Monday, April 20, 2009


This is what we saw on our way in to the 20th annual Sand Springs Herbal Affair yesterday afternoon: every street within a few blocks of the festival was lined with cars.

My initial thought was, "Aw. I'm so glad this little festival is getting a good turn out this year, considering the rain and the crappy economy and all."

Then we hit the festival proper.

And I didn't have a little-festival-that-could to feel overprotective of anymore. 

At least a thousand people showed up at the same time we did to show their enthusiasm for anything and everything gardening at this small-town festival that covered nearly three acres. 

In case you didn't read my article in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly, or you haven't been adequately spying on the neighbors, vegetable gardening is the hottest thing going this spring. Odds are you know at least someone, especially if you're in with the 25-40 set, who is growing their own veggies and herbs this year. 

Regular readers of this blog know my little family has a vegetable garden going, despite my mischievous feline pet's efforts. Since we're going organic and will need a natural way to control pests, and since they're my favorite flower ever, we'll be planting some of these: 

I hear marigolds are good to plant around tomato plants. I'm sure these people would know a thing or two about that: 

Yummy salsa. So yummy. 

The best soap makers in the universe. I'm serious, y'all. A few years ago I snagged a few bars at the Tulsa State Fair, and after I used them up, I almost shed tears when I realized I hadn't saved the tags that told the name of the maker. I about fell off my rocker when I realized I had found this soap again at Herbal Affair and had to restrain myself from relieving the Clear Creek folks of their entire stock. This soap is the only bar soap that doesn't dry my skin to alligator state, and it smells divine. By divine I mean that I want everything in my little world to smell like this soap, including my eyeballs. 

If I could use one soap for the rest of my life, this would be it.  

And...I'm done talking about soap. You're welcome. 

And now, some shots of the massive, herb-lovin' crowd: 

Here's one of my favorite herb vendors, The Peppermint Dragon, headed by Donna Vogelpohl of my old stomping grounds, Sapulpa. She spearheaded the effort to get a farmers market to Williams Green in downtown Tulsa. Donna helped me to fulfill my urgent preggie cravings for homegrown cherry tomatoes during the summer before last when I was trying to walk from the Beep-N-Creep at Third and Cincinnati to my office at Fifth and Boston without tossing everything I had ever eaten in my entire life. There were times when those tomatoes were the only things that helped. And I am forever grateful and writing run-on sentences about them.

Here's Sand Springs Museum, a.k.a. Page Memorial Library. My Brownie meetings were in the basement of this building. That was, until I quit because, as a girl, I was really out of touch with reality and so sometimes had a much more difficult time making friends than I did making a fool of myself acting like a princess or a unicorn all the time. I'm better now, though. On my good days.

We Okies love our funnel cakes. I mean, we really love our funnel cakes. This photo tells the truth so vividly, mostly because we Okies hate lines - or, really, any situation that means we have to get within a few inches of each other. We like our space. Otherwise, we would live with all the other sardines in New York City or somewheres else. 

I have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't even eat sardines.

Just look at the crowds. 

But, let's not forget about the plants...

And the herbs. Italian parsley and sweet basil, the two herbs I could eat on virtually anything. 

Mmm, Cherokee Purple tomatoes. My favorite heirloom variety. 

And peppers. Oh, peppers. 

I have a thing for spoons, okay? Actually, I have a thing for just about any kitchen utensil. Spoons are just part of a much larger obsession. 

I'm glad I get to be obsessed with something else besides cooking trinkets. 

Is this little boy ever going to return the heart he has stolen from me? No? He'll just jump on it and stomp on it and call it names by running away with some girl in 20 years? 

He's already quite the ladies' man, as you can see. I should prepare myself now.

The only thing I have going for me at this point is that I can whip up a sippy cup of chocolate milk a heck of a lot faster than some elfin chick made of concrete. I don't look cute in pigtails, however, so she has that going for her.  

Don't think the goods brought around by the Sand Springs Herbal Affair vendors are once-a-year opportunities. Odds are they're available at one or more of the farmers markets in the Tulsa area or that you get snag them directly from the vendor via the Web or pick-up. A quick Googling should put you in the know. 


Amanda said...

Your favorite flower is the marigold? Weirdo.

Jill of All Trades said...

Wish I could have been there but out of town. Oh and plant dill with the tomatoes too. The tomato worms go to the dill first. Ugly little "buggers".

Joy said...

Man, I am so PISSED that I missed it! I had it in my calendar and everything, but nooo.. someone said, "we'll go Sunday." !!! Anyway. I'll stop venting. It'll just take me a few weeks to get over it.

I think you should try the pigtails. I think you could make them work!

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