28th Annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival October 5 – 7 at  Ozark Folk Center State Park (Posted by Ginger Smith)

The 28th Annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival takes place October 5 – 7, 2017 at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. This year the Festival will connect the herbs and foods of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Basin to the Ozarks. The Heritage Herb Garden began this herbal exploration in 2008 to portray how plants join the Ozarks with the world.

A Lavish Herbal Feast begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 5 with a garden party reception, sponsored and produced by the Herb Society of America Ozark Unit. This dressy feast will feature a taste of the Caribbean. Preregistration is required. The cost is $30 and early registration is advised. Call (870) 269-3851 or print form from www.ozarkfolkcenter.com to register.

Herbal friends will gather at the Ozark Folk Center to create a sensational Herb Harvest Fall Festival on October 7 and 8. Kathleen Connole studies plant origins and the history of botanical explorers for fun. Her contagious enthusiasm brings history to life every year.

Together, Susan Belsinger and Dr. Arthur Tucker will present Flavors of Mexico Up Close on Friday. They collaborated on the recent Timber Press release, The Culinary HerbalGrowing and Preserving 97 Flavorful Herbs and will be signing books between sessions. The Committee of 100 for the Ozark Folk Center is sponsoring Dr. Tucker’s trip to the Ozarks this year and we look forward to his pictorial on the herbs of Mexico. Susan Belsinger selected the foods and created most of the recipes for the Lavish Herbal Feast and the lunches included in the Herb Harvest Fall Festival in collaboration with the staff at the Skillet Restaurant.

Author and photographer Steven Foster, and Pat Kenny, insatiable student, educator, gardener and illustrator, will take us to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Basin through stories and photographs. A walking tour, led by the teachers through the Heritage Herb Garden will enlighten attendees with a visual display of the crops, floral and herbal plants that originated from the region. Well wishes for the fortitude of the people and the plants of the Caribbean and Mexico will be observed throughout. Contact the Ozark Folk Center for registration details.

The mission of Ozark Folk Center State Park is to perpetuate, present and promote the Ozark way of life in an educational and enjoyable manner; through craft demonstrations, musical programs, the Heritage Herb Garden, workshops and other special events.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.