Herbs, Beer, Worms, and Scarecrows at Fairchild's Edible Garden Festival

It wasn't unusual to see couples walking their baby mango trees or a pumpkin getting a ride in a stroller this weekend at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

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It was, after all, the annual Edible Garden Festival and thousands of people took advantage of the clear blue skies to learn how to start a garden from Fairchild's experts. While most of the rest of the country is getting ready for a deep freeze, Miami is gearing up for growing season, as evidenced by the local farms that set up booths, selling everything from herb plants to mini-gardens to earthworms.

For those of us without green thumbs, farmers also displayed and sold fresh fruit and vegetables, several breweries sampled fall beers, and local caterers offered tasty food for sale.

The highlight of the festival was the annual scarecrow decorating contest.

This year's scarecrows featured storybook characters and not-so-scary creatures. If the scarecrows got you in the mood to decorate your own house for the holidays, pumpkins were available for "adoption" from the patch for a $5 donation to the garden.

Several varieties of dragonfruit were available for tasting and purchase.

Scary, yet delicious, rambutan were a popular item at the festival.

Herbs and vegetables were sold individually or in ready-made mini gardens, perfect for condo-owners wanting their own patch of freshness.

Teenaspride was selling CSA packages and inviting people to the farm at an upcoming open house.

Worms for sale? Think of them as tiny little gardeners who till and aerate the soil for free.

Pumpkins were available for adoption from the patch.

Fresh unsweetened tropical fruit quenches your thirst on a sunny day.

A giant scarecrow beetle greets visitors to the garden.

Scarecrows had a storybook theme. Dorothy, the Cowardly Lon, and the Tin Man vacation in Miami.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Just in case your kids want you to make them a scarecrow...here's liquid courage.

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