“My favorite was speaker was the tomato man. Loved the information he shared about how his experiments and isn't afraid to fail. He has a great sense of wonder and that came through loud and clear.” (feedback from the Grow Great Gardens event, Taylor County Michigan, 2019)
I would love to have the opportunity to share my gardening experiences with audiences and members for your venue, organization or gardening group.
Epic Tomatoes, my first book, was named Best Book - Gold award by the Garden Writers Association, as revealed at their September 2016 conference.
I have been (or soon will be) a keynote or guest speaker at some incredible locations, including:
Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, WA (multiple appearances)
Wylde Center, Decatur, GA
Philadelphia Flower Show, Philadelphia, PA
Mother Earth News FAIRs in Asheville NC, Seven Springs PA, Burlington VT (multiple appearances)
Seed Savers Exchange, Keynotes and workshops, Decorah IA (multiple appearances)
Monticello - Heritage Harvest Festival, Charlottesville VA (multiple appearances)
Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago IL
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA (multiple appearances)
Omni Homestead, Hot Springs VA
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston MA
Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan
NC Museum of History, Raleigh NC (multiple appearances)
US Botanical Garden, Washington, DC (multiple appearances)
Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh NC (multiple appearances)
A Southern Season, Chapel Hill, NC (multiple appearances)
Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, AL
Organic Growers School, UNC Asheville, NC
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh PA
Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City SC (multiple appearances)
Horticultural Society of Maryland, Baltimore MD
White Flower Farm, Morris CT (multiple appearances)
Morton Arboretum, Chicago IL
Detroit area Master Gardeners Conference, Waterford, MI
Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, Hartford CT
Northern Neck Master Gardeners Conference, White Stone VA
Garden and Landscape Expo, Gillette WY
Homegrown Tomato Festival, Charlotte, NC
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont NC
Sarah P Duke Gardens, Durham NC (multiple appearances)
Builders Home and Garden Show, St Louis, MO and St Charles (multiple appearances)
Bowood Farms garden center, St Louis, MO
Growing Great Gardens event at the Taylor Conservatory, MI
(working on events in the Denver/Boulder CO area, Virginia Beach and Salt Lake City)
numerous local events in North Carolina and Virginia
I've also appeared on numerous radio shows and podcasts, such as Public Radio show The Splendid Table with Lynne Rosetto Kasper, The State of Things with Frank Stasio, and The Weekend Gardener with Niki Jabbour, as well as participation in local tomato themed dinners with chefs Ashley Christensen (Enoteca Vin, The Bridge Club), Kevin Callaghan (Acme Food & Beverage Co), and Sarig Agassi (Zely and Ritz), and spoke at the Terra Vita Food and Drink festival in Chapel Hill NC. I am featured on episode 803 of Joe Lamp'l's Growing a Greener World TV show, which began airing nationally on April 29, 2017.
For more than three decades I've served as tomato adviser to the Seed Savers Exchange, a role that I continue to enjoy to this day.
My talks and workshops can be completely customized to meet the time constraints, audience sizes and areas of interest.
I do request an honorarium, currently set at $2500.00, and coverage of expenses such as airfare, mileage, hotel and meals, as needed. Please note that this is a starting point for a negotiation, and I take into account the nature of the event and resources of the inviting host. If you are interested in booking me, get in touch and let's talk and make it work!
I am also happy to contribute articles on tomatoes and other gardening topics in my realm of expertise and experience to newspapers and magazines. I've been published in the Raleigh News and Observer, The American Gardener, North State Journal, and Gardener Supply Company publications and/or blogs. Compensation will be agreed following our discussions of topics and timing.
“I loved this class. Craig had a great presence; you could feel his passion. He actually got me to think hard about tomatoes. I really enjoyed the hands on exercises and of course I loved getting to take some cool seedlings home.”
“Craig presented an original view from one who has hands-on experience. He had many original tips & observations to share. He offered a fine perspective from "outside the box", and fresh thinking. His tips were well tested. Made you feel you could safely try them.”
“I have taken multiple classes at Longwood Gardens and Total Tomato Adventure was perhaps my favorite. The enthusiasm of the speaker was contagious...I think I dreamed about tomatoes that night! Really a fun, informative class. I even purchased three of his signed books in the gift shop after class, one for myself, of course, and two for gifts. I have signed up for two other classes later in the season and am looking forward to them as well. Keep up the good work with the programming!”
“This was my first time at your conference and I was blown away by all of your presenters. However, I loved Craig's presentation the most, as I am: 1. Tomato crazy, 2. A retired scientist, and 3. Mad for all things gardening.”
Workshop Focus Areas
Everything Tomatoes, with my specialty being heirloom types and associated stories, the array of colors and flavors.
All aspects of successful tomato growing, from planning through seed starting, cultural techniques, preservation and seed saving.
Amateur tomato breeding
Peppers and eggplant - primarily successful selection and culture for your particular areas.
Container and straw bale gardening as a way to expand gardening to all who have some sun, and the interest to grow their own wonderful produce.
The following are the most requested/given talks to date
Epic Tomatoes from Your Garden…some history, lots of stories and tips for success (I customize these talks for the location given so that all info is highly pertinent)
Bring Your Garden to the Sun….all about container and straw bale gardening
What We Grew, and What We Grow….gardening in the US, snapshots over time (this brand new talk is very well received, and touches on key varieties from the mid 1800s, early 1900s, mid 1900s and today, using pictures and old seed catalog scans)
Other talks that have been provided successfully over the past few years are:
The Total Tomato Adventure - from History to Harvest
New Adventures in tomatoes - breakthrough varieties and a selection of methods for success wherever the sun shines
How to Grow Tomato Themed Gardens....ideas for creative approaches
Five Must-Dos for Tomato Success in the Southeast
Garden 101: Your Best Edible Garden - grow epic tomatoes wherever the sun shines
Tomatoes in America - Then and Now...on the trail of our tomato heritage
The Holy Grail - how to grow great tomatoes from seed to harvest
Epic Tomato Growing Techniques...varieties, stories and demos
The Road to Epic Tomatoes....paved with SSE yearbooks
The Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project..the first open source, all volunteer, all amateur, worldwide - and success! - approach to new, useful tomato varieties
A Tomato Tasting is a Celebration! Some Hint, tips and information for you to get the most out of it
Success with Tomatoes - some history, stories and tips
If you would like to request a topic that you don't see here, make a suggestion!
I would like to thank the following wonderful companies - which I recommend with highest confidence - for providing support for me over the years, in terms of equipment used in events or seeds to share with my audience - and in all cases, truly valued friendship. Please get in contact with me if you are interested in providing some sponsorship for my efforts.