giveaway, plus a seed-saving, harvest-stashing workshop with you grow girl’s gayla trail

EVERY TIME I LOOK AT GAYLA TRAIL’s (a.k.a. You Grow Girl’s) latest book, “Easy Growing,” I want to infuse vinegars and oils and liqueurs with garden-fresh tastes, or hang herbs to dry and prep others to freeze for a wintry day when the garden can’t provide.  So I’ve invited the master of all such things—and an expert seed-saver, too, who even packs them in little handmade origami envelopes—to come visit in September and teach me her tricks for saving the harvest, and storing next year’s seed. Want to join us? Win a copy of her book if you can’t make it—or better yet, sign up for the September 8 daylong workshop with Gayla Trail here at my place. Space is very limited!

TO ENTER the giveaway, scroll down to the bottom. To learn more about Gayla, visit her website, You Grow Girl (now in its 13th year!), or read this Q&A I did with her last year. Better yet, think about coming to meet her here in my garden on September 8. Details:

Banking the Bounty Workshop, With Gayla Trail: Saving Seed and Preserving the Harvest

COME OUT FOR a full day of hands-on learning with Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl, in my garden, in the Hudson Valley, NY-Berkshires, MA area of the Northeast, about an hour from Albany, NY, and just over two hours from New York City. The focus is on preserving the garden’s bounty for the future, and our day will be broken up into two, 2½-hour workshops, plus light breakfast and full lunch:

  • 9:30 to 10:00 – greeting and light breakfast
  • 10-12:30 – first session: Seed Saving
  • 12:30-1:30 – lunch with Q&A/discussion
  • 1:30 to 4 – second workshop: Preserving Garden Bounty
  • 4:00 – book signing, etc. (departure by 4:30)

Each jam-packed, 2½-hour learning session will cover everything you need to know with lots of thrifty tips and inspiring ideas pertinent to both large and small-scale gardens.

  • $165 for the day, including breakfast and lunch; limited to 15 students. Tickets can be purchased here, but will sell out fast as space is very limited. Event details:

AM Session: Seed Saving

WHETHER YOUR GOAL is to save money or preserve our botanical heritage, the morning’s workshop will cover everything you need to know about harvesting and storing seeds from your own garden. This session will begin with a romp through Margaret’s garden, identifying and collecting seed from a variety of sources – tomatoes, squash, herbs, flowers, and more – followed by hands-on demonstrations and discussion of a variety of simple methods, no specialized equipment required. We’ll even make colorful origami seed packets, perfect for gifting.

PM Session: Preserving the Garden’s Bounty

WE’LL SPEND THE AFTERNOON learning how to harvest, preserve, and store delicious, in-season delights that can be enjoyed now and straight through until next year. We’ll cover herbs, edible flowers, vegetables, and fruits, including a range of methods from drying, to pickling, making herbal vinegars and oils, freezing, vodka and honey infusions, and more. This course is designed for a small group with emphasis on one-on-one support and interaction. Leave with the know-how and confidence to start preserving at home.

About the Presenter

GAYLA TRAIL is a nationally recognized garden authority and the author of three books on growing in difficult spaces: You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening; Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces, and Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces. Gayla’s work as a writer and photographer has appeared in top publications, and in 2008 she was featured on the award-winning documentary program,Recreating Eden, and is currently in development to host a new series celebrating urban food production. Toronto-based Gayla travels around North America as a speaker and spokesperson on the topics of urban gardening, ecology, and community. She has been blogging about gardening for 13 years, on You Grow Girl.

How to Win Gayla’s Book (or Buy a Sept. 8 Workshop Ticket)

BUYING A TICKET FOR THIS day in my garden with Gayla is easy–if you hurry. Just click to the ticketing site here.

Can’t join us Sept. 8? Next best would be to enjoy time with Gayla in the pages of her latest book, “Easy Growing,” and you can win a copy by commenting below, answering the question:

What do you grow “extra” of for offseason use–whether a vegetable, herb or seed crop–and how do you save it?

Too shy to tell us? OK, just say, “Count me in” or some such, and your entry will be included in the drawing. But an answer would be even better.

Two winners will be drawn at random after entries close at midnight Sunday, July 29. Good luck to all.

(All photos copyright Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl.)

  1. Olivia says:

    Being a new gardener I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I would love to get to the point of saving seeds. Count me in for the book contest!

  2. Connie says:

    Basil–basil-basil! Pureed and frozen in ice cube trays, infused in vinegar, and cuttings kept in water as long as possible (last winter one rooted and it is still growing in a pot on my deck—great winter with fresh basil to see me through it!!!)

  3. Sarah Black says:

    I love growing herbs and drying them or freezing them. I am currently drying/freezing thyme, basil, mint, chocolate mint, sage, and I want to try to save some of my borage flowers just because I love the idea of having a drink with ice cubes that have flowers in them. It’s a good pick-me-up.

  4. sharon says:

    Juneberries! I have a prolific bush and freeze gobs for muffins. But this year I also made Juneberry Ginger Syrup, then used the mash to flavor vodka. My new cocktail invention: Juneberry Ginger Jazz. The color alone — not to mention the taste — puts that pink Cosmo to shame.

  5. Dawn Cloin says:

    I just discovered Amaranth and love it, so I planted extra to use throughout the winter. Am going to save seeds for next year. Trying to grow egg plant and can only hope that I have a long enough season for it to mature. Just found your site and love i!. Thank you for all the neat advise you give. Keep up the good work.

  6. Cindy says:

    Hi! I’m a brand new balcony garden enthusiest. I want to learn all I can so that I can grow my own food. How cool is that!??? thank you!

  7. Elissa says:

    I’ve just started planting lots of herbs and am figuring out how to save them for the winter. I have lots of thyme and basil and pineapple sage.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I can’t live without mint tea, so I dry it to hold me through winter. I also harvest flowers from my lavender plant & put them in little bouquets throughout my house–thy cheer me up long after the scent has faded.

  9. Carolyn Faulkner says:

    I grow extra paste tomatoes (emphasis on the word EXTRA) and I roast with garlic and freeze. I use for marinaras, soups and stews throughout the year. I am just about to finish 2011’s supply and start the cycle over again.

  10. Chrissy Jeter says:

    That’s why I need this book! I need to learn how to save seeds. I’m also afraid of freezing, so I need to figure that out as well.

  11. I grow extra cilantro, which, in this Texas heat (not sure how it ended up in Mexcian cuisine ?), goes to seed rapidly. The bonus is that the seed is coriander, which I may use more than the cilantro, itself. I just pull up the ‘bush’ that has gone to seed, hang it to dry on my potting rack, then take it down, put the whole bush in a brown paper bag, then shake and otherwise manhandle it until it’s let go of it’s seeds. What’s left, I simply pick off by hand. I save it in a spice jar, in a cool dark drawer. I use it whole, or ground.
    I surely wish I was in the area for what promises to be a fabulous workshop.

  12. Eve Martino says:

    Tomatoes and lots of herbs. I make some dehydated tomatoes to make my favorite pasta topping. I dry all kinds of herbs and as much as I can. (I think this book sounds great !)

  13. Kathy Adams says:

    Lots of basil for pesto, tomatoes for dehydrating and canning, and we started garlic for the 1st time – it is dried and hanging, ready to use, and we will replant somein the fall

  14. Delton says:

    My herb garden is two years old this summer and I have more herbs than I could possibly use. I made a drying rack out of old window screens to provide air circulation while drying my favorites – sage, thyme, basil and oregano. I also grow many varieties of lavender. Canning peaches and making chutneys are great ways to preserve summers bounty. Love this site!

  15. Renee says:

    Basil. I freeze some in plastic bags and just break off sections to add to sauce or minestrone soup. Also purée with evoo and freeze in cubes — almost as good as fresh in January!

  16. susan b says:

    I save tomato seeds ,the problem I am having this year is that I when I potted up the 40 + seedlings , I lost track of the labels, I am growing 18 plants and I think 10 are the same variety. I gave a lot of seedlings to friends , including all of my San Marzanos and yellow Russians. Lesson learned!

  17. LimeyInMD says:

    It’s more of those delicious little Sungold tomatoes for us. Roasted, or dehydrated, or frozen whole-little bursts of summer in the midst of dreary winter!

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