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FLAVOR HAS A FIELD DAY

Pungent tips for everyday dining are on the menu at the Herbfest.

It's an age-old question: What's the difference between a spice and an herb? "Herbs and spices can be a grey area to separate," said Allen Cordell, urban horticulturist with the Pinellas County Extension service. "Generally, herbs are the leaves of plants and have culinary, medicinal and dye uses. Spices are usually from more tropical countries." "This is our combined effort to further our mission of educating the public on a more holistic lifestyle," Cordell said. "Last year we had more than 400 people attend Herbfest. With the market addition, we hope to reach even more people." From growing herbs to choosing teas, the day is designed to help participants put new zing into their lives. "It is a great opportunity to learn about interesting and ancient plants," Cordell said. "It is hard to mention the word 'herbs' without mentioning the word 'useful.' This day is about making our foods more flavorful and pungent."

Highlights

The event will feature 40-minute presentations with 20-minute breaks to allow for browsing. Experts on herbs will share their knowledge in a series of free presentations.

9 a.m. Among the featured speakers is Monica Brandies, an author of 11 books including Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens, who will present "Accenting Your Life With Herbs and Spices."

10 a.m. Visitors can tour the extension's herb garden followed by a salsa making class with Cindy Peacock, an extension horticulturist. Or they can attend "Growing Herbs Organically for Flavor, Nutrition and Beauty" with Willow LaMonte, a folk herbalist.

11 a.m. Emily Wenzel of the Florida Herb Society will present "Flavorful and Nutritional Herbal Teas."

NoonThe final presentation of the day will feature extension staff nutritionists demonstrating how to enliven an ordinary meal with herbal cooking techniques.

Fast facts

Herbfest

Learn all about your favorite seasonings at the annual Herbfest from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. New this year: The event will be held within the Market in the Park, a green farmers' market at 12520 Ulmerton Road.

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