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Posts from the ‘Books’ Category

‘Free-Range Chicken Gardens’ Book & Black Chicken GIVEAWAY!!

Just like you, I love a good giveaway. To help celebrate Jessi Bloom’s new book, Free-Range Chicken Gardens, we had a virtual book launch and giveaway.

The best part is that you had EIGHT chances to win and got to visit some great new blogs!! Plus, you not only had the chance to win Jessi’s book but also The Fresh Egg Cookbook. And because I wanted my giveaway to be better than the seven other bloggers, I threw in a Black Chicken!

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Book Review: Free-Range Chicken Gardens — CLUCK HERE TO WIN

Since some of you are chicken people and/or almost chicken people I thought I’d pass along this amazing new book ‘Free-Range Chicken Gardens.’

I should start by letting you know that I am actually in the book (pages 27, 51 upper left, 112, 114-117) – not that I’m keep track or anything. But, that’s not why I think it’s amazing. I like to joke that I wish I had this book when I first got chickens – but then I wouldn’t be in it.

I think this book is amazing because it covers everything I’ve had questions on since I’ve had chickens – in an easy to read format.

  • How to incorporate new chickens to the flock
  • Chicken friendly plants (there’s a plant list)
  • Plants poisonous to chickens (another list)
  • Predators
  • Coop design and amenities
  • Why is my sweet hen growling at me (broody)

And because I still have questions. She also talks about chicken breeds, chicken habitat, plans for coop/yard layout, keeping your chickens safe, how to protect your plants, diseases, and more. There are also examples or bios of people who free-range chickens in their gardens.

Plus, it’s important to me that a book be easy to read. I tend to flip through books more than read them straight through. That being said, I love the layout of this book. The headers and topic headings are easy to spot if you want to read through a specific topic. Overall, it’s full of the information I need while including plenty of chicken/garden pictures and visuals.

Disclaimer: I did get a copy of the book to review. Before that, I already purchased a copy of the book for myself and my besty Keri who has chickens. I’ll simply give one to my mom. Plus, I already mentioned that I’m in the book. Oh, and since meeting Jessi (when she came to take pictures of my chickens and garden), I’ve come to consider her a good friend. She’s the real deal.

Update: This contest is over. This means you need to go out and buy the book now!

And the Winner of the $25 Peaceful Valley Gift Card is…

Before I spill the beans on who the winner is, I’d first like to thank Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet for throwing such a fun cyber book party. Their new book, Garden Up!, was released last week and is available on If you have any interest in gardening, vertical gardening, living walls, espalier, vines, garden art and beautiful garden pictures, you’ll want to check out this book.

To help celebrate the release of their book, seven giveaways were announced last week with the drawings taking place today. So, without further adieu I’m happy to announce the of the winner of the $25 Peaceful Valley gift card is comment #58!

Congratulations to Victoria Tory for winning the $25 Peaceful Valley gift card! The good news is that Peaceful Valley has a three way cherry tree – you’ll just have to espalier the tree yourself! Someone will be in touch with you shortly to get your mailing address to send you your gift card. Happy shopping!

If you want to check out today’s other winners, here are the direct links:

I hope you enjoy Garden Up! as much as I do! Congratulations to all the giveaway winners and to Susan and Rebecca on their new book!

Bare Walls & Fences Rejoice – ‘Garden Up!’ Has You Covered! (Giveaway)

Garden Up! (page 69): Hop vine skirting telephone pole

As some of you may or may not know, I am a small space gardener who’s obsessed with secret gardens and pretty much anything to do with vines, hedges and espalier.

That’s why I think everyone should pick up Rebecca Sweet and Susan Morrison’s new book Garden Up!: Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. This book is right up my alley! It’s full of amazing pictures and how-to’s that’ll inspire (corrupt) anyone into adding more vertical interest to their garden.

You think I’m kidding? Since reading Garden Up! I’ve purchased two plum trees to espalier, one espalier 3-way cherry tree AND just yesterday I ordered a hop vine from Peaceful Valley.

Since we’re trying to be self sufficient, these new edibles will be a great addition to our potager while adding visual interest to our last few bare walls/fences. I mean, look at the beautiful hops picture I stole from the book! Makes you want one too, doesn’t it?

The book also covers vertical gardening like succulent walls and Woolly Pockets. Two things I hope to experiment with some day. Plus, it includes plant recommendations, artwork ideas and creative materials you can use to grow your garden upward.

If any of this resonates with you, you will want this book.

Plus, if you purchase Garden Up! online, Susan and Rebecca are offering a signed bookplate to the first 100 people (click here to see the hand illustration by Susan). Just send an email with your name and mailing address to:

Garden Up! Cyber Book Party & Giveaways

Because this post is part of a cyber book launch, I have the pleasure of giving away a $25 gift certificate for Peaceful Valley ( Peaceful Valley is an online organic nursery and garden store – I especially like their organic fertilizer selection. Just think, if you win, you can get a hop vine too!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment below – winners will be chosen randomly. The contest runs for a full week, so check back on March 21 to see if you’re the winner!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a party with just one prize. That why you have six more chances of winning!! Below is a full list of participating blogs and the prizes they’re giving out. The top link takes you to the blog where you can enter to win – the bottom link takes you to the vendor site where you can purchase the prize if you don’t win!

Blue Planet Garden Blog
Prize: Nouveau Leaf Wrought Iron Trellis
Prize Vendor: H. Potter

Gossip in the Garden
Prize: Fiskars tool basket
Prize Vendor: Fiskars

Compost in My Shoe
Prize: $50 gift certificate
Prize Vendor: Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

Prize: Succulent Living Picture Kit
Prize Vendor: Succulent Gardens

J Peterson Garden Design
Prize: $75 gift certificate
Prize Vendor: High Country Gardens

Prize: Wally One
Prize Vendor: Woolly Pockets

Disclaimers: 1. I did not purchase the book but was given a copy for review. My garden is pictured in the book (pages 10, 33, 74). I feel blessed I was asked to review the book and participate in this cyber book party. I would’ve purchased the book anyway because it’s a subject I love. 2. I’m excited I get to give away the Peaceful Valley gift card. They’ve got a fantastic selection of organic fertilizers and plants, and they have a beautiful catalog. I really did purchase one of their hop vines.

Book Review: Grocery Gardening

Me & Grocery Gardening

The first book I want to share with you is called Grocery Gardening – Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food (Cool Springs Press). I like this book because I love growing veggies and this book has a lot of great recipes, interesting facts and helpful tips.

When I first opened the book, I was pleasantly surprised by the layout.  It starts by giving the basics on composting, pest control, disease and picking a garden location – which is especially important for new veggie gardeners. Then it moves into the specific items you can grow by categories: herbs, fruit, and veggies.  In close it provides additional information on preserving and disease and pests.

I like how the information on the featured herbs, fruit and veggies is easy to read and scan — perfect for people like me who skim read. Each featured item includes six or more pages of facts, fun quotes from the authors, planting & growing information, varieties, produce selection & harvest, preserving/preparation methods and recipes!

In short, it includes the basics on planting, preparing and preserving fresh food.  Just like it states on the cover.

You’ll enjoy this book if you’re starting a vegetable garden, interested in learning more about growing veggies, like to cook and/or just enjoy reading a well designed book on a subject you love. My only complaint is not knowing if I should put this beautiful book with the cook books or the gardening books!

Grocery Gardening was written by Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley and Teresa O’Connor.  It’s available now – I picked mine up on

Here’s are a few examples of how the pages are laid out:

Beautiful Pictures and Easy to Read

Facts, Fun Author Quotes & Recipes