Welcome to Drink the Harvest

Reader Contribution by Nan Chase

It’s time to Drink the Harvest.

I am proud to announce the publication of an exciting new book: Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders. The book is available at bookstores across the country, or you can see it on the Storey Publishing website.

I am half of the creative partnership that wrote Drink the Harvest. The other half is DeNeice C. Guest, a friend, garden club buddy, and genius at inventing recipes. We think Drink the Harvest is beautiful, and beyond that, a great tool for learning how to harness more food power – more nutrition, more flavor, more health – from the garden. Together we have close to 70 years of experience cooking and preserving the bounty of our own gardens, of local farmers markets, and even of the streets around us.

With this lavishly illustrated book we introduce the idea of the “drinkable landscape” to gardeners and cooks everywhere, no matter what their level of experience in the garden or the kitchen. If you can boil water, DeNeice and I like to say, you can make everything in Drink the Harvest, which contains more than 40 original recipes. Ready to try prickly pear cactus wine, crabapple cider, blueberry-basil syrup, or spiced apple mead? Dig in.

Make Way for the Drinkable Landscape

The drinkable landscape is an approach to gardening and growing all sorts of plants with beverage production, not just food production, in mind. We take you beyond jellies and jams to a world of fresh juices, wonderful garden wines and meads, plus interesting syrups and even some teas for winter sipping.

Fruit, berries, vegetables, herbs, flowers, roots. You name it…and there’s a beverage to be made from almost anything that grows.

            We think of the garden as a four-season source of beverages: throughout spring, summer, and fall there’s plenty to pluck from the yard – always at the peak of ripeness – and process into beverages. But guess what; even winter has its crops, and Drink the Harvest describes them.

            We just want to roll back the clock to the “good old days” when people didn’t have grocery stores or even refrigeration, but had to use all their savvy to preserve what was growing all around them, enough to last all year. The results can taste surprisingly modern.

You Can Do It

Never canned juices before? It’s easy, and we show you how, step by step. Never made wine before? Join the crowd. But Drink the Harvest makes it simple.

Don’t have much time? We suggest ways to garden and use the harvest in small, easy to manage phases, day by day, so that time management challenges don’t become an excuse to not bother. We’re all busy! With Drink the Harvest we give everyone permission to go back into the kitchen and get creative. The word “homemaker” may have gone out of fashion as an occupation, but we want to bring it back as a way of life. Pretty soon you may be able to look in your pantry shelves and see bottle after bottle, jar after jar, of delicious, nutritious drinks for the whole family. We’ll celebrate with you!

Nan K. Chase lives and gardens in Asheville, N.C. She is the author of  Eat Your Yard! Edible trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and flowers for your landscape. She and Drink the Harvest co-author are members of the Asheville E-Z Gardeners.

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