Fresh Picked: Edible Gardening, Urban Farming and Culinary Skills

Today’s urban gardeners want to squeeze the most from their space, and that includes growing healthy edible produce. Whether you’re new to growing edibles, or want to take it to the next level, we have a wide range of great seminars to help you get the most from your garden or even a condo balcony.

From starting your fruit and berries off right, to preparing the produce you harvested and using your herbs for good health, a wide range of edible gardening is covered by our experts sharing the best tips and techniques you need for success. You’ll soon discover edible gardening is fun and fruitful—and can look beautiful! So take a bite on these seminars—you’ll be glad you did.

The Seminars by Category are listed in chronological order. Each of the seminars listed below will tell you the speaker name, seminar topic, seminar description, date, time, seminar location and if there is a book signing afterwards.

Please check the full Seminar Schedule for a full list of ALL our seminars.

All seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival are FREE with your ticket!

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A Taste for Herbs: Capture the Flavor of Herbs from Your Garden

Sue Goetz—Designer and owner, Creative Gardener, and author, A Taste for Herbs

Infuse, blend, mix, season and capture the flavor of herbs from your garden! Create vinegars, syrups, dried seasoning mixes, and herbal rubs for grilling. Make flavor mixes to infuse cocktails and tea with syrups, add zing to greens and salads with vinegars and oils. Come for a show and smell!

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 1:30 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Veggies 201: Digging Deeper into Your Patch

Kristin CrouchBlogger, ThatBloominGarden.com and Vancouver, BC Master Gardener

This seminar will give you a deeper understanding of your vegetable garden and help you get a more bountiful harvest. Learn about feeding your plants, soil health, timing succession plantings and managing common garden pests. You’ll gain a better understanding of organic ways to identify and control garden pests and problems in the garden, why we have pollination problems, how to attract beneficial insects to the garden and getting your garden in balance with nature.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 10:00 am / Hood Room

GARDEN 101: Heavenly Herbs

Herbs are hot! Whether used to flavor a recipe, or for home care or healing, growing fresh herbs is a growing trend. No garden? No problem! Jacqueline Soule discusses “Herculean” herbs—herbs that can survive cold, heat, drought, and indifferent care and can be easily grown for culinary and household uses. Stephanie Rose shares which herbs and flowers you might already growing in your garden contain healing properties, and which ones you should absolutely be planting this year. See how to properly harvest and prepare plants from the garden to stock your own home apothecary. Finally, Sue Goetz shows you how to successfully grow herbs in containers, adding charm to even the tiniest balcony or patio. Find out which herbs do best in potted gardens and how to harvest them.

Thursday, Feb 20 at 2:15 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

  • Herculean Herbs
    Jacqueline Soule, PhD—Botanist, award-winning garden writer, speaker and co-author, Gardening Complete
  • Growing Natural Beauty in the Apothecaries’ Garden
    Stephanie Rose—Award-winning author, Garden Made and blogger, GardenTherapy.ca
  • You Can Have a Feast of Flavors from Herbs Contained
    Sue Goetz—Designer and owner, Creative Gardener, and author, A Taste for Herbs

Beyond Jam: New and Exciting Ways to Preserve Fruit

Tara Austen Weaver—Author, Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest

Most canners wind up with more jam than they can eat, but there are other options. Learn how to transform summer tree fruit and berries into a tangy fruit curd to stir into yogurt or top pancakes; a sweet fruit caramel perfect for drizzling over ice cream; or stir up a fruit shrub, a drink that makes a refreshing soda on its own, or a sophisticated addition to a cocktail. Turn your garden produce into tasty treats, which can be either canned or frozen for long-term preservation. 

Thursday, Feb 21 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

The Secret Edible Garden You Already Have

Ellen Zachos—Author, The Wildcrafted Cocktail and Growing Healthy Houseplants and co-host, “Plantrama” Podcast

Would you like to grow a secret edible garden? Don’t worry, you don’t have to build a wall! Just choose plants that no one else knows you can eat. When your garden is full of lavender, roses, sedums, daylilies, dogwoods, hostas, bee balm, and dahlias, people will admire its beauty, never dreaming it’s also full of flavor. Learn which of your favorite ornamental plants are edible, and how you can enjoy their secret, delicious flavors.

Friday, Feb 22 at 10:00 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Grow What You Love: Grow a Food Garden That’s Right for You

Emily Murphy— Designer, expert gardener, author, Grow What You Love and blogger, PassthePistil.com

When you take time to grow what you love, wonderful things happen. But where to begin and what to plant? Emily Murphy shows how to select, grow, and harvest the right plants for you, starting with 12 sets of seasonal ingredients that are both the gardener’s and chef’s choice along with inspiration from garden-to-table recipes.

Friday, Feb 22 at 11:15 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Edibles in Containers: Beyond Lettuce and Herbs

Charlie Nardozzi—Radio, TV host and author, Gardening Complete, Foodscaping and Urban Gardening for Dummies

The first step for new gardeners growing edibles in containers usually starts with herbs, greens and tomatoes. As container gardeners get more experienced and adventurous, many turn to growing unusual vegetables, berries and fruit trees. In the mild Northwest winter climate, these plants can thrive with less care than when grown in colder climates. But they aren't without their challenges. In this talk I'll discuss growing large vegetables, berries and even fruit trees in containers. Sponsored by Gardeners Supply Company & Velcro USA.

Friday, Feb 22 at 1:45 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

One Hour Dairy-Free Cheese from Your Own Kitchen

Claudia Lucero—Owner, UrbanCheesecraft.com and author, One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese

The author of One-Hour Cheese debuts dairy-free cheese recipes made from easy-to-find ingredients that deliver maximum flavor and rich, creamy textures for vegans, Paleo- and Fast Metabolism–dieters, and others who love cheese but not dairy. Claudia will demonstrate One Bowl Ricotta - Italian Herb Ricotta, Orange Anise Ricotta or Cold Coconut Cream Cheese - Chive Parsley Cream Cheese, and Cranberry Clementine Cream Cheese. Yum!

Friday, Feb 22 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Make a Date with Your Veggie Garden: Matching Your Crops to Your Lifestyle

Bill Thorness—Author, Cool Season Gardener and Edible Heirlooms

How much time do you really have for vegetable gardening? Plan to fit in gardening to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor, no matter your lifestyle. This is a talk for the calendar-challenged gardener (which is all of us). Whether you are a thrice-a-week gardener, just have Saturday afternoons available, or will visit the garden only once a month between business trips, you can still entice produce to spring from the soil.

Friday, Feb 22 at 7:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Edible Flowers and Companion Plants for Pacific Northwest Gardens

Emily Murphy— Designer, expert gardener, author, Grow What You Love and blogger, PassthePistil.com

What’s not to love about flowers? They elevate mood, inspire creativity, and many are edible and make fabulous companion plants. Emily highlights the leading companion plants and edible flowers for Pacific Northwest kitchen gardens, outlining best practices for planting design, interplanting, growing, and utilizing these wonderful garden blooms. Invite a host of pollinators, protect your garden naturally, and enjoy flowers throughout the seasons while feasting from the garden.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Gardening Under Lights: Gear & Growing Techniques for the Indoor Garden

Leslie F. Halleck—Author, Gardening Under Lights and consultant and owner, Halleck Horticultural

Indoor gardening and grow lighting technology for home gardeners is exploding. If you’re struggling to keep your succulents alive, orchids blooming, harvest kitchen herbs, or grow food indoors, grow lights are usually your solution. Choosing the right grow lights for the right plants can be an overwhelming task. Leslie will cover current trends, modern indoor growing technology, the gear you need, and techniques for growing more plants indoors.

Sunday, Feb 24 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

The New Heirloom Garden: Modern Designs for Old-Fashioned Gardeners

Ellen Ecker Ogden—Food and garden writer and author, The Complete Kitchen Garden and From the Cook’s Garden

In a world where supermarket options have dulled our palates and choices are homogenized, food gardens are more important than ever. A true kitchen garden will open the senses both in the garden and in the kitchen. Discover how to grow an edible garden with an eye towards beauty, easy care, and pleasure; be inspired to take a new look at fruits, flowers, and vegetables to add color, aroma, and exceptional taste to your repertoire of plants.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Backyard Chickens 101

Yolanda Burrell—Urban farmer, owner and founder, Pollinate Farm & Garden

Backyard chickens are all the rage! Not only are they a source of fresh, wholesome eggs --a small backyard flock adds beauty and provides fertilizer, pest control, and hours of entertainment. They are the ultimate 'pets with benefits'! Learn the basics to get started with a flock of your own. Legal restrictions; Best breeds; coop and run options; biosecurity; feeding, nutrition and care; raising chicks; mixed aged flocks; predators and pests; maintaining a garden with backyard chickens

Saturday, Feb 23 at 3:00 pm / Hood Room

Getting Started with Growing Fruit

Tara Austen Weaver—Author, Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest

Fruit is a tasty and attractive addition to any garden—from an apartment terrace to a full urban farm. This beginner-level presentation with teach you how to select and place berries and vines so they are part of the landscape, providing both fruit and attractive foliage throughout the year. What vine options are available for those who are short on space? What berries do well in containers? How can you get the most out of a strawberry bed?

Saturday, Feb 23 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Vegetables Love Flowers: Increase Garden Health and Production with Flowers

Lisa Mason Ziegler—Owner, The Gardener’s Workshop and author, Cool Flowers and Vegetables Love Flowers

Learn how to have an organic garden where good bugs eat bad bugs, pollinators are abundant and the beautiful bouquet on the table came from your garden! Lisa shares how a small cutting garden in the vegetable patch leads to a healthier and more abundant garden. Learn why to grow flowers, which flowers to grow, how to tend it as a cutting garden, and, most importantly, how to do it all pesticide-free.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 5:45 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Fresh Ideas for Kitchen Gardens: The Art of Growing Food

Ellen Ecker Ogden—Food and garden writer and author, The Complete Kitchen Garden and From the Cook’s Garden

Learn how to grow an edible garden with an eye towards beauty, easy care, and pure pleasure; a true kitchen garden opens your senses both in the garden and in the kitchen. Learn Ellen’s six steps to successful kitchen garden design. You’ll take home design ideas to transform your current garden from ordinary to extraordinary, including basic design, foursquare rotation for healthy soil, what to plant, and how to add personality to give your kitchen garden a unique style.

Sunday, Feb 24 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Good Buzz: Backyard Beekeeping Basics

Yolanda Burrell—Urban farmer, owner and founder, Pollinate Farm & Garden

Bees are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of the food we eat every day! New to beekeeping or just want to understand more about what's involved before plunging in? Curious about all the buzz, the threats to their survival and how you can get involved by keeping a hive your own? Learn the basics of backyard beekeeping in this informative talk. Topics include common hive types, tools and safety equipment, and the life cycle of a colony.

Sunday, Feb 24 at 3:00 pm / Hood Room