Homesweet Homegrown Sneak Peek + Giveaway

May 31, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)

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) 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. 

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620 thoughts on "Homesweet Homegrown Sneak Peek + Giveaway"

  • this is our first year without a garden (we’re in the middle of a move), but i would love to have some tomatoes and cucumbers. we live near a peach orchard and i can’t wait to go pick some peaches!!! yum!

  • So, this year is my first foray into the world of growing your own food, as well as canning and preserving. Just moved to the USA from Scotland and taking advantage of the extra time on my hands, the bountiful harvests from the local farmers market and the much warmer growing season.
    Just to ease myself into things I have limited the crops for this year to;
    Peppers – about 10 varieties ranging from hot to sweet including cherry bombs and czech black.
    Tomatoes – about 12 varieties including San Marzano, Green Grape and Super Sweet 100
    Beans – two types
    Herbs – all the things I use on a regular basis, inlcuding Basil (thai, genovese and purple), thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, mint and lemongrass.

    Growing them all in a mixture of raised beds and pots. I think I have gone overboard a little but what better way to start than throwing yourself headfirst into the deep end!!!

  • Tomatoes and squash are fighting for their lives with the dogs 🙂 Had to forgo the entire garden for the animals but thought I could sneak in a few things………not so.

  • I am just doing pots on the back deck this year. Basil, thai basil, oregano, thyme, garden salsa peppers, orange sweet peppers, peacevine tomatoes and japanese black tomatoes. The herbs are doing great already, can’t wait until the tomatoes start coming!

  • What an excellent resource for a band new home gardener (that’s me). I would love to see what this book recommends… maybe keep me from making so many mistakes? I am attempting to grow different type of tomatoes, chili peppers, herbs, & of course, pickling cucumbers…

  • I’m growing 3 varieties of cherry tomatoes in buckets on my driveway. Wish for a bigger plot of land to grow some blue berry bushes.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I don’t have a garden but I would love to be growing some tomatoes, peas, and some lettuces/greens. Also, I think it would be awesome to have a peach tree. I may look into that when I have a house/yard of my own.

  • This is our second year with a community garden plot. We live in an apartment next to a gas station, so growing things at home just didn’t work. Last year we were a little timid and under planted our garden a bit. This year, we have put in quite a few plants. Basil, tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, onions, and borage (to attract bees). Next year we may even try to grow from seed!

  • I’m growing tomatoes, zucchini, jalapenos, beans, cucumbers and eggplant. I also just put in some kale hoping for a quick little harvest before it gets too hot, but we’ll see if that comes in. In my windows, I’ve got (lots more) jalapenos, basil, spinach and a couple more tomato plants.

  • I haven’t gotten into gardening (yet!) aside from the odd house plant, but I love to experiment with pickling and would like to learn more about canning over the summer. This book sounds like a great intro. Thanks!

  • I’m short on space too, so I’m growing some everyday basics like salad greens, herbs, and tomatoes. The rest I’ll be getting from my CSA at Joshua Farm and other local farmers. I like to think I’ll have a big garden someday soon, and it would be great to learn how to make better use of my small space.

  • We just got our first community garden plot! We’re growing green beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, kale, zucchini, summer squash, and hopefully eggplant will be going in soon. I also grow herbs in windowsill containers and we’re sort of experimentally growing an avocado tree…cause, well, why not?

  • Our new garden! We are growing potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, kale, corn, garlic, beets, lemon verbena, tarragon, mace, lavender, rosemary, squash of many kinds, cucumbers, basil, peppers, eggplant. and whatever else is already planted in our new mystery garden!

  • Not sure if I’ll make it…
    Herbs, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, onions, garlic, herbs, squash, cucumbers, snap peas, flowers, oh, and more herbs.

  • I would love to grow snap peas, carrots, basil, tomatos, bell peppers, and so much more. Maybe I can convince my co-apartment renters to let me garden off of our fire escape? (risky? worth the risk?) I have a feeling the Portland sun is going to tempt me…

  • We are urban farmers. We live in the city with a tiny space but we make the most of it with raised beds and lots of containers. We are even planting melons in rubbermaid tubs and trellises on our tiny deck this year! With succession planting and intense management, we actually get a lot of produce out of our tiny space!