Grow Great Grub Book Giveaway

I did a quick and easy giveaway of my new book “Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces” on The Twitter last week and as promised I’m doing one here too. It’s still winter and most of us are hibernating and reserving energy for the spring, so let’s keep this simple.

To Enter:

  1. Simply post a comment via the box below. Please be sure to use a valid email address as I will be using that to contact the winners.
  2. Include a link to a photo or post online of something that is inspiring your edible garden this year. It can be a picture or post about your garden from the last season, your garden as it is right now, or a garden grown by someone else. Let’s inspire each other and get excited about the forthcoming growing season!
  • I will choose 2 winners at random on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 6pm EST.
  • Please note that this contest is only open to addresses in Canada and the Continental USA. (Sorry.)

Update: Since so many of you have asked: You don’t have to link to anything if you don’t want to. Simply stating what is inspiring you is great! The point is really about getting us all fired up for spring through our collective enthusiasm.

Update: Please note that this giveaway is over and the winners have been announced.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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266 thoughts on “Grow Great Grub Book Giveaway

  1. i am so excited for your new book! i’ve gotten quite a bit of use out of “You Grow Girl”, especially now when i’m planning out the garden for the spring. i move just about every year, so it’s nice to have a reliable resource that i can apply to all sorts of new situations.

    this image inspires me and reminds me of a garden in town. there is a lot of contaminated soil in our neighborhood, so raised beds are a good idea. i like to think of them as gift boxes bursting with herbs, vegetables, and flowers. having the plants up higher also creates a bit of a jungle feel!

  2. I’m not entering the contest (my copy is en route!), but just wanted to thank KDilley for the link to the Kitazawa Seed Company – awesome!

  3. Ok, so this is a little cheesy, but my link is to a picture of Rabbit’s garden from Winnie the Pooh:
    My husband and I planted our very first vegetable garden last year (and will again this year), and I think I always dreamed of having my own garden after seeing Rabbit’s veggie garden!
    Right now we are only growing garlic…when is the best time to harvest that? (We live in South Carolina). Thanks!

  4. Van: I love the ‘Black Seaman’ tomato. Always high up on my list of must-grow tomatoes… especially in containers.

    Jessica: Kitazawa is great.

  5. I’ve been gardening for a couple of years but hope this book will give me some new inspiration for spring!

  6. Congratulations on 10 years and the new book Gayla. I blog about our century home renovation and cooking (my renovation stress reliever), which includes cooking from my garden. Last year I tried out some container gardening with some success. My last post on our blog was about planning a kid’s themed garden for this year.

    Here’s what’s getting me through until spring:

  7. I LOVE the idea of urban gardens and growing edible food in the back and/or front yard. We started a little veggie bed last summer in our backyard. One post here:, another here: (there’s a whole category for this topic on my blog). We have so much to learn.
    I also blogged about hunger in the past week. I think it would be great if each person grew something they could share and swap with neighbors. It’s good for the soul and the pocket.
    Love the idea of your book! I tweeted about it. Only found out about you 15 minutes ago :)
    I’ll be back!
    Congrats on the book!!!

  8. Oh man, I’m moving to a new place soon, one where I expect to stay for more than 6 months at a time and I’m looking forward to filling the place with plants! I’m in NYC so the outdoor bits will probably be something like this: but I’m looking forward to getting some plants indoors to make the apartment feel homey.

  9. We garden all year long with two green houses and seven high tunnels, but gardening indoors is of little comparison to working outside on a warm, sunny day. The thing that excites me most is waiting for all the insects, birds and animals to wake back up and join us! I miss the sparrows and killdeer that live in our fields and barns, and all the interesting beetles and butterflies to identify!

  10. We garden all year long with two green houses and seven high tunnels, but gardening indoors is of little comparison to working outside on a warm, sunny day. The thing that excites me most is waiting for all the insects, birds and animals to wake back up and join us! I miss the sparrows and killdeer that live in our fields and barns, and all the interesting beetles and butterflies to identify!

  11. You book looks fabulous. I have never been to your site before, but heard about your book and had to come by. I am going to head to the bookstore today and see if I can find your first book.

  12. My garden right now is a square box of grass surrounded by a fence. That’s it. I don’t have a photo of the grass but do have one which demonstrates the suburbia and lack of green stuff I am living amongst. My most important goal for this spring/summer is to plant a garden and grow some food and hopefully get my kids eating it.
    my backyard view

  13. I’m so very excited about my garden this year! I’ve done a ton of research on things that grow well in my area and am really looking forward to it! I made a gardening link on my blog so I could keep them organized and people could find them easily. The first post that shows up is actually about me wanting my garden to finally die last year so it’s not exactly inspirational. Having everything organized is though!

  14. I have some serious cabin fever!! I can’t wait to get outside and try some new things this year. This is my third year growing veggies and I’m very excited!!!

  15. I would love to win this book. I love to garden and need some organic tips. What keeps me going through the winter are my frozen veggies…corn, zucchini, and tomatoes. There’s nothing like getting out a bag of corn I grew and chomping it down like candy.

  16. Perfect! A friend sent me the link to your new book this morning (on Amazon). I’m so glad I clicked around and found this lovely blog, not to mention a chance at getting a copy of the book.

    Here’s a link to my post on our first harvest from my first vegetable garden last year. Meager as it is, it was really exciting to have food we had grown ourselves, and seeing it now just gets me excited for how much more we can try to do this coming season.

  17. Alas, my inspirational link is of a garden long since bequeathed to someone else (gardens in backyards of rental properties seem to have limited lifespans), but I had a wonderful time gardening here while it lasted.

    I hope someone at that address is still enjoying all the strawberries.

    And, I hope to get into the ground again soon! Meanwhile, I do my best with containers.

  18. Canning…canning and more canning! That is what is inspiring me! Especially pickled green beans! Yay!

  19. Last year I spent about 6 months living at an organic farm in Italy doing dissertation research.

    My garden reflects the insights I gained from the amazing people there. This year I hope to incorporate even more of their sustainable practices, good spirits, and spirit of conviviality.

  20. This is the first year that I’m going to attempt to grow some vegetables. I watched a film that inspired me to start trying to eat organic, and since I have the space, I figured I’d try a garden! I’m terrified that nothing will grow, that if it does, it will taste terrible, or that I will kill all the plants within days. But I’m going to try anyway. And I’m excited!

  21. I just love your blog! I also like to find some great inspiration at this website: ‘The Cooks Garden’.
    Thanks for entering me in your contest!
    - Leah

  22. Well, this isn’t really an amazing picture of a garden or anything, but I’m excited to grow my own herbs this summer because I just bought the St. Louis Herb Society’s new cookbook and it has interesting sounding recipes like Roasted Banana and Arugula Soup, and Lavender Tea Cookies. So here’s a link to their page:

    Oh, how I’d love to win this book too…

  23. Here’s a link to a photo album of with pictures of my son (just under two at the time these were taken) in both of our gardens last year. One garden was in a community garden green house, and the other was a regular outdoor community garden. We made a “bean house” teepee for him to play in, and when he woke up in the morning he would say “Garden, garden, dirt, dirt, dirt, MY BEAN HOUSE!” It’s been so much fun rediscovering growing things with him, and this year I’ll have the “help” of son number two, who will be six months old at the beginning of planting season.

  24. Just wanted to say I’m so excited about your book! I’ve recently begun cooking on my own, for my single-self, and realized how much I enjoy not only cooking for one, but for all my friends! It is so satisfying, and it’s wonderful knowing exactly what is going in our tummies. Love it, keep it up! :) Beautiful book.

  25. We just had a baby, then moved cross country and are now in a temporary house so I haven’t been able to grow anything in over a year. In the meantime I have been blogging about my plans to start a small family farm using sustainable agriculture methods as soon as we can buy our own home…

  26. I’m inspired by my grandpa, dad, and other family friends who are devoted to their gardens. I’m always amazed by their dedication and knowledge of Filipino fruits and vegetables, and how they are able to adapt to the differing climate from the Philippines to the US.

  27. I will be honest and say I’ve never grown a thing in my life (well, besides my children…) just heard about this website and I’m thinking I might give it a try. Who knows, maybe my children will love it too! Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. So, the community garden steering committee that I sit on found out at the eleventh hour that the proposed location failed the required soil test.

    Although disappointed with the outcome, we are committed to greening the urban core, community gardening and offering a sustainable urban gardening option.

    We are committed to assessing any and all creative solutions. I found a pic from Flickr that could provide a whimsical way to maximize space with container gardening.

    Life isn’t about the falls, but how you get back up again right?

  29. This year I am being inspired by the many volunteers that put together the GROW! Community Garden. It is amazing how much produce comes out of a small garden. This group donates much of the produce grown to the local food bank! I am looking forward to your book as I design my 4 x 20 ft plot at the garden!

  30. I have a small terrace and still enjoy gardening. Mind you, it’s almost all container gardening. Including vegetables! I’ve got all my seeds for this coming summer. Some I’ve swapped for, and I’ve begun to Winter Sow perennials! I’ve got all my 2010 seed catalogues ‘dog eared’, so new garden reading material would be welcomed. A great way to get me through the Winter blues!

    Congratulations on another great book!

  31. I’m not much of a vegtable gardener, i’m addicted to growing trees from seed… it just gives me a world of my own one day as my forest grows others will see the beauty of my trees from all diffrent walks of life as they are..

  32. I have been waiting SOOOOOOOO long for this book, my green thumbs are twitching! Can not wait to get my grubby mits on this book.

    Here’s my blog…
    there’s some cursing and non-garden related trivia…but that’s how I roll.

    My gardening style is a little on the crazy side, corn in the front yard, hopefully chickens in the backyard…urban farmer wannabe.

    Congrats on the book Gayla!

  33. I sort of turned the prompt for this around and asked myself “How has my edible garden inspired me?” It’s the first my partner and I have planted together, on the first piece of land we have ever been able to call our own (for six months at least). I can’t wait until the time in my life when I can tend something more substantial, but this will do for now!

    Oh! And even though I’ve written this from New Zealand – I do have a mailing address in the States! Thanks Gayla!

  34. After many years in urban cores so dense that no sun hit anywhere near a window or stoop I now have a bright spot to grow!
    Trying to refresh my memory on the gardening knowledge from many years ago. Your book sounds great and I would love to win a copy, thank you for the opportunity and for creating this community.

    This week headed to the Seattle garden show!
    I am inspired by the photos here…
    My plan is to incorporate my veggies into the landscape I am directing. Looking for some dynamic herbs to play a starring role!

  35. Since I have moved back to the U.S. from Australia, I have not had a chance, nor the room, to start a garden. Recently, due to a friend’s break up, I have been asked to help with her garden and gladly said YES! I’m really excited to have an edible garden both at home and at my friend’s house. I’m inspired by the memory of a garden I had in Australia, as well as books such as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

    Here is a link to the garden I had in Australia (a shared venture):

  36. 2009 was my first year of ‘serious’ gardening (i’d been mindlessly growing things prior, sans méthode) and it was so wonderful! voilà my modest edible container garden (edible garden, not container ;-)

    very much looking forward to your book! it’s been on my Amazon wishlist for months.

  37. I’ve been planting a 14x40ft row garden for the past 3 years but this year converting to raised beds and square foot garden. I’m in North Eastern Canada where we’re under a blanket of snow and -32C now so basically any picture of a green garden works for inspiration…lol

    One I do like lately and use for inspiration for my own garden is

    I’m planning for substantial yield increase this season as well as extending my growing season by using hoop covered beds. Look forward to your book and best of luck!

  38. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of my gardening experiment last year and this year, so far, there’s nothing but dirt in some lovely bowls … but hopefully soon I’ll have something to show for it!

    I would love to learn more about gardening in small spaces!

  39. Yay! Super excited for your new book.

    I spent seven months last year on an organic farm where we grew a lot of veggies and fed a lot of people. It was wonderful. I am back in the city and hoping to get a community garden plot and grow a lot of spinach, radishes (this time i am going to try watermelon radishes, broccoli, herbs and tomatoes- hopefully they will not be hit by blight. that was so sad last year. we had some that survived in the greenhouse though.

    Thanks for the inspiration Gayla!!

  40. I am excited to work on my 150 sq ft garden in Seattle’s P-Patch system for the 5th year. This year I am going to be a bit more free form with the planting, a scary prospect for a planner like me! Inspiring me this winter has been this blog: While I don’t think I will ever own property that large, I am inspired to plan a garden where I meet 90% of my veggie and fruit consumption.

  41. This was our garden last year. It inspires me for this year’s garden — to learn from our mistakes last year and try new things this year. I hope your book has some tips I can apply down here in Arizona!

  42. I’ve never been able to grow a thing, but I’m inspired by the organic hydroponic farm near my house. They cleared a tiny lot that was an overgrown eyesore in an urban area and turned it into a fully functioning farm :)

  43. Some of our garden photos can be found here–
    user name is maynekitty.

    We are going to trellis as much as possible this year so we can plant more. I bought some netting to use for that. We are rototilling a special area in the front yard away from the rest of the garden for melons, winter squash and corn.
    They are huge space takers and we usually only grow one of each and one row of corn, so this year we are trying something different.

    maynekitty [at] live [dot] com

  44. I am currently doing my sketches for my new expanded veggie garden and marking seed catalogs. Your beautiful book looks like it would be wonderful inspiration!

  45. Ciao Gayla-

    Wow, I had a hard time coming up with ONE photo that really summed up the best of 2009 for me. Sure, I could have given you a basket of tomatoes photo or a wide-view shot of the tomato/eggplant/basil/nasturtium beds. I opted instead for a close-up of the Japonica Striped Corn that I grew for the first time. I’ve been looking forward to growing this ever since I saw a photo of it in the Seed Savers Exchange Catalogue in 2004. I put it off thinking that I would need an acre of land to grow corn. That’s the idea I always grew up with..that corn is a field crop, so you need a field to grow it. Not really. I’ve even grown some smaller corns in a half whisky barrel. Anyway, the Japonica corn gave me such joy and delight with its variegated colourful leaves and in the Fall, pomegranate-coloured cobs. I HIGHLY recommend growing it in your community garden.

  46. I am a fairly novice gardener and wannabe homesteader in Portland, OR, and my latest scheme is top-bar hives for keeping healthy happy bees! I’ve already ordered the bees, the seeds for my garden, and the seeds for the flowers that will keep them happy. I plan to build the hive with the help of my bf. I would love a copy of your second book to help me out with the growing seeds and food side of it all. I’m a big fan of your work, especially your style of presentation.

  47. I’m a little behind the times – no link for pics, but picture two amazingly adorable toddlers. I’ve decided to start a veggie garden this year because of my kids. I want them to understand the life cycle of food – what they eat and where it comes from. I think it’s a valuable lesson for all kids.

  48. This book has been on my Amazon wish list since before it was released! So happy for you to have another book out, I loved the first one so much, which introduced me to this site and the forum which has been amazing. :) I’ll be keeping my fingers firmly crossed.

  49. Hi Gayla!
    I’m very excited to see your new book, order my seeds for this upcoming season, and get back into the dirt. My inspiration for this summer mainly comes from my new chickens. I got them in September, but they have absolutely renewed my interest in growing my own food and food for them. I’ll be growing sunflowers for the first time this year because of them! They will be giving me good fertilizer, so I’ll grow them some fun things too. Here is a picture of them right after we got them:


  50. After joining an organic CSA last summer, we tried to start growing more at home and started vermicomposting. Our plans this year are to buy a new home with a larger yard, but we are staying within city limits so more yard may be hard to find! This book looks like it very helpful for growing as much as we can no matter how much yard we have! Here’s a link to a blog post about a trip to the CSA farm we joined and our vermicomposter.

  51. I just happened to hear about your new book on and was so thrilled to do so! My husband and I are FINALLY able to start a vegetable garden in our new construction home after an agonizing 2 yr wait. Our previous home had a beautiful vegetable garden that was my husband’s baby.
    Here is a link to a (a little out of focus, I’m sorry) picture of our daughter when she was younger as she helped us pick peppers. She LOVED eating the fresh veggies that came out of it every summer (the peas never made it into the house!) and I hope to share that love with my other 2 children.

  52. sorry, i have no blog or links, but i would love this book. i erected my walk-in green house last weekend and i am dying to start my seeds!

  53. I love growing food with and for my kids. They get so excited when something comes from our garden, and my daughter even harvests and saves seeds for the next year, all of her own accord, I did not teach her to do that. It’s such a good feeling knowing that the food I am serving my family from our garden will nourish them and help the environment as well. In my blog I am discussing how to incorporate whole foods, and other ideas throughout the year in a year of healing and health, and in the spring and summer I will be talking about gardening and fresh produce and their health benefits. Congrats on teh book. Great site.

  54. What is inspiring me this year is I actually have outdoor space! We just moved to an apartment with a terrace and I can’t wait to start my plantings.

  55. OMG! I would love to have one of these books!! I began gardening in my back yard with a tomato kit from walmart 4 years ago, and that has turned into 1/2 of my yard becoming a garden with snow peas, many different tomoatos and peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and I have just started companion gardening adding flowers and herbs. I would love a copy of your book to propel me to the next level!! right now I am looking thru seed catalogs and planning the spring garden, but with snow on the ground, my itch is needing to be scratched!!

  56. I visited the 2009 Late Show Garden show at Cornerstone Sonoma in Sonoma, CA. My favorite demonstration garden was by Suzanne Biaggi and Patrick Picard called “Future Feast”. It was a beautifully designed garden with edibles at the forefront. It really inspires me to see a “designed” edible garden and I hope to do the same! Take a look at a slide show of the piece at

  57. I certainly cannot compete with these other inspired posts. My inspiration is quite simple – I am going into my 2nd year of gardening and I have no doubt that it will be better than the first (since the 1st was not very good). Needless to say, my row for the hungry left everyone still hungry.

  58. Last year was the first year I grew anything at all. After spending the winter surrounded by gardening books (including the You Grow Girl), I felt that I was ready to tackle the dirt once Spring came (very late here in NL). Even with some beginner’s mishaps I had fresh lettuce all summer, swiss chard, cress… but the best thing was the tomatoes! I planted them pretty late in the season but I was so happy to see those little green things! I can’t wait for this year… I am once again surrounded by books and even bought a beautiful agenda just to write everything that will be happening in the garden.

  59. My inspiration for the new growing season is actually my little balcony garden from last year. My husband and I moved to a new apartment in July, mid-growing season, and found that we had continual sunlight through our south facing windows and our north facing balcony. Remembering the joy that I had growing a full garden with my father years ago, I bought a windowbox for herbs, a 4″ pepper plant and was gifted with a Topsy-Turvy and a 4″ cherry tomato seedling. The three containers were thriving and I shared my excitement with co-workers who were also beginning their first container vegetable gardens. I was gifted with cucumber and bush bean seedlings from my animation director’s own garden. Los Angeles stayed mild through the fall and I harvested small fruits and veggies to my delight. This year will be better now that I know my cycle better… I already have some Bibb and red leaf lettuce seedlings started and I am going to sow veggie seeds in my south facing window today. This year, I am planning on two types of peppers, a larger variety of tomatoes (in a standing 5 gallon bucket), small eggplants, and cucumber. The eggplant or cukes will go into the Topsy-Turvy to save a tad bit of space. Here’s a post about my garden from the fall:

  60. Congrats! I was thrilled to find your new book and website through Heather’s post on today! This Spring, I am inspired to landscape the backyard with edibles! We have a killer winter garden right now and want to expand our growing potential!

  61. I don’t have any pics of my 2009 garden because it was shameful. I have high hopes for 2010 though, and will expand my repertoire to keep my toddler full of fresh veg :)

  62. I’m new to gardening! We just moved into a small space and I would love to get started growing herbs on our porch like my mom used to do in California.

  63. When I was a kid, we had a fair amount of land and a large garden like this that I loved to spend my evenings and weekends in. I couldn’t think of anything more soul satisfying as tending to a garden. Now that I’m older I’ve not had an opportunity to live somewhere with enough land to plant a garden. I currently live in a condo with no land to call my own but I still long to tend to a garden. Last year we tried planting a few things in large planters – some things worked, some didn’t but I loved the experience and look forward to it again this year.
    I’ve also recently come across this wonderfully inspiring site:

  64. I just moved to Northern California and have a beautiful backyard that is screaming for an organic garden!! I just don’t have a clue how to do it. I am looking forward to the challenge, and the rewards!!

  65. I spent my childhood years on a working farm, and didn’t appreciate until I went away to college. Now I’m becoming passionate (obsessed) with where my food comes from, so I’m planning on starting my garden this year. Can’t wait to check out this site – thanks!

  66. I had an urban garden with tomatoes and peppers last summer, but it was ravaged by squirrels living under my neighbor’s roof. They had someone trap them and take the critters away this fall, so I have high hopes for this summer. I’d love to grow my own herbs year round, too. Last week I spent $5 on bunches of mint, cilantro and parsley when I only needed a smidge of each!

  67. I can’t wait for my garden this year!! I’m excited and inspired by my first ever compost bin that I’ll have ready this Spring :) Would love to win your book!

  68. I’m inspired by one of my office mates, whose family bought a share of a local farm through this service: I plan to buy a farm share this year, but also attempt my first garden ever — an herb garden on my back porch.

  69. My inspiration is my daughter, she is 17 months old and she loves plants. Going to the farmers market every week and seeing the great produce makes me want to get her involved in the growing process.

  70. Last spring I moved into a new place with a small patio and promptly turned it into a tiny second-floor garden, complete with plants from the local farmer’s market. Work was crazy, so coming home and seeing things growing was one of my favorite things I did for myself last summer.

    Camera was broken, so I only have fragments of posts from my blog:

    I can’t wait til the weather warms up and I can convert the snowy balcony back into a garden!

  71. I can’t wait to take up more of my front yard with our edible garden. Growing fresh veggies with my kids is my favorite part of summer. I’m inspired by watching them love gardening, getting excited to harvest fresh food, and setting up lettuce stands instead of lemonade stands. To me, it doesn’t really matter what we grow, but that we grow!!

  72. We had our first organic garden last summer and it was such a fantastic experience, especially for my four year old daughter. She was so involved with every step, from tilling the soil and choosing seeds and plants to picking tomatoes and shucking corn. My fussy little eater even tasted everything that came out of our garden…a giant step for her! Our biggest achievement was growing pumpkins, carving them, and even making pumpkin ravioli. It was so much more than I ever expected. This year we’re looking forward to doing it all over again!

  73. Well, firstly, a BIG Congratulations on completing 10 years and 2 books!! Really – that is some achievement.

    I really, REALLY want to have a farm of my own – but I don’t quite know how or when that will be.

    I was watching this film: “UP”

    It’s an animated film (by pixar)about this couple who are adventurers by spirit and dream of having a big adventure when they build their home by this breathtaking waterfall in South America.

    But ‘life’ happens to them and they don’t end up getting there. Instead the woman dies of old-age and the man is left alone and sad. He comes up with some idea to fulfill his promise to his wife only to realise that actually living their lives together itself was their big adventure.

    And so… I feel that when I have my BIG garden I’ll garden big – till then I’ll be more than pleased Growing Grub from Small spaces!

    (I know I’m not in the continental America – but I can provide an address of a friend who is and will be able to send the book to me – that is if I’m the lucky one :-) )

  74. Unfortunately there are no pictures online of what I want to grow. I have a friend who grows these awesome heirloom tomatoes, yellow and red ones. I didn’t even like tomatoes until I tasted the ones he grows, and then I changed my mind completely. I don’t have a lot of space but I’ve failed with tomatoes before, and this year I want to make them grow. Somehow. Even if it’s just cherry tomatoes or something, I want to get started with tomatoes so that eventually I can grow the beautiful things that he grows!

  75. Your site is inspiring me! That and the thought of an almost unlimited supply of peas and cherry tomatoes. Oooh, ooh, and having BBQs in the backyard where people can grab lettuce for their burgers straight from the garden. And mint for their mojitos…Mmmm…

  76. I wasn’t as lucky as you to get away to Dominica for a month but i do have herbs growing on my windowsill i.e. Basil;parsley;1 small Oregano&dill.I also threw in some flax seed which are quite leggy but i’m hoping for some of those beautiful blue blooms.I’m also hoping to win your
    book wml….

  77. Ever since I stumbled upon their blog (, the Dervaes family’s “urban homestead” has inspired my gardening and sustainable living efforts! For instance, take the picture at the top of this post:

    Someday I hope to have the time to devote to a backyard like that! For now, I’ll just dream big while I putter about in my community garden plot. : )

  78. I would love, love, love to grow my own beans to dry and eat all year long. We’re going to try out chickens to, but that’s a different type of thing to grow in the garden. ~H

  79. I’m starting my second year as a balcony gardener so any photos of container gardening in small spaces is inspirational to me:

    I’m also growing the flowers for my summer wedding at my parents house. Sweet pea, bachelor buttons, lavender… I’ve even convinced my Dad to start a wildflower garden in the front yard!

  80. Alys Fowler and her book Garden Anywhere are breaking me from my winter tedium. I can’t wait to begin seedlings in a few weeks, and I’m already sprouting a number of pits and seeds from the grocery store as houseplants. Most important to me are Alys’s garbage-picking, waste-not-want-not ways. It’s so important to use what we have, and to prevent our garden habits from making us bigger corporate consumers. I’ve just begun a position as Garden Educator at a local Community Gardens organization, and I’d love to use your book as a resource. Thank you!

  81. hmm, I am currently inspired by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed, Territorial Seed, and Annie’ Annual’s seed catalogs and websites. Stunning photos of heirloom plants that I can’t wait to start growing this summer.

  82. I just bought a house with a fully shaded backyard. I will be facing the challenge of creating a frontyard garden that is both functional for food and beautiful. I can’t wait!

  83. I spent a lot of time and energy this past autumn working on a dry stone flower bed that I filled with a mix of spring bulbs. I’ve got plenty to do outside in spring, but I felt like I just needed the bulbs to get me through winter that much earlier. Now I go outside every day to check how much the little bulbs are sprouting – the muscari are already up, now I’m just waiting for blooms! Seeing spring flowers really gives me the urge to start digging!

  84. My list of people, things & thoughts that are inspiring my 2010 edible garden keeps growing. Just like the buds on the trees & shrubs.

    A handful:

    #1) Your new book (which I’ve ordered) AND all the shared enthusiasm and excitement about it. YouGOGirl!
    #2) Seeing the freshly-stocked seed racks at Whole Foods this week.
    #3) Memories of my 2009 balcony garden — e.g., seeing the first seedlings emerge; eating freshly harvested greens everyday for lunch in May & June; munching on fresh radishes on toasted bread with cheese; rubbing the leaves on the young tomato transplants; having enough healthy tomato plants to share with others; growing my first eggplants & peppers.
    #4) A little bit of sunshine this morning.
    #5) Plenty of clean, empty, expectant pots on my planting bench, along the balcony railing & hanging from hooks, all in position, ready & waiting for soil, seeds & seedlings.

    (I’ll save #6 for your next post.)

  85. My knitting heroine also has the most fantastic garden. I couldn’t believe the variety of veggies and the yield she got this summer. She dried, froze, preserved a whole freezer full for the year. It almost makes me want to move to Ohio!

  86. Ooo, I hope I win!! I picked up a copy of ‘You Grow Girl’ a while back and absolutely love it. We are just starting our garden. It’s gonna be pretty large so I need lots of good ideas and info. I’m in the Central Valley of California though, so our weather is MUCH different than yours. Here’s to hoping for a great gardening year!

  87. This sounds a little silly but I just started working for an organic seed company ( and suddenly everyone thinks I know a lot more about gardening than I do… and I want to learn it all! So here I go – another year, another huge bucket of ambition.

  88. Last year was my first home edible garden in some time. My husband helped me to build some raised beds and my 2 year old helped me plant seeds, weed, and pick the veggies. I think I was overly ambitious and planted much too much in my small space. This year I’m inspired by wanting to make the most of my space, but not over do it!

    Here is a picture of my snap and sugar peas taking off last summer.

  89. I grew a great garden last year and with great success in many canned goods for my family of 7. It is February and we are still eating from our harvest. I was asked by a friend of mine to “teach” a two hour class to low income moms of 3 to 4 year olds. The class I decided on was how to grow your own food, calling it Healthy Living. I decided to teach them how to start small with just a few plants and use containers if they have no yard. I am excited for this class and to share some of the knowledge that I have learned from the many books and experimenting with the soil. Great title on your new book and hope you sell many! We are never too old to learn.

  90. My son is inspiring me to renew my gardening efforts this year. When he starts eating solid food this summer, I want it to be at least partially made up of what I have grown.

  91. My husband is an enthusiastic gardener on our 9th floor, north facing balcony. Last year was tough, but he’s already excited about the new growing season. He and our 4-year-old have already drawn a garden plan together. I’m sure we’ll be growing more seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. I’m also sure your book would be a great inspiration.

  92. Last year at this time I picked up “Four Season Harvest” by Eliot Coleman. By the end of the growing season last year we managed to build a cold frame with scavenged materials. So now I’m getting psyched to put in an early planting. I just have to get that book again (from our great public library!) and figure out what to plant. This year is also the year that I have vowed to not crowd my tomatoes. I hope that fewer plants with more space with produce a greater yield. Thanks for the giveaway!

  93. My husband and I moved in with my Mom for one year (The horror!) to save money for our impending move to the Pennsylvania countryside. Number one on my list is to grow a large garden and your book would be an amazing start to all I have to learn!

  94. My inspiration for this year? Paying homage to the perseverance of last year’s 10-month-old tomato plant that finally set fruit in October.

    It took so long for the tomatoes I grew in my living room (because I had no outdoor space) to decide that they’d like to be pollinated instead of the flowers just falling off the plant.

    For that level of dedication last year’s tomatoes had, I will continue to find the best way to help them thrive in my living room (and hopefully harvest more than a dozen half-dollar-sized tomatoes from my seven-foot-tall heirloom bush!).

  95. We’ve been planning raised garden beds for months in our tiny backyard (and I mean T-I-N-Y). So excited! Growing up, my parents always had a huge garden & fruit trees. We worked the garden daily as a family. Then we harvested, canned, stored, prepared, prayed over, and finally … ate it! Whenever I smell dirt, a flood of happy memories fills my heart.

    For a closer connection to the food on our plates, for better nutrition and appreciation of our food, to share with others, and for a heatlhy activity – we want to garden! These things inspire us.

    Would so love to win your book! Thanks for the great giveaway!


  96. When I was growing up my grandfather (who I lived with) had the most gorgeous garden complete with a mulch pile and gardening tips resulting from decades of trial and error. It was ripe with tomatoes, carrots, onions, tons of greens and lettuce, cucumbers, beets, potatoes and even corn (one row of stalks in the back). This would result in amazing old world dinners that my grandmother would spend all day on and that I never appreciated at the time (due to my strict diet of cereal and bologna sandwiches).

    They were raised during the depression and this was their way of life. I’ve always wanted to follow in grandpa’s foot steps. Alas, I only have a postage stamp of sunshine in my urbab yard resulting in two tomato plants and one basil plant in pots on the back porch, and the constant debate over the purchase of an aero-garden. I look forward to having a full garden someday (on the long list titled “next house”)…I have fantasies of coming into the mud room (also on the list) covered in dirt and sweat, with a barrel full of fresh food that I’m just going to have to dole out to friends and family…for sanity’s sake. Then I take a shower and make the most delicious dinner, and my family is well-fed, healthy and blissfully happy…

    We’re pretty happy right now, but in my fantasy the happiness makes your brain tingle :)

    Your book sounds fabulous, thank you for the give-away.

  97. I would love to win this book. Last year was my first year to try a big garden. It didn’t turn out exactly how I’d hoped but this year I’m determined to size it down to keep it manageable.

    I love it when my kids go out and pick cherry tomatoes and beans right from the plants and munch on them for snacks. What could be better?

    thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  98. What’s inspiring me right now are all the little bits of green I’m seeing around here–crocuses making their way up, camellia bushes and a few ornamental cherry trees blooming!

  99. Please do not include me in the contest (I am in Germany), I would just like to share the following picture: .
    It is a picture of my smallish balcony and the mess I made of it last summer :) by trying to garden for the first time ever and on a students budget. It inspires me immensely because I wanna do sooo much better this year…

  100. Sorry for the double post, I accidentally linked the wrong picture in the last comment.

    Please do not include me in the contest (I am in Germany), I would just like to share the following picture: .
    It is a picture of my smallish balcony and the mess I made of it last summer :) by trying to garden for the first time ever and on a students budget. It inspires me immensely because I wanna do sooo much better this year…

  101. Colours! And as many as possible to interest my little ones in different veggies from the garden. Purple potatoes and carrots were a hit last summer. The 2.5 yr old is loving “sweet, sweet beet treats” from the freezer right now. We’re almost out! I just need time to organize my seed order!

    I would love the book. My limit here is the amount of space I can protect from the aggressive deer, so I’m all for small space techniques.

  102. I’ve come across your site twice in the last two days (both for different searches) so I saved you to my favorites. :)

    This year we plan to install three raised bed gardens; plant apple, pear, peach, cherry, hazlenut and walnut trees; plant blackberries, raspberries, grapes; establish two honeybee hives; have 2 Cayuga ducks; seven laying hens and a rooster; 17 meat chickens; all this along with the herb garden and containers we plant.

    As for inspiration this year, it comes from many sources – Seed Savers Exchange (, Omnivores Dilemma (, Hobby Farm Home (, Hobby Farm, Mother Earth News (, all the self-sufficiency books and articles, anything heirloom ( both plants and animals)….. But I think what jumpstarted it for me was this book: MADE FROM SCRATCH by JENNA WOGINRICH

    From reading this one little book, it gave me the inspiration to expand my garden, my yard, my mind, my life.


  103. I would like to grow past my few buckets-as-planters. I’m moving midsummer, so starting the garden won’t happen this year. But I dream of tomatoes and basil with fresh mozzarella…

  104. Great contest! Here’s my picture:

    This picture shows the community garden and I (along with various other contributors) started in Greensboro, NC. This is an amazing place for the community to chip in and learn about gardening. Pictured here at the Montagnard volunteers, who are such a pleasure to have in the garden! Their entire culture involves gardening and the more time they spend in this vibrant space, the more the community can interact with this typically ignored population. They are always ready to teach others about gardening in exchange for practice with English. Our new community garden is bringing all types of individuals together. We would LOVE your new book! Thanks, Sarah

  105. I would love to win this book! Gardening has always been a passion of mine and with the Grand Opening of the Edible Schoolyard in Greensboro, NC, I am FINALLY able to teach children the art of gardening. This picture shows Alice Waters, Betsy Grant and various children from our area as they break ground in the garden that will be used to educate children about all stages of food production including: growing, maintaining, producing, cooking, and eating vegetables. This is an amazing program that would REALLY benefit from your book. Thanks for your consideration, Sarah Brewer

  106. new cabin in the woods and my starter garden didn’t do so well this past summer….would like to work more than the tomatoes this time..

  107. the look on my child’s face as he bites into a cherry tomato inspires me to garden

    by the way I love caladium for the way they bust out of our pots in our shady back patio where almost anything else refuses to grow, yes, so amazing to see houseplants here in the north as huge trees,vines in the tropics

    love your photos

  108. I am just getting into gardening now that it seems my black thumb has finally gone away (I purchased a small basil plant earlier this week and it has gone absolutely bonkers). I got a Burpee catalog and got very excited about using my back patio for some container gardening. I just hope I can conquer the squirrels!

  109. Using grafted heirloom tomatoes again this year to stay ahead of diseases without using chemicals. Best Cherokee Purple crop we ever had in 2009.

  110. I’m inspired by my Chicago porch garden from a couple years ago that I started from seed on my bedroom windowsill. And I couldn’t have done it without this web site. Congratulations on the new book!

  111. Hello from India!

    The last year I have become really interested in where my food comes from as India moves one more step towards GM food. Despite nation wide protests, the government seems reluctant to learn from the mistakes of the west. I sincerely hope your book is released here by the publishers, as a majority of Indians do NOT want Gm food.

    yay! for the greener way of life.

    And congratulations on your book. :)

  112. I am POTENTIALLY excited about my garden this year because I have taken SOME STEPS to make my soil more than an inch deep.

    Also, I live in Central Texas, which is JUST now coming out of the worst drought in 6000 years. I know the rest of the country didn’t hear about it or really care, but in Central Texas the last two years have been Hell of Earth.

    THe ground was so dry that if you dug down 2 feet, the ground was just dust even that far down. DUST! If it hadn’t of been for the pernicious weeds, it would have been a dustbowl situation. (I will never complain about the pernicious weeds again. Thank God for Bermuda Grass and Nutgrass! All hail the Milkweed and the henbane!)

    Plus The temperature hovered around 107 degrees for three months. (No, that is not normal, not even for Texas.)

    It hasn’t stopped raining all winter (I mean for here…it has been raining at least once every two weeks) and it actually got cold enough to kill the bugs (first time in two years). THis spring’s garden is going to be awesome!!

  113. Loved the preview of the ‘Grub’! I am looking forward to Edmonton’s Seedy Saturday on March 21 on the Avenue and stocking up for this spring’s planting. This year I am sharing a community garden plot with a friend – can’t wait to plant my greatgrandmother’s polebeans and make a teepee or tunnel!

  114. Two exciting things to add to my lifetime of home gardening –

    First picture…I am getting a nice greenhouse after 20 years of “want”. It arrives next month and it will be much easier to grow plants!

    Next – I started a community garden at my church last year – very successful harvest – but we had too much and I wasn’t fully prepared to get it where it needed to go to feed the hungry. I connected with some home growers in the community so we can collaborate and best serve our community’s hungry. This picture is a “gleaning” harvest late in the season.

  115. Hi! Not to sound all stalkery, but YOU are inspiring my garden this year. I just discovered you from a post on After doing some research about your books on Amazon, I found myself really WANTING to get outside and try my hand at gardening. It’s been a tough winter with illness in my home, and I’m looking forward to a bright, healthy spring. I think gardening and planning for healthy veggies and beautiful plants is just the ticket. THANK YOU for inspiring me!

  116. Aside from this site, which is super inspiring on its own (!) This year I’ve decided to try my hand at growing a few veggies vertically outside my apartment, inspired by some great vertical gardens I’ve seen around the web, and those really cool Wooly Pockets.

  117. I am anxiously waiting for the snow to melt and to start getting my little garden spot going. Because of the deer, I can really only plant herbs so this year I am going to get more adventurous.

  118. My husband and I recently moved back to our hometown, and we’ve decided to grow our first vegetable garden in years with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law! We built our first raised bed yesterday at my parents’ house, and I’d love to grow some stuff in containers at my own little apartment as well.

    The sight of that raised bed waiting for plants is my inspiration!

  119. I have tried to plant various edibles in various ways but am a very very novice gardener with not much time and have had very little success. However, I planted some local garlic bulbs late last year and they are now 4-5 inches tall! I would love to grow more stuff and use your book as a resource.

    My inspiration is this blog:


  120. Thinking of joining a CSA this year is getting me really excited about starting to plant some seeds in my own garden. Also, started a compost area last year and am anxious to see how it’s doing – once the snow clears.

  121. I ran into a friend at Canadian Tire the other day and I commented on the potting soil in her cart that she was going to start planting and she replied that she was going to start transplanting and I realized wow I better get Cracking!

  122. Is it weird to be inspired by one’s own garden? This will be the third year I’ve gardened somewhat successfully. Small, small plot but it (mostly) does so well. I’ve ordered my seeds and can’t wait to start my tomatoes!

    Here’s a link to the picture book I did of our garden last year for my boys. It was a way to remind them of what we did and hopefully inspire them for this year. It’s quickly become a family favourite.

  123. This is going to be my first year of actually trying to start a garden on my porch. Last year I thought about it, but had no ideas what I could grow.
    But I’ve been doing loads of research since then, have a bunch of ideas (miniature varieties! funny-colored heirlooms!) and am very excited.
    Here is a picture I took of some pearl onions I bought at Trader Joe’s and made stew with. My goal is that, come next winter, I can make stew with my own pearl onions.

  124. I am inspired all winter by garden books…not just how-to books, althought I love those too, but books on other gardeners thoughts, ideas and inspirations. I love to copy some of my favourite garden quotes, print them in a lovely font and post them on my fridge…here’s 2 of my MOST fave…
    The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before
    -Vita Sackville-West
    and this one by Margaret Atwood:
    In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
    Happy gardening everyone!!

  125. I am inspired to grow broccoli in my vegetable garden for the first time. The inspiration came from my mom’s outstanding vegetable garden last year; during a visit home, I saw her enormous broccoli plant, and she hacked off a couple heads for me on the spot… normally, I don’t eat enough broccoli at any point in the year because it can be expensive, and sometimes I get tummy aches from eating it raw. Also, it seemed like an inefficient use of garden space. But now that I see that broccoli can be grown cheaply and easily in my region (Belleville-Kingston, Ontario), I’m so inspired to try growing it and finding new uses for it! Maybe I’ll try a little cauliflower or some brussels sprout too!

  126. I have read several homesteading and gardening books, including yours (great ideas!), to help get me through the winter.
    For inspiration I do a daily meditation that includes all the senses and brings spring that much closer each day.

    “Standing in the middle of my garden
    I am rooted firmly to the ground,
    and as the warm sun shines on my face,
    I feel the coolness of the damp dirt beneath my bare feet.

    See the vibrant colors of the nasturtium, marigold and violets,
    the diverse shades of peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

    Hear a soft rustle as a light breeze
    moves through the zucchini leaves and corn stalks,
    while the bumblebees buzz from flower to flower.

    Smell the wildness of garlic and chives
    mixed among the sweetness of lavender and basil.

    Taste the freshness of mint and the sharpness of cilantro, wrapped in a handful of fresh salad greens.”


  127. WOW!! so much inspiring me right now…learning about container gardening (as i rent an apartment) is really exciting me right now…im vegan and soooo ready to grow my own fruits and veggies!! im new to all of this, but i have a feeling 2010 is going to be a wonderful year!!!

  128. I am inspired by the seed catalogs each and every winter. They bring me the colors and imagery of brighter, sunnier days and help me to make my lists and plan for the growing season ahead. Minnesota doesn’t make it easy, but it is always worth the wait.
    This year: heirloom tomatoes, pole beans, raspberries, zucchini, peppers, and a barrel full of assorted herbs.

  129. I don’t have a garden right now but I would love to start one. I also have very limited space so this book looks great!

  130. My inspiration for my garden this year is clean, vegan eating. It may be somewhat difficult seeing as how my backyard is almost completely shaded, but I hope to find a way to make it work. I’m thinking window boxes, if my landlord does not protest too much.

    Basically I want to get a better handle on where my food comes from and the impact my actions have on the environment.

  131. Tomatoes!! I’m so craving a good tomato right now. Last year, I had success both with tomatoes in containers and in my small “flower” bed that is mostly veggies now. Maybe this year I can get into herbs. My problem is knowing what to do with fresh herbs…

  132. I attended the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Groups annual conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee in January. You talk about inspiration.

    Although I have more ground to garden than a rooftop or patio, I am very inspired by Gayla, her books and website. I have given You Grow Girl to several friends and can’t wait for Grow Great Grub to be beside my bed.

    So…Gayla you are my inspiration, along with the great instructors and fellow farmers/gardeners at Southern SAWG. Cover crops, high tunnels and possibly no till will have a new beginning on our farm this year…we’ll see how it goes!! Thanks for all your hard work!

  133. Okay, here goes: I’m an avid amateur gardener and I’m easily inspired to try growing things in my garden–last year it was heirloom tomatoes, carrots and radishes.
    I’m thinking of attempting corn this year.
    My two young boys love watching the garden grow so I’m trying to think of fun and FAST things to grow for kids to eat–thankfully they are patient enough to wait for the tomatoes!
    I’m sure your new book will inspire great ideas.

  134. Watching the documentary FOOD, INC. has really inspired me to grow more food and take a more active role in my families nutrition. “You are what you eat”. Have been researching different varieties ALL day today and for the past few weeks. Have started seeds last week of Onions, Leeks,Artichokes, Cauliflower and this week will start Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi,Eggplants. Thanks! and so hoping to win your book!!! xoxo,Dana

  135. What is really inspiring me to plant a garden this year is paying $2.69 for one fennel bulb and of course knowing how wonderful anything you grow yourself tastes!

  136. Sorry I have no blog or links, and hope the pricedraw is open for readers overseas!?
    I just discovered your blog and find it really inspiring. I*m longing for spring, but with the amount of snow we’ve got, I think it will take it’s time. :)

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