The You Grow Girl Eighth Birthday and First Annual Celebratory Haiku Contest

Can you believe You Grow Girl is eight years old? Neither can I. Sometimes it feels like all of this has passed in a blink of an eye. Eight years is a small child in grade three. When I look at it that way it pretty much blows my mind.

Of course I would be lying if I didn’t say that some days it feels like an eternity has passed in those eight years. On a personal level I really grew up with this project. It started as a fun idea based on an offhand remark from a friend poking fun at my obsession with gardening, and has changed and evolved over the years into what is probably (at least in hours clocked) the central focus of my life. So much has gone on behind the scenes over the years — I am often asked to explain what this is and the impact it has had on my life but to be honest, even after all this time, I still haven’t formed a language to encapsulate it. I know this is a bit cliche to say but there really is no way I could have predicted eight years ago the path this project would lead me down. And to be honest, things change so quickly and extremely that I really have no idea where it will lead me still.

I have a lot of people to thank for their help and support over the years — some who have been around since almost the start and others that have come and gone. Some of you contributed when the site was a magazine, some have moderated the forums, contributed to discussions, bought a t-shirt, came out to events, or just wrote and said “Hi.”


More than anyone I have to take a moment to thank my partner Davin Risk. He has quietly and patiently put more hours and thankless work into this project both behind the scenes and in a public sphere then I ever could have anticipated and to be honest ever had the right to ask. Over the years he has quietly stepped in to help in countless ways: from all sorts of technical and design work, to unofficial portrait photographer; to helping hand and unpaid laborer in the gardens and at various events and workshops (he has absorbed so much about gardening over the years that I look to him when my mind draws a blank); to being my shoulder when things got crazy, to basically living with and tolerating the endless insanity I have brought into our home and lives through this endeavor. Not only has he tolerated all of this for eight years without complaint, but during the times I have threatened to pack it in and get a “real job” he has always insisted I keep going. He’s a keeper.

You Grow Girl Contest Prizes

Thanks so much to Organic Gardening magazine, Urban Harvest, and Recreating Eden for donating such excellent prizes (totaling approximately $120).

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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12 thoughts on “The You Grow Girl Eighth Birthday and First Annual Celebratory Haiku Contest

  1. Err… strange… this was the rest of my comment…

    I’ve only been reading for less than a year, but I will keep reading for as long as you write. Thanks for helping a girl who grew up in a beachtown with few trees and gardens appreciate the fun of getting dirt in her fingernails and spiderwebs in her hair!

  2. Hello Gayla,

    Congrats on your 8 year old’s YGG b’day. I’d offer this haiku as not only an observation and suggestion for future personal growth BUT I’d like to enter the contest too.

    as a garden knows
    biological timeclock
    tells you when plant

    YGG is YOUR beautiful baby. We all are here to admit that. Happy Eighth!

  3. Oh eight years – I can’t believe it! But it’s fantastic. With this website and your book you’ve managed to inspire thousands of people – no small feat!

  4. profoundly great,
    revolutionary growth
    gardening for change

    not for the contest, just continually inspired by your progressive don’t beat around the bush stance. Your voice transcends the boundaries of place and fills the void our generation has left by apathy.

  5. I was just sitting at my desk to check on my e-mail, and what should appear but an e-mail from your web site. Coincidence, as I had just started to send a card to our Granddaughter who is turning 8 on Saturday March 8th. Thought for a moment it might had been from her mother! Congratulations.

  6. I came across your site with the intention to advertise. I got swept up instead searching and reading, and then sucked into your Haiku contest idea. I enjoy writing so I thought I would give it a shot. Had a lot of fun, thanks! Congrats on the 8 years.

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