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.



Thanks for Listening!

Still Growing,

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I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

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Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Kevin on September 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hey, thanks for the shoutout! So exciting to hear you say “Epic Gardening” on your podcast. If you’d ever like to come on the show, I’d be happy to host 🙂

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