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Barbara Pleasant

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I am so proud of my new gardening book, Homegrown Pantry, which will be out in late March. The team at Storey Publishing has worked hard to create a truly wonderful volume, brought to life by the awesome photgraphy of Kip Dawkins. It's almost ready to go to the printer, and I am so excited to share my lifetime of gardening, cooking and preservation of delicious things to eat. 

Life is full of mysteries, but one thing I know for sure. We are meant to enjoy each day that we spend on Earth, which happens quite naturally when you nurture a garden.

I have the best job in the world:


  • Contributing editor to Mother Earth News and Mother Earth Living magazines.
  • Author of books to help gardeners grow along with their gardens.
  • Lecturer to garden clubs, shows, botanical gardens, Master Gardener organizations, and the wonderful Mother Earth News Fairs.
  • Cool horticultural assignments from random companies and magazines that stretch me in new directions.

Some lovely awards hang on my office wall:


  • Honorary Alabama Master Gardener
  • First runner-up to the Herald Award, given by the American Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Two-time winner of Garden Writers Quill and Trowel Award in magazine writing
  • 2002  and 2009 winner of the Garden Writers Garden Globe Award in book writing for Garden Stone and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, both from Storey Publishing.
  • 2005 Distinguished Alumni of the Year, New College, University of Alabama
  • 2012 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for magazine column - my Gardening Know-How column in Mother Earth News.
  • 2012 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for electronic media - my twice monthly blog at GrowVeg.com.

Before all that, I grew up and got an education:


  • Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. Graduated from Davidson High School in 1971. More trivia: I attended Leinkauf Elementary School, now recognized as the oldest still-standing elementary school in Alabama.
  • B.S. from University of Alabama, followed by two years working as a mental health counselor in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama, followed by five years working child welfare in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, Alabama.


Then I learned the craft of writing and changed careers:


  • Contributing Editor to Organic Gardening magazine, 1984 to 1990. 
  • Contributor to numerous books, including Gardening for Dummies, The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Seed to Seed, and The Gardener's Home Companion.
  • Author of four books for the National Home Gardening Club: Container Gardens, Annual Flowers, Gardening Essentials, and Better Gardens, Less Work.
  • Author of Lawns and Groundcovers and Beds and Borders in the Southern Living Gardening Guide Series; the series book on Container Gardening co-authored with Lois Trigg Chaplin. 



In my spare time:


    I love to cook, hike, read, and of course, garden! After living in the mountains western North Carolina I moved to Floyd, Virginia, within whistling distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have a grown daughter, two dogs, two cats, and six chickens. I plan to get more chickens in the spring!

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