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From Seed to Skillet: A Guide to Growing, Tending, Harvesting, and Cooking Up Fresh, Healthy Food to Share with People You Love

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Jimmy Williams learned all about vegetable gardening at the knee of his grandmother, a South Carolina native from a traditional Gullah community whose members were descendents of Caribbean slaves. He pays homage to his family history in this inspiring step-by-step guide to designing and planting a backyard vegetable garden and growing one's own food. With this essential ga ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  87 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: friday-reads
“Nothing is more local and fresh and tastes better than what you grow yourself,” Jimmy Williams says in the opening pages of his cookbook-cum-memoir-cum-how-to-guide, From Seed to Skillet. And he’s right. Nothing compares to the triumph of planting seedlings and watching them sprout leaves, blossom, and bear fruit. Well, nothing compares except maybe cooking with the fruits of your labor.

With the spirit of his grandmother Eloise guiding us through the text, he offers simple techniques for gettin
Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Book 64 2012 Reading Challenge -- The author is a landscape designer and urban gardener-strong southern roots, which is one of the reasons I read this book. Covers everything from seed to skillet as the title says. Essays and good photos. The book tends more toward those who have some good money to spend. For example, he has terrific plans for a raised garden bed with a seating cap all the way around. He mentions various mail order houses that are quite expensive. I am not saying it is bad -- ju ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A joyful look at making a kitchen garden with some nice family stories and recipes. The best part is the practical discussion of starting plants from seed (which many garden books completely ignore, assuming you will buy from nurseries) and fitting your garden into small spaces. There are even plans for raised beds and discussions of small, useful composting. Joyful is really the best word for this book, though, it leaves you wanting to call the author up (well, the one who seems to be speaking ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I got this book because it was a $2.99 or under Nook Book, and I'm working on putting together a vegetable garden. There are some good ideas, though not everything is applicable to everyone - it's great that he lives in LA and can grow stuff year-round, but I live in NE Ohio and have very cold winters. It's June and I just got over worrying about snow! But anyway. Aside from some name-dropping in the beginning, there were some things he said to do but didn't really explain how. I guess I'm just ...more
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful book! Williams's deep love of plants shines through on every page. I like how the book feels like a community effort -- Williams refers to his family and his garden clients very frequently, and many of the photos come from those clients' yards. The book really makes me feel like I can have a garden no matter how much or how little space or time I have, and the gorgeous photos and easy-to-read format help too.
Debbie D
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Just got this on Thursday evening. If you were ever interested in gardening the way your Grandparents did this is the book for you. It is like having him there out in your yard with you explaining how to start from the ground work, starting seeds, composting, using real fertilizer versus chemicals and what plants to plant together. All of that without it being overwhelming. This is a book that is going to be used for a long time.
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous book with lots of information about how to grow and cook delicious garden foods. Adorably includes recipes passed down from the author's own grandmother, who was from a traditional Gullah community in South Carolina. Sweet potato biscuits, Nana's creamed corn, sweet-and-sour cucumbers. Nom nom nom. This is more of a narrative read than a gardening manual.
Fredrick Danysh
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This is mainly a gardening book adapted for small spaces. It covers preparing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting various vegetables, even saving your own seeds. There are many photos throughout. The final section contains many recipes. This is an interesting work.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
LOVE. I'd been looking for a book that would rescue our past lackluster results, and I think this one's it. Following his advice (i.e. raised beds with garden soil from a nursery) is expensive, but I'm hoping that this year we'll have a better crop.
Jennifer Miera
Didn't read from cover to cover, but is one of the first resources that talks about using potting soil in raised beds. It's also one of the first gardening books I've encountered from an African American.
Diane D. Brown
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Organic gardening in small spaces. Good recipes. Hay Ground mix to improve soil.
L Brownton
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very friendly, practical guide along with personal stories of the author.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Helpful guide for newbie gardeners like myself!
I got discouraged when I saw how huge the author's garden was. Not the book for a girl with only a deck to work with.
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I feel hungry just thinking about it. Love the philosophy and can-do attitude. I would love to do raised-bed gardening!
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it

Okay. Pretty wordy. A few parts are not up to date. Page 89 has a chart of companion plants called Some Edible Friends and Foes.
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