Things To Do

Edible Garden Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden This Weekend

It's not fall in Miami until Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts its annual edible garden festival and scarecrow contest.

The two-day family event features a host of talks, lectures, and garden tours that will show you how to start your own edible garden. And, living in south Florida, there's practically no excuse to not at least have a few herb plants growing on your condo balcony.

Gardening experts will discuss a plethora of topics including growing herbs, starting a kiddie garden (that's gardening with your kids -- babies do not really come from the cabbage patch), attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden, designing an edible landscape, and basic cheesemaking. For a complete lecture schedule click here

Cooking demonstrations, sponsored by Whole Foods Market will be held both days, so you can prepare healthy meals and desserts using the items you've just grown.

If you're the impatient type, a farmer's market will allow you to purchase fresh local fruits, vegetables, and herbs to take home and use right away. In addition, you can buy plants and seedlings and pick out a pumpkin from the patch set up at the festival. Pumpkin babysitters will watch your pumpkin until you're ready to leave so you don't have to schlep your new orange family member around all day.

Note, the pumpkin we purchased at last year's festival lasted so long outside the house we put a Santa hat on it.

This year, the garden is setting up a fall beer garden, filled with ciders and spicy seasonal ales for your enjoyment.

But the best part of the edible garden festival has got to be the scarecrow contest and the Halloween decorations hidden along the garden's paths. Each year, Fairchild employees turn palm fronds into ghosts, coconuts into scary spiders, and plants into witches that are so creative  and crafty, they would make Martha Stewart fume with jealous rage.

The Edible Garden Festival is open 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Admission is free for members, $25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for children 6-17, and free for kids 5 and under. Walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation, take $5 off admission for adults, $2 for kids. Active military get into the garden free.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss