a greenish, yellowish book with illustrations of a red jar, a shovel, and some plants

Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make, And Store Food, No Matter Where You Live

by Robyn Jasko Author and Jennifer Biggs Illustrator

A simple DIY guide to growing, storing, and making your own food, no matter where you live. An ideal companion to Raleigh Briggs' DIY guide Make Your Place, Jasko and Biggs' debut book will turn you into a healthy, happy farmer even if you live in a big city skyrise. Built around eight comprehensive sections (Know, Start, Grow, Plant, Plan, Make, Eat, and Store), this wonderful 128-page guide walks you through all the steps of successfully nurturing a crop of delicious, healthy vegetables. Everyone from the base beginner to the seasoned farmhand will find something for them in these pages. (The recipe section alone is enough to keep you comin' back to this gem for years!) Narrated in a friendly, helpful tone by Jasko and buoyed by Biggs's great illustrations, this book is the definition of awesomely useful. Super, super, SUPER inspiring. Grow your own everything!

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Comments & Reviews


"The author is obviously very knowledgable about home garden and presents thoughts and ideas that will help the gardener to make full and proper use of this worthwhile project."


This simple guidebook will nudge beginners out the door towards true green-thumbdom, assisting readers with everything from seed germination times to the proper method of canning vegetables.


Delivers on this stated purpose. And not only that, it does so in a well-organized and easy to read fashion. As a bonus, the book looks great and is lovingly illustrated by fellow Pennsylvanian, Jenn Briggs. Whether you're growing on a window sill in the city or a wild garden plot in the country you now have no excuse to get planting.


As someone who has always wanted to be an amazing gardener (or even a lackluster one), this book made it seem possible. I just got it and am already planning which things to plant together and getting materials ready. With this book I don't even see how I COULD fail.


I am a gardener. In the spring when the seedlings first peek their heads up out of that dirt I get as excited as a little kid with a new bike. It is just freaking cool.

Nothing is more DIY than growing your own food and this book is a great starter book for someone who is thinking about starting their own garden. It is exactly the sort of book that I have come to expect from Microcosm. It is a very well written, very informative and written in a casual way that makes you want to keep on reading.

It has chapters on planning your garden, how to make things such as rain barrels, raised beds, etc. and how to make your produce last for the summer. All of course in a very DIY way. As a more experienced gardener I think I will refer back to the companion planting guide over and over again.

Before the summer is over, I expect mine will be covered in dirty fingerprints as I read it after spending some time in the garden.


My roommate would really dig this book. She's always planting things and growing vegetables outside. She'll spend a few hours each week during the spring and summer shoveling mulch and digging up dirt and doing all kinds of stuff that I wish I did. Instead, I'm the kind of guy who decides it's okay for me to have a dinner comprised entirely of cookies. Meanwhile, my roommate is cooking things from scratch and canning and planting stuff. So, needless to say, this book wasn't written for someone like me. However, I think that if I would ever get off my ass and do some gardening, it would be a good place to start. It covers everything you would want to know about seeds, including when to start growing them, germination times, and lighting. It gives a list of twenty-five different vegetables and details about when, where, and how to grow them. There is a chapter on the different ways of planting. (I know! I thought you just dropped seeds in a hole.) There are also chapters on vegetable recipes and how to store your vegetables. Finally, there is a section of resources for where to buy seeds and other supplies. This is a good starter guide (on second thought, my roommate might actually find herself a bit beyond the material here) with basic, straightforward information in one compact, handy book. There are also illustrations throughout that keep it from being a dull read. (Perhaps some of my reviews need illustrations?) Maybe this will finally inspire me to do some gardening on my own -but with the promise of cookies for dinner, that's going to be a tough task.


This warmly written, sweetly illustrated little book is as exhaustive as it is friendly. Robyn covers absolutely everything you need to prepare yourself for a life of cheap, fresh, delicious food.


The best book for learning the skilled resilience of old-school living in the modern world! Teaches the lost art and science of crafting a hand-made life.


Makes planting and growing your own food so dead-simple, friendly and unassuming that even this black-thumbed gardener is encouraged to think she “Can, Can, Can.” With instructions for making DIY planters and irrigation, designs for upcycling old furniture into gardening stations, recipes for creating homemade organic plant sprays, charts listing dollars- and-cents breakdowns of homegrown versus store-bought produce, and growing guides, this book is worth its weight in gold—or, rather, golden beets.


From seed starting to home canning and everything in-between, Homesweet Homegrown is the perfect guide for new gardeners who want to grow and eat everything from their own gardens. A handy reference that covers a myriad of topics!


A clever and refreshing harvest of farm-to-table methods. With vim and balsamic vinegar, Robyn Jasko has written a pocket guide for the well-rounded 21st century yeoman.


Reads like a primer of lessons learned from garden-tending grandparents—insightful, informative, and most importantly, honest. Reading the recipes toward the back of the book made my mouth water in anticipation of the upcoming harvest.


Homesweet Homegrown is a super simple guide on how to grow, make, and store your own food. How to build a coldframe? Check! How to pickle anything? Double check! No matter where you live or what you love to eat, these girls have got you covered — and they'll even throw in some organic seed packets to get you started.


The bad news is that you really are out of excuses to delay growing your own food now that Robyn Jasko, founder of www.growindie.com, has published Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make, And Store Food, No Matter Where You Live. As the title suggests, this nearly pocket-sized manifesto presents the views of its author that should be the perspective more of us act on. That is not to make political implications, but the idea of growing one’s food extends beyond the mere beauty of a garden. As the first chapter explains, “Homegrown food tastes better, it’s fun and it’s cheaper” (pg. 9).

Inside the eight chapters simply titled: Know, Start, Grow, Plant, Plan, Eat and Store, Jasko guides us each in the hows-of gardening for life, liberty and the pursuit of healthy food. Personally, Jasko sold me on the idea as soon as I heard the title because I understand both the value of eating organic fruits and vegetables as well as the rising costs associated. Not to mention all the recent news of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the not-so-recent news of the deteriorating farmland across the country. I’m not quite ready to move my family to a farm and raise chickens, yet, but starting with a few seeds and Jasko’s manual makes perfect sense. The fact that the seed germination guide targets optimum soil temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees means now is the perfect time to start for most places in the United States.

Homesweet Homegrown’s step-by-step tips on transplanting to a garden or planting a “lasagna garden” mean that no one, not even you, has an excuse to delay any longer. I’m awfully excited to start growing my own tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, squash and more that I don’t know why I’m even still writing this review! I’m off to start a garden! (And I’ll probably put a Gnombie in it to stay with the zombie spring theme).

I met Robyn Jasko in high school what seemed like a million years ago. She favored fine art and I writing so we compromised — she took a creative writing class with me while I conned my way into “Senior Art Portfolio” (a class where I painted in water color and made clay compositions of Willy Wonka’s head while the other students prepared for art colleges). Jasko decided to follow the writing path, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work she’s done over the last million years. We should look up Ms. Brown from that creative writing class. The accompanying illustrations by Jennifer Biggs bring such a sense of earthy peach to this book; it’s a guide I will most certainly treasure, and store copies of in my fallout shelter.

Jasko is currently putting together a book tour for 2012 and is asking for help along the way. This is such a worthy cause that in addition to offering to put an old friend up if she comes through Georgia, I kicked in a few bucks for her Kickstarter plan. If you haven’t bought a copy of this easy-to-use and supremely valuable book yet, please consider getting a copy as a gift for helping the book tour.


Hey Chinadoll13x,
You should send us pictures! (adam@microcosmpublishing.com) We'd love to see them. Half of Microcosm lives on a farm on the Kansas/Missouri border and we're just getting into the planting season right now. It's one of the best times of the year. Good luck with what you're growing!
Love, Adam, Microcosm


I LOVE this book! I have learned a ton from it and ahve my tomatoes on the way! EXCELLENT!