Gardening Shows vs. Food Shows

Alton BrownYesterday, I went to the Fabulous Food show at the IX Center in Cleveland. And it was truly FABULOUS. All I could think was “Wow, this is a hell of a lot better than the really lame Home & Garden show they put on every year.”

I went once to the Home and Garden show and was furious by the time I left. Not only was the ticket $20+ and parking was $8 (And since the IX center is in the middle of nowhere there is NOWHERE else to park), but there were hardly any demonstrations or presentations and booth after booth was filled with As Seen On TV ilk. I dare say that even Ron Popeil would have been ashamed. After that wallet emptying experience, I swore never to attend again.

I was a bit leery of the Fabulous Food show. After all, I still had to pay $20+ and I still had to pay $8 for parking. But Alton Brown was going to be there and I figured that even if the showfloor was a bust, seeing Alton Brown live was worth the money. It turned out that AB was just a bonus. Everything there was worth the money. Even the $8 parking. There were demonstrations galore. Wine tastings. Every booth was nice and had free samples.

Why is it that gardening gets treated like chopped liver and food gets treated like filet mignon (I mean beyond the obvious)? Gardening just does not seem to get any respect these days.

7 thoughts on “Gardening Shows vs. Food Shows
  1. We have a garden show, which is really a landscape show. There are about 20 nurseries and landscapers who build landscapes indoors. I used to work for one and worked on several shows. There are also demonstrations and lectures. A trade show is there as well. I go around every other year as it doesn’t change much. We used to have a food show, but I don’t think thry still have it as the store chain shut down. One year I got my picture taken with Morris the cat. He was around 20 years old and rather lethargic! We don’t have much in the sticks, but we get by.

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  2. Hmmn, it’s obvious that people like food better than gardens. 😀 Although I seldom go to food shows but try every agriculture and garden fair I can. So far, I’ve been disappointed. Plants galore and landscaping exhibitions.

    I guess some areas are not so fortunate and there are more people trying to make money out of gardening rather than do gardening stuff itself.

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  3. For once, I have to say that I think the Atlantic marks a divide in attitudes. No-one who has seen the Chelsea flower show, or the television coverage of the same, would think that the British don’t value gardening exhibitions!

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  4. Ooooo you got to see Alton Brown!! Is he as big a cutie in person as he is on the show???Did you get his autograph??
    And I do agree with you about gardening getting short changed around here.

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  5. Interesting observation. I think that gardening has a longer history of shows and events and as such has lost its youthful enthusiasm. When you think about it it wasn’t that long ago that Julia Child was just introducing the idea of gourmet cooking to the masses. Now we have all these cooking shows and events that have people enjoying themselves, drinking wine, nibbling on food, and in general just having a good time. I am trying to bring that spirit to the nursery.

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  6. Aww…we have a garden show here called plantasia! There is a contest from all of the garden centers and non-profits to create the collest garden. So you go inside the conference room (which is the agri-center on the fair gorunds-so they don’t mind the dirt), and there are these instant gardens everywhere. Waterfalls, paths, lights, mulch holding a million bulb flowers. TREES!!!!! There is usually an area devoted to kids and there is like tunnels underneath hills (with trees and plants and all!) aon one HUGE sandbox (that is not really a box because the sand is just everywhere!!!)

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  7. They do give out free samples at the Garden Writers Symposium, but you have to pay a lot more moolah: membership in GWA, registration fee for the symposium, hotel reservations and transportation if it’s not local. I did have a blast, but it was a vacation, not an outing, and priced accordingly.

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