2010 Holiday Drive: House of Hope (Plus Giveaway)

UPDATE (December 4): Wow!!! We’ve exceeded the goal in just a few days. The original goal was an arbitrary number and does not reflect House of Hope’s actual need. I simply chose a number that I felt was reachable. Turns out I underestimated you! While we’ve exceeded the initial target number, the drive will continue

Garden Making Magazine

Garden Making Magazine (Plus Giveaway)

One of my paying gigs is writing (and some photography) for a new gardening magazine called Garden Making. This last week, the magazine celebrated a year in publication with four issues in print. That is no small feat for a specialized print magazine, on the topic of gardening (in Canada, no less), in the age

A front steps container garden in the Newtown, a neighbourhood in Roseau, Dominica.

In Search of My Grandmother’s Garden (A Visual Presentation)

This coming Monday I will be giving a presentation to the Parkdale Horticultural Society on my epic December/January 2009/2010 trip to the Caribbean. I’ve assembled a range of images from plants, to food, to some personal insights from all three of the islands we visited. There is a special emphasis on Dominica, in part because


My tenth and last Globe & Mail Kitchen Gardening article for the 2010 growing season is set to be published this coming Saturday. It is on growing and eating cardoons, an Italian delicacy that I experimented with this year. Until then, here’s a timely piece that was published in the Saturday paper on August 27,

Dewey Donation System

Have you heard about The Dewey Donation System? It’s an online library fund-raising drive that helps raise cash money and books for libraries in need across the United States. They’ve just launched their 2010 initiative to help a community-run library in Baltimore called Village Learning Place. Village Learning Place has a remarkable story. They’re a

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

It’s About Thyme

I’m way behind on posting past articles from my Globe & Mail column. This profile of thyme was published on July 19, 2010. I thought I’d go with it first since the article set to be published this coming Saturday is a profile of another favourite garden herb: sage. —————– Most of the country, including


Over the last few days I’ve been slowly working my way through thousands of posts, tagging them and fixing problems as I go along. I’ve rediscovered several interesting and forgotten posts through this exercise, and I thought I would share some of them here with you. Forcing and Growing Colchicums: Freaky Bulbs That Are Actually

That (Almost) Fresh Feeling

Welcome to the freshly updated You Grow Girl website! You’ll notice right away that the design has changed. Other than colour, pattern, and layout changes the most obvious difference is the way the posts appear on the homepage. They now appear as full posts — you will only need to click through to the permanent

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Canning Tomatoes: 3 Recipes

This article and the accompanying recipes originally appeared in print in the Globe & Mail on September 5, 2009. I thought I’d repost it here today since the season is so ahead this year and my large, indeterminate tomato plants are on the verge of a first round of ripening. CAN NOT WAIT! If you’re

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Making More Herbs

About a month ago, I wrote a guest post for Apartment Therapy/Re-Nest on propagating herbs by cuttings. This is how I quickly double my basil harvest every summer at no extra cost. Basil grows easily from seed too, but stem cuttings are fast and easy — they’ll produce roots in water in about a week

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Growing Sweet Potatoes in a Bag

My most recent Globe and Mail Kitchen Gardening article is on sweet potatoes and chronicles an experiment I took up by chance, growing sweet potatoes in a shopping bag. While in Dominica I learned that when there is not enough soil fertility to produce tubers, sweet potato leaves are cooked or steamed like spinach. I

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Growing Beans

My second article of this season’s Globe & Mail column was published last Saturday: BEANS! It’s still not too late to get started. When I wrote and submitted the article we were experiencing a very hot and dry spring: great weather for planting beans. Immediately after the article was published the weather turned cold and

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