Ohio Herb Center for several years,” Ashby said. “As a registered herbalist living and practicing in Ohio, she is a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as a clinical herbalist.”
Galentin is co-founder of Sovereignty Herbs of Athens and Columbus with Brooke Sackenheim, who managed Gahanna’s Ohio Herb Center from 2012 to 2019.
The motto of their business is “empowering people with plants.”
Galentin teaches, mentors and makes products using plants.
Shannon Barnette is another scheduled guest speaker who will share information online instead.
She’s the owner and operator of Daydream Acres Homestead, a 6-acre apothecary herb, flower and vegetable farm in Thornville that is focused on sustainable and regenerative farming methods.
Barnette will provide information about soil science for gardeners.
Kappes said Visit Gahanna announced cancellation of the traditional Herb Day on March 19.
“As the Herb Capital of Ohio, we know that Gahanna residents and visitors look forward to this event every year,” the announcement read. “We hope that you will take comfort in knowing that Herb Day will return in 2021 and we have many other fun things planned later this summer.”