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The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook (2013)

by Barbara Damrosch(Favorite Author)
4 of 5 Votes: 4
0761156690 (ISBN13: 9780761156697)
Workman Publishing Company
review 1: The extensive background and experience of this couple really shows in the first half of the Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook, which actually focuses on the Garden rather than food recipes- you can interpret it really as the first half being a Garden "Cook"book, and then the second half is the Table, with the promised 120 recipes and traditional cookbook.I have been an urbanite whose gardening skills never have been explored more than growing a few of my favorite herbs of basil, dill, thyme, and Thai chili peppers, annually, so you can take this review as someone who is a total newbie to gardening, much less farming produce or anything beyond a windowsill box.The book starts from the ground up- literally. The first chapter helps you identify what kind of soil you have... more, teaches you the difference between types of soil and how to improve your soil. The next chapters expound into how to think about and then decide on the size and layout of your garden, how to rotate different crops in your garden whether it be through a single year across seasons or across years. They then present six options of different kind of garden themes varying from one that is focused on producing lots of quick and satisfying results in the smallest space (The Salad Garden) to a theme of (The Hard Times Garden) or one that you don't have to reseed every year because they are perennial or produce seeds (The Self Reliant Garden).There is one chapter that goes into depth on each possible crop (grouped by family as they require similar care in growing). One example is spinach, talking about the differences between the taste of spinach through the season, giving advice on how to grow it, then harvest it, then store it, and finally various options to cook it- and they expand this to include almost 70 kinds of produce you might be considering to grow. This is probably going to be the chapter that I thumb through over and over as I encounter beautiful items in the farmers market, as I look up the produce and read suggestions on ways to cook and enjoy it. Although this chapter is technically in the Garden portion of the book with its advice on growing and harvesting, the information on storing and cooking it are definitely Table territory.Each of these chapters is written with the voice that has clearly done everything that has been written and can provide tips. The voice is aware of both the science of how to make decisions based on the reality of various situations and talking through all of the data and information you might use to analyze and decide or more efficiently garden (such as offering advice on tools or watering techniques or weed control)- aka extremely practical- while also catering to the art of garden as an emotionally fulfilling enterprise by detailing the rich colors and textures and beauty of nature and feeling of productivity and satisfaction of feeding plants and them feeding us in return. At one point, the authors note how as each crop is ready you feel like the year is full of "little festivals" of produce.In this first half of the book, pictures and illustrations abound, enticing you with beautiful photos of produce you too can grow, or step by step of saving tomato seeds, or various map layouts of gardens or charts for crop rotations. So I was a little disappointed there were not more photos in the second half for the recipes. There are definitely some beautiful whole page layouts of some of the recipes, but many recipes have no photo, or at most a small photo of one of the ingredients of the recipe but not the dish itself. I am definitely a visual person, and the recipes I tried ended up being ones that had accompanying photos of the finished dish.Her recipes are simple (she calls her style “prosperous peasant”), featuring the freshness of the ingredients, all from scratch and the majority of the components which can come fresh from the garden... or in my case, purchased from the farmers market and someone else's garden.
review 2: I had to have this cookbook. Had to. While I am currently a urban apartment dweller, my heart and soul are those of a gardener and a foodie. Some folks do fantasy football or create virtual farms on Facebook, but me, I read gardening and cookbooks like novels and create beautiful fantasies of the wondrous things I will grow and make someday. And this book will keep me in lovely dreams at least until the farmers markets start up and I can start to cook some of these tantalizing recipes. less
Reviews (see all)
There are some great recipes to be found here, I can't wait to try some of them.
Lots of good ideas for fixing your garden produce or ones you buy.
This book makes me really want a garden. Awesome book!!!
Looks like a good book.
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