This is an newly updated edition, packed with tips on how to keep fresh food on the table all year. Includes detailed information on over 20 kinds of winter hardy vegetables, what to grow, when to plant and simple cold protection methods. Also covers curing and storing fresh fruit and vegetables, managing common pests (organically) and simple seed saving.
This book is a manual for those seeking to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables year round.
Gilkeson covers how to start, what vegetables one can grow and harvest in winter, which cultivars to choose, how to store and preserve the harvest, Integrated Pest Management and an introduction to selecting, saving and storing seeds.
Covering only a small corner of the world, on the West Coast of North America, near Vancouver and Seattle, one could be forgiven in thinking that this book is only for a limited audience. One would be wrong, but they would be forgiven. There is wisdom here that can be applied to almost anywhere. Sure, there are places in the world that have this thing called winter, but there are enough nuggets of information to make this book useful even there. There are several popular myths that Gilkeson debunks like harvesting in the winter only produces mush. There are tricks to harvesting in winter that keep the greens sweet and crisp.
Especially interesting is the A to Z of Winter Crops at the end of the book. As well as planting times. Planning the winter garden starts earlier than one might think.
Even still, Gilkeson lost an acorn for making this book a little too local. Sure, it's good if you live here, but people from out of town might not feel encouraged to read this book. Another problem is the title. I really hate how vague it is. Which coast is she talking about? The south coast of Uruguay? The west coast of lake Ontario? The Japanese coast of the inland sea? I supper-hate vague things like 'the coast' or 'the West Coast' in published writing like books. It's probably a bit harsh, that's true. But it's my review and that's something I'm knocking an acorn off for.
Another acorn is lost because of the challenge of dealing with local microclimates. I can drive for 10 minutes and cross 7 very different climate zones. From snow, to sun, to rain, to fog... and that's all by the time I got to my mail box. If it was to be a truly local book, I feel that Gilkeson could spend more time on this phenomena... but then again, it wouldn't be an introduction book. The author has had to compromise with this.
Otherwise a good book. I usually dig it out this time of year to help plan my winter garden. It's a good refresher and introduction to the topic of year 'round gardening.