Bill ThornessTell us a little about your professional background: I’m a freelance garden writer and editor. I write and edit books, and I teach editing for the University of Washington’s Professional and Continuing Education department. I am the author of two gardening books, Cool Season Gardener and Edible Heirlooms, as well as author of a cycling guidebook, Biking Puget Sound, which just came out in its 2nd edition. I also co-authored a business biography, and some of my freelance work involves working with corporate clients. And your other interests? Gardening and cycling are two of my main interests, and somehow I got a publisher to let me write about both of them! Sometimes I lead bike ride to gardens and farms. I support and work with many greening organizations, including the King County Seed Lending Library. With that group, we’re having a Seed Swap on Jan. 31, 2015 1-4 pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

What was your first plant? I grew up on a farm in North Dakota, so that would be wheat! I remember snapping off a seed head from a ripe sheaf of wheat, shelling the seeds in my hand, and chewing on the raw wheat to make it into gum!

What is your favorite gardening resource (book, website, etc.)? One of my favorites is Seattle Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide. I was editor of the revised and much-expanded version of the Guide, which came out last spring. It’s an essential tool for anyone growing edibles in our climate.

What is your favorite season? Although I try to live in the moment, it always seems to be “the next one.”

What is your favorite Seattle-area greenspace/park/garden? Hard to play favorites! How about 3? I love the Ballard P-Patch, where I used to have a plot. Seattle Tilth’s learning gardens at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford are great too. And for perennials and landscaping, the UW Center for Urban Horticulture.

Where in the world would you most like to visit? New Zealand is pretty alluring, especially because I could go there in winter, when it would be their summer.

What is your greatest extravagance? Theo’s chocolate.

What is your favorite dish? Did I mention Theo’s? Well, for nutrition from my garden, it would be either an egg frittata with chopped greens and herbs, or an Asian vegetable stir-fry over rice.

If you were a beverage, what would you be? A Northwest IPA.

What is your most marked characteristic? Dumb jokes.

Give us a quick gardening tip: Use a soil thermometer! It’s the best way to tell when the vegetable garden is ready for planting.

You can find Bill's posts here.