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The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook

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Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America’s foremost organic gardeners—and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they’ve written the book on how to grow what Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America’s foremost organic gardeners—and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they’ve written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow. The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook is two books in one. It’s a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Barbara, a master cook as well as master gardener, who shows how to maximize the fruits—and vegetables—of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries. And it’s a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops—yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to fourteen essential culinary herbs. Eating doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard.


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Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America’s foremost organic gardeners—and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they’ve written the book on how to grow what Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America’s foremost organic gardeners—and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they’ve written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow. The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook is two books in one. It’s a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Barbara, a master cook as well as master gardener, who shows how to maximize the fruits—and vegetables—of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries. And it’s a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops—yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to fourteen essential culinary herbs. Eating doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard.

30 review for The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    Good book for the basics plus of gardening. Recipes are good but way too much cream! If i wrote a cookbook it would be too much butter. LOL

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    This is going to be a go to reference for me

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katarina Ross

    Having read a few books by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch I am no stranger to the gardening content of this resource. It is, however, presented in a more up-to-date and extremely visually appealing format, making it accessible, and even inviting, for those who wish to incorporate gardening and cooking into their lives. The gardening portions are clear, informative and easy to follow. I'm happy to report the same for the recipes! They're simple, healthy and overall hearty - promoting the menta Having read a few books by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch I am no stranger to the gardening content of this resource. It is, however, presented in a more up-to-date and extremely visually appealing format, making it accessible, and even inviting, for those who wish to incorporate gardening and cooking into their lives. The gardening portions are clear, informative and easy to follow. I'm happy to report the same for the recipes! They're simple, healthy and overall hearty - promoting the mental benefits of curating your own food alongside the physical. This book is meant as introductory guide for those interested in doing their own gardening, specifically with the intent of feeding themselves and their families. It fulfills this goal Wonderfully.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I have enjoyed learning from these two gardeners since way back when they used to have a TV show called Gardening Naturally, so I was thrilled when I happened upon this book in Barnes & Noble. I read it cover to cover. It has a wealth of gardening information that is so inspiring and practical. The recipes seem simple and delicious, and they are just what I'm looking for as I'm trying to learn how to incorporate more vegetables into my menus. You really can't go wrong with a book by them if you I have enjoyed learning from these two gardeners since way back when they used to have a TV show called Gardening Naturally, so I was thrilled when I happened upon this book in Barnes & Noble. I read it cover to cover. It has a wealth of gardening information that is so inspiring and practical. The recipes seem simple and delicious, and they are just what I'm looking for as I'm trying to learn how to incorporate more vegetables into my menus. You really can't go wrong with a book by them if you are interested in gardening.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sandi (Zorena)

    It's a decent enough gardening book but not much extra information if you're experienced. What I did like were some of the tie in recipes. They too weren't ones I would necessarily use but I really did like the idea of growing food for a more tailored use. This would be a great book for someone who is just starting the challenge of growing food for one's self. It's written well and has some decent directions and recipes. It's a decent enough gardening book but not much extra information if you're experienced. What I did like were some of the tie in recipes. They too weren't ones I would necessarily use but I really did like the idea of growing food for a more tailored use. This would be a great book for someone who is just starting the challenge of growing food for one's self. It's written well and has some decent directions and recipes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helena

    Okay, but not necessarily applicable to FL gardening.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pechluck Laskey

    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, 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, 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Gardening can be a tricky thing. Between choosing what and when to plant, what type of soil you have, how much water, sun, fertilizer and space the seedlings need and how to deal with all those darned weeds, what should be a relaxing pastime can quickly turn into a neurotic episode. Of course, even if all the variables are in your favour, your garden harvest may fail horribly... or you may find yourself with more tomatoes and peppers than you know what to do with! The Four Season Farm in Harbors Gardening can be a tricky thing. Between choosing what and when to plant, what type of soil you have, how much water, sun, fertilizer and space the seedlings need and how to deal with all those darned weeds, what should be a relaxing pastime can quickly turn into a neurotic episode. Of course, even if all the variables are in your favour, your garden harvest may fail horribly... or you may find yourself with more tomatoes and peppers than you know what to do with! The Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, does though – and authors Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are ready to share their knowledge in their book: The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook. Gardener’s Cookbook is actually two books in one – the first 250 of the almost 500 pages (Part One) are dedicated to everything related to growing your own food. From the best layouts for proper growing and easy harvests (p. 33), to gardening in tiny spaces (p. 32), crop rotation (p. 43-52) and even the annual vs. permanent produce varieties, no practical detail is spared. A bit of soil science is also included in the first chapter, which for any new gardener (and even some seasoned pros) proves to be a useful and informative read. Note, however, that since the Four Season Farm is on the East coast of Maine, the notes that Damrosch and Coleman include are attuned to that climate (humid continental) and topography (rocky). However, with the solid knowledge that this book provides on a general scheme, readers will be able to apply the necessary adaptations for their own zones. Read more on http://readwritecook.blogspot.ca/2013...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I won this book and just received it today. I'm not sure how one goes about reading a cookbook so I scanned through it and am so excited to try some of the recipes. I'm generally not a cookbook sort of person and just have a couple of standards, of which this will become one. The first 1/2 is all about gardening, setting up your beds, preparing the soil, what to plant when, etc. I am not a gardener for 2 main reasons. 1 - no time and 2 - mosquitos. If I was interested in starting to garden it wou I won this book and just received it today. I'm not sure how one goes about reading a cookbook so I scanned through it and am so excited to try some of the recipes. I'm generally not a cookbook sort of person and just have a couple of standards, of which this will become one. The first 1/2 is all about gardening, setting up your beds, preparing the soil, what to plant when, etc. I am not a gardener for 2 main reasons. 1 - no time and 2 - mosquitos. If I was interested in starting to garden it would be immensely helpful. The reason I wanted the book was because I participated in a CSA last summer and had many, many vegetables I had never heard of and certainly had no idea what do with. I eat a lot of vegetables, but mostly the same usual ones. Broccoli, cauliflower, etc. I have now started trying a lot harder to eat local and creatively. This book is gorgeous and has so many fabulous looking recipes. I can't wait for my CSA to start up again in June!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mr Bill

    "The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook" by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman is a goodread's first reads giveaway that I thought was just going to be a vegetable cookbook, but turned out to be so much more. It tells you what, when, where and how to grow all sorts of vegetables and then how to turn them into delicious recipes (and not just vegetable recipes but appetizers, soups & salad, egg dishes, pasta dishes, meat dishes and even desserts). There are many colorful pictures to help along t "The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook" by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman is a goodread's first reads giveaway that I thought was just going to be a vegetable cookbook, but turned out to be so much more. It tells you what, when, where and how to grow all sorts of vegetables and then how to turn them into delicious recipes (and not just vegetable recipes but appetizers, soups & salad, egg dishes, pasta dishes, meat dishes and even desserts). There are many colorful pictures to help along the way. This is a recipe book worth reading and keeping.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook A nifty book that fits well with the shifting focus onto whole and organic foods. The author's describe how to create a garden, what to grow, how to harvest it, and then how to cook it in tasty and healthful dishes. The book is lavishly and beautifully illustrated. A must own for any gardener and those interested in cooking wholesome, organic foods for their families. The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook A nifty book that fits well with the shifting focus onto whole and organic foods. The author's describe how to create a garden, what to grow, how to harvest it, and then how to cook it in tasty and healthful dishes. The book is lavishly and beautifully illustrated. A must own for any gardener and those interested in cooking wholesome, organic foods for their families.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    This is a must have for the first time gardener... Or for anyone who likes to cook what they grow. I found advice that lead to heavily ladened tomato plants by the first of June. As a first time gardener, I found the advice solid and it kept my plants alive and thriving. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes. Stuffed Squash Blossoms—Enough said. This is a must have for the first time gardener... Or for anyone who likes to cook what they grow. I found advice that lead to heavily ladened tomato plants by the first of June. As a first time gardener, I found the advice solid and it kept my plants alive and thriving. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes. Stuffed Squash Blossoms—Enough said.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Good garden info, good recipes. I like the part garden/part cookbook angle of it - fleshes out the reason we garden in the first place. I could've used some more Winter food (but not a focus on all preserves) and planning ideas but as usual the pair, Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch deliver as the experts they are. Good garden info, good recipes. I like the part garden/part cookbook angle of it - fleshes out the reason we garden in the first place. I could've used some more Winter food (but not a focus on all preserves) and planning ideas but as usual the pair, Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch deliver as the experts they are.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rena

    Looks like a good book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Describes efficient and sustainable farm methods. It's everything you need. Describes efficient and sustainable farm methods. It's everything you need.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    What a great collection of gardening tips and information from 20+ years of experience. Combined with a wonderful cookbook to top it off! :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    Lots of good ideas for fixing your garden produce or ones you buy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amylou

    This book makes me really want a garden. Awesome book!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I loved the gardening portion of this book but thought the cookbook portion was just okay.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    3.5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rizwan Raiyan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Brown-Farrell

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany T

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cindee Karns

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill Yeagle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allison T MacKay

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

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