Published September 02. 2023 07:11AM
by Kristine Porter email@example.com
A need for new house plants blossomed into a festival.
During the pandemic, Amy Wood was disheartened when her favorite plant store closed. That’s when she created a group on Facebook to swap and sell plants – Carbon County Plant People BST (buy, sale, trade).
“No one has to pay to swap their plants,” she said. “They can trade up and get a whole new plant collection.”
Soon after the group sprouted, they planned their first Carbon County PlantFest.
The first one was in 2021, then again in 2022, and it grew into two events in 2023. Their first event this year was called Halloween in April. It rained, but Wood said it was well attended.
“It’s always a good turnout,” she said. “It’s something as simple as plants has such a large following.”
Today, the plant group has nearly 4,000 members.
Their most recent event was on Aug. 26 at Kennedy Park in Lansford. There were 60 vendors with a variety of wares, all plant themed.
“Everyone seems to like that we focus on plants when they come to the event,” Wood said.
Some of the vendors sold house plants, others were from small farms.
There were apothecaries, crafters, artists, and a woman who makes clothing.
“You don’t see people making clothing these days,” Wood said.
The festival also had free yoga sessions with River Run Healing Arts, character drawings, face painting with Violent Venus, food truck vendors, a plant swap meet, and music.
The performers were also varied with acoustic Americana music by Dave Matsinko, gothic R&B composer and vocalist K.C. Ranierro, and bands Geode and rock group Hatter.
“There was pretty much anything a plant person would want,” Wood said.
Even Carbon County Friends of Animals benefited from the festival. Many of the vendors donated a basket for a basket raffle. All of the proceeds went to the animal shelter.
Wood said she enjoys hearing from people who come to the festival. A woman from southern New Jersey told her that she goes to all the plant festivals she can find, but this one in Lansford is the best. She told Wood she really appreciates the number of vendors and the variety of goods.
For Wood, her favorite part of the festivals are the people.
“I really enjoy the crowd. It’s a great day,” she said.
The next PlantFest isn’t until next year, but Wood is already tossing ideas around. She said some vendors said they would like to make the festival a whole weekend event. Wood is considering it. She’s reaching out to her vendors for their input and taking ideas. One thing she is pretty sure about is that next year’s festival will be in May.
Patrons visit the booths at the PlantFest on Aug. 26 in Lansford. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Plant enthusiast Amy Wood organized the PlantFest and created a Facebook group called Carbon County Plant People BST. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The Carbon County PlantFest featured 60 vendors with a variety of products. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Tori Thigpin from Plant on the Sill has several items for plant enthusiasts at the PlantFest on Aug. 26. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Guitarist Dave Matsinko was one of four performers at the PlantFest on Aug. 26 in Lansford. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Jillian Phillips from Guttation has a variety of plants at her booth at the PlantFest. She was one of 60 vendors. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Alex Shambo and Jacqueline Grabowski from Grateful Acres has tomatoes, flowers and other veggies for sale at the PlantFest. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO