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5 Questions for Barbara Pleasant

Barbara Pleasant

What's the one thing that's a must in this world?

Good knives. You can make anything, from breakfast to a house, if you have good knives.

What is the best purchase you've ever made?

In the old purchase category, it's my long-handled Cobrahead weeder, which is the most often used tool in my garden. Among recent purchases, last summer I bought a small Karcher power washer. It is great fun to use and we keep finding new jobs for it, like the annual cleaning of the chicken coop.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Morning light. I'm always up at dawn so I don't miss it.

What's your favorite smell in the whole world?

Hickory barbecue. Even during times in my life when I was a vegetarian, the smell of slow-smoked hickory barbecue made my day.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

When something feels too complicated, there is always a way to make it simpler.


Barbara Pleasant has practiced organic vegetable gardening for 30 years in gardens large and small. The author of numerous books (including Homegrown Pantry, Starter Vegetable Gardens, and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide) Pleasant earned a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for writing the popular Gardening Know-How column in MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Pleasant lives in Floyd, Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers, and where she keeps a small flock of chickens..For more on Barbara check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!