Giveaway: Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas

“Like” the Gardener’s Notebook Facebook page before March 31, 2011 for a chance to win my review copy of Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas.

I will randomly pick a Facebook “fan” to receive the book.



Review: Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas

Whenever I am talking with people about New Media, the largest reason I give them for producing podcasts or YouTube videos is that they help introduce and educate their potential customers about products and services. Little did I know that when I received this book from the publisher, it would prove to be pursuing the same idea, just in book form.

Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce gives Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, Inc. a platform to spread the word about organic produce while also providing some excellent information and recipes where this produce can be used.

This book goes far beyond a traditional marketing piece, though, and that is also to its benefit and the company’s. Filled with excellent photographs and great information “Cooking with Organic Produce” starts with an overview of what it means to be “organic.” There are large discussions happening in the US Government about this topic, so it is nice to have a good definition as it stands now. Next comes a lovely chart showing the “seasons” of each organic produce from apples to turnips. This then sets up the remainder of the book.

Arranged alphabetically, each different produce is detailed including season, recommended varieties, availability, buying and storing information and then, one of the best features of the book, 4 excellent recipes using this particular item.

The alphabetical arrangement of the book also allows for easy use as a reference and a cookbook. You can turn immediately to whatever section interests you most. That said, I found myself flipping through a random, taking in this fact and this recipe as the mood struck me.

Be aware that this is not a strictly vegetarian cookbook. Recipes include bacon guacamole, nuthouse chicken with roasted bananas and pork chops with apples. In those cases, though, they also include vegetarian-only alternatives.

Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce is a book that is both pretty and useful. If you are looking for ways to include more produce in your cooking, hopefully organic produce, then this is an excellent place to start.

Amazon Link: Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas

 

AGN is now on Facebook

I set up a Facebook page for A Gardener’s Notebook a long time ago, but never really promoted or activated it. If you prefer to interact on Facebook, you can now join the AGN page and keep up with the new items and discussion along with all your other Facebook content.

What I’m Reading…The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf

The Brother Gardeners: A Generation of Gentlemen Naturalists and the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea Wulf

From the Random House web site…

This is the fascinating story of a small group of eighteenth-century naturalists who made Britain a nation of gardeners and the epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. It’s the story of a garden revolution that began in America.

In 1733, the American farmer John Bartram dispatched two boxes of plants and seeds from the American colonies, addressed to the London cloth merchant Peter Collinson. Most of these plants had never before been grown in British soil, but in time the magnificent and colorful American trees, evergreens, and shrubs would transform the English landscape and garden forever. During the next forty years, Collinson and a handful of botany enthusiasts cultivated hundreds of American species. The Brother Gardeners follows the lives of six of these men, whose shared passion for plants gave rise to the English love affair with gardens. In addition to Collinson and Bartram, who forged an extraordinary friendship, here are Philip Miller, author of the best-selling Gardeners Dictionary; the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, whose standardized nomenclature helped bring botany to the middle classes; and Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, who explored the strange flora of Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia on the greatest voyage of discovery of their time, aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

From the exotic blooms in Botany Bay to the royal gardens at Kew, from the streets of London to the vistas of the Appalachian Mountains, The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and of gardening as we know it today. It is a delightful and beautifully told narrative history.

Video: Watering seedlings made easy

My friend, Frieda, has a great idea for recycling a water bottle into a gentle seedling watering system in this iPhone video.

You can find all of Freida’s Videos on her YouTube channel, Frieda’s Garden.

Photo: Euryops (Bush daisy)

Passed these today while walking to vote in today’s election. They always seem so bright and sunny, even on the greyest days.

Euryops (Bush Daisy)

See more garden pictures in my Flickr Photo Set – A Gardener’s Notebook

#Gardenchat Transcript from March 7, 2011

#alttext#

I joined in on #gardenchat tonight and it was a fun ride. You can find complete information on how to join the chat each Monday on the Gardenchat Web Site.

You can also download a PDF file tonight’s chat (and other, past chats) from the web site.

Download #gardenchat transcript 20110307 (PDF)

Remember, you can also follow A Gardener’s Notebook on Twitter at @gardenersnotebk and our Facebook page.

Photo: Orange blossoms about to open

I grabbed this picture of orange blossoms on a neighbor’s tree during my walk yesterday. We are just about to the time when the Valley fills with the overpowering scent of citrus. It is always amazing to me how heady the atmosphere can become.

Orange Blossoms

I Like This – March 4, 2011

Video: Activity of local wild bee hive

Watch in full screen to see the bees at bottom of sign.

Lots of activity today at my local wild bee hive that lives in a sign post next to a busy section of Van Nuys Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. Not sure exactly what is happening. Bees seemed more agressive and agitated than usual. Perhaps there was some robbing going on. There is a lot in bloom right now so they might have simply been taking advantage of the big harvest. I have seen them bearding out during the hot summer days, but this activity looked different.

Passiflora seen on my walk today

Caught this first Passiflora bloom on my walk today. I always enjoy the blooms on this huge vine which cover the front wall of a home on my usual walking root. There were a few buds about to break, but this was the only one fully open.

I always love the almost alien complexity of these flowers. They are so structural and three dimensional.

Passiflora

I haven’t had much luck growing Passiflora here in my garden. I started one from seed, but the caterpillars that specifically love the vine seemed to strip it of leaves faster than could grow them and it eventually died. I need to gather some seeds from this plant, or another one in the neighborhood and try again.

I thought the photo also looked good as a sketch out of Toonpaint for the iPhone.

Passiflora