Name: Barbara Pleasant, Organic Gardening & Real Food Expert
Location: Floyd County, Virginia
Barbara grew her first tomato while living in New Orleans in 1974, and since then she has kept organic food gardens in four states.
Pleasant has been researching and writing about organic gardening for over 25 years and she is now one of North America’s leading experts in the subject. In addition to her regular contributions to MOTHER EARTH NEWS (including our Crop at a Glance and Garden Know-How departments), she has written for Organic Gardening magazine and The Herb Companion. She has written four books for the National Home Gardening Club book series: Container Gardens, Annual Flowers, Gardening Essentials and Easy Gardens, Less Work. She has contributed to numerous other books, including Gardening for Dummies, The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Seed to Seed and Gardener's Home Companion. Barbara has also provided expertise to help develop the revolutionary Vegetable Garden Planner, which MOTHER EARTH NEWS premiered in 2010.
A three-time winner of Garden Globe awards given by the Garden Writers Association, Barbara sees her job as helping people connect with the green world. She currently keeps a big, intensive food garden in Virginia that is terraced into a west-facing slope. In addition to vegetables and herbs, she grows an expanding collection of berries, tree fruits and flowers. A gourmet garden cook, she also cans, freezes, makes pickles and keeps the dehydrator humming in late summer.
Proving that there are always new things to learn about growing and preserving food, recently Barbara was blown away by a fantastic batch of fermented pickles. Next she began making her own yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. To nudge a little closer to food self-sufficiency (and because she likes to watch things bubble), Barbara has been trying her hand at turning raspberries, blackberries, apples, pears and grapes into wine. In her spare time, Barbara loves to cook, hike, bike, read and, of course, garden!
Searching for Barbara's name in MOTHER's Archive will turn up many pages of results, so we asked her to select a few favorites. Here are her picks: