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. Martha says:

    Last year the only thing I had a lot of was parsley! I haven’t tried freezing it but actually didn’t need to because it just kept growing all year. I usually have too many plums and freeze a few jars of stewed plums to have later over vanilla ice cream. Perfect!

  2. Cathy says:

    green beans..just blanch and freeze. Love them with fresh lemon flavored herbs as lemon basil. lemon balm, lemon verbena, but haven’t been successful in preserving these herbs to keep their flavors for very long,..neither by drying nor freezing in various ways.

  3. Nell Wade says:

    I have plenty of garlic and hopefully will have enough until the next harvest. It’s my first year trying to grow our own food and have made many “mistakes” (actually not mistakes, but not planting properly) – for instance: need to sow carrot seeds every few weeks; don’t need an entire bed of lettuce, etc.

  4. Emely Cortez says:

    I have an abundance of mint and lavender and parsley. I don’t know how to preserve the parsley or the mint. I’ve tried freezing it and drying it .

  5. Sharon says:

    I grow lots of garlic every year, saved in my basement and lasts all year, and, peas, peas, peas, shelled and frozen without blanching. Pure gold in February.

  6. Lise says:

    It has been two years since I’ve been able to grow a successful crop of tomatoes, and I look back fondly on the years when “tomato glut” was a problem. I wander around my garden and now see lots of green tomatoes that should ripen well before the first fall frost – hooray! I will get out my dehydrator and dry as many of them as I can – they are yummy to snack on, and will keep well for cooking with in the winter. I’ll also make oven-roasted tomatoes and freeze as much of that as I have room for.

  7. Nancy McMahon says:

    I grow extra basil and garlic and make massive batches of pesto, which I then freeze and give as gifts throughout the year.

  8. Sarah says:

    I always try to grow mammoth amounts of tomatoes. I can them or make sauce and freeze it. Nothing makes me happier in winter than opening a jar of summer tomatoes and remembering when it was warm.

  9. Tabitha says:

    I had a lot of cucumbers last year, and I was able to make some very tasty crunchy pickles. I didn’t grow the blueberries this year, but picked them 20 minutes down the road. What didn’t get turned into jam, is frozen waiting to be used for tasty treats.

  10. Mary-Ellen says:

    —Basil. Lots and lots of basil!!! What I don’t use to make pesto I simply wash, spin and put in qt freezer bags, nice and flat, and freeze. :)

  11. Mollie says:

    Basil–i make pesto and freeze it in quart ziplocs.
    Butternut squash–just keep it in a cool part of the house–last fall’s made it into July here before we ate the last one. A few rotted.
    Blueberries–freeze in bags and eat freely!
    Tomatoes and tomatillos–canned salsa.
    Peppers-roast then freeze.
    Calendula-save seeds.

  12. Dyan says:

    Squash, for both eating and for their sculptural beauty, a feast for body, mind and spirit. They are stored on newspaper, upstairs of my husband’s carpentry shop, but I must admit that they share tabletops, porch entrances and shelves throughout the house where they can be admired.

  13. margaret says:

    ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY are now CLOSED, but you can continue to comment and join the conversation.

    And the winners are…Jan (growing and stashing garlic) and Melissa (with lots of oregano to store).

  14. Alice Maney says:

    i saved seeds from my “purple beans ” when we left the farm over 40 years ago. So buttery and delicious. They are still in my desk drawer. If planted, I know they would grow. I’m at the jungle stage in my gardening. Your insight is encouraging.

  15. Essie Silvers says:

    Just getting into cultured veggies. Have put up lots of cultured pickles, now planting cabbage and similar items for culturing.

    1. margaret says:

      Interesting, Essie. Fermentation, yes? I remember reading about crocks of fermented vegetables and so on in Euell Gibbons‘s book. The recipe was for a Dill Crock, as I recall, with lots of vegetables and lots of dill.

  16. Martha says:

    Peaches, tomatoes, parsley-basil pesto, green chili, all kinds of greens, several herbs (tarragon, basil, oregano, sage, mint, chives, parsley…), Love harvest time!

  17. Joyce says:

    I freeze homemade applesauce, dry many herbs, make green salsa with cilantro and tomatillo then freeze it; and have dried apples and plums.

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