Around Town

Author shares ways to add edible plants to one’s landscape

WESTFIELD-For area residents interested in a new way of looking at their yard, the Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a free virtual program by cookbook author Liz Barbour on Aug. 5.

“I have been seeing rave reviews about Liz and her programs for years,” said Becky Blackburn, public services librarian. “Now that we are all home much more than usual there has been a huge interest in gardening.”

Liz Barbour, author of “Beautifully Delicious: Cooking with Herbs and Edible Flowers,” will present a virtual program Aug. 5, sponsored by the Westfield Athenaeum. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Blackburn noted she has also seen more area residents focusing on growing their own food and making their home more inviting and beautiful.

“This program seemed like it hit on those interests and because it is virtual it allows people from all over to join in,” said Blackburn, who also created her own patio size garden this spring.

“I planted dill, parsley, basil, rosemary, lavender, sage and tarragon, and I have been able to snip herbs while cooking, which I love to do. Next year I will plant more.” 

Barbour, who has been cooking professionally in the Boston area since 1992 and started The Creative Feast in 2004, is the author of “Beautifully Delicious: Cooking with Herbs and Edible Flowers.” She has also been featured in a variety of publications including New Hampshire magazine.

When reached by phone, Barbour said her slide show presentation will include a tour of her edible gardens.

A view of Liz Barbour’s edible gardens. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“I only have three-quarters of an acre and plenty of open space,” said Barbour. “The idea is to incorporate edible plants into your landscape so you can be a vegetable or fruit gardener as well.”

Barbour will wrap up her presentation with a cooking demonstration of seasonal produce that can be grown in your yard or found at the local farm stand or grocery store. 

For more information on Barbour as well as a link to her food blog, visit

“For anyone who is interested in a new way of looking at their yard or if they love to cook, it will be an interesting way to spend an hour,” said Blackburn.

The virtual program begins at 7 p.m.  and to register for the event visit or call Blackburn at (413) 568-7833, ext. 111. She can also be reached via email by sending a message to [email protected] for more information.

Blackburn noted that she is limited to 100 participants so she recommends people sign up as soon as possible if they are interested in viewing the program.

Barbour’s book is also available in the library system to order. Patrons can either pick the cookbook up using the Library-to-Go program or by booking an appointment for in-person browsing. For more details, call (413) 568-7833 or visit

“Liz shares her skills as a working chef and entertaining communicator, whose relaxed and humorous attitudes toward food demystify the cooking process,” said Blackburn of Barbour’s “Beautifully Delicious” cookbook.

“Sit back and watch while Liz prepares and presents exciting dishes for you and your friends,” added Blackburn.

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