Gahanna's Herb Day

Melissa Kossler Dutton

Organizers of Herb Day in Gahanna put a lot of thought and thyme into planning an event that combines learning and fun.

The annual event, which celebrates the city's designation as the Herb Capital of Ohio, offers gardening and herb enthusiasts of all ages and abilities the opportunity to grow their knowledge of the plants, which have been used for centuries for cooking and healing.

Herbs are a great introduction to gardening, said Brooke Saekenheim, manager of the Ohio Herb Education Center in Gahanna.

"Herbs embody what people love about plants," she said. "They have so many uses and are beautiful and fragrant."

The city has added some activities that will make the event more family-friendly, said marketing coordinator Beth McCollam. Slated for May 7, this year's Herb Day will coincide with the city's annual Angling with an Officer, a fishing program that pairs kids with members of the Gahanna Division of Police.

When city officials realized the events were occurring on the same day, they decided to hold both programs at Creekside Park in the hopes of attracting more participants, McCollam said. Children who sign up for fishing program will learn basic skills such as casting, rigging and fish identification.

Gahanna Lincoln High School also is hosting an event in conjunction with Herb Day. The school's Herb n' Arts Fair will include an art show, choir and drama performances, art stations, food trucks and other entertainment. The event will be held at VFW Park, which is a short walk from Creekside Park.

Other Herb Day events include a talk by local gardening expert Debra Knape, an Herb Walk, plant sale and a presentation about aromatherapy, Saekenheim said. The plant sale, which will include more than 4,000 herb plants, will include many culinary varieties.

"It's a different atmosphere than a garden store," she said. "It's a really nice setting and a chance to interact with knowledgeable plant experts."

-Melissa Kossler Dutton