#GARDENING TIPS AND RECIPES TO SUSTAIN AND FEED OUR BODY AND SOULS

New Recipes and Updated Gardening Tips

I wrote From Seed to Table in 2013 while we lived in southwestern Pennsylvania. In 2015, we bought a cabin for summers in the Smoky Mountains of southwestern North Carolina, while returning to my north Florida home in north Florida. Since then, my husband has been learning to garden in two different zones, and I’ve expanded my repertoire for cooking and preserving the food grown during year round gardening experiences.

While self-quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided the time had come to work on revising the book. I’d been adding to a file but had put off revisions while I worked on other projects. The time seemed right to work on the revisions. There appears to be a renewed, and in some cases, new interest in planting gardens. It is my sincere hope that From Seed to Table will inspire others to grow their own food while giving plenty of tips to make the process fun and successful.

Happy spring and gardening to you and yours!

 

From Seed to Table – Growing, Harvesting, Cooking, and Preserving Food

S2T-5From Seed to Table is available in paperback and on Kindle. Kindle Unlimited members may download From Seed to Table for free.

“This is a friendly book that makes you feel like you are just sitting and having a chat with a knowledgeable modern day homesteader. P.C. Zick has adapted a sustainable lifestyle with gardening and preserving in different climates, (Pennsylvania to North Carolina mountains to north Florida) and urban to acreage. She shares her perspective in a manner that will benefit interested readers in varying locations. There are tips in there for the novice and the more experienced.” – Dr. Jennifer Shambrook, Author

From Seed to Table offers the personal experiences of home gardening from one couple. Starting with winter, the book follows each season from the garden to the table. Gardening tips, as used by Robert and Patricia Zick in their vegetable gardens in three different zones, are given along with preserving tips and recipes. The book also includes suggestions and recipes for canning and freezing vegetables. The Zicks hope some of their experience will inspire others to grow their own food and to eat local food as much as possible. While not an exhaustive reference for all gardening, preserving, and cooking techniques, it is filled with firsthand experience from an experienced gardener and a veteran cook.

Building the Garden Beds

 

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Pre-Samuel

We began by hiring Samuel to bring his excavator out to the cabin to prepare the site for a garden. Tree stumps stood in Robert’s way to turning the soft clay soil. Samuel had no problem ripping them out of the ground and dumping over the other side of our small mountain (folks here call these hills or foothills).

 

We heard him before we saw him. He decided to unload his machinery down at the bottom of the hill and drive it up to the cabin. And then he got right down to work.DSC03568

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After three hours, Samuel finished the job, leaving the rest to Robert and another great guy, Peter, to start building the beds.

 

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Cutting the boards for the sides of the beds

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The inside of the boards were lined with plastic to protect the wood. Robert decided not to use pressure treated lumber even if it means replacing these boards in a few years. When that time comes, we hope to find a local supplier of boards made from recycled materials.

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Making the soil: Layers of mostly decomposed bark, mushroom manure, top soil, more bark, more manure.

 

 

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Raking in more bark, a sprinkling of lime, and another layer of top soil. 

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Robert stained the wood to make it blend in with the surroundings.

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The side going down the hill.

 

Originally, we planned to build two beds – one beneath this one. But then we decided that the lower bed would actually be two or three smaller boxes to be built later in the spring. One thing that has been difficult is finding good top soil. We finally found someone who will be delivering a load this week, and that will finish off this first bed.

Robert wants the soil to rest for a few days before he begins planting the seedlings, although he’s going to hold off on the tomato plants for a few weeks.DSC03589DSC03587

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And my little herb garden – the two larger plants (rosemary and oregano) were purchased. The little babies were started by Robert from seed. The planters will be right outside on the deck so I can easily grab them during meal prep

I think this will be an excellent garden. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Robert’s retirement brings him to a place where he can pursue his passion for growing food full time. Next challenge for him will be to create a garden in our Florida home. He’s in for a huge learning curve as all of his gardening – since he was old enough to hold a shovel – has been in the north. Lots to learn in the coming months, but also food to eat and stories to tell.

 

From Seed to Table presents lots of gardening tips and recipes for meals and also for preserving the food from the garden. I wrote this book based on a northern garden. I guess it’s time to start creating another volume for gardening in the Smoky Mountains! Still, I think you’ll find lots of good tips no matter where you live.

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