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Greater Philadelphia: Two tasty September festivals

September brings out the finest colors in some produce
September brings out the finest colors in some produce
Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com)

While there are plenty of festivals to enjoy in early September, there are two that will also tempt your taste buds. Check your calendar and your pantry before heading out to these events. As annual September festivals go, these two draw more than foodies. Learn, taste and delight. It’s festival season.

Garden to gourmet

Friday September 5th through Sunday September 7th is the 5th Annual Honey Festival weekend event. This annual festival is supported by the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guide, The Wagner Free Institute of Science, Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm, as well as, Bartram’s Garden. The Wagner Free Institute of Science gets things buzzing on Friday with a program for home schooled children in the morning and for the adults, an evening Honey Happy Hour. This free event includes samples of honey-brewed beer and meade from the Philly Home Brew Outlet and Colony Meadery. In addition, the evening’s event features all sorts of honey related activities such as open hive viewing and honey extraction demonstrations. Saturday the events are hosted at the Wyck Historic estate with their invitation to Mead Making, Tasting and Sharing. At Wyck there will be a live broadcast from G-Town Radio and children’s activities that range from building your own bee antenna, making beeswax candles, to a chance for your picture as the Queen Bee. Be sure to work up an appetite wandering the farm so you are ready to enjoy the marketplace of delectable goodies from local vendors and your opportunity to sample local grades of honey and honey beer. Sunday the Honey Festival is a sweet full day’s event at Bartram’s Garden. Among the happenings on Sunday are an autumn plant sale, Brewing with Honey demonstrations, a farmer’s market and cooking contest. There are also a variety of presentations and demonstrations for the casually interested and those interested in becoming a beekeeper. Whether you go to learn or compete, to taste or participate, the Honey Festival is one sweetly sticky event. Be like a bee, socially delighting, a buzz of energy, and with a sweet sense of life.

This same weekend also marks the 28th Annual Mushroom Festival, appropriately held in the Mushroom Capital of the World: Kennett Square. Consistently following Labor Day, this town-wide celebration features many fun and delicious events under the mushroom festival heading. Culinary events include cook-off competitions, soup and wine events, eating competition, and, of course, the mushroom growers exhibit. If you are planning some mushrooms in your own meals, the freshest, finest mushrooms can be purchased in most any quantity you desire. From an artistic perspective, check out the 3-foot, 108-pound concrete mushroom painted by local artists that will be part of a silent auction. Of the not so silent category, most parents consider their wee ones the very most beautiful. If you believe your young one is especially photogenic, the Cute as a Button baby photo contest may be just the thing. This festival also has all variety of old-fashioned carnival merriment and silliness. Beginning on Friday, the carnival atmosphere is throughout the town with a community parade and Dining and Dancing in the Streets. If you ever wondered how many mushroom-related items exist, be sure to take time to check out the nearly 200 vendors that will line the streets of Kennett Square. You are sure to be amazed at the fine crafted and just plain quirky mushroom-themed items. There is so much to see, to smell, to taste and do at this annual festival. Just be sure to make time for the all-time favorite: mushroom soup at the Masonic Lodge. It’s no wonder why Kennett Square is known as the mushroom capital. Foodie or just a mushroom fan, this is certainly the place to be.