Homesweet Homegrown Sneak Peek + Giveaway

The fact that it’s possible to grow food in a tiny patch of yard or a basic window box is nothing short of a miracle to me. I grew up in a household that gardened religiously and throughout my childhood, there was always something delicious growing within steps of the house.

These days, my one frustration with my life as a high rise dweller is the fact that I have no place to combine seeds, soil, water and light to create my own edible miracle.

Home Sweet Homegrown spine

Despite my complete absence of garden space, I still love thinking about vegetable gardens. Each spring, I pick up a new gardening book or two and imagine what I would plant if I had a plot.

This year, my new favorite gardening book is a little volume called Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make and Store Food, No Matter Where You Live by Robyn Jasko (she’s the founder of Grow Indie, a fab website with lots of great resources for the grow your own type).

Home Sweet Homegrown contents

What’s so nice about this little book is that fact that’s both comprehensive and comprehendible. So often, gardening books contain a heck of a lot of more information than is possible to digest. This one is easy to swallow and so, so useful to boot.

As you can see from the above photo of the table of contents, the book will walk you through the entire gardening process, from those first initial steps all the way through to what to do with your harvest. If I wasn’t already a gardening convert (at least, theoretically), I’d be entirely convinced by the first section in which she breaks down the cost of home grown food as compared to grocery store or farmers market produce. The difference is staggering.

Home Sweet Homegrown canning

Towards the back of the book, there’s a nice little section that hits the basics of canning (as well as freezing, fermenting, dehydrating and other storage methods). While it doesn’t go into the deep minutia of canning, for someone who’s generally familiar with the process but needs a little refresher, this chapter is absolutely perfect.

I also love the instructions Robyn included entitled “How to Pickle Everything.” It’s an excellent reminder that pickling isn’t some mysterious thing. It’s really just the combination of vinegar, spices and fresh produce. There’s really no need to make yourself crazy over it.

Home Sweet Homegrown end paper

This is the best handbook I’ve seen for home gardeners who want to have all the basic information they need right at their fingertips. It makes me itch to get my fingers into the dirt. Hopefully someday!

Thanks to author Robyn Jasko, I have two prize packs (each contain a book and a seed pack)Β to give away to Food in Jars readers. Here’s what to do:

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re growing this summer. If you don’t have a garden, share what you wish you were growing.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Monday, June 4, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  4. One entry/comment per person, please.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book. The giveaway packs were also received at no cost to me. My opinions do remain entirely my own.Β 

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620 Responses to Homesweet Homegrown Sneak Peek + Giveaway

  1. 151
    Jenn says:

    Well I suppose I have to be honest and say that I planted sunflowers… it’s my first go around. I killed them. Or rather, my lack of knowledge killed them. I did however buy some herbs and put them in a pot and my sister-in-law used my cilantro in a wonderful indian dish! I also made some jam last year. I killed that too. Or rather, my lack of knowledge killed the jam. I have rectified that situation by purchasing Marisa’s book! Logic would follow that I should be able to grow something with a little instruction in such a user friendly format! I’m excited at the idea of growing something that I can then can for my family to eat in the winter! I would grow tomatoes, lettuce, peas, spinach, peppers… whatever!

  2. 152
    Katy says:

    I’m growing parsley, lettuce mix, tomatoes, green onions and sweet peppers – all on my balcony!
    I plant a garden in containers every year, this year I built sub-irrigation planters (sips) and my plants are SO happy!
    I always love reading new gardening books, this one looks like a gem. πŸ™‚

  3. 153
    llp says:

    The list is long – herbs, 6 kinds of tomatoes, strawberries, cherries (fingers crossed), chard, kale, carrots, beets, pumpkins, cabbage, broccoli, hot peppers, sweet peppers, apples, rhubarb, peas….

  4. 154
    Jenny says:

    I’m buying a house this summer, so I’ll finally get to garden again. I’ll probably be spending most of my time growing raised beds instead of actual vegetables this season.

  5. 155
    bcarrera says:

    I’m hoping to get my salsa garden growing again: tomatoes, tomatillos, coentro, green onion, jalapenos, habaneros, etc

    (Some of that might be in Portuguese, sorry about that.)

  6. 156
    devasophia says:

    Have my VERY FIRST GARDEN this year! All in containers, since a new home & a new baby leaves little time. Already harvested romaine and boston bibb lettuce. Growing kale, jalapenos, hot banana & cayenne peppers, green zebra, yellow pear & patio tomatoes, and then a slew of herbs. Also planted a fig tree which has small fruit already! HUZZAH!

  7. 157
    Ellen says:

    We are growing tomatoes, basil (gotta load up on the mozzarella), peppers, rosemary, strawberries and blueberries. My daughter is also excited to be growing carrots this year!!

  8. 158
    Kyrie says:

    I wish I were growing tomatoes and herbs. Illness kept me off pace this year. πŸ™

  9. 159
    Lisa Donati says:

    I have your basic summer garden…tomatoes, cukes, squash, hot and sweet peppers so far.

  10. 160
    emmycooks says:

    I am growing lots of things, but my current favorite thing I’m eating from the garden is sorrel. Not exactly food for jars, but heavenly in the moment!

  11. 161
    Kaitlyn Howard says:

    My family owns the cider mill, so there is 6 acres of pumpkins and about An acre of fruits and vegetables like lettuce, strawberries, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, onions etc etc. Also apple trees, pear trees and cherry trees! Fun fun!

  12. 162
    Monica says:

    My little condo balcony is home to lettuce, parsley, basil, oregano, chives, cilantro, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme… I hope to have my own full-size garden one day but I have a lot to learn before then!

  13. 163
    Emily says:

    I also learned to garden from my parents, and I’ve got a big garden – tomatoes, peppers, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pumpkins, butternut squash, arugula, onions. Cabbage worms ate my lettuce, though….

  14. 164
    Rachael says:

    This summer I’m growing dandelions! I’m also trying to build my first raised beds to hold my tomatoes and cucumbers next year. I do have a nice stash of herbs growing, though (basil and rosemary, mmm).

  15. 165
    Aislinn says:

    We’ve got tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pole beans, watermelon, and a mystery squash growing out of our compost πŸ˜‰

  16. 166
    Allison says:

    We’re growing basil and chives on the windowsill, but I wish I had a small balcony/garden to grow more things! More herbs, plus lettuces, kale, radishes, beans…

  17. 167
    laura ramey says:

    I have been helping out in an organic garden- and by helping out I mean starting seed(my own) turning soil, addressing drip systems etc. I would say the most satisfying thing I have grown has been beets- so sugary sweet in a good way. I have tasted new zealand spinache- if you have not you really should. I have also joined my first CSA- another good way to get fresh veggies and support local food people. I love food in jars blogspot.

  18. 168
    Heidi says:

    Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and squash so far! I struggle with my garden — too much shade. This book sounds great!

  19. 169
    Megan says:

    In addition to my usual 3 types of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beans, peas, beets, radishes, lettuces, spinach, zucchini, escarole, cabbage, bell peppers, jalepenos, leeks, and culinary herbs, this year I’m also trying my hand with watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, spaghetti squash, potatoes, horseradish, 2 types of pumpkins and medicinal herbs! Whew!

  20. 170
    Madison says:

    I’m growing garlic for the first time this year — should be fun!

  21. 171
    Gin says:

    On my deck I’m concentrating on herbs, but we have tomatoes, cabbage, scallions, onions, and other veggies in my father’s garden plot!

  22. 172
    Sarah says:

    My window sill is currently home to my basil. chive, oregano and dill seedlings. This is my first year growing herbs so I hope my dill survives so I can use it in my pickles!

  23. 173
    Emily says:

    raspberries, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, parsley, potatoes… πŸ™‚

  24. 174
    jennifer says:

    This is my first summer with 2 raised beds. I am growing tomatoes, peppers, pickling cucumbers, sugar snap peas, broccoli and a couple herbs. I’m hoping they will be successful. I don’t get a lot of sun anywhere in my yard but I’m hoping it’s enough.

  25. 175

    We’re growing too many items to list here…but I am most excited about our tomatoes, tomatillos and cucumbers this year πŸ™‚

  26. 176
    kelly knudtson says:

    My mom always canned jam growing up in California, plum and mixed berry were my favorite, now i also love making apricot and peach. mmmmmm

  27. 177
    Sue P says:

    We’re gardening at 9200 ft elevation and have a VERY short growing season. Even when we’re relatively safe from frost, it’s too cool at night for our tomatoes to set fruit without a black jug of water nearby to keep it warmer. We’ll be growing tomatoes, herbs, spinach, chard, collards, potatoes and, maybe, carrots!

  28. 178
    Pat says:

    Tomatoes, carrots, sugar snap peas, pole beans, beets, lettuce, onions, garlic, one pepper, a huge amount of butternut squash, zucchini, acorn squash, patty pan squash, basil, dill, parsley. Most everything will be canned, frozen, dried or stored fresh for the winter. I have had a hard time in the past few years getting butternut squash to produce gourds from the couple of plants purchased. This year, I decided to buy a packet of seeds and start them all, not knowing how many would start. There were about 80 seeds and most of them came up. I had put an average of 4 seeds into a pot and with them yielding young plants, I was able to transplant 15 pots. I am looking forward to seeing a bushy garden. It will be a treat to be overrun with the yield.

  29. 179
    Brook M. says:

    I am growing way too many plants for the size of my little garden plot (although some of them have spilled over into a small container garden): arugula, two kinds of kale, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, pei tsai, pak choi, bok choi, choi sum, green, purple and yellow beans, snap peas, leeks, onions, chives, two kinds of carrots, beets, radishes, rapini, zucchini and squash, curly and flat parsley, thai and genevese basil, six kinds of tomatoes, purple tomatillos, cape gooseberries, three kinds of cucumber (including lemon, the best kind), heirloom french strawberries, thyme, lemon verbena, lavender, calendula, orange mint, spearmint, marigolds, and bergamot. Whew! Writing all that down makes me realize just how ambitious I’ve gotten this year.

  30. 180
    Laura F. says:

    This summer I’m growing roma and black cherry tomatoes, spinach, winter squash, spinach, green onions, zucchini and radishes. I didn’t have a lot of luck with my tomatoes last year, but I’m hopeful for this year.

  31. 181
    Lorena says:

    We’re growing the usual this summer — tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Would love to expand our small container garden with the help of this book!

  32. 182
    Jennifer says:

    I’m growing lots of vegetables and herbs but my favorite is kohlrabi!

  33. 183
    cynthia in denver says:

    I built 9 raised garden beds 4×8 this spring! Currently I’m growing: asparagus, garlic, corn, yellow medallion tomatoes, pear tomatoes, jubilee tomatoes, dragon carrots, parsnips, cantalope, strawberries, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, butternut squash, summer squash, peas, purple beans, green beans, musclen lettuce, spinach, butter lettuce.

    We have also planted an apricot tree and a couple of pear trees.

    This house was chosen 18 months ago for its yard size (.23 acres) to grow as much as our own food as possible.

  34. 184
    Embee says:

    We weren’t able to expand the gardens this year, as we’d hoped, so I’m stuck trying to grow as much as I can in a reasonably small space. I’m trying out zucchini, snow peas, spinach, carrots, and green onions. In the future, I hope to add all the usual cold-weather crops to my lineup: potatoes, rutabagas, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

    I love growing my own food! πŸ™‚

  35. 185
    Tlell says:

    Starting small in a nice little raised bed on my porch as we live in a small apartment – oodles and oodles of strawberries for my active little one year old boy! And if I had more space I would add blueberries too πŸ™‚ We eat lots of berries in this house!

  36. 186
    Diana Smith says:

    I am growing cucumbers right now. I will add some container gardens, just as soon as I move in late June. I will also be building my raised beds all summer, so I can have my dream garden next year.

  37. 187
    Marla says:

    I’m growing two kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and herbs–all in containers. Someday I’ll have the raised beds I dream of!

  38. 188
    Rebecca says:

    Most years I grow a few geraniums in hanging baskets and pots. I’ve tried a real garden, but I have some garden pests of the bovine variety (that’s cows. About 30 of them.) Last year I discovered a bay laurel, and after overwintering it, I’m considering what other herbs can join it and the eternal geranium collection.

  39. 189
    Lisa says:

    Since I have a 5-month-old, there isn’t much in the way of gardening for me this year: just sugar snap peas, radishes, basil, and jalapenos. Next year, lots! (I hope.)

  40. 190
    Emmy says:

    I think I’ll just have a couple herb pots this year. Mmm, fresh basil!

  41. 191
    Stephanie says:

    We just built two raised garden beds and planted our first garden! We are starting with tomatoes, lettuce and onions.

  42. 192
    Alissa says:

    I’m attempting to garden this year. But our backyard doesn’t get much direct sunlight. So I’m taking a shotgun approach. I’m putting more plants in the ground than I know will survive with the hope that something will do well. So far I’ve got snap peas, squash and cucumbers in the ground from starts (something has been eating my cucumbers though, and I’m not happy about it). I also planted carrots and beats. The tomatoes and peppers will go in the ground this weekend. I’ve also got lettuce and spinach in containers, but they don’t seem to be doing well for some odd reason.

  43. 193
    Rebecca says:

    lots of greens ( lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, arugula), brassicas (brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower), radishes, carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, many herbs, edible flowers (nasturtium, marigolds, calendula) etc….

  44. 194
    Sarah N. says:

    I have a small community garden plot currently overflowing with lettuce, chard, spinach, peas, onions, and beets. Carrots and parsnips are sprouting, and soon my three cabbage starts, two tomato starts, and two bush summer squash starts will be ready to go in the ground.

  45. 195
    Vicki says:

    We moved for a new job and are living in an apartment, so have no room, but I do have 6 pots with 4 tomatoes and 2 blueberry bushes.

  46. 196
    Katie says:

    I’m growing everything, or so it seems. Black Beauty Zucchini, Yellow crookneck, green and yellow pattypan, hubbard, spaghetti squash, butternut, okra, three kinds of tomatoes, green beans, three kinds of radish, lettuce, eggplant, bell peppers, basil, chives, cilantro, mint….I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

  47. 197
    Robyn says:

    I am growing a little bit of everything! Spinach, kale, chard, mesculin mix, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, beets, radishes, tomatoes…I am trying to do peas but something is eating them all!

  48. 198
    Mia says:

    I am hoping to plant pumpkins this year! And beets! And chard! So far, I have chard left over from last year….

  49. 199
    Cody F says:

    Not able to do any gardening this year, but I wish I were. I miss my fresh squash, zucchini and green beans.

  50. 200
    Sarah says:

    I planted normal garden things like tomatoes and cukes, broccoli and crookneck squash. Then I planted as many herbs as I could get my hands on. Mexican tarragon, Thai basil, Cuban oregano, fun stuff!!