Fresh Picked: Edible Gardening, Urban Farming and Culinary Delights

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 choosing the best edible plant varieties, organic control of pests and bugs, 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. Please check the full Seminar Schedule for a full list of ALL our seminars.No ticket refunds for Speaker cancellations.

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

Buy Tickets Early and Save!

Nick’s Pick’s #1: Garden to Table Freshness from Fruit, Veggies and Seeds
Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural consultant and spokesperson/plantsman with Everde Growers and ‘Garden Savvy’ YouTube host

Eating wholesome fresh fruit is not just “trendy” anymore; it’s a cultural shift. Anyone can grow veggies and fruit in the garden, and even containers are great on the patio or balcony. Join horticulturist Nicholas Staddon for his top discoveries from the garden show Plant Market. Indulge yourself in this main course of terrific edibles. Nicholas will also cover partner plants to go with edibles. Finding just what you want is a breeze, as Nicholas provides booth numbers and company names for you to follow up on your favorite choices.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

Cultivating Delicious: Plan and Plant for Warm and Cool Season Edibles
Lorene Edwards Forkner—Author, Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables and gardening contributor for The Seattle Times

Whether you’re new to growing or a well-seasoned green thumb, cultivating a garden in the Pacific Northwest is a continuing education as well as a nearly constant feast. Learn to get the most from your plot by planning and planting for both warm and cool growing seasons. Discover how to integrate edibles with ornamental plantings along with small garden-friendly strategies designed to produce maximum flavor from any size plot.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 2:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

A Taste for Herbs
Sue Goetz CPH, EcoProOwner, Creative Gardener and author, Complete Container Herb Gardening and A Taste for Herbs

Infuse, blend, mix, season, and capture the flavor of herbs from your garden. Create herb vinegars, syrups, dried seasoning mixes, salt rubs for grilling, and more. Make flavor mixes from the garden to infuse cocktails and tea with syrups and add zing to greens and salads with vinegar and oils. Sue will inspire you with growing, harvesting, and delicious, healthful recipes—all using herbs from your garden. Come for a show and smell!

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

The Double Duty Garden

Ellen Zachos—Award-winning co-host, Plantrama Podcast, and author, The Forager’s Pantry, Backyard Foraging and The Wildcrafted Cocktail

If edible gardening is all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to tomatoes, herbs, and a few zucchini plants! Many wonderful ornamental plants are also delicious edibles, so why not have a garden that does double duty? Turn your rose hips into liqueur, your poppy mallows into hummus, and your Oregon grapes into jam. When plants work harder in the garden, you work less!

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 5:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

GARDEN 101: Grow Your Edible Gardening Skills
Size Doesn’t Matter: Growing Fruit in Small Spaces
Christy WilhelmiAward-winning blogger, Gardenerd and author, Gardening for Geeks and Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden

Organic Control of Vegetable Garden Pests
Susan Mulvihill—Author, Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook, co-author, Northwest Gardener’s Handbook and garden columnist for Spokesman Review

Winter Edibles: Tap Into the Power of Season Extension
Bill Thorness—Author, Cool Season Gardener and Edible Heirlooms

It seems everyone started edible gardening in 2020, for health, safety and the delicious rewards! Here are three great seminars by the pros that will help you squeeze even more fruit in your garden, discover ways to beat those pesky pests, and extend your garden season with tasty winter edibles. Christy Wilhelmi shares techniques and strategies to grow fruit, even if you only have a balcony, patio, or small garden to work with. Explore Backyard Orchard Culture methods, container gardening tips, pruning guidelines, pest management and soil prep for an abundant, healthy garden. Next Susan Mulvihill covers 10 simple steps you can take in your garden to keep your plants healthy and better able to withstand pest attacks, how to identify bugs before taking any action, and increase your knowledge of the most damaging pests and simple organic methods that effectively control them. Finally, Bill Thorness shows you how you can grow vegetables year round! Learn how to build or find the best winter-growing devices, when to use them and what to grow under them. Tap into season extension and discover the many ways you can keep harvesting all year.

Friday, Feb 11 at 2:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow


The Garden 101 Series is sponsored by ColibriNW


Make Beautiful and Healing Container Gardens
Dr. JJ Pursell—Author-Naturopathic physician, Owner, The Herb Shoppe and author, The Herbal Apothecary, Medicinal Herbs for Immune Defense

Discover how to create perfectly balanced container gardens with healing herbs. This invaluable demonstration with detailed information will show you how to make a potted tea garden, a soothing mental health container, an herbal arrangement for immune health and a botanical filled first aid container. You’ll learn how to enhance your life and your health naturally. It’s a great way to start your path to natural wellness.

Friday, Feb 11 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Gardening with Culpepper: The Healing Power of Herbs
Dr. JJ Pursell—Author-Naturopathic physician, Owner, The Herb Shoppe and author, The Herbal Apothecary, Medicinal Herbs for Immune Defense

Over 350 years ago Famed herbalist Nicholas Culpepper taught us the medicinal value of over 400 plants, a true gift from nature. His study of astrology also gave us valuable insight into how each herb relates to the human body. Join me on the Culpepper journey, from Adder’s Tongue to Yarrow, and learn to weave tradition and nature’s bounty into your modern gardens for natural beauty, sustainable health and healing herbs.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 10:00 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Biointensive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces
Christy WilhelmiAward-winning blogger, Gardenerd and author, Gardening for Geeks and Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden

Get the most out of your vegetable garden this season! Learn how biointensive methods are used to grow an abundance of produce in tight quarters. Discover how to grow your most productive, high-yielding vegetable garden yet, while doing less work and using less water. Combine Biodynamic, French Intensive, Grow BioIntensive, and Square Foot Gardening methods to fill your harvest basket like never before. You’ll reap a bounty of produce no matter how small your garden is.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 11:00 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

What To Grow Now: A Garden Primer on Starting this Year’s Backyard Farm
Amy Pennington—Urban farmer and author, Salad Days, Urban Pantry, Apartment Gardening and Fresh Pantry

An urban farmer, garden writer, nature lover, Amy has been growing food in damn near every neighborhood in the Seattle for over 15 years, and she has an intuitive sense for climate, sun and plant dispositions. Now you’ll gain her invaluable insights on what to go NOW—time and season-specific for anyone growing in the Pacific NW. Amy will discuss weather, sun and temperature and offers hyper-relevant tips and tricks on how to grow the most successful food garden. Let’s make this year the year to start off right!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 6:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Harvest These Tips: Victory Gardening for Beginners
Diane Blazek—Executive Director at All America Selections/National Garden Bureau

James H. Burdett founded National Garden Bureau in 1920 and wrote the original Victory Garden Manual in 2040. A century later the COVID pandemic hit and the country again turned to Victory Gardening. National Garden Bureau relaunched the Victory Garden concept in March 2020, calling it Victory Gardening 2.0. Those Victory Garden blogs had many beginner tips that are sure to help any gardener be more successful. This seminar will share some of the original Victory Garden pointers as well as those for today’s gardens which are sure to be valuable take home tips.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 10:30 am / Hood Room

Apartment Gardening: What to Grow for a Plentiful Harvest
Amy Pennington—Urban farmer and author, Salad Days, Urban Pantry, Apartment Gardening and Fresh Pantry

Growing plants in containers is a tricky thing. There are plenty of resources available about growing food in containers that imply that this process is simple and straightforward—but most of us will find that it takes some trial and error. Learn what plants steer clear of and this year, focus on plants that are either very versatile in their culinary uses or will produce a generous harvest in a short amount of time. These edibles are based on plants that I have found to be great producers.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 1:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Free and Delicious: Making Use of Common Backyard Weeds
Rachael WittHerbalist and Founder of Wildness Within

It’s said that a “weed” is just a plant whose virtues are undiscovered. Did you know that many of our weeds are both edible and medicinal? Learn about the nutritional benefits of weeds and how to integrate these wild plants into your diet and daily life. Rachael will cover botanical identification, seasonal tending, edibility, medicinal benefits, possible toxicity, and how to use underappreciated plants within your home. You’ll also discover simple recipes and remedies to transform these pesky plants into healthy plant allies.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage