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Grow. Cook. Eat. (Humpday Giveaway!!!)

While I can’t recall exactly where it was that I first encountered Willi Galloway, I can tell you that I was instantly smitten. Positively radiating goodness, Willi’s blog Diggin Food captivated me from the get-go. It’s a digital cornucopia of organic growing and cooking tips and suggestions. 

And Willi should know. The former West Coast Editor of Organic Gardening magazine, she now pens the weekly column “The Gardener” on the green living section of Apartment Therapy, offers gardening advice every Tuesday morning on Seattle’s NPR call-in show Greendays, teaches a joint gardening and cooking class with James Beard award-nominated chef Matthew Dillion at The Corson Building in Seattle, and (because, clearly, not near enough!) also hosts an , online garden-to-table cooking show, Grow. Cook. Eat., with her husband Jon from their Portland, Oregon home.

Fortunately for all of us, Willi has distilled that massive collection of knowledge into a wonderful new book, Grow. Cook. Eat.. Her publicist recently sent me a review copy and I can’t recommend it enough. Not only is it lovely to behold, it’s imminently practical to use and apply. This is the gardening book you absolutely want to have on hand this coming growing season.

I had an opportunity to ask Willi a few of my own growing questions recently and wanted to share them with you here today:

1) What got you into growing and gardening? Were your parents gardeners, or is this a passion you cultivated yourself? 
 I grew up in Wyoming, which is not the most hospitable place for a vegetable garden, but my mom had a huge garden when I was little (about 1/3 of our backyard). Some of my very earliest memories are being in the garden with my mom, picking strawberries, looking up at corn that was taller than I, and generally snacking on whatever I came across. English peas were and are still one of my very favorite things to eat right out in the garden. In high school I worked at a nursery, where my job every spring was to transplant thousands of tomato seedlings, and I worked on a ranch in college maintaining the perennial borders around the ranch house.

2) Do you have a favorite thing you grow? I’m especially fond of the ease of growing culinary herbs. 
 My favorite things to grow are things that are really hard, if not impossible, to find at a regular grocery store. Especially pea shoots and squash blossoms and unusual varieties like ‘Golden India’ snow pea, which has these amazingly beautiful two toned purple flower and pale yellow pea pods and ‘Purple Peacock’ broccoli, which is a cross between kale and broccoli and produces yummy kale-like leaves and tons of tender broccoli side shoots. I also love to grow herbs, because adding fresh herbs is the easiest way to make a ho hum, regular dinner taste way better. I grow gobs of basil, because in my mind,  you really cannot have too much of it.

3) For someone just getting interested in gardening, do you have any “beginner” crops to suggest to them, that typically grow easy in most climates?
Cherry tomatoes are great because they grow fast, ripen up early, produce tons of fruit and grow well in containers or the ground. I also think planting lettuce seedlings is nice because you can harvest a homegrown head of lettuce in just about a month. And radishes are wonderful, because they sprout in just a few days and are ready to harvest in only 4 to 6 weeks. Plus, freshly pulled radishes are so crisp and flavorful, nothing like the hot, pity little balls that are so often found at grocery stores.

4) On the other hand, are there any crops you find to be particularly difficult to grow, that are worth the effort, but that gardeners should be prepared to handle challenges with? 
Big brassicas, especially cauliflower and broccoli, can be very finicky, especially in spring. But it is very satisfying to harvest them and a lot of people don’t realize that their leaves are edible and very tasty. I think of them as a kind of a consolation prize if my cauliflower doesn’t work out. You can use the broccoli and cauliflower greens  just like collards. Melons are difficult in my cool Pacific Northwest climate. They require a lot of babying in order to produce fruit, but harvesting a homegrown melons is really one of the best simple pleasures.
5) I’m often perplexed when it comes to harvesting, finding myself wondering how best to remove pickings without harming the crop. Any suggestions for learning the best techniques for gentle harvesting? 
 I find that a lot of people, even experienced gardeners, wait to harvest until the plant looks like it does in the grocery store. This is not a bad strategy at all, but you’ll often miss out on other stages of harvest (i.e. beets can be harvested from marble size on up and their greens are very tasty at any stage) and other edible parts of the plant (like squash blossom or radish pods or kale flower buds).  In my book I focused on trying to be very specific about what parts of the plant are edible, when the best times to harvest are, and the best way to harvest each of the edible parts. In general, if you tug on a fruit and it doesn’t come off, use scissors to snip it off. I also keep old steak knives all around my garden. I slide the blade just under the soil line to harvest heads of lettuce, broccoli rabe, bok choy and I use the knives to sever individual kale, swiss chard and collard leaves from plants, as well as peppers and eggplants and big tomatoes. I buy the knives at estate sales and stab them into the soil at the edge of my beds. 

Because you, too, should have access to such a fantastic piece of literature, Willi’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, has graciously offered one small measure reader a copy of Grow. Cook. Eat.. To be entered into the giveaway, simply leave a comment listing your favorite thing to grow, or something you’d like to grow in the future. For me, it’s two things: mushrooms (outdoors) and citrus fruit (indoors). What about you? What dirt from what crop is itching to get under your green, growing thumb? 

The giveaway will run through next Wednesday, January 25th, midnight EST. Canadians, feel free to enter. Do be sure to leave a means of contacting you, should you be the winner, via either a link back to your own blog or website or with your email address in your comment. 

Winner or not, do give Willi’s book and blog a look. She’s got the golden touch when it comes to all things garden-related. 

*Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter last week’s giveaway for a copy of Jenna Woginrich’s book Barnheart!  

UPDATE: The winner of Grow. Cook. Eat., as deemed by the Random Widget, is lucky #27. Liz C. I’ll be getting in touch soon for your mailing information. Thank you so very much to everyone that entered. It looks like we’re a happily growing bunch! 

176 Responses to Grow. Cook. Eat. (Humpday Giveaway!!!)

  • Brigette says:

    Hi Ashley! I hope your and yours are well. I love reading your blog! I'm hoping for my first good crop of brussel sprouts this year. Spring's a long way off up here but it's fun to daydream :)

  • redhott says:

    My favorite thing to grow is peas. So yummy off the vine and easy. The new thing for this year will be brussel sprouts. Never tried to grow or cook them so it should be interesting. If it doesn't work out I'll just eat peas.

  • Nicole H. says:

    My favorite things to grow are tomatoes. So beautiful and summery… it's hard to beat a fresh, warmed-with-sunshine tomato straight off the vine with a little salt and pepper. Mmmm. Ready for summer!

  • Julie says:

    This book looks like a great resource and inspiration to try a meyer lemon and fig tree in our greenhouse on our new property. New to the coast and so many things to learn!

  • My favorite thing to grow is herbs – I use them in cooking, my bath and dry them myself to give as gifts. They are great to grow indoors in the winter and just tend to make everything special. This yeara new crop for us is going to be celery! We didn't think we could grow it where we live and we didn't know there are so many different varieties. Wish us luck!

  • Dorothy says:

    Sweet Potatoes! They're so easy to grow here in Northwest Arkansas, and it never ceases to amaze me when we pull up the clusters of big tubers. Fun, fun, fun.

  • Anonymous says:

    This year my husband is building a salad table for me, so I can grow different lettuces. (we live next to the Gulf so can't have a true garden) Hope it works out!

  • Hollie says:

    This looks amazing, and just look at that gorgeous cover photo! My favorite thing to grow is a tie between tomatoes and garlic. There is nothing better than a fresh tomato off the vine!

  • Jeanne says:

    I really, really want to have my own huge herb garden and citrus trees. Living in Southern California, the weather is perfect — I just don't have a location yet! Thank goodness rosemary grows everywhere here.

    The book looks amazing. Also, I just purchased your canning book – I will be canning my own tomatoes for the first time – thank you!

  • Unknown says:

    Love your BLOG. Our favorite thing to grow would have to be tomatoes which is a challenge here in the Pacific Northwest but by starting early indoors, transplanting to our raised beds once the weather allows, and plenty of water we can get several varieties to produce.

    One thing we would like to be more successful at is growing Basil. Have tried numerous methods but just can't seem to get a decent crop to grow to maturity.

  • My favourite thing to grow is peas – specifically, a french variety called Carouby de Maussane. The flowers are nice, and the peas are super tasty.

  • Alison says:

    I've always wanted to try growing cardoons.

  • Leanna says:

    Muscadines and scuppernongs! And then stand there eating them right off the vine.
    leannafford at

  • we planted a yellow egg plum that I am excited to see fruit this year! I also love herbs, and want to try melons and dry beans this year.

  • gisele says:

    I have just moved to a 4 acre acereage and CANNOT wait to get my hands dirty. There is already a huge but pitiful looking garden plot and I've been pouring over seed catalogues making plans. For maximum success I'm focusing on thigs that are easy to grow in my area (Alberta)that we like to eat – potatoes, tomatoes, peas, garlic, herbs, but the thing I'm most excited about are the golden beets. I go crazy over them, and really hope they will grow well in this climate.

  • petoskystone says:

    I want to try growing potatoes in towers. This season I will be adding some cinnamon basil & more lettuce to the patch.

  • Kate says:

    I absolutely love growing squash and melons. There are so many fantastic varieties you'll never find in a store and rarely find at the farmer's market. Last year we grew ten varieties of melon and six varieties of squash and we loved them all!

  • Amymarie says:

    I love growing squash and having a bunch of herbs for my kitchen! Love your blog!

    amyrhenderson @

  • Lisa says:

    I'm itching to grow *anything*, after my recent move from year-round gardening in SoCal to snowy New England! I do hope to have better luck here with peas & lettuce, and am eager to start herbs for cooking!

  • Rebecca says:

    What a wonderful giveaway!

    My favorite thing to grow (thus far) has been tomatoes. I am the only one in our house who likes tomatoes, so they are all mine!!

  • I love to grow cherry tomatoes. I used to buy a variety called zebra tomatoes at the Calgary Farmers market. They have a strong tomatoey flavor, great in salsa!

  • Allie3601 says:

    One of my “Operation 2012” goals is to plant a veggie garden this year — I live in an apartment was a spacious patio, so I'm reading up on container gardening. My seed catalogue included a blueberry plant made to grow in a pot, so I am super-excited to try it!

  • CCarter says:

    We have three blueberry plants we bought a couple years ago, and we are expecting our first harvest this year! So excited!!

  • Unknown says:

    I love to grow and eat sungold and other types of cherry tomatoes, and this year I'm going to try various kinds of Kale.

  • Yasmin says:

    I love to grow herbs. Even as an apartment-dweller, I've always had herbs planted on a balcony. I'd LOVE to one day grow meyer lemons and figs. I'd also like to have tomatoes, peppers, eggplant…sigh. Maybe, just maybe, when I move out of my apartment this summer , I'll have some space to start a garden of my own!

  • Jessica says:

    #1 on my to-grow-once-I-have-space list is artichokes!

    penrynsdreams at gmail dot com

  • Liz C says:

    I just found out how good fresh brussel sprouts can be…so I'd love to grow them and find more recipes for them!

  • Jessica says:

    I dream of growing a beautiful, bountiful crop of broccoli and cabbages. Willi's right; they are finicky. It's always one thing or another and they have never done well in my garden. Maybe this will be the year.


  • Chppie says:

    Well we like growing asian veggies since we can't really get them here but we have cool summers so we're still looking at options for a good summer garden plant.

    This book looks great. I'm not much in the way of a learned gardener so anything I can do to make better use of what I grow is nice.

    Thanks for featuring it and the interview too.

  • Anonymous says:

    In the past, our place has been too deeply shady for any veggies. We've lost a few trees in recent years, though, so this year I'm going to try to plant in the sunny spots the trees left behind! I'm going to try tomatoes, squash, and basil. We'll see how it goes.

  • I like growing tomatoes- we usually start them from seed. I like trying different varieties and seeing what they do in my garden. We have a really great spot for them with lots of heat, so they usually do well!!

  • My favorite thing to grow is either heirloom tomatoes or hard-shelled gourds. I love hand pollinating the gourds.

  • Elle Ross says:

    I love to grow my own herbs- basil, rosemary, scallions, mint, lavender and lemongrass.

  • Laura Ann Singh says:

    I live for summer Tomatoes!! There's only two things that money can't buy: true love and homegrown tomatoes

  • Macy P says:

    I love lettuce! you eat it when the rest of the garden has died back

  • Ah! This looks fabulous! I loved growing raspberries last year…and our little tiny corner garden was SO bountiful (well, for how small it is!) Every morning my kiddos and I would go out first thing and pluck off the 15 or so delicious and perfectly ripe rasps and pop them right into our mouth! And the best thing is…I didn't even plan t the bush, the people renting before us did. No work, just good eats!
    Sarah M (

  • Anonymous says:

    My goal this spring is a big veggie garden…I planted one for a school…now one for me! I also want to experiment more with growing herbs.

  • Jen says:

    I love growning snow peas – they are the first veg. to ripen in my garden and taste so wonderfu!

  • Heidi says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Heidi says:

    Beans! I love slender green beans, and I've been wanting to branch into shell beans. I also love peas. I always plant them too late, but this year I'm determined get them in the ground in time.

    I'd love to try citrus inside, but I usually kill anything in a pot.

    bennetthp at gmail dot com

  • I'd like to grow blueberries.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Grace says:

    Green peas! I think I have never tasted anything as wonderful as the peas I grew myself last year, right from the pod in the garden. Wonderful!

  • Anonymous says:

    I like growing artichokes, more for the looks than the taste!

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    dorking at

  • Helois says:

    so far I have only grown strawberries and snap peas, but would very much like to try Melon's

  • DarcC says:

    I have two garden loves, no way to put one above the other. First in the calendar are sugar snap peas, I eat them right off the vine, many nights I work late and they are my dinner in season! Then along come cherry tomatoes, I like a variety called Sweet 100, they're practically candy, just enough tart to not be thrown out of the tomato family :) They are small, which I prefer, I have no use for a “cherry” tomato so big I can't just pop the whole thing into my mouth!

  • Tracy says:

    My favorite thing to grow is tomatoes. I love fresh salsa!!

  • Carissa says:

    I can't wait to put some plum and cherry trees on our property!

  • Angi says:

    I have really been wanting to grow calendula plants so that I can make my own lotions and such. I am hoping to plant some this spring.

  • Kathleen says:

    I really want to grow enough greens for year-round salads. I also want to get good at brassicas. Almost everything I planted last summer, including purple peacocok, failed. Here's to more guidance and a new year!
    (The book looks stunning!)

  • mandi says:

    Wow! She is a storehouse of information! I would love this book!
    Let's see, I love to grow medicinal herbs that I use all of the time- like calendula and comfrey. We finally have enough space to grow some corn, so I'm super excited about that prospect!


  • shelli @ says:

    Thanks for the opportunity! we are building our first raised bed this spring and I already have the packets of heirloom variety veggies here from Etsy. Very excited! Looking forward to building a bean teepee as well.

  • Alexandra says:

    My favorite thing to grow is cilantro (winter) and cucumbers (summer)!

    girlwillgo [at]

  • Jody says:

    I'd like to try asparagus. So pretty and yummy.

  • Nothing like a southern tomato right off the vine and any fresh herb but I dream of one day having my own asparagus patch. and garlic…

  • Erica says:

    I grew up with a big garden, but this year is my first garden of my own at my own house, so everything is exciting to me this year, but I have to say I'm especially excited to grow dried beans…we never had them in our garden growing up and the gorgeous pictures in the seed catalogs have me longing for them.

  • Amanda says:

    This will be my first year with a garden of my own to grow, sooo excited! I love canning pickled hot peppers and can't wait to plant some of my own to can!

  • kathycooper says:

    I enjoy your blog so much! Every year I have to have strawberries, tomatoes, and onions, I love fresh salsa! also I just purchased your books and I'm thinking about having my own bees! Kathy Cooper

  • carrina says:

    Ohh! The book looks divine.
    My dream is to own a lemon tree. The winters are a bit cold in the Pacific Northwest but old fashioned X-mas lights can take the edge off the coldest snaps. Little trees all lit up sound almost as delightful as having my own lemons!

  • beanyween says:

    i am going to grow blueberries and olive trees in Georgia!

  • Ann says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Heather says:

    What a beautiful, informative book!
    I want to add strawberries to my little garden this year :-)

  • Ann says:

    The only thing that was grown by my parents at our intercity home when I was a child were tomatoes in a container. Its funny how I though how cool it was that we had this in our tiny back yard. At our home now we grew tomatoes , green bell peppers, cucumbers, Thai peppers, lemon grass, Thai basil and regular basil. Mint and chives. Our house is on the market and hope to purchase something with more out door space and less indoor space. I would love to grow most of the stuff we eat and hard to find things!

  • Jen says:

    I am excited to try mushrooms INDOORS this winter!

  • Mindy says:

    K love fresh tomatoes best, but the easiest things for me to grow is jalepeno peppers and basil.

  • ashtree says:

    I really enjoy growing salad greens. Nothing beats a salad I picked from my yard, plus they are so easy! I also have good luck with kale and with our mild winters I can grow it year-round.

  • JRoberts says:

    We love to grow herbs…the more odd the better. Medicinal ones are my favorite, but ones I use in cooking are also very welcome.

    Right now we are trying out some cinnamon basil that we have never seen before. (although we live in Canada, so it is all hydroponically grown right now!)

  • Wish I knew about eating the broccoli and cauliflower leaves when we grew it last year.
    We are dying to have a greenhouse to grow citrus; especially meyer lemons and limes.

  • Katie S says:

    I am excited about having my first garden at my new house. I have grand plans but I am most excited about tomatoes, zucchini, and peas.

  • Shuler says:

    I love growing fingerling potatoes! They are easy to grow, quick to prepare and delicious!

  • k a t says:

    For me, nothing beats homegrown tomatoes. I only wish they grew better here in Seattle. Time to investigate cloches, etc. :)

  • Kalin says:

    I love growing my own eggplant, which does really well in containers so I can save my garden bed for other things. My other favorite is our peach tree that produced three peaches in its first year. I can't wait to see what we get this summer.

  • Kristen says:

    Winter greens and summer tomatoes are my favorites :)

  • Trina-Lea says:

    The book looks fabulous…my favorite thing to grow are heritage lettuces and greens as well as culinary and medicinal herbs. I dream of growing a bumper tomato crop but the climate in the Pacific Northwest makes that challenging…maybe Willi has some tips to make that dream a reality!

  • SolDucky says:

    I love to grow tomatoes! They smell and taste so amazing from the garden.

    soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  • Casey says:

    I can't wait to try growing popcorn. There is nothing better than popcorn cooked on the stove. Hope to get some planted this year.

  • Jenny Lee says:

    This year I am going to try growing Melon. Like Willi I live in the Pacific Northwest so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a warm summer!

  • Cat says:

    I love to grow tomatoes! I love to eat them in the summer sliced with a little salt and pepper

    sweepinpianista at gmail dot com

  • Molly says:

    I'd love to grow more herbs!

  • Thera says:

    Herbs! Oregano, basil, thyme… we use them, they can be indoors or out and they are portable :)

  • Anna D. says:

    I can't wait to settle down so I can finally grow some asparagus and rhubarb. One day!

  • Terri Ann says:

    Oh, this books looks amazing! Our families favourite thing to grow…PINK POPCORN!

  • Julie says:

    i love to grow beets and potatoes!
    This year I will be trying Fennel :o)

  • Molly says:

    I am looking forward to growing spring vegetables: radishes, lettuce, peas. Then, planting potatoes.

  • rebecca says:

    My favorite thing to grow is tomatoes…I love the smell of the plants and the deliciousness of a fresh from the garden tomato diced up with basil and garlic and oil and slathered on fresh bread. There are so many things I hope to grow in our new home…berries, asparagus, sweet potatoes, fruit trees…and on and on…

  • Shirley says:

    I love growing tomatoes and cukes. I would like to learn how to grow broccoli and okra, since I love those as well. What a great giveaway!

  • Unknown says:

    I want to try hops!

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh, the book sounds like quite a find! My specialties here in the low desert are short day onions, watermelon, turnips, and yard long beans. One thing I hope to plant is a satsuma tangerine.

  • Anonymous says:

    I currently live in an apartment so I only grow herbs and tomatoes. I grew up with citrus trees so I look forward to some day having several indoor citrus trees. I miss plucking a ripe orange off of the tree and enjoying it right then and there.

    htebazil at hotmail dot com

  • Danna says:

    I must have been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to pick a favorite, and its so hard. I just started growing microgreens, so I'm pretty excited about those right now. I'm especially looking forward to incorporating more permaculture this spring.

  • Melanie J. says:

    Sounds like a great resource…I'd love to start with tomatoes, but having trouble finding anything that can take the heat of my west-facing zone 9A porch. Patience. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Kelly says:

    I can't wait to harvest asparagus from my garden. Watched them grown to ferns last year and am hoping either this spring or next I'll be able to harvest some delicious spears of my own. Some things are definitely worth the wait! 😉 Kelly

  • Kristy Lynn says:

    Yay! I'm Canadian and I can enter! (it's a rarity)…

    I love to grow tomatoes. There's nothing better than a Summer tomato, fresh off the plant, tossed with some oil and a little fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil. Heaven!

    I would like to grow mushrooms, garlic, citrus, and squash. Most of that can be grown on the island where I live but the squash evaded me last Summer – we'll try again this year.

  • kv barn says:

    can't decide on only 1 favorite…:tomatos, carrots, peas and herbs!

  • I'm hoping that one day I'll have enough time and space to grow and Herbal Tea garden and make my own delicious concoctions! :)

  • Jodie says:

    This book is definitely on my to read list. It looks like a wonderful resource. My favorite thing to grow is our raspberries. Although, I generally love everything from our garden. (Only grow what you love!) I'm looking forward to getting in our fruit trees this year.


  • Stef says:

    I've grown (am growing) some herbs at the moment, mostly basil, but I'd love to grow my own bell peppers, peas and spinach…amongst other things :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I love to garden. Now that I've viewed Willi's blog – I'll be expanding my greens section & looking into eating edibles such as broccoli & cauliflower leaves (I never knew)! I'll be adding her blog link to the long list of others such as yours that I resource for good info. BTW – I received your Keeping Chickens book for Christmas and love it! Candice

  • SixBalloons says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love to grow carrots, and I wish to try growing Napa Cabbage this Spring/Summer!

    sixballoons -at_ gmail (dot) com

  • LJ says:

    I love to grow okra and cucumbers. They are so hardy and productive–sure crops! I'm trying out several different versions of beans for drying this year, and I'm most excited for a black garbanzo bean from Baker Creek.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love growing tomatoes. Nothing tastes better than tomato, mozzarella, and basil in the summer :)

  • Unknown says:

    My favorite thing to grow is snow peas, and this year I am trying garlic for the first time. I am also going to try melons this year (I also live in the Pacific North West so my chances aren't good, but I am hoping anyway!).

  • Kristina says:

    Aaahh!! Count me in! This book is RIGHT up my alley :)

  • Kathryn Z. says:

    My favorite (read: most successful) thing to grow is potatoes. The best part is the inevitability of accidental potatoes from the seed potato you didn't find in the garden during fall harvest! I am just now starting to grow mushrooms indoors (oyster for now), so I'm very much excited to see how it goes.

  • FrugalDeb says:

    We like to grew herbs. They help to make a great pasta sauce!

  • Kate says:

    Someday, I hope to try growing most anything! I have dreams of a big orchard, long raised beds – but for now I am in containers.

  • Jasmine says:

    I love growing Fraise de Bois. They are so delicious and you never find them at the supermarkets or farmer's markets here in Los Angeles. They are intended to go into salads but I eat them as I pick them so they never make it into the house. I have them in pots with my herbs and the raised vegetable beds. I love Willi's blog. I would like to grow more peas and pick the pea shoots like you suggested in her blog. I would love to have a copy of her book. Fingers crossed!

  • We love growing mushroom (indoors!) Its been our project this winter. Oyster and shitake! Outside, we are growing so many things (or will be), but I'm most looking forward to cucumbers, why?

  • Sheryl N. says:

    Really pleased to have happened upon your blog! I love growing peas – there's nothing more delicious than fresh peas! And I'm hoping to grow garlic for the first time this year!

  • Me says:

    I am getting the hang of peas and carrots but seem to struggle with radish!?! We are looking forward to tomato season though!

  • I love to grow everything! but I would love to grow Broccoli Rabe and enough vegies to get through a full year without a grocery store.

  • dali says:

    i love my strawberries

  • Robin says:

    I love to grow everything. If I can grow it, I'm so happy. I'd have to say my VERY FAVORITE thing to grow in my Washington State garden is cantaloupe. I have grown them for two years and have gotten the sweetest, most wonderful (albeit little) cantaloupe that are so wonderfu.
    I do wish I could grow sweet potatoes. They are so wonderful and yummy. I love them and wish I could grow them. I might try to grow them in our greenhouse, but it's a small greenhouse with minimal lights.

  • jodi says:

    Love growing garlic… would love to try growing shallots! Thanks for the giveaway : )

  • Rita says:

    Greetings Ashley! Thank you for all you have to offer – your wonderful books I’ve enjoyed and now, thanks to Willi’s recommendation, I know you have this amazing blog! I want to share my favorite thing to grow AND something I would like to grow. My favorite thing to grow would have to be my lone lemon tree, Meyer. I’ve had my little guy for about a year and he thrives outside on my potting bench in summer and in a sunny east facing window during the winter months. Yummy lemons! Luscious smelling blossoms! Since my back yard is completely filled with raise garden beds and a small greenhouse, my goal is to advance food production to the front yard. I look forward to building a grape arbor, so I might grow seedless grapes for fresh eating, as well as canning jellies, jams and juice. Gracious gardening!! Rita (

  • Elena Williams says:

    I love to grow sugar snap peas. We never have enough. I usually sow1/2 pound in the spring.

  • Kara says:

    Things I want to grow is too big of a list! My favorites to grow are probably fava beans and basil. This is the first year I grew basil in the ground instead of in pots, and man, that stuff was bulletproof! It seemed like something that would be finicky, but instead it grew like weeds. But in a good way! :)

  • Barbara says:

    Peas and pumpkins!

  • Julie says:

    My favorite thing to grow is whatever is ready for harvest! First thing in the spring, it is greens and strawberries. LOVE berries of all kinds and they are so easy to grow.

  • Angela Watts says:

    My favorite thing to grow is peas. They have pretty flowers, can be grown up any structure and are yummy to eat. Tomatoes are a close second or a tie….so many types and colors and tastes….so little room (right now) to grow them.

    Citrus is on my want to grow list. I have a dwarf lime and orange tree I ordered through Spring Hill nursery and they haven't died yet….

  • Anil says:

    Favorite thing to grow is tomatoes.
    Would love to grow bitter melons !!!

  • Christi says:

    I love gardening and have had a one for 35 years! This year we'll be starting a new garden at the farm where we'll be moving in the next several months. Turned the soil for the first time and picked up some rocks, but nothing like what I've been working with. Looking forward to growing in dirt instead of rocks:)

  • Christi says:

    Looks like a very interesting book….lots of helpful information!

  • Oemissions says:


  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE fresh kale–it's so easy to grow, it's constantly regenerating, not to mention its nutritious benefits. My boyfriend and I are constantly running down to the garden to grab some no matter what we're eating for dinner!

  • Aimee says:

    Thanks for this great offer! What a marvelous looking book! My favorite thing to grow…toss up between basil and tomatoes. Something totally new I really want to try? Tomatillos (I love canning salsa!) and Okra!

  • Megan says:

    I can't wait for this book – I've been a long time reader of Willi's blog. I have a very short Canadian growing season and I'd love to be able to grow lots of peppers and eggplants (many attempts have been unsuccessful – I think a greenhouse is in order soon). My current favorite thing to grow is herbs of any kind – rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, mint!

  • Kathy R. says:

    In my family, tomatoes and green beans are the big favorites. I like to try something new every year – especially if it is an heirloom variety. I'd love to win the book so I could have some new ideas of what to do with my veggies – or what new veggies to try. Thanks for the chance.

  • Sandi says:

    my two current favorites are tomatoes and carrots; although I eventually hope to have enough area with full sun to grow all of our edibles!

  • Laura says:

    New to your blog. Would love to win :)


  • Nicole says:

    What a lovely looking book!

    I live growing garlic, it's so rewarding. I'd love to grow asparagus and will start when we move to our next house.

  • joyw says:

    Though I am a Seattle gardener I have great sun exposure and two years in row I have purchased watermelon plants — initially just for fun and aesthetics (they were mixed in with trailing group of Jarrahdale pumpkin plants on a hillside) — but to my surprise I hv produced the cutest little single melons both years – each around 7″ long (perfect for 2!). I feel a bit bold now and I would like to try and grow an heirloom melon..maybe Boule d'Or

  • Anonymous says:

    I love growing paperwhites around the holidays and I would like to try pumpkins in my garden this year. Thanks for the chance to win!

    mal4second (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Courtney A. says:

    The book looks amazing! As a NW gardener, I love to grow garlic and pole beans. I'm hoping to grow cucumbers for pickling this year!

  • terri says:

    Yes, citrus. I would love to have an indoor lime tree. My favorite thing to grow (and eat) are peas. This year I would like to grow garlic.

  • Felicher says:

    Love your blog. My favorite thing to grow is lettuce and mixed sprouts .
    The new thing I am trying this year is Casabanana. I just got the seeds in today from rare seeds.


  • I love to grow tomatoes and cucumbers! And squash! :-) It's hard to pick just one favorite! I really want to expand my garden this year and would love this book to help me. Found your blog from Pinterest by the way!

  • ikkinlala says:

    One of my favourite things to grow is peas – the starchy kind from the store can't even begin to compare with the homegrown version.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

  • Leigh says:

    I love growing Basil. Lots of it! Actually, herbs of any kind are pretty close to my heart.


  • tbos says:

    Every, Every, Everything I can!

  • meemsnyc says:

    My absolute favorite thing to grow is strawberries. When that first berry turns red, yum.

  • Herdin says:

    Herbs, tomatoes,, squash and tubers,, always looking for good ideas in the kitchen. Thanks

  • Wendy says:

    I planted some raspberry tranfers from a friends garden last year and I'm really looking forward to havin fresh raspberries to eat and can this spring. It will be my first crop of anything. Ever.

  • Jordana says:

    There are always things that I don't feel like I have room to grow. I've never done winter squash, so this summer I'm going to make it happen. In the future I hope to have room for okra and sweet potatoes.

  • TooeleTwins says:

    I would really like to have some melons turn out someday. I've tried them quite a few times, but I must be doing something wrong. Maybe this book will help me identify the problem(s)!

  • Trish says:

    Hard question! It's a toss up between sugar snap peas and green/yellow beans! First-time reader from Willi's blog – thanks!
    Trish ( )

  • mynahcalls says:

    I love growing beets. It's so rewarding to pull up the ruby roots – beautiful! Plus, I love that nothing goes to waste; the greens are delicious too!

    I'd love to start growing mushrooms. I'm just not entirely sure how to get started!

  • Amy says:

    I am really loving all the snow peas that I am getting this year. It is my first time gardening by myself and very much my first time winter gardening. I am now looking for as many new snow pea recipes that I can find in order to cook them all!

  • Sarah says:

    Would love some additional inspiration for an early garden plan…. My daffodils are confused near Fairview too..

  • Amy says:

    I love growing strawberries… as long as I remember to protect them from squirrels and birds!

  • Jon says:

    I love to grow many different varieties of greens – lettuces, arugula, chard, and kale. This looks like a wonderful book. Thanks for the contest.

  • Christy says:

    There aren't many things I don't want to grow, but I think the top of my list is cherry tomatoes, because I love them and they are often too pricey. And paste tomatoes for sauce making. I love 'maters :)

  • Unknown says:

    I want to grow KALE!! :) I love it! And it is so wonderful that it lasts in the garden even with cold weather! :)

  • I'm going to grow heirloom seeds for the first time this year. I'm super-excited!

  • I'm aiming to grow a short season watermelon – in Bellingham! Wish me luck!

  • Tracie says:

    Blueberries are my fave–or maybe pecans. No, probably tomatoes. Hmm. No, my fave is blueberries. Heck! I am happy when I can grow anything.

    bramblythicket @

  • AshLash says:

    My favorite things to grow are my favorite things to eat: tomatoes, basil, beans, kale, collards, and butternut squash. I have yet, however, to successfully ripen a pumpkin… maybe this year?

  • Aside from all the non-plant things we grow on our farm, I'm looking forward to planting up a new vegetable garden this Spring – my first in several years! I love fresh beets and their greens, snap peas for garden snacking, warm cherry tomatoes right off the vines, sweet kale after the first hard frost – oh, just all of it is so exciting! This book looks like a dream. Thanks for the chance!

  • sylvia says:

    I'd Love to Grow Zucchini … I would make Zucchini chocolate cake all the time…

  • KaylaS says:

    My fav is a tie between tomatoes and herbs. I'd love to try and grow broccoli.
    Great give away!

  • After growing up on garden veggies from upstate New York, this year I'm excited to try my first garden in Seattle. I will do cherry tomatoes and lettuce. I dream of basil and parsley plants too.

  • Eric says:

    my favourite things to grow: chard, nasturtium, tomatoes, rosemary and basil.

    I want to grow hostas, lots of beans and kaffir lime.

  • Elena says:

    Would love to try to grow the perfect tomato…'s a bit elusive in Seattle. :-)

  • The Q says:

    I love to grow greens because they are easy and tasty, but this year I hope I have enough of a green bean crop to have pickled green beans – they are my favorite!

  • The Q says:

    I love to grow greens because they are easy and tasty, but this year I hope I have enough of a green bean crop to have pickled green beans – they are my favorite!

  • Megan says:

    I love your blog! always excited to see a new post~
    I hope to grow okra sometime soon, when I have a bit more sunshine. Nothing better than some fresh roasted okra!

  • Renman says:

    Favorite thing to grow is tomatoes and it's not even close.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love growing pea pods – they are always much better than the ones i find in the store. I grow herbs and parsley and last year I started drying my own and I am enjoying that so much.

  • I would love to grow Tomatos again, it's been too long! Also brussel sprouts, and berries

  • Elaine says:

    I love growing greens and potatoes. This year I'm hoping to a good crop of brussel sprouts and winter squash!

  • Ms. Ward says:

    Love growing tomatoes, peppers, and okra! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Jen at ms.jen.ward (at) gmail ( dot) com

  • eclairre says:

    Peppers. THey are so easy to grow. eclairre(at)ymail(dot)com

  • Jamie says:

    I can't wait to grow asparagus, potatoes, lettuce, and lavender! First garden is happening this spring…I can't wait!

  • KC Pagano says:

    What a great book. I”m growing spinach, chard, peas, dragon carrots and lettuce right now. I love your blog!

  • I absolutely LOVE growing herbs and veggies, especially lovage, lemon balm, and cuccuzi

  • rottenoats says:

    There are very few food crops I can think of that I wouldn't want to grow, but currently the best is to have year round herbs for cooking, a beautiful santa rosa plum tree– I love everything about plums, from the blossoms to the tree shape to the colors and taste of the fruit to the jam and baking possibilities, blueberry bushes for their beauty esp. fall and spring color and…… I would love to have space to grow asparagus, the fronds (if that's what they're called) are wonderfully frothy looking.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love growing and then storing garlic. Don't ask me why but I love the way it looks as it grows. I think about it all winter while it is slowly germinating in my garden and I feel joy in the spring when i finally see it poking up through the straw mulch.

    And, of course, we all love eating it!

    Tory in DC