Herbal Faire

This weekend’s weather was touch and go, left questionable by the series of thunder and lightning storms that plagued North Florida for much of Saturday.  We certainly needed it as we are heading into that desperate time of year when wildfires begin and drought conditions only make them worse. The more rain, the better.  Unfortunately, an event was going on that greatly depended on Mother Nature’s cooperation. While Saturday was a wash (literally), Sunday proved to be a spectacular example of the calm after the storm.

My daughter and I headed down to Jacksonville’s Southside to Cunningham’s 15th Annual Herbal Faire, an event put together by Linda Cunningham that has built up some momentum over the years. Each year (and sometimes more than once), Linda gathers vendors from all over to sell their herb products, answer questions on growing herbs, and provide visitors with soaps, teas, spices, snacks, and drinks, all made with  herbs.

What surprised me most was not that there was such a fantastic turnout for this festival, but that it was being held in Linda’s backyard. It is obviously spacious enough to host such an event and her neighbors are a tolerant group of people to have to deal with the constant hordes of traffic and curbside-parked cars blocking the neighborhood.  It was a wonderful way to spend a sunny, warm day outside.

entering the "Faire", aka Linda's backyard

that is someone's backyard!

backyard sanctuary

hypertufa pots

hypertufa pots


one of two backyard ponds

dried tea leaves and various spices

tea leaves and spices for sale

ceramic mushroom tops

cute ceramic garden mushrooms

The kid and I both returned home with some goodies. Elle fell in love with a vendor’s plum-vanilla homemade jelly and I managed to talk myself into buying a jar of dried raspberry tea leaves and three lavender shortbread cookies (O!M!G! I will find a recipe for these…so delicious!). Also, I couldn’t stop going back to those cute little mushroom toppers on the stakes. So for $4 each, I bought two for Elle and me – one little, one big.

They live in my garden now.

ceramic mushroom


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
This entry was posted in community, flora and fauna, food, gardening, Jacksonville, nature, outdoors, spring and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Herbal Faire

  1. That’s a backyard? WOW! I bake with lavender sugar and have made lavender shortbread. Buy some culinary lavender, throw it into a food processor with some fine white sugar, and process away. Let it sit in a sealed container for a week or so and then bake!! Be sure to use sweet unsalted butter in the shortbread. YUM!

    • Dena says:

      thanks for the tips! I will definitely give those a try – do you have a certain recipe you use? And where would I find culinary lavender…I’m new to the herb world.

  2. Dena — You got all the photos of the Herbal Faire that I couldn’t get due to the weather! So glad you had nice weather for it! Your mushroom yard art is cute!

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