The season starts early for a cool-season gardener. Not just the planting season, but the speaking-at-events season too. I’ll be at nurseries, garden shows and seed swaps in the next month, evangelizing about getting your edible garden underway.
Seed swaps first
This Saturday I’ll be hosting the Great Seattle Seed Swap up on Phinney Ridge. This first one happens on National Seed Swap Day, and is the first of four area swaps — three in Seattle and one in the Snoqualmie Valley.
I’ll also be at the Snoqualmie Valley swap on Feb. 6. At both, I’ll be giving a short talk as well as staffing a table for Q&A and seed research.
The King County Seed Lending Library has received a wonderful donation from the Organic Seed Alliance of Port Townsend. They sent copies of their recent book, The Seed Garden, for each of our locations. What a resource! It’s comprehensive, easy to use for research and a great read. The book was co-published with Seed Savers Exchange, another essential resource.
OSA also sent a generous supply of their locally adapted Abundant Bloomsdale spinach seed and phacalia tancetifolia, which has a flower that’s a pollinator magnet.
Come to the swaps to see the book and get the seed!
Before the swap on this Saturday I’ll give my first nursery presentation of the season, up at Swansons Nursery in northwest Seattle. It will naturally be about starting seeds, but also focus on soil-building at this time of year. And I’ll throw in some ideas about where to get inspiration for this year’s garden.
I’ll do another talk at Swansons on Feb. 27 on special techniques to get the most out of your veggie plot.
In March I begin my annual four-class series at another great Seattle nursery, City People’s Garden Store. I’ll head down to Madison Valley for the first talk on March 12 about starting the early-season garden.
Portland on tap
I’m getting out of town, too, with a pair of talks at the Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland. Walking the human-scale display gardens at this show always energizes me to try something new in the garden.
Get a book
At all the talks and shows, I’ll have my two books, Cool Season Gardener and Edible Heirlooms, available for sale, and I will happily personalize your copy with a signature.
I’m doing a special signing at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Find me at the University Book Store booth #211 on Friday, Feb. 19, 3-4 p.m.
Hope to see you at an upcoming event!
It’s all about edibles in my garden. And in my writing. And on this site. So I was delighted to be offered the task of writing a new column for Edible Seattle called (you probably guessed it) The Edible Garden.
Now on newsstands and in subscribers’ hands is the excellent first issue of 2016, which includes the column’s debut, and a lot of other great stories.
My first topic covers something of perennial amazement to me: why our winter vegetables get sweeter after a frost. I dug into this topic during the cold, rainy days of early winter.
I’d love for you to buy the issue–or better yet, subscribe to the magazine–and read the entire thing for yourself. But I’ll give you a hint as to what I found: the plants are making sugar as a defensive mechanism against the cold. There’s a lot more to it than that, and I hope you’ll find it as fascinating as I did.
Only one problem: we haven’t yet had a frost in my garden. It’s been relatively warm and wet. But hope springs eternal. Mind you, I only want a little hoar frost, not the killing deep-freeze kind. But I think that we’re safely beyond that.
If you’re hankering for some photos of frosty vegetables like the one below, see my post from exactly three years ago when we had a nice, sweet cooling spell.
Here’s a warming event to spice up a winter weekend: Edible Seattle and Metropolitan Market are sponsoring a Whiskey and Chowder Festival. Coming to Fremont on Feb. 4, it will showcase 7 local distilleries and 16 restaurants, who promise a variety of chowders and soups, but also other tasty treats. A unique event that looks like a winner.