filet beans

Barbara Pleasant

                                                                    Garden Writer

May 2017

The crimson clover is blooming, so it must be spring! I work my soil pretty hard, so in winter I like to slip in small sowings of crimson clover, a wonderful nitrogen fixer that looks beautiful and is easy to take down. As soon as the flowers peak, I will cut the plants off at the soil line, compost the tops, and let the rotting roots help feed my summer tomatoes.

My new book, Homegrown Pantry, is now in stores, after five years in the making. The team at Storey Publishing has worked hard to create a truly wonderful volume, brought to life by the awesome photgraphy of Kip Dawkins. I am so excited to share my lifetime of gardening, cooking and preservation of delicious things to eat. 

My big event this month is the Asheville, NC, Mother Earth News Fair, unless you count putting in the summer garden as a bigger event, which is what May is all about at my house.

Looking for something I’ve written, but can’t remember where? I know the feeling! In attempt to bring order to the chaos of hundreds of articles and blogs, I’ve set up Pinterest boards of my work. The categories range from permaculture and pollinators to growing onions and garlic. I hope you find my Pinterest guide easy to use and more enjoyable than reading through long lists.

To keep up with my new work as it comes, follow me on


To learn more about pretty prayer plants (red marantas), see my Maranta information page for tips and trivia.

Explore My Gardens

Click around to learn more about my books, blogs, lectures, and of course my garden!  By the time you move on, I hope you feel inspired to garden a little more, and have a great time doing it.
Here are some timely suggestions:




Thank you, Garden Writers!


Recently I received word that both my long-running Gardening Know How column in Mother Earth News and my GrowVeg Blog won Silver Awards of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association. I must be doing something right, among them working with the great creative teams. I am especially grateful to Cheryl Long, editor-in-chief at Mother Earth News, whose gardening passions run as deep as mine, and to Jeremy Dore at GrowVeg, who never runs out of great new ideas.

Blue Ridge mountainsei
My new book, now in stores!


Floyd, VA, USA

Near Roanoke on the

Blue Ridge Parkway

cat with hollyhocks
Magnus, who bears a family name from my Swedish ancestors