“How to store your garden produce” by Piers Warren

Filed in Product reviews by on November 20, 2008 11 Comments
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how to store your garden produce - piers warrenI’ve been sent a copy of “How to store your garden produce” (by Piers Warren) by my lovely friends at Natural Collection.

At the moment I’m looking out over boggy clay soil full of weeds, but after reading this I am totally inspired to get out there and transform the garden into a food-producing paradise ready for next year.

This book is great – it cuts the superfluous chatter and says it how it is. Piers says that knowing how to STORE garden produce is the key to self sufficiency, and he’s right! What use is growing the stuff if you allow it to rot into the ground and then go to the supermarket weeks later to buy the same product shipped from around the world?

With our climate of the credit crunch and rocketing food prices, there has never been a better time to grow your own.

I have always maintained that you don’t need a garden to grow your own food. Tomatoes will grow in a hanging basket, salad leaves can be grown in window boxes, peppers will grow in a large, sunny windowsill and herbs and sprouted seeds will live happily in your kitchen.

But if you do have more land, or a few containers dotted around your patio then get yourself a copy of this book. It’s simple, it’s straightforward and tells you everything you need to know.

The first section tells you about the various methods of preserving: drying, freezing, making jams, and preserves and covers lesser-known ways like clamping, salting and vacuum-packing.

In the second section you’ll be walked through common home-grown fruit and veggies and be told exactly what to do with them.

I went straight to the apple section, because I still have mountains of apples to preserve and there are only so many pies and crumbles we’ll be munching through. In just four pages I’ve learned about jam, freezing, chutney, making juice, cider, dry storage and dehydrating, as well as how to make apple and sloe jelly and apple butter.

It’s a perfect book – it’s gives you just the information you need without going into overwhelming detail. Piers shares his recommended variety of each crop he talks about along with the best method of storage. It delivers exactly what it says on the front cover and is worth every penny.

Go henceforth to Natural Collection and treat yourself and all your self sufficient friends to a copy. I find that if I’ve grown something myself I’m automatically more thoughtful about food waste because I know the time, energy and love it has taken from seed to plate. It will make a great gift for all sorts of friends – gardening friends will love it obviously, but frugal friends, greenies, zero wasters and the eco conscious alike will all enjoy reading a copy. It’s your Christmas sorted in one book!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (11)

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  1. Shannon says:

    I love my garden! I have a great compost recipe if you want it, but it takes some doing.

    Happy planting.

  2. esther says:

    wow, this sounds like a book I might really need! I’ll go and find out if there’s a way to pay and have it send without using the creditcard online! Last year I had a veggiegarden, and didn’t know what to do with all the stuff and I’m not proud to say, that many things just rotted or got thrown on the compost without been eaten….I need this book, hop! I’m of to find out, thanks for the tip!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    A compost recipe sounds intriguing, Shannon. Perhaps we could set it up as a post for one day? Would you like to contact me with the details when you have time and we can post it up with a link to your blog if you like 🙂

    Esther; I really love it. I know there are heaps more things you CAN do, but for a beginner (like me) it just gives me what I need without confusing me or giving me too much choice (I’m not a good decision maker!). I hope you are able to get hold of a copy 🙂

  4. I tend to grow things we’ll eat fresh or freeze and that’s my limit. I know there’s loads more I could do but I just haven’t got round to it yet – mainly because I tend to plant successionally and there’s never a real glut of things that need using or storing for long.

    I do dry onions and garlic for later though.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    I meant to say, Esther – if you don’t want to use your credit card online, do you have a paypal account? I’d be happy to post you a copy if you want to paypal me the money.

    Sarah, successional planting is something I know I should do, but never succeed at. Maybe next year 😉

  6. esther says:

    Ehm….I don’t really know what a paypal is…I’ve seen it everywhere, but never took the time to inform myself…when I bought the laptop lunchboxes, I actually called the people (very nove people I have to say) to explain and ask them for their iban number and accountinformation, thins way I just forwarded them the money with my bankaccount and as soon as they had it, they send me the boxes….I actually don’t have a creditcard (it’s my husbands and he doesn’t like me using it on the net)

    thanks for the proposition though, I do appreciate very much!!

  7. Mr. Green says:

    Hi Ester. paypal is probably the most well known payment gateway system on the internet. Very safe and secure and used by millions of companies and Ebay.

  8. Layla says:

    apple butter? I am now intrigued..

    & what’s clamping?

    is this mainly for beginners otherwise? & how would you say is it from zero waste/eco perspective?
    (vacuuming in plastics is probably not ‘eco’ or zero waste?)

    Apparently even Napoleon did vacuuming – in bottles though? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_History_of_food_preservation_and_why_did_Napolean_offer_that_prize

    we (& by we I mean Mum & Dad mainly) know & use some methods already (tomato sauce, jams, storage in sand or sawdust or soil, or newspapers etc, drying fruit on radiator or in dryer) so not sure how useful it would be in this case?

  9. Greenlady says:

    Clamping is basically storing produce, mainly veg, in little hills of earth & straw. As per here : http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Potato-Clamp-Storing-Potatoes.htm It is a very old method and dates back 100’s and possibly 1000’s of years.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Hi Layla,
    I would say it is a good book for beginners and intermediates. But when you say about the things you already know about – jarring, drying etc I probably wouldn’t bother getting it as you know a lot of it already 🙂

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