Things will be hopping at Moody Gardens Visitors Center Wednesday. That’s because the Sixth Annual Herb Fair will be featuring hops, the herb used to give beer its tangy flavor.
The herb fair, which is free and open to the public, is an annual tradition of the Friends of Moody Gardens, a group dedicated to educational outings to schoolchildren and seniors. The selection of hops as the featured herb was determined by the Herb Society of America, which named it the Herb of the Year, said friends President Judy Anderson.
“The outstanding part of this event is having an herb that was so easy to celebrate,” she said.
Vendors selling herbs and plants, as well as crafts and unique items, will fill the visitors’ center. Cooking demonstrations and seminars will focus on herbs and hops. Galveston County Master Gardener John Jons, a home brewer, will talk about growing hops on the Gulf Coast and its distinct soil type.
In addition, a noon luncheon is scheduled, with a keynote speech by brewer Mark Dell’Osso and Greg Whittaker, a home brewer who uses sargassum, the type of brown seaweed that choked Galveston’s beaches in 2014, in his craft beer.
A special Blessing of the Garden, with soft violin music provided by Galveston musician Natalie Wiest, will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Butterfly Garden. There will also be a presentation of Tussy-Mussie, or nosegays, a small flower bouquet given as a gift popular during the Victorian period. They will be given to all attendees at the garden blessing.
“Every year there is a reason to walk into the garden and find joy,” Anderson said. “This year, after Hurricane Harvey and the freezing winter, a barren garden is an invitation to think about new possibilities. We can look forward to the beauty of spring arriving in Texas.”
All funds raised from the luncheon will be used to bring local school children on field trips to the aquarium and rain forest pyramids at Moody Gardens, as well as send outreach programs to seniors and preschools throughout the Galveston area.