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What are Your 2021 Gardening Goals?

Get a glimpse inside our January 2021 issue from our Executive Editor Bill Dugan, who shares his thoughts and favorite articles from the magazine highlighting ginger, peas, and blackberries.

Bill Dugan - Executive Editor

Bill Dugan, Executive Editor of Food Gardening Network

Every January, people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions—commitments to themselves about improving their lives in a variety of ways.

And every year, many people fail to live up to the resolutions they themselves have created. Not us food gardeners!

It’s not like I’m trying to lose 20 pounds (which is not a bad resolution, but it gets more difficult as I age)—I’m trying to ensure my food garden is a big success this year. So, here goes with my 2021 food-gardening New Year’s resolutions:

  • Plan and plant early. In some past years, I’ve waited too long and missed the window on growing some plants I’d really love to harvest—get started planning now, in January!
  • Plant one new food I’ve never grown before: this year, I’m trying blackberries! Check out the special collection on blackberries in this month’s Food Gardening Magazine, to get everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this abundant fruit.
  • Try some new recipes—it’s easy to fall into the habit of making the same old dishes all the time. 2021 means branching out for me and trying at least one new recipe every month!
  • Have fun doing it all—gardening and cooking should be enjoyable!

There you have it—now that wasn’t hard! Try it yourself. Write down your 2021 gardening goals (feel free to use or modify mine), and keep your list close-by throughout the season to ensure that you stay true to your goals. Make your resolutions reasonable and achievable. And, most of all, take great enjoyment in your gardening and cooking efforts—if you’re like me, this isn’t a chore or even just a hobby. Food gardening is a way of life that’s practical, fulfilling, and enriching for me.

And welcome to the January 2021 issue of Food Gardening Magazine, to help you kick off the year with your food-gardening efforts top-of-mind!

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—ginger, peas, and blackberries. I didn’t know so many of these facts!

Did you know that ginger plants don’t require pollination to reproduce? Or that some ginger plants are too toxic to eat? There’s a big difference between ginger plants to grow for eating vs. the ornamental ones—find out about all the differences in our collection on ginger. And ginger is both an herb and a spice. Read all about it now.

Or did you know that St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)—with all its “greenness”—typically marks the start of pea-planting season? How utterly green! And that peas are, botanically speaking, a fruit (not the “vegetable” your mother always tried to get you to eat)?

Or how about that blackberries, like raspberries, are an aggregate fruit—meaning that blackberries are formed by the aggregation of smaller fruits, called drupelets? How unusual!

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:

  • Ginger Maple Chicken—Combine sweet and zesty flavors for a chicken dish your family is sure to love. Just don’t expect any leftovers! You can make this dish completely on the stove, or start it on the stove and finish it in the oven. Very easy and very tasty!
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Peas and Artichokes—Dinner with Mediterranean flavor and flair! This seafood dish combines the tastes of southern European countries with peas and artichokes for an elegant dining experience. Serve with orzo or rice pilaf to complete the meal. This recipe is a show-stopper your family and friends will beg you to make again. Don’t miss this recipe now.
  • Best-in-Show Blackberry Cobbler—This is a prize-winning recipe from the 1940s, yet it’s so easy to make! Enjoy this traditional blackberry dessert anytime, and bask in the compliments. Make this recipe a favorite in your house!

In this January 2021 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:
    • How to Plant a Food Garden According to Your Palate: Discover how to plant a food garden that will serve up five delicious garden-to-table snacks, soups, sauces, and sides. After all, planting foods is all about the eventual harvest that will delight your taste buds. Check out this article, so you can keep your eye on the prize—fresh and delicious recipes with ingredients straight from your garden!
    • Blackberry Mulled Wine: A History and Recipe: There’s nothing like a comforting cup of mulled wine on a cold winter evening! Get this unique recipe—plus, a quick history of mulled wine—when you read this article now. Make mulled wine that will mesmerize your guests with its distinct fruity flavor, delivered in smooth and soothing sips.
    • How to Preserve Peeled Garlic in a Delicious Garlic Confit: Discover how to turn your garlic harvest into a garlic confit that spreads like butter on bread, pasta, and even steaks. Get all the details from Amanda about how to use an abundant garlic harvest in a way that helps you enjoy it for weeks and weeks on end. Read how tasty and easy it is in this article now.
  • 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 Zesty Ginger Guide—Ginger is easier to grow than you may think! With The Zesty Ginger Guide premium collection, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this versatile plant. Don’t be afraid to give it a try, but have some patience—it can take a full year to get your first harvest. This guide gives you all the details about the different varieties—and plenty of uses for the leaves and the roots. And don’t forget the delicious recipes—Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing is tasty and refreshing on any salad! Get it all in The Zesty Ginger Guide right now!
    • The Easy Peasy Guide to Growing Pea Plants—Peas are among the easiest plants for home gardeners to grow! With The Easy Peasy Guide to Growing Pea Plants premium collection, you’ll learn about the three main types: English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas. Then, get all the details about dwarf pea plants and tall pea plants. Plus, delicious recipes and details of all the tremendous health benefits of peas—get it all in The Easy Peasy Guide to Growing Pea Plants collection right now!
    • Blackberry Heaven—Blackberries are so easy to grow that they grow wild all over the country. But in case you don’t have access to a convenient wild bush, in the Blackberry Heaven premium collection, you get everything you need to know about growing your own. These sweet-yet-tart berries would be a great addition to your home garden—you’ll salivate to think about the non-stop crop of blackberries to keep your kitchen stocked for some fantastic recipes. Enjoy it all in Blackberry Heaven right now.

Make your 2021 food-gardening goals and resolutions today. And 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

P.S. Please enjoy this issue of Food Gardening Magazine, and let me know what you think about it by commenting below with your feedback!

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