Potting Shed Review: Two New Books

As much as I love and look forward to spring, I do enjoy the slower pace of winter that comes after Christmas and allows more time for reading. Something warm to drink, a fire in the fireplace and a good book. Yes, I can do that while I wait for spring … just not too long!

I recently purchased two Christmas presents from me to me that are sure to make a big difference in my gardening experience this winter.

Book #1

Sleep, Creep and Leap by Benjamin Vogt

First of all, don’t you just love the cover!

Benjamin Vogt is a poet, essayist, gardener and blogger.

This book is a memoir of three years in his garden. … beautifully and thoughtfully written.

On getting started he writes this,

“It’s late morning already, and we’ve finally made it to the new house. In two weeks we will move in, married on 7/7/7, but until then–and before the sod gets laid–my financee and I are here to spread mulch. 20 yards.”

I so get that! And, if you are a gardener, I suspect you do to. I look forward to having the time to dive into this book!

Book #2

Yes, You Can! by Daniel Gasteiger

My mother canned most everything we ate from the super huge garden we grew. She had an amazingly green thumb and hated to see anything go to waste.

I have her green thumb but don’t grow very many vegetables. I spend most of my gardening time  growing roses and their companions…. So, to date, I do not “can.”  Armed with Daniel’s encouragement and easy to use tips plus a few trips to my friendly farmer’s market, I plan to add canning to my 2012 list of things to do. I bet my mom will be smiling!

The pages of this book are amazing. Pictures and step by step instructions. When I asked Daniel about the book (we are Twitter friends), he said he wrote the book as though he was in the kitchen giving a demonstration. Looks easy…. wish me luck!

Do you have any encouraging words regarding canning?

10 thoughts on “Potting Shed Review: Two New Books

  1. Thanks for mentioning Yes, You Can! I’ll echo encouragement you’ll find in the book: Take advantage of bargains at the farmers’ market and preserve over the winter! I just scored avocados at 10 cents apiece and made guacamole for the freezer. Also, a half bushel of “pick-out” apples went into jars yesterday as spiced applesauce the way Mom used to make it. Good luck and have fun! -Daniel

  2. Looks like a good book. I canned this year for the first time. I grew a salsa garden this year and canned salsa which I’m giving to family as gives for Christmas. I got a really good price on a starter canning kit at the State Fair and was surprised how easy it was. Looking forward to expanding my garden next year and tweaking my salsa recipe.
    By the way, I really liked your countdown to spring. I’m thinking I need to post that on my desktop but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  3. Hi Teresa, As you know my Dad raised a huge garden to feed our family until he was around 80 years old. I can remember shelling beans and stringing and breaking green beans as I child. My husband, Mother and I are now tending his garden. Canned green beans and canned tomatoes are a must in our house because we cannot stand to eat the store-bought varieties. We have always used the Ball Blue Book for instructions on canning. It also contains instructions for freezing, pickling and drying. It is an excellent source for preservation techniques.
    We feel that a pressure canner is certainly worth the investment. As far as canning tomatoes, we and all my family just scald to remove skins, quarter and cook a few minutes and pour them into hot jars while they are boiling. Add salt, if desired, and put on lids and rings. No need for additional work. You will never buy store canned tomatoes again. Excellent for soup.
    Another tip–buy wide-mouth canning jars. They are easier to fill, empty and wash. Happy Canning!

    1. I so remember his beautiful garden and have great memories of delicious creamed peas and new potatoes! Thanks for the helpful tips. Now I just have to find some time and take the plunge!

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