Amherst Museum presents Herb Faire
by ELIZABETH TAUFA Reporter Any day of the year, the public can visit the Amherst Museum, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, for a glimpse into the life of days long ago.
"We have a herb garden that is similar to what a 19th century homemaker would have had," said Betty Lerner, the museum's public relations coordinator. "People didn't run to the store for things like that so they grew their own herbs."
The Herb Faire is a biennial event that features a specific herb each year it is held. This year's herb is lemon verbena, a plant with leaves that resemble that of a mint plant but exudes a powerful lemon scent.
Lemon verbena is used to add a lemon flavor to marinades and to make herbal teas. It was a popular herb used in 19th century cooking, according to Lerner.
The event is held every other year and alternates with the museum's quilt fair.
"We have a number of vendors with plants and herbs," Lerner continued. "We'll have representatives from garden clubs and other spring planting groups."
There will also be a variety of lectures featured during the Herb Faire.
One lecture, by Geri Hens of Hens Honeybee Farm, will be on the declining honeybee population in the area.
"Some trees, like almond trees, don't bear fruit unless they're pollinated by honeybees," Lerner said. "No one knows why the bee populations have declined."
Another lecture will be on giant hogweed, a noxious plant that has begun to grow wild along the roads of the area.
"If you cut it and get the sap on you, it leaves a burn that won't heal," Lerner said, noting that the plant looks like Queen Anne's Lace but grows 10 to 15 feet high and can cause blindness if the sap comes in contact with eyes.
Other lecture topics include a talk on the lemon verbena and container gardens, which are many plants in one pot or dish.
All lectures will be held in the Shaw Main Exhibit Building throughout the day.
The Herb Faire admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children. Museum members will be admitted free of charge.
All buildings on the Amherst Museum grounds will be open and staffed by a costumed docent during the fair.
For more information on the Herb Faire or other upcoming exhibits at the Amherst Museum, call 689-1440 or visit the Web site at www.amherstmu seum.org.