book review . from seed to skillet

May 15, 2011 separator Uncategorized

I have recently become obsessed with edible gardening. I don’t have hobbies; I have fixations, and this is no different. I’ve got lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, flowers, chives, and radishes working their way skyward in my little potted metropolis right now. I love nothing more than to sit outside staking vines, thinning seedlings, and carefully watering tender little roots these days.

My best friend Marion is my bestie for a reason – she’s an enabler, supporting my every ridiculous obsession. She sends me bits of vintage goodies for my jewelry, baking accoutrement, and now this… I got my graduation package in the mail this week, and From Seed to Skillet was nestled in the bottom of the box under piles of purple tissue paper, jewelry, and Spanish cookies that we both love. Being the insomniac that I am, I never went to sleep that night, instead reading the book cover to cover.

Jimmy Williams walks the complete novice (read: me) through organic edible gardening from seed germination and soil prep all the way to the recipes at the end of the harvest. For every tip, he offers a container option, which is my only available method given my space constraints. 

It turns out my uninformed first-attempt was kind of a train wreck. My tomato babies were sad specimens, not likely to bear much fruit and of an unnamed variety. I went out yesterday, book in hand, and picked out three new tomato varieties, better-sized pots, compost, organic fertilizer blend, and tomato cages. This week’s How To-sday will be a tomato-gardening lesson for the total novice based on what I’ve learned in From Seed to Skillet

If you’ve read this, what’d you think?!

the fine print: I received this book as a gift from a friend and was in no way compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely honest and my own.


  1. Hello friend! If you ever graduate from a apt balcony to a small yard you should check out Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Though I’m still trying to convince Blake to loan me out some of his yard space so I can give it a try, a good friend of mine grew a summer’s/fall’s worth of tomatoes, okra, jalapenos, and herbs in one 4’x4′ box using this book as a guide.

  2. I should get this for my Mother: She’s an Idaho women, and has a really hard time planting anything that is not edible, and we’re always searching for different ways to eat/can the garden. It just makes dinner sooo much better.

    Good luck with your tomatoes! Hopefully it’ll be a hot summer so they’ll be huge.

  3. Andnowlights – Thanks for the correction. I misread!!! lol

    Micco and crear – Isn’t it just the most satisfying thing?! I’ve read that planting marigolds with the tomatoes will keep the buggies at bay. Trying that out!

    – Lindsay

  4. Lindsay,

    Living in a rental, I don’t have the area to have a true garden. However, I have done some container gardening these past two years with the main focus getting those wonderful home-grown tomatoes that you never can get from a store.

    Right now, there are little marble-sized tomatoes showing. I just need to keep the durn caterpillars away!


  5. I also think it’s so great to grow your own vegetables! Even if you have small place and you will eat all of the cherry tomatoes in one meal! 🙂
    (this is what is happening to me, with my little rocket plant!)

  6. Michael Pollan wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma, not the person you credited, just FYI. Glad to see a fellow Lexingtonian is gardening this year! I moved to Connecticut but am trying herbs this year in hopes I don’t kill them. If I don’t, bigger and better things next year!

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