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A Time for Food—and a Time for Thanks

Get a glimpse inside our November 2020 issue from our Executive Editor Bill Dugan, who shares his thoughts and favorite articles from the magazine highlighting pears, summer squash, and sage.

Bill Dugan - Executive Editor

Bill Dugan, Executive Editor of Food Gardening Network

November is one of my favorite times of the year, because—while most of my garden is getting ready to hibernate for the winter—we get to celebrate Thanksgiving. And that means many different ways to enjoy food, family, and friends—and to reflect on all the things for which we should be thankful.

Food really is a unifying force—to enjoy food with the important people in your life is a blessing like no other. And when a lot of the food you share comes from your own garden, you take the sharing experience to a whole new level.

Just think about the satisfaction of planting, growing, and harvesting food from your own garden—and then cooking up dishes that are really “garden fresh” and impress and delight your family and friends. Now, that’s the making of a terrific Thanksgiving meal!

Welcome to the November 2020 issue of Food Gardening Magazine, to help you to continue to celebrate food gardening all year long!

This issue of Food Gardening Magazine is filled with fun facts about food and lots of information about the history and background of our featured foods—pears, sage, and summer squash. Check out some of these factoids—if you already know the answers, you might want to think about going on Jeopardy.

Did you know that Homer mentioned pears as a “gift of the gods” in his epic poem The Odyssey, along with pomegranates and apples? Or that early Romans developed more than 50 varieties of pears and spread them all over Europe? Read all about it now.

Or did you know that sage comes from the Latin word salvere, meaning to be saved or healed? And that ancient Greeks used sage as a meat preservative?

Or how about that squash is native to the Americas—like corn—and has been cultivated for thousands of years by Indian populations? And that the Narragansett word askutasquash means “a green thing eaten raw,” literally?

And then there are the recipes in this month’s issue—here are three of my favorites that are unique, tasty, and easy to make:

  • Pear Crisp—Forget about the same old, same old apple crisp; it’s time for pear crisp! This is a delightful dish, fresh and delicious—even without ice cream! And it’s easy to control your portion by only taking a big spoonful vs. a big dish.
  • Pumpkin Sage Soup—Fresh pumpkin and sage combine to make a dish that’s full of flavor, but you’d never know it’s vegan! Serve it with hearty peasant bread and a glass of wine for a meal by itself, or serve a small cup as a first course.
  • Zucchini Cornbread Casserole—A delicious and easy-to-prepare side dish that your whole family will love. Try a combination of yellow squash and zucchini to make it prettier, and you can even add in some red bell pepper. This dish makes for a unique Thanksgiving side dish!

In this November 2020 edition of Food Gardening Magazine, you’ll discover lots of valuable and helpful content and advice, with some of my favorites including:

  • “Gardening with Amanda” articles—Amanda McArthur is one fabulous food gardener! She takes gardening seriously, makes it fun, and delivers some great content—including companion videos to show you, not just tell you, exactly what to do. Check out these three helpful articles, with videos, from Amanda this month:
    • “November Gardening Tasks and Chores”: Get five proven strategies for cleaning out your garden at the end of the season, to keep your beds tidy and prepared for next spring. Check out this article, and you’ll have a handy end-of-season checklist for your garden—including tasks and tips for what to do with your garden tools!
    • “Recipe—Maple Sage Baked Pear”: In this baked pear recipe, you get finely sliced pears, roasted in a maple-sage butter until tender and caramelized with a cinnamon granola topping. Yum, yum, yum on a cool night! And easy to make, to boot!
    • “How to Make Gardening Fun for Kids”: With this article, you get five ideas for how to make gardening fun for kids, while also turning them into great little helpers in your garden and kitchen. Who knew that you could get kids to do work—and like it every minute?! Watch your kids find the same enjoyment with gardening and cooking that you experience.
  • Special Collections—get full reviews and summaries of three premium collections, complete with links to the full collections that include plant-specific history and background; seed, seedling, and soil advice; tips on fertilizing, weeding, and watering; best ways to avoid plant diseases and pests; even how to treat affected plants; plant profiles that highlight some popular varieties; quick-and-easy recipes that are tasty and worthy of your table; nutrition, health, and home remedies; more food gardening resources to help your efforts; and glossary items to explain technical or unknown terms and concepts:
    • The Picture Perfect Pear Guide—Pear trees are a feast for the eyes year-round: flowering in the spring, producing fruit over the summer, featuring flashy foliage in the fall, and providing a lovely landscape feature in winter. And when you plant your own pear trees, you get better quality fruit than you can find at your local market. In this premium collection, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this delicious and healthful fruit. Give pears a try in your home garden, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try them before. Get it all in The Picture Perfect Guide right now!
    • The Ultimate Sage Guide—Sage stands out, because it not only enhances other flavors in cooking, but sage also has proven healing properties for your physical and mental well-being. That’s why it’s wise to grow your own sage—it’s economical and time-saving as a little goes a long way. This shrubby plant spreads over the years—so, if well-tended, one plant will provide bountiful leaves for four to five years. What a deal! Get everything you need to know about planting, harvesting, and cooking with this hardy perennial in The Ultimate Sage Guide now! And don’t forget, you also get easy-to-make recipes for enjoying your sage harvest.
    • Happiness is Summer Squash—Summer squash: It’s about much more than just zucchini! That’s what you’ll learn when you dig into this collection all about this versatile fruit (that’s right: you’re going to learn that summer squash is really a fruit, not a vegetable!). Whether you’ve grown summer squash before, or you’ve only thought about trying it, you’re bound to learn something from this collection. Summer squash is fairly easy to grow, requiring little more than the usual water maintenance and pest and disease vigilance. Get everything you need to know about growing and enjoying summer squash—including tasty recipes—in Happiness is Summer Squash right now.

Please take time this month to be thankful for the important people in your life, and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with gusto. Please use this month’s Food Gardening Magazine to help guide you about growing and enjoying good food!

Happy gardening—and happy eating!

Bill Dugan
Executive Editor


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