229: Barbara Pleasant on Gardening to fill your Pantry.
Taking home-grown foods into food storage.
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Barbara is an Award-winning writer having been covering organic gardening and self-sufficient living for more than 30 years. As contributing editor to Mother Earth News, her work has garnered multiple awards from the Garden Writers Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
She has written books on topics ranging from compost to weeds, including Homegrown Pantry, Starter Vegetable Gardens, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, and The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual. Her columns and articles appear regularly in Mother Earth Living magazine, at GrowVeg.com and on other gardening websites. Barbara lives in Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs and fruits along with a few chickens, who all have names.
In This Podcast:
We meet Barbara Pleasant who helps expand our ideas for food storage beyond the simple basics. She also has tips for the new gardener and the ‘old hands’ that might give you some impetus to move a little dirt.
Listen in and learn about:
- Her reluctance to start writing thinking no one was interested in the topic
- Why she is promoting food self-responsibility and having food year-round
- What really drives those who preserve their own foods
- Growing in zones that cannot grow year-round
- What she emphasizes to grow and why
- What she did with her onions – a shallot comfiture, and
- Yes, she made an onion jam!
- Her alternatives to root cellars for storing her potatoes
- How she stores cabbage
- A tip for vacuum sealing
- Some dehydrating benefits
- Why she considers canning as one of her last choices based on her location
- Her favorite part of canning and why it is so satisfying
- The mysterious process of fermentation and how this works
- A tip for storing blueberries
As well as:
- Her failure – her shift to gardening in a new climate and growing arugula that “tasted like burnt tires”
- Her success – Growing blueberries, which she can make into snacks or blueberry wine, and all her charity cooking that she does in her community
- Her drive – Improving food security for everyone and encouraging gardens in every neighborhood
- Her advice – Start with where you are and build on your successes; for “old hands” she says: change up and try new things!
Books written by Barbara:
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever., with Deborah L. Martin (Storey, 2008)
The Whole Herb: For Cooking, Crafts, Gardening, Health and Other Joys of Life (Square One Publishers, 2004)
Barbara’s Book recommendations:
The Organic Gardener – by Catharine Osgood Foster
How to reach Barbara: