Come Along to the Country Living Fair Contest

Blog Ticket GiveawayI’m taking my Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening show on the road to the Country Living Fair, June 3, in Rhinebeck, NY.

Please join me!

Here’s your chance to win two 3-day passes to the Country Living Fair at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in the gorgeous Hudson Valley.

If you’re a fan of Country Living magazine, you’ll love getting to be part of the excitement of this incredible event!

There’s plenty to see, do and buy…


  • Shop at hundreds of booths filled with vintage and handmade treasures and one-of-a-kind antiques.
  • Attend free seminars on gardening (like mine), decorating and more.
  • Learn new recipes at the cooking demonstrations.
  • Enjoy live music and delicious food.
  • Meet some of the folks that make the magazine the fan favorite that it is!

To enter this random drawing for the 2 3-day passes, add your comment about what you love about going to fairs — any fair, from county fair to state fair. Festivals count, too.

Calling All Weird Veggies and Funny Fruit

The Loch Ness Cucumber, submitted by Ron Doyle, was the winner in last year’s Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit contest sponsored by

If it’s August, it’s time for the Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit contest. I hope you’ll join us for some gardening fun.

For the next month, be on the lookout for any odd-looking fruit or vegetables you find in your garden or at a farmer’s market. And I do mean odd.

I’m talking about a potato that looks like Lady Gaga or an eggplant that grew into a work of art.

I’m looking for the weird and wonderful results of what happens when things go wrong with Mother Nature’s gardening plans…like Sweet Cheeks, a pear tomato I found growing in my garden last year.

When you find a crazy veggie or funny fruit, just take a digital picture of it and email it to by September 1.

2010 Gardening Resolutions Contest

With the 2009 gardening season just a pleasant memory, it’s time to start planning for 2010.

Gardening Resolutions blogOne of the most important lessons I learned talking with other gardeners at the Garden Writers Symposium in September was that no matter what part of the country you live in, there are gardening challenges.

Too hot or too cold. Too much rain or too little. Hail. Bugs. Poor soil. Short seasons.  Squirrels.

But every gardener I talked with works hard to overcome the obstacles. It could be by using a  new planting technique, a simple trick to improve the soil, choosing different plant varieties, adding more of this or less of that. Sometimes we’re successful and other times we simply give up and resolve to do things differently next time.

Is there something you’ve resolved to do differently next gardening season? I’d love to know.

Loch Ness Cucumber wins Weird Veggie Award

Here’s a photo of one of the most bizarre mysteries of all time, an anomaly rarely photographed…the Loch Ness Cucumber!

lochness-cucumber2The Loch Ness Cucumber was selected as the winner of the Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit gardening contest.

Ron Doyle of Denver, Colo., submitted the cuke, apparently following the old saying, “Presentation is everything.”

The contest judge, Geri Koncilja of Pueblo, Colo., selected the Loch Ness Cucumber for first-place honors and wrote: “This creeping vine creature has surfaced as the number one weird veggie. Congratulations you old picklehead.”

Geri knows a thing or two about pickleheads. She grew up on a Wisconsin farm where she and her sisters used to play with dolls they made from green onions.

Ron is a freelance writer and you can learn more about him at his Ron Doyle Writes web site and blog. He also writes and manages Twittercize, a free program that offers one minute exercise suggestions every hour via Twitter.

Weird Veggie Contest Ends Friday

There are only 5 days left to enter your Weird Veggie or Funny Fruit photo in this year’s contest.

wicked-plants-blogDon’t miss out on your chance to win this signed copy of the bestseller“Wicked Plants” by Amy Stewart.

Just send in your digital pix of the odd-ball produce you’ve either grown or found at a farmer’s market. Click here for complete details.

The winning entry, selected by an impartial judge, receives this wonderful addition to any gardener’s library. In fact, I hate to give this book away!

“Wicked Plants” is a fascinating walk through the dark garden of deadly, illegal, painful and destructive plants. What fun Amy must have had researching and writing it.

Amy writes, “I confess that I am enchanted by the plant kingdom’s criminal element. I love a good villain, whether its an enormous specimen of Euphorbia tirucalli…or Datura inoxia…”

Amy explains that dangerous plants don’t just lurk in remote jungles, but they can be found in backyards, too.

Weird veggie and funny fruit contest

Help celebrate my 100th blog post with a Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit Contest. Here’s my best effort–a cherry tomato that looks like the late comedian Buddy Hackett.

buddy-hackett-tomato-blogHave you ever grown a potato that looks like Mickey Mouse or a carrot that resembles a hippo? Ever seen an apple shaped like a duck or picked a heart-shaped raspberry?

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of vegetable and fruit anomalies. Mother Nature’s sense of humor shows through when she tinkers with the growing environment just enough to create odd-shaped fruits and veggies.

So, let’s have a contest! I want to find the strangest looking vegetable or fruit that you’ve either grown in your garden or found at a local farmer’s market.

The winner will receive a signed, hardcover copy of the New York Time’s best seller, “Wicked Plants: A Book of Botanical Atrocities,” by Amy Stewart.

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