Gardening Inspiration Giveaway

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With the arrival of freezing temperatures and shorter days, there isn’t much to do in my winter garden. All of the beds are tucked in under low tunnels, but I manage to venture out at least twice weekly to harvest root crops and greens for our winter meals. So although all of my garden beds are in full production, winter is still a slow time, and a chance for me to reflect on last year’s successes and plan for next year.

A Thanksgiving harvest. Although I grow on less than 1/10th an acre, I have enough vegetables in fall and winter to sell (thus my farm name on the photo).

A late November harvest. Although I grow on less than 1/10th an acre, I have enough vegetables in fall and winter to sell (thus my urban farm’s name on the photo).

If you also like to curl up with your favorite seed catalogs and gardening books this time of year, then you’ll love the two (!) end-of-the-year giveaways that I’m sponsoring — one to inspire you, and another to provide seeds that will help make your 2015 garden dreams come true.


Giveaway 1

Down to Earth: Cold-Climate Gardens & Their Keepers

I’ve had my eye on this book for many months, long before it ever came to print. Of course the “cold-climate” aspect was the real hook for me, but I was equally intrigued by the “down-to-earth” promise — the chance to learn how other gardeners rise to gardening challenges. In a rare move for me, I contacted the authors of the book for help purchasing a copy; imagine my delight when authors Jennifer Heath and Helen McAllister mailed me one as a gift!




Down to Earth is a colorful parade of gardens located in the Elk Valley of British Columbia, Canada. There’s something here for gardeners in every climate, however, as four of Canada’s nine plant hardiness zones span this area (which also serves as a beautiful background for the book’s photography). The book’s 192 pages are heavy in photography, but also include growing tips, recipes, and light gardening how-to. Although the focus is on cold-climate gardening (the Elk Valley’s frost-free growing season ranges from 60 to 100 days), a number of other topics are briefly explored: composting, raised bed gardening, seed-saving, and growing in small, urban spaces. These short forays are inspiring, rather than overwhelming — a great start for beginning gardeners.


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Although Down to Earth is small on practical how-to, it is BIG on gardening inspiration. Jennifer and Helen have obviously made many gardening friends during the book’s production, and they happily share them with us. I came away from the book feeling like I had just attended a very lovely garden tour — one that included a behind-the-scenes pass, along with a souvenir guide to each gardener’s history, tips, and favorite varieties.



I’m “re-gifting” my free copy of Down to Earth to a lucky reader, even though it’s tempting to just keep it as my own (don’t worry, I have Helen’s blessing). If you’d like a shot at receiving this lovely book, simply share a favorite memory from your 2014 garden, along with your garden’s location, in the comments below. The recipient will be chosen at random and notified by email one week from today.

Want to purchase a copy? Canadian residents are encouraged to order directly (and receive a signed copy!) from Oolichan Books via Down to Earth can also be purchased via Amazon (affiliate link).


Note: I received a free copy of this book, without any stipulation that I review the book on this blog or offer it in a giveaway. My opinions are expressly my own, and I am not being financially compensated in any way to offer them here.


Don’t want to miss Giveaway #2? Subscribe to receive blog updates (in the sidebar), or “like” me on Facebook.



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