Farm & Garden: Spring herb festival brings together people, plants and products

PLENTIFUL PLANTS: With over 65 vendors at this years Asheville Herb Festival, there is no shortage of medicinal and culinary herbs, native herbs, flowers and heirloom vegetables. Photo by Carrie Eidson

With our growing season just getting underway in the mountains, we lucky enough to have the largest herb festival in the country about to take place right in our backyard. The 27th annual Asheville Herb Festival has been billed as the biggest herb focused event of its kind in the Southeast for the past 15 years — but recently received its status as the largest in the U.S. and Canada, thanks to research from the Herb Society of America.

More than 35,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s event, which is being hosted by the WNC Chapter of the North Carolina Herb Association. The larger-than-normal expected turnout is due in part to this year’s presence of the Herb Society of America, which is holding its annual convention in Asheville over the festival weekend.

Herbs are definitely at the core of the huge family-friendly event — with a vast selection of plants and products from independent vendors. Attendees will find herbs for cooking, gardening and medicinal use; herbal soaps, lotions, tinctures, teas, dried herbs and flowers, herb-related crafts, gifts and books. And if you work up an appetite while walking through the maze of options that the festival offers, there will be vendors selling herbal-infused lunches, beverages and baked goods.

In addition to the knowledge provided by more than 65 vendors, there will be plenty of experts on hand to answer questions about planting, growing and caring for herbs. The N.C. Agricultural Extension Service information booth will be staffed by local master gardeners certified by the Buncombe County Extension.

The Asheville Herb Festival takes place Friday through Sunday, April 29-May 1, at the WNC Farmers Market. Parking and admission is free, but the organizers suggest that you bring along cash for some of the smaller herb vendors that can’t accept credit or debit cards. In addition, it is a good idea to bring your own tote bags, cart or even a wagon to carry your unique herbal finds.

For more information about the festival visit or to find out more about the Herb Society of America and their annual meeting visit


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.