May 4, 2010

Grow Great Grub Book Launch Party

February 24, 2010

On a very mild February night, I headed into town for the launch of Gayla Trail's new book, Grow Great Grub. This is Gayla's second book after her very popular You Grow Girl.

Grow Great Grub

I took the train into town, then the subway, then I was lucky enough to share the Dufferin St bus with a group of nuns dressed in light blue. At first glance, I thought I had stepped onto a bus with the Holy Mother! “Where will this take me?” I wondered. Well, whether it was to a book launch or the afterlife, I figured it was a good sign.

I quite admire Gayla, because she knows how to use modern technology and social media so well. She has been running her blog,, for over 10 years now.

The book launch was being held at the trendy Lula Lounge.

Lula Lounge

As usual I arrived early, and managed to catch Gayla and her Partner, Davin Risk, setting up.

Davin Risk and Gayla Trail

Gayla was not only selling the book but there were all sorts of things to buy at the sales table. You can see buttons, fridge magnets, and T-shirts below.

You Grow Girl Merchandise

I really like Gayla's graphic design style. It is nostalgic and modern at the same time.

Grow Great Grub Buttons

View Gayla's blog about the event.

The food was catered by The Local Café. I have to say that it was pretty spectacular. I haven't experienced a lot of vegan cuisine but this was really delicious. There were springrolls with peanut sauce, and small savoury pastries. There were cookies filled with fair trade jam and a chocolate cake sweetened with of all things - beets. I have to admit, I went back for seconds.

Gayla had set up an activity table. There was no end to free packets of seeds, so she set up a table where people could plant them in little cups.

Grow Great Grub Seed Table

I ran into Tara Nolan, online editor for Canadian Gardening, and her sister, Hilary Nolan Haupt. Hilary was lucky enough to win one of the great door prizes, which was a bag of garden tools and supplies.

Tara Nolan and Hilary Nolan Haupt

You can read about it in Tara's blog.

Gayla draws for a prize

Gayla announced the winners as a slide show of her photography was being projected behind her.

Gayla announces the winner

It was nice to see Laura Berman (below). Laura is a photographer that specializes in beautiful images of fruits, vegetables and agriculture. She recently sent me an email saying that Gayla has been nominated for two prestigious gardening blog awards for Best Writing and Best Photography. You can vote for her at Mouse And Trowel.

Laura Berman

Lorraine Johnson (below) always looks stylish. Towards the end of May, Lorraine will be having her own launch for her new book, City Farmer.

Lorraine Johnson

Overall, it was a really enjoyable night. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if there had been more people there. I know that if it had taken place in Manhattan the venue would have been packed. The people that did attend were, on the whole, very interesting, very trendy and artistic. There were also many people from the Parkdale and Toronto Horticultural Society, which I think Gayla is a member of.

I managed to sit down with the book a few days later. After reading it for about an hour I thought to myself, “DaXn, now I want to grow veg! Like I don't already have enough to do!” It is an enjoyable read. If you are interested in growing vegetables, or just learning more about it, this book will inspire you.

It inspired me to try growing thyme as a ground cover under some of my roses. I will let you know how it goes.

Grow Great Grub can be purchase at most bookstores or online at or

Davin Risk and Gayla Trail

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If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark Disero

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