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Growing Inspiration (+Giveaway!)

I’ve been trying to grow things in any spot imaginable for some time now. Whether or not I owned the space made no difference. I’d put tomatoes and herbs in pots and rest them on my stoop or windowsill. Once, I was even so brazen as to attempt to grow green beans, tomatoes, and several other vegetables using only the sunlight filtering in from the small skylight in my 3rd floor apartment (it worked, a little; not enough sunlight coupled with a one-week failure to water the pots when I was away on vacation brought my tender green friends to their shriveled, stunted knees).

In my own yard now, if Hubs and I had the time and budget, there’s no limit to what we’d be growing. We’d expand our kitchen garden; culinary and medicinal herb beds; grape vine; apple, pear, and peach trees; vining kiwi; wineberry beds; and blueberry bushes and grow a bounty of foodstuffs.

In addition to the wild foods available out here (we’ve got black walnut trees, nettles, fiddlehead ferns, wild violets, daylilies, and no doubt countless wild mushrooms growing in our forest-we really need a mycologist to walk the land out here and tell us what’s what, mushroom-wise), there’s ample room for putting in a small orchard (I’d LOVE to inoculate the bases of several hazelnut trees with truffles!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE???) in which we could grow nut trees and a few more pear, apple, and peach trees. I’d like to put in a few varieties of fig trees, as well. I’m moving our strawberry beds, so there’s that. A full patch of asparagus, and artichokes, and rhubarb is on my wish list, too. I’d also really love to expand off of our kitchen with a mini conservatory where we could grow citrus trees during cooler months and transfer them outdoors when it’s warm. Oh, the possibilities.

All of my mentioning this serves simply to illustrate the point that I like to grow things. And I like to watch things grow. And I like to read about growing things. And I like people who like to write about growing things. Which is what today’s post, and giveaway, is all about. Amy Pennington, to quote her book’s back cover, is a “food writer, organic gardener, and owner of GoGo Green Garden, an edible-gardening business that builds, plants and tends gardens for city folk in their backyards. Amy grows, cooks and lives in a small one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Seattle.” Her first book, Urban Pantry (Skipstone Press, 2010) was met with wide acclaim. Amy, you see, likes to grow things. My kinda lady.

Apartment Gardening, Amy’s newest book, was just published by Sasquatch Books the first of this month. I doesn’t matter if the place you call home is a mere perch or a palace, there’s great growing wisdom in here for everyone. Apartment Gardening is rife with ideas for planters (repurpose a metal filing cabinet!), full of details for getting started (including what grows best in containers, how to care for your plants, and getting started with seeds and propagation), and packed with both culinary and body care recipes for making use of what you’ve grown.

Amy’s publisher has generously offered a copy of Apartment Gardening to a small measure reader. To enter the giveaway, just tell me what you’d like to grow. It can be anything. It needn’t even be practical. Tell me about how you’d love to grow your own coffee beans for your java habit, or how you wish you had vanilla beans in your backyard, for your baking addiction. Hell, you can even say you wished you could grow money on trees-I wish I could! Pragmatic commenting is just as welcome, of course.

I’ll keep the giveaway open for comments until one week from today, April 18th, at midnight EST. When you comment, be sure to let me know how to reach you if you win, via either a link-back to your blog, or your e-mail address. Amy’s publicist, Haley, will contact you for your mailing information after I’ve selected a winner (which I’ll do using a random number generator).

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a recipe from Apartment Gardening, so be sure to stop back by. In the mean time, tell me, how does your garden grow?

173 Responses to Growing Inspiration (+Giveaway!)

  • Emily says:

    I'd like to grow herbs, berries, spinach and hot peppers! I have a black thumb so need all the help I can get.

  • Mitzi Zohar says:

    I'm always looking for fresh ideas.

  • j + m says:

    I would love to grow as many veggies as I could manage. Think of the salads, roasted veggies….yum!

  • hippychick says:

    I want to grow more herbs. I seems to grow tomatoes like crazy, but haven't been that successful with much else. More compost mixed in this year for a second try!

  • Brian says:

    My girlfriend and I have always wanted to grow a small citrus tree that actually bore fruit. Like a small orange or lime tree. We know it can be done, but we've had little (no) success so far. We can use all the tips we can get.

  • Margaret says:

    I would love just some plain ol' tomatoes. As straightforward as they should be, I can't get them to grow on my little patio to save my life. Clearly I could use some Apartment Gardening-style help…

  • joanna says:

    I'd like to grow rhubarb … I know, very impractical here in the South. My Grandma (in Michigan) baked the most amazing rhubarb pies – I had to resort to frozen just yesterday.

  • Gini says:

    I want so badly to grow fig and apricot trees in my hot, inhospitable Nebraska clime! Hubs and I are also planning to one day buy a small coffee farm in Guatemala (not a pipe dream, this is so happening for real), so I suppose at that time I'll be growing coffee beans. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    Great ideas here. I'd like to grow rhubarb and nettles too!

    christinaclover (at)

  • Krista says:

    AH! such a great book that i NEED right now. all i have is a patio space, and would love to learn how to grow any kind of food for our family!


  • Oh gosh. What wouldn't I like to grow? Since summer is finally creeping to the NE, tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro so I can make salsa everyday!

  • heather says:

    Scuppernong vines, I spent hours under them as a child. I'm trying at start seeds this year, now I just needsome extra space! And those beautiful little wildly colored squash, hoping mine doesn't get powdery mildew this year! Thanks Ashley!

  • octoberski says:

    I'd love to grow a fruit tree, or two. But, feeling somewhat overwhelmed by that, I plan to grow some berry bushes this year.

  • K says:

    I grow tomatoes, asparagus & grapes.

  • Elle Ross says:

    I grow herbs, peppers and tomatoes on my patio, but I'd like to add a lemon tree to that.

  • cookiedough says:

    Growing. I would like to grow avocados. Have my herbs and citrus, but avocados, they elude me.

  • Amy says:

    Definitely “dream” of growing rhubarb. We grow a lot of things and rhubarb is hard to find here. Maybe I'll go plant so today?!
    My best friend just moved into a fourth story penthouse overlooking Lake Merrit in Oakland. She is my tomato-growing partner in crime, this book has her in mind.

  • Michelle says:

    I'm growing a few veggies and herbs on my condo's porch. I'd love to grow a whole lot more though!

  • becca says:

    My garden grows in my imagination. Some day it will be a reality!

  • Rebecca says:

    I'd like to grow a lemon tree- in a pot in Brooklyn. I read about it once in a gardening magazine, and one day I hope to grow my own sour fruits!

  • Mamawolf says:

    I highly encourage you and Glenn to seek out a local mycological society. There is likely one somewhere in your area. If you attend a few meetings and go to a few shows, you'll be amazed at how quickly your identification skills grow! Keep your eyes peeled for morels this spring!
    Happy growing and happy hunting!

  • Victoria says:

    I would absolutely love to grow a berry patch – I have no yard, so it's not really possible, but it is something I aspire to when I have the means to move out of the city proper. Raspberries, blackberries, black and red currants, red gooseberries, and strawberries are musts. Huckleberries, elderberries and boysenberries would be a fun addition to try as well.

    Until then, I'm trying to figure out if maybe I could grow beans up the fire escape? Rosemary on a windowsill? Orchids in the shower?

  • loveelamb says:

    I planted a few started plugs of lettuce and chives and basil in a casserole dish in the window of my Brooklyn apartment a few days ago, and just this morning the first shoot appeared! Spring has arrived! I'm sort of winging the whole indoor container garden thing, though, so a book on the subject is exactly what I need. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Leanna says:

    I have basil, parsley, thyme, lavender, rosemary, and several flowering plants, a fern, and a palm on my little apartment patio now, but I would love more ideas! My dream is a nice piece of land in Alabama to grow enough to eat fresh, can, and share…as well as rows of sunflowers, marigolds, cleome, and zinnias for the butterflies. :)

  • GardenFresh says:

    I would love to grow any vegetables around here without critters eating it all, like they have in our garden the past couple of years. Right now I am also on the lookout for a fresh sweet bay tree at the local nurseries, I'd love to have it on hand for cooking.

  • Stephanie G. says:

    I want to grow asparagus. I live in the desert and it will never happen and I will be forced to pay for it at the grocery store till the end of my days. But a girl can dream….right?

  • Heidi says:

    I'd love to grow strawberries and asparagus and lots and lots of berries. And several varieties of beans. Oh, and an avocado tree.

    I'd love to grow and preserve most of our food, really.

    bennetthp [at] gmail

  • Kathleen says:

    Strawberries and raspberries. Yum. I might be able to swing the strawberries but unfortunately the raspberries probably wouldn't be a go in my desert climate. We just moved into a new house with a small yard/patio so this books sounds great!


  • I long for an elderberry thicket.

  • The Q says:

    Joanna, try growing rhubard as a cold season plant. My nursery here in Texas had some in January.
    I rent a house with a yard, so I have a mix of beds and containers. I would love to have more fruit in containers. Berries and citrus, please!

  • lisa says:

    I would really like to grow rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries and blueberries, and have apple and pear trees. We moved into our house last year which has a decent amount of land and yard around it for being in a city, and I already have my first raised veggie bed up with spring plantings in as of yesterday. Am planing on 2 more beds for this year, but I am forever dreaming forward!

  • Emily Pasha says:

    I would like to grow Walla Walla sweet onions. Living in northern Germany in a one bedroom apartment, thousands and thousands of miles away from my home on the west coast has forced me to learn how to bake my favorite candy bars (thanks Ash for the Peanut-buttercup recipe), make a mean batch of refried beans from scratch and grow my favorite home veggies. Necessary ingenuity at it's finest!

  • Chassie says:

    I just moved to San Diego where EVERYTHING grows but I'm renting so I am now learning and experimenting with container gardening. So far I have herbs and lettuce and they are doing great!

  • Oh this is easy…I have always dreamed of lemon and orange trees in the backyard. Can you imagine skipping out the back door and loading up on fresh oranges to squeeze for breakfast? That is my idea of heaven!

  • RetroHome says:

    Cape Gooseberry, I love the way they grow in what look like little paper lanterns.

  • Nicholas says:

    I would love to be better at growing veggies in containers – I never seem to be able to get the right balance for these tiny spaces. My garden would be lovely while my containers on the back patio would be kind of gross.

  • Cat K. says:

    There is always one thing at the top of my ever-lengthening wish list, and it's a lemon tree. I want a lemon tree more than anything, and I love your idea of a conservatory off the kitchen. That's going on the list too!

  • Martha says:

    Sounds like a very useful book!

  • City Girl says:

    I'd like to grow cilantro and mint!

    Diana, Ottawa

  • Danielle says:

    Several years ago I went into a shop in upstate NY where a woman had dried herbs in large glass containers…the little camomile flowers were so pretty…so now I grow camomile every summer…mostly just because I think they are so cute! :-)

  • Jessie says:

    I'd love to be able to grow anything.. ANYTHING. I kill everything, and don't have the money resources to plant the way I wish I could.

  • Helois says:

    I would love to grow more vegetable and herbs and even some berry's. right now we have a few apple and pear trees. I Have a very black thumb though so I Need help with the rest.

  • Emily says:

    I live in a small studio with a deck so I get some sun, But it's cold here. If I could I would grow a Papaya tree, currants, potatoes, peanuts, and asparagus. More closer to reality would be growing Mache, Radishes, a small thornless blackberry, nasturtiums, and borage. Thanks for this giveaway opportunity!

  • I'd love to get a meyer lemon tree, which is a possibility. However, most of my houseplants are infested with mealy bug…I would hate for the lemon tree to get infested.

    I also want to try strawberries. I've been gardening for over a decade and I've never grown strawberries!

  • Yulia says:

    I want to grow tomatoes (for their incredible flavor and versitality) and herbs (for their amazing fresh taste). This week i'm actually moving from the country to the city, so this book would be super useful. Plus, I know it will be great because I own the author's other book and LOVE it!

  • Melissa says:

    More vegetables! I have some herbs going at the moment…but man, I wish we had enough sun in our backyard for a huge garden.

  • Hi!

    I live in a little apartment in the centre of Brussels, but it's my dream to one day have a garden and grow my own herbs and vegetables. For now, I'm happy with my basil, mint and rosemary on the window sill. I even grew melon seeds once, and it went quite well! I've recently added two avocado “seeds” to the collection. I hope they will grow out to little trees!

    xx Viola

  • Sonora says:

    Lettuce! Crisp, tender, ruffled edged leaves of lettuce!

  • Diana says:

    Right now? I'd love to have edible landscaping in addition to my dedicated garden. However all the deer from the county park down the hill might interfere with that. My sister would love this though, she just moved to a small NYC apartment and is missing the growing things we always had growing up midwestern girls :)

  • Being rather over ambitious, I'd like to grow everything. That said, right now I'd settle for some herbs (basil, please!), zucchini, beans, and tomatoes (oh, homegrown tomatoes, how I miss you). There's little light here in my north-facing apartment, but I'm determined to do the best I can.

  • Carrie says:

    I would like to grow a tomato plant that woudl always have tomatoes available and ready to be picked. Noting better than a garden fresh tomato.

  • Wendy says:

    Oh, my, so many things, but I'd really like to be successful at growing tomatoes and corn this year!

  • Eli says:

    At the very least, I'd love to grow a mini herb garden- hooray herbs!

  • Melanie J. says:

    OH, commenting!!! I'm determined to grow something this year, start with herbs and work my way up, even though I have a cat indoors to nibble on things, and feral ducks outside to wreak havoc on my porch :( Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Sara says:

    Olives and figs (but I live in New England…)

  • Meg says:

    I'd like to grow lemon and lime trees, and a backyard full of herbs, and a little forest of asparagus. Also some tomatoes and lots of pickling cucumbers! Right now I am rocking the windowsill herb garden and CSA. It's working for me :)

  • Liz says:

    I fantasize about the day when I have the space to grow blueberries – as many as I can! I'd also love to try tomatillos sometime, and some success with anything from seed HAS to be right around the corner (I hope!).

  • Sofia says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • I would love to grow berries, but in a nice self contained way! We don't have room for a big berry bush/vines. Given how berries grow this probably isn't likely, but hopefully I figure something out!

    e-mail: sofiaerendira (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Sarah says:

    I've worked on several farms growing veggies, herbs, flowers, small and tree fruits, bees, chickens, goats. Now that I've only got one tiny (shaded) balcony, I need to learn how to grow things that are a little more practical and relevant – I'm hoping to at least get a few perennial herbs going in containers this year.

  • brittney says:

    I like to grow everything! This year I'm experimenting with new root veggies like salsify and burdock. I love watching things grow.

  • Kristy says:

    I'd love to grow fresh herbs.

  • Denise says:

    I would love to grow tea, cranberries, pineapples, etc,etc,etc. I have been looking for a winter pear tree like my granny had in her back yard so far no luck though.

  • Brin says:

    I know this is goofy, but alongside my pot of practical herbs I've always wanted to grow cotton. Just a little tub full. And when it blooms, I want to pull off the tuffs and spin it and wear it as a hat. Just because. :)

    Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter.

  • Christine says:

    Oy, we've gotten pretty brazen and creative with our apartment gardening too :) In addition to our window-ledge mini-garden (which must be nervewracking for passersby during windy weather!), I've tried to hang a topsy turvy full of tomatoes in my bathtub, grown jalapeno peppers in pot near a window and am currently crossing my fingers that my little lime tree succeeds indoors. I'd love to learn more tips and gather inspiration for other apartment gardens!

  • Practically, I would take anything that would grow. In a dream land that would be everything from coffee to red wine grapes to saffron and bananas. Wait, that's practical, right?

  • Annie Mac says:

    That book looks great! I would love to grow lemons and strawberries some day.

  • Bethany Nash says:

    In an ideal world, I would grow a nutmeg tree, with cinnamon bark! 😉 😉

  • I've ordered mustard plants….not to cook up a mess of greens but to collect the seeds to make all sorts of yummy mustard!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love to grow anything I can get my hands on, I will try anything. I have always wanted to grow figs and avocados! Maybe a lemon tree..


  • Morgan says:

    I would love to grow salad greens and dahlias!

  • k a t says:

    This year I'm focusing on tomatoes and hoping for a hotter summer than last year. Oh the NW can be cruel to tomato lovers. :)

  • Ericabee says:

    I so wish I could post pictures of the things I've tried to grow! Strangely I've managed to get a good patch of mushrooms and a pineapple (Mr. Piney) to thrive and fruit in my tiny apartment but I can't grow lettuce to save my life! Right now I have sugar snap peas in a hanging basket and alpine strawberry seeds started in egg cartons….we will see how that goes.

  • kaela says:

    I would love to grow some 'local' citrus; lemons, key limes, ruby red grapefruit, and all kinds of oranges. Sigh.

  • licorous says:


  • Jessica says:


  • I would like to grow some greens that the nasty inch worms won't eat1

  • Gregory says:

    I would love to grow more herbs that I can use. Some grow better than others for me, maybe this book can help.

  • jess s says:

    I wish I could grow bananas! I feel truly guilty about the food miles they travel but my family can't quit them. And there's no way to grow them here.

  • Morgan says:

    I want to have a full berry farm: blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Enough to eat all summer long and all winter long.

  • raehobo says:

    I can't wait for an herb garden, MMMMM fresh rosemary, basil, chives…. Wouldn't mind a money tree though, come to think of it.

  • Leigh says:

    This list could get really long, really fast… but I would love to grow avocados, olive trees, berries of all kinds, papaya, mango, citrus. Really keen on the effortless tropical stuff that simply grows in the right climate–not my climate, have you. I would love my backyard to be a veritable foraging feast of edible landscaping. Thanks for the giveaway! nasturtium(at)

  • A. Verzello says:

    I would like to grow peanuts to make my own peanut butter. Just cause I think it'd be fun.

  • Hollins says:

    Raspberries! Delicious ruby-like raspberries!

  • casey says:

    I wish I could grow tomatoes and strawberries and herbs. How boring!! But those are the things my family goes through the most. Oh, and also hot peppers!

    However, if I win the giveaway, I will be giving the book to my friend, who lives in an apartment, who is simply DYING to grow heirloom tomatoes.


  • Veronica says:

    I currently am working on herbs and an itty bitty tomato plant. I would like to grow fingerling potatoes, strawberries, spinach, meyer lemons, cucumbers, chard, squash… the list is probably endless. While we're at it, throw in two goats, a few chickens and a family of ducks with someone to dig a pond!

  • Robin says:

    I would love to grow my own tomatoes! And having some fruit trees around sounds pretty good, too!

  • ladybug613 says:

    I have always wanted to grow loofahs and ranunculus. I am also going to try and grow potatoes this year–I rent so I do container gardening, but I love it! :)

  • In my little balcony garden I want to grow carrots, and lemons, and oranges, camellias, and honeysuckle! And I wish my rosemary would perk up.

    penandpaperie at

  • I want to grow fruit bearing plants, more trees, apple, nut anything wonderful, and lots and lots of veggies to add to my garden……….I adore green living things……….thanks for the opportunity :)

  • Stacey says:

    I would love to grow tomatoes! But I only have a windowsill, and everyone keeps telling me they can't be grown in a windowsill…

  • Maria says:

    I'd like to grow lettuces and cherry tomatoes, so I could eat a great salad.

  • Kris says:

    I'd really just like to get some herbs going so I can use fresh when cooking.

  • Evie says:

    I'm not the best at keeping plants alive, but feel like I should get a gold medal for keeping a begonia alive for 1.5 years (1 winter of which the begonia had one leaf and I had to move it from window to window during the day for it to get enough sunlight to keep it alive). That being said I love the idea of growing things and have been striving to grow more. My basil plant has lasted a stunning 6 months. My most recent obsession is that I really want to have a meyer lemon tree. Think of all the delicious curd I could make!

  • Kim says:

    I would love to grow my own tea bush! Wouldn't that be cool??? Or more on the practical side, I'd like to grow my own garlic. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Jane says:

    I need help with growing inside. I try and try. My rosemary never makes it over the winter! The book sounds very nice!

  • Kelli says:

    Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Then everytime I'd pass my little plants, they'd put the Simon and Garfunkel song in my head!

  • Faye says:

    I would LOVE to figure out how to grow some mesclun mix or other baby greens in my cold New England apartment into the late fall and winter! We have to vacate our community garden plots by early Oct… too early!

  • dayodestin says:

    I'd love to grow golden raspberries!

  • Ella says:

    We're moving to a small city apartment, but I still want to grow tomatoes.

  • Simple Mama says:

    Just once I'd love to grow peppers that actually germinate. Or Meyer Lemons. It's a toss up.

  • I wish I could grow a Meyer Lemon in my yard! I am in LOVE with them :) I want to expand my growing skills, celery is on my to try list this year since it is #1 on the 'Dirty' (chemical) list. I can use all the help I can find! lol

  • Stef says:

    Currently I live in a 3 bedroom/3 bath apartment in Florida and I'm trying to grow different herbs, some hot peppers, strawberries, catnip and daffodils. The bugs just tore into my basil, but the mint and rosemary are staying strong, especially since they've been moved into the mini-greenhouse I got for my birthday. I wish I could grow bell peppers and blueberries and boysenberries at the moment, maybe some citrus and veggies too. One day… :)

  • Jillian says:

    A lemon tree. In my apartment. In Canada.

  • Sara says:

    I would like to grow everything to make a salad.

  • Grace-Marie says:

    Our square-foot-garden boxes all set up and ready to plant … soon as it quits storming! Will add strawberries, napa cabbage, and potatoes for the first time this year. Made our porch into a sun room, so hope to get a dwarf lemon tree to put in there this winter..

  • Danyelle says:

    I would love to grow a bountiful kitchen garden, but I would settle for a few herbs and veggie plants. I'm starting my first garden this year (we finally have more space than a patio), we'll see how it goes.

  • ChrisC says:

    Oooh, this book looks great. I could use some tips on this, since I am sorely in lack of my own yard. I would love to grow my own fig and meyer lemon trees. YUM!

  • Anonymous says:

    i would grow a cherry tree like the ones i saw in the pacific northwest a couple summer ago. for now, i settle for basil in a pot and a tomato plant in a five gallon bucket :)


  • Tanya says:

    I have always wanted to have a pick your own berry farm!

  • bobbie-sue says:

    I would love to grow enough raspberries to keep hubby in his jam habit year round

  • Amanda says:

    I would LOVE to grow olive trees! But for now I'm trying hard to get my meager balcony veggies to work out…

  • allydru says:

    I put up 80 jars of food from the garden year before last year (ahhhh, homemade pickles and grape jelly), but we've since moved to a townhome and now have a 10x10ft slab of cement out back to work with. How do you transition from acreage to a hunk of cement?!? If blueberries can pull off a pot in the rockies mountains, I'll be in heaven.

  • Matt & Chloe says:

    I would love this!! We currently grow rosemary and thyme inside but haven't had luck with much else. I'd love to grow all kinds of herbs, and my husband would love love love to grow a pineapple!

  • Matt & Chloe says:

    I would love this!! We currently grow rosemary and thyme inside but haven't had luck with much else. I'd love to grow all kinds of herbs, and my husband would love love love to grow a pineapple!

  • Matt & Chloe says:

    I would love this!! We currently grow rosemary and thyme inside but haven't had luck with much else. I'd love to grow all kinds of herbs, and my husband would love love love to grow a pineapple!

  • Amanda says:

    This sounds like a great book. We grow herbs outside, but not in and it would be terrific to have fresh all year round! My husband's thumb is a slight shade of green, but I can use all the help I can get.

  • Andriana says:

    Sweet red peppers! Maybe the Carmen variety…

    andriana.hench (at)

  • Eileen says:

    If I'm being realistic, I would love to grow tomatoes, herbs, and peppers. In my dreams I'd grow everything…citrus trees, vanilla beans, berries, spinach, cucumbers, you name it!

  • Heather says:

    I long for a Honeycrisp apple tree!

  • Alison says:

    Cardoons! When I read what you are growing and want to grow it reads like my own list. Beware those black walnut trees, though, they have seriously shortened our list of what we can grow (they emit a toxin, juglone, that inhibits the growth of many plants like tomatoes, blueberries, apples….). For more on creative ways to grow in small spaces and in urban environments, check out

  • Alison says:

    Oh, and because I know you have loads of free time (wink, wink), may I suggest the Asheville Mushroom Club. We meet the second Wed. of the month at the WNC Nature Center at 7pm. It's a great way to learn about mushroom identification (there's usually a beginner's class offered once or twice a year.) Like the bee club, it's a fun group of folks who are very happy to share what they know.

  • annie b. says:

    so, i'd like to grow most of my own food, ideally. i am just starting my own wee homestead. but, in terms of things that i'd like to grow that are challenging in my northern climate are spices (NUTMEG!), sweet potatoes, OLIVES!, citrus!, ohohoh… TEA!
    thanks for the offer!

  • L. KIM says:

    I live in an apartment and have a small patio where I grow rosemary and succulents. I'd love to add lavender and dwarf citrus trees into the mix.

  • Heather MK says:

    We currently grow tomatoes, pole beans, raspberries and peppers. I have tried my hand at a few other things as well, but someday I would like to have the space to grow a sprawling garden of pumpkins and butternut squash.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I've been growing herbs in my apartment for years but this year I am trying tomatoes and peppers. I would love to grow a miniature citrus tree inside, but I haven't tried it yet.

  • Sarah C says:
  • Debbie says:

    I would grow bot vanilla beans and coffee since it will be as good as growing money! And if we can grow money, let's grow love and peace…enough for everyone!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so happy to see that Amy has a new book out – I love “Urban Pantry” and cook from it all the time!

    This year, I think I am going to focus on growing the foods that we all particularly love. Tomatoes are at the top of the list, followed by lettuce, cilantro and basil. I will leave the kale, the swiss chard and the brassicas to the CSA for now!

    Kate in NY

  • Sarah says:

    This book sounds awesome. I'm about to leave my little coach house in Chicago with a raised bed outside, for a 1 bedroom in Harlem with 3 windows, total. I need to figure out how I can keep growing my own food, as much as possible…

  • keeko says:

    i'm trying my luck – can't resist! :)

    if i could have my way, i'd have an entire blueberry orchard…a HUGE one, endless even! but since we're dreaming, i'd love to grow nuts! pistachios, walnuts, almonds…you name it :)

  • keeko says:

    i'm trying my luck – can't resist! :)

    if i could have my way, i'd have an entire blueberry orchard…a HUGE one, endless even! but since we're dreaming, i'd love to grow nuts! pistachios, walnuts, almonds…you name it :)

  • I re-purposed some plastic bedding containers for my apartment's porch last year…hoping my impending move will include a place with a real garden spot!

  • Colleen says:

    I would LOVE this book. I need help in getting started with growing herbs…sad, I know.

  • kendall says:

    Oh man, what WOULDN'T I like to grow? But, I'd start with some nice, fat tomatoes!

  • deangraziosi says:

    I appreciate this article, nice to see herbs in my apartment house. I would like to plant coriander.
    dean graziosi

  • Kate says:

    Current Garden: Herbs, Lots of Heirloom tomatoes, Peppers, Greens. Container gardening, mostly.

    Future Garden: Dwarf Citrus and Fruit Trees, potatoes, garlic… prolific raised beds.

  • Robin says:

    I'd like to plant a pepper garden. Peppers come in so many sizes and flavors I always thought if I did a garden of different kinds, it would be attractive as well.

  • Molly says:

    I would like to grow more vegetables. I live in a slightly sunny Brooklyn apartment, so I'm limited to container gardening. I have a windowsill herb garden, but I'd love to branch out.

  • Darla says:

    This book looks amazing! We are starting our garden and this will be a fabulous inspiration!

  • Grace says:

    Pick me!

  • Land of Lisa says:

    There's only 2 things that money can't buy and that's true love and home grown tomatoes. I look forward to “real” tomatoes all winter long and I would love to have this great book!

  • Mary says:

    mangoes. the kind that grew on my neighbor's trees in Honduras. Grocery store mangoes just don't taste the same.


  • Jenny A. says:

    I would luv to grow at least some culinary herbs!

  • Robin says:

    Hi Ashley! I live in a small apartment in NYC, with a small balcony where we have a small peach tree that gives us a few (and I do mean a few) peaches ever summer. I would love to read Amy's book and start growing more things out there, I hope I win! Thanks for the give-away!

  • Marlo says:

    Oh this book sounds great. We move around a lot and haven't been able to set up a good, in ground garden. This would be great to help us set up our strawberries and tomatoes this year. What I really, really want is basil and raspberries. Those are my dreams. Yum!


  • Catherine says:

    Apartment Gardening is right up my alley. Fingers crossed!

  • Anna says:

    I love the idea of growing food in pots! What a concept for us with limited or no garden area. Would love to have this book and all the info it would provide. Thanks for the chance.

  • Juhli says:

    I really want to grow beefsteak tomatoes that taste like the ones from my childhood! However, I'd settle for lettuce or other greens if I could keep the critters away

  • Flim says:

    I'm just about to start planting in containers in my Queens “backyard” – the area around my landlord's driveway! I want to grow herbs and some nice bright flowers.

  • Jenessa says:

    This looks amazing. I've always wanted a garden, but have never had the space.

  • This book sounds like a great resource for me to check out — anything edible I'm growing in containers at the moment.

    I'd love to have more success growing runner beans this season; my dad has always grown them and they don't seem to be grown in New England the way they are in England (where you can buy them at the supermarket), I miss them. I know my granparents used to grow them in containers but I've not have much luck thus far.

  • Alicia says:

    I like to make the most of my space – indoors and outdoors. Herbs, tomatoes, spinach, cukes, pretty much anything.

  • Alicia says:

    Oh, yeah, my e-mail red.oak.cottage @

  • Amber says:

    I would love to grow peas, beans, and tomatoes this summer. And have a nice little herb garden going as well!

  • Leanne says:

    I wish I could grow corn! I don't think it will fit on my balcony (um, fire escape…)

  • Gabrielle says:

    My garden is still a big dream in my head. I've got a long constantly growing list of things I'd like to grow one day on my desktop. At the moment there are about 50 different veg, fruit and herbs on it. Quince, Kaki persimmons and Luffa are probably the more rare or exotic things on the list. I'd love to be able to make my own sponges one day…

  • Susan says:

    Looking forward to growing snow peas…Wonder if it is too late?

  • Meg says:

    I WISH I could grow lemon trees! The Northeast is unkind to those fruits here :(!

  • Stephanie R. says:

    peas! i would also like to grow tomatillos, beans for drying, pumpkins, watermelons, and lots of kale. :)

  • kristen says:

    Right now I have some herbs and hot peppers growing in containers on my balcony. I also want to plant some good heirloom tomatoes and lettuce greens. Last summer we didn't get enough sun for the tomatoes to ripen, so I'm hoping for better luck this time around.

  • Kate says:

    Well I would love to grow the basics…tomatoes peppers beans, etc, but what I would REALLY love to grow is an avocado tree (never mind that I live in Pennsylvania…)

  • Emily says:

    Come August my boyfriend & I will be moving into a larger apartment, with window boxes and a backyard and a porch. (Scratch the period: !!!)
    His mother is the founder of a school garden program in his hometown; my mother has the blackest thumb I've ever seen. They've brought us to the same place: a deep appreciation for the growing plant.
    I want to grow anything! We've been daydreaming about peas, tomatoes, herbs. Starting out small. I'm a newbie, he works a lot. Mostly we just want to make as many happy green things grow as we can.
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway, and for your always excellent designsponge posts!

  • Jane A. says:

    Thanks for the give-away-
    love the idea of gardening wherever you find yourself!

  • Jane A. says:

    Thanks for ways to garden wherever you find yourself.
    My email is:

  • Anonymous says:

    there's really nothing better than fresh basil or chives from a kitchen garden to sprinkle upon your meal!

    krystyna.wamboldt (at) gmail dot com

  • Edgie says:

    yum yum + fresh stuff from the garden is the best

  • Eileen says:

    I'm growing tomatoes, carrots, green onions, and a bundle of herbs on my apartment balcony–but I'd like to be growing far more! Jalapeno peppers, blueberries, figs (FIGS), all kinds of citrus, raspberries, more tomatoes, vast amounts of spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, peas…uh, sort of everything.

    One of the coffeeshops in my town actually is growing tiny coffee bushes in their window. So exciting!

  • heather says:

    i SO wish i could grow citrus, mango & avocado.

  • heather says:

    i SO wish i could grow citrus, mango & avocado…

  • Laramis says:

    I would like to grow the three sisters.

  • OH MY GOODNESS!!! I second your hazelnut trees inoculated with truffles!!! fantastic! I love her Urban Pantry book too!!! I would love to create a medicine wheel garden… an edible hedgerow… Have you seen Sow True Seed's “Bee Food” seed packet new this year? My bee nuc comes this week! My hives will be positioned behind my garden shed next to a huge field of flowers I grow for my floral design business here in Brevard… yay spring!!!

  • Kate Hunter says:

    We're starting our first vegetable garden this summer! Tomatoes, peas, peppers, herbs, and more! This book looks like it would give us some great ideas.