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Tomatoes Garlic Basil: The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden's Most Versatile Veggies Paperback – February 1, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Whether it's a condo deck or a backyard in the 'burbs... growing (and eating) these core garden veggies is a must!

Radio and TV garden expert (and passionate food lover) Doug Oster presents his three all-time veggie favorites --- taking you step-by-step from soil prep to mouth-watering dishes. New to growing your own food? Doug offers gentle guidance and real life experience. Already a gardener? Take it up a notch with new ideas for going organic, plus creative twists on classic recipes.

""Doug Oster's down-to-earth approach to gardening shines through in his writing... he inspires the reader to think beyond the garden plot for ways to incorporate fresh produce into everyday dishes."" -George Ball, Jr., President, W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

""Tomatoes Garlic Basil is a must-have for cooks and gardeners everywhere. Doug Oster clearly has a passion for the three key ingredients of great cuisine. His stories will charm you and his recipes are simple but elegant (be sure to try the hazelnut pesto)."" -Debra Lee Baldwin, Edibles Columnist, San Diego Garden/Home Magazine, Author of Designing with Succulents   

About the Author

Doug Oster is: co-author of Grow Organic; LA Times Synd columnist; P’burgh Post-Gazette’s Backyard Gardener; regular on Martha Stewart’s Morning Living radio show; co-host, The Organic Gardeners (KDKA radio). Home: P’burgh.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Lynn's Press; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981961517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981961514
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #887,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doug Oster is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Home and Garden editor and co-host of the popular radio show The Organic Gardeners on KDKA radio every Sunday morning.
Oster also appears every Thursday on KDKA-TV's Pittsburgh Today Live between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Oster has worked as producer, writer and on-air talent for WQED-TV.
He hosted, produced and wrote the one hour special "The Gardens of Pennsylvania" for PBS which won the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary.
His fifth book, "The Steel City Garden; Creating a One of a Kind Garden in Black and Gold" demonstrates how to create a garden using Pittsburgh's favorite colors.
Oster's most satisfying accomplishment though was founding Cultivating Success, a garden program for foster and adoptive children. The program operates in two counties near Pittsburgh.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but after reading Grow Organic by Doug Oster and Jessica Walliser, it was not a big jump to think that Tomatoes Garlic Basil by Doug Oster, would have something new to offer. I was not disappointed. Did you know that there are ripe green tomato varieties? This is one of the many insights the book provides into the tomato, garlic and basil gardening world.

Tomatoes Garlic Basil is filled with growing, propagation and organic gardening tips, recipes, lists of varieties of plants, Doug's favorites, and pest control. Organic gardening methods are not preached but are mentioned throughout the book.

The author entertains and educates us with his humor (Wait until you read about the compost bin and the massage parlor), with his human interest perspective (There is an entire chapter devoted to the Limbaugh Legacy Potato Top. [See this link on Dave's Garden for some information on the tomato: [...] ] ), and his knowledge (The author makes hybridizing tomatoes sound easy).
The book not only lets us know what varieties are out there and how to grow them but also provides us with some tasty sounding simple recipes for using our garden treasures. It is good to know I am not the only one eating garlic scapes and now I have new recipes to try.

This book is good for novice and veteran gardeners, is clearly organized, is illustrated with high quality photos and is printed on nice quality paper.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned a lot by just reading a few pages. I have been growing tomatoes for years and discovered I could have been doing it better. I love the fact that the book also has a lot of information on growing garlic which I have never done before. I like the size and color of the book.
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Format: Paperback
In my Zone 6 garden there are always three kinds of tomatoes: a paste tomato for sauces, a cherry tomato, because these small tomatoes are always the first to ripen (and later, when the big tomatoes are producing, these small ones will be dried), and a big, meaty tomato for eating fresh (and for bragging rights). I love tomatoes and when I saw Tomatoes Garlic Basil (St. Lynn's Press, 2010), I judged the book by its cover. It is beautiful. Eventually, I was tempted to open the paperback tribute to the garden and kitchen's favorite produce and I'm glad that I did. The book only gets better!

Doug Oster's Tomatoes Garlic Basil is a love letter about our favorite home garden produce. If you are one of the millions of backyard gardeners who grow tomatoes, this book is for you. Tomatoes are the star of the show. And, just like most gardens, basil and garlic have strong supporting roles in the book that magnify the magic of home grown tomatoes.

The book will not overwhelm you with soil science and plant genetics. It will give you some good advice about soil preparation and plant selection. The pleasure of reading this book grows as Oster offers us many choices with these three simple garden staples.

Like most gardeners, Oster is generous in sharing his experience and recipes. If you are new to gardening, try the simple combination of these three plants. He also encourages people who do not have garden space and shares some planting options. Each chapter begins with a garden or food quote that ties into the chapter. In Chapter 2, I was inspired by "Summer Celebrations" and looked forward to incorporating some of his ideas as I create new traditions for my own family.
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Format: Paperback
"Tomatoes Garlic Basil" tells us exactly what this book is all about. "The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden's Most Versatile Veggies" not only makes us pick it up, but also buy it and read it from cover to cover.

Doug Oster has an advantage over many of us; his wife is Italian (or, at least, of Italian descent), so it is logical to suspect that she is the inspiration behind some of the wonderful and simple recipes in Tomatoes Garlic Basil.

The cover entices. The introduction inspires. The content compels us to make room in our gardens for (more) tomatoes, garlic and basil. And Cousin Mariella's Eggplant Parmesan recipe has us both shaking our heads and determined to make this a project.

As a fairly recent gardener who became a Certified Master Gardener before she knew the difference between a Petunia and a Geranium and who loves basil, has a love-hate relationship with tomatoes and is growing garlic for the first time this season, I love this book! I will probably still keep buying my pesto at the local Farmers' Market, instead of making it myself, and I'm not enamored of a garlic soup with grapes, but I can't wait to make "Easy Baked Basil Fries" or cook up a batch of Pasta Sauce with Thyme (thyme being another one of my favorite herbs, with several varieties growing in my garden).

The trend for creating home gardens is undeniable. Newbies can't go wrong with trying tomatoes, garlic and basil; Doug Oster's book it a wonderful resource for them - and for veteran gardeners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My family always gardened, and I fondly remember the gardens of my childhood. This year (when I was ready to create a garden of my own) this book was waiting for me. It is inspiring. Yes, it's a great read but it is more than than that. The information is outstanding, and I loved all the side stories. It truly made a difference in my garden and challenged me to grow different tomatoes than Big Boys and toss in some basil to boot. I cannot wait until next year to try even more varieties of tomatoes for friends and family to enjoy.
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