Ozark Folk Center Holds Annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival

A Celebration of African Native Plants Introduced to America to Happen October 4-5

The annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival, celebrated at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View Arkansas, will take place on October 4 and 5, 2013. The focus will be on the crops and the cosmetic, culinary, and medicinal herbs of coastal Africa that are also enjoyed in the Ozark Mountains. Okra and cowpeas are African natives that were, and still are, staples in Ozark kitchens. Some sorghum species hail from Africa and are processed to make syrup, brooms and livestock feed.

Godwin-Charles A. Ogbeide, Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a native of Nigeria will lead a cultural presentation on the “Hospitality of Africa”. Katrina Bogdon of the naturopathic clinic, Our Healing Roots, LLC and Merry Schepers, a devoted fermiculturist, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma will demonstrate “Cultured Dairy Products of Africa”. John Agana, a native of Ghana and owner of Treasures from Africa in Fayetteville, Arkansas, will present “The Medicinal Herbs and Plant Oils of Ghana”. The development of plants for international commerce, grown in countries along the African coast, will be highlighted by Gayle Engels, Special Projects Director for the American Botanical Council. Susan Belsinger, our favorite flavor artist, will interpret how Africa influenced the foodways of the Ozarks and the southern United States. Kathleen Connole, horticulturalist at the Ozark Folk Center, will trace the history of plant explorers and the resulting exchange of plant-based foods, herbs, spices, and ornamental garden plants between Africa and the Americas.

Herbal luncheons, prepared special for the event, are included in workshop fees. A one day admission is $70, two day admission is $120. Participants can save $10 by registering before September 23. At-the-door registration will be permitted between 8 and 10 AM on both mornings. The full schedule and registration may be found at www.ozarkfolkcenter.com on the Herb Event Page or call 870-269-3851 for more information. Call 800-264-3655 for lodging reservations.