SG584: Homegrown Pantry with Barbara Pleasant


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The witty and wise garden author Barbara Pleasant is on today’s show and we’re talking about her book Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round.

How many potatoes should I plant for a family of four? Which fruits should I freeze and which should I dry? What varieties of tomatoes make the best salsa? These are just a few of the questions Barbara answers in her new book, Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round. Lucky for us, Barbara shares the answers to those questions and more on today’s show.

David Ellis, editor of The American Gardener magazine, said this about Barbara’s book,

“If you’re looking for a single book that can take you from planning and planting a food garden through harvesting, preserving, and cooking your produce, Homegrown Pantry is it. Barbara Pleasant offers savvy advice on what vegetables to plant and how much to grow, plus dozens of time- and flavor-saving tips.”

I couldn’t agree more. Plus, Barbara is just so approachable and practical. You’re going to really enjoy all the tips and insights she offers on growing edibles - including veggies, fruits, and herbs - and preserving your garden harvest.

By the time we hit September, most gardeners are laser focused on a few main topics: How can we enjoy our harvest year-round? Did we plant too much or too little of a particular crop? What can we do differently next year? Barbara addresses these concerns expertly - and very simply. Homegrown Pantry picks up where beginning gardening books leave off, recognizing that mastery comes from experience and sharing that hard-earned wisdom in a very useable format. After spending over 30 years gardening, Barbara’s book not only helps us find greater success and fulfillment in our gardens, but also makes that endeavor count the whole year through with harvest saving methods including canning, pickling, root cellaring, fermenting, and dehydrating.

Additionally, Barbara offers in-depth profiles of the 55 most popular crops — including beans, beets, squash, tomatoes, and much more — to keep your pantry stocked throughout the year. Personally, I love that each vegetable profile highlights how much you should plant per person, stellar varieties suggested by Barbara (talk about learning from a pro!) and the best ways to preserve each item from your harvest - veggies, fruits and herbs. Barbara shares charts to guide both new and experienced gardeners. She also gives tips for how to calculate the timing of second plantings.

Generally speaking, most gardeners would have to cull through multiple books to find all the information distilled into this very straightforward and practical guide covering the very best information on gardening, preservation, seasonal recipes, and food storage. This is one of my favorite reference books now - and Barbara is a gem of gardening wisdom. A Virginia gardener, Barbara’s been covering organic gardening and self-sufficient living for more than 30 years. Enjoy learning from Barbara Pleasant as we chat about her book, Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round.


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The Garden News Roundup for September 8th, 2017:

Guest Update

How to preserve food even if you have no time

..and there goes the summer garden! Let's catch up.


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The Search for the World’s Most Enchanting Greenhouses


Zucchini Boats


Link to this week's quotables

Helpful Timestamps

The Garden News Roundup

Timestamp 24:10


Timestamp: 39:10

With Homegrown Pantry, who is your ideal reader? Who do you think would benefit the most from reading your book?

Timestamp 45:30

In the beginning of the book, you give a little glimpse into your family history. Can you read that section out for the listeners?

Timestamp 47:40

Why grow your own food? Important questions you need to ask yourself before you grow !

Timestamp 53:40

Basic preservation methods

Timestamp 1:02:00

Encyclopedia for Rewarding Crops: Vegetables

Timestamp 1:21:10

There are 7 ways to store potatoes. I didn’t realize there were that many ways!

Timestamp 1:39:40

Encyclopedia for Rewarding Crops: Fruits

Timestamp 1:47:50

Encyclopedia for Rewarding Crops: Herbs

Timestamp 2:03:30

I heard somewhere that it took you 5 years to research and write this book. Is that true?

Timestamp 2:12:10

Once upon a time, we all had grandmothers that gardened.

Timestamp 2:16:50

This is not your first book. What other books have you written about, Barbara?

Timestamp 2:20:05

85 episodes available. A new episode about every 9 days averaging 115 mins duration .