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Monday, September 3, 2012

Theresa Loe: Food Preserver & Garden Expert

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Whether you are traveling, barbecuing, or spending time outdoors on your day off, we hope you are enjoying your holiday doing the things you love. In case you are looking to garden, today’s pinterview with Theresa Loe brings her green thumb expertise and inspiration, including how you can create sustainable recipes with ingredients from your backyard.

Hi Theresa! First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a freelance garden writer, a blogger (www.LivingHomegrown.com) and the Co-Executive Producer of the national television gardening series called Growing A Greener World on PBS. I have a background in horticulture, culinary arts and I am a certified master food preserver. I specialize in city homesteading, sustainable edible landscapes, gardening with children and preserving the harvest.

I currently garden on less than 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles, CA - yet, I grow over 55 herbs, 50 different vegetables and I have 6 espaliered fruit trees lining my property. Combined with my chickens (for eggs) I am able to grow a lot of the food for my family of 4 and still have some to give away to others.

On my blog, I focus on how to: enjoy the harvest (recipes & tips), create DIY garden projects and I feature new ideas for growing food in small spaces. Gardening and homegrown food are my passions!

Have you found any inspirations from Pinterest that nourished your green thumb?

Absolutely! I especially enjoy the DIY garden projects I have found on Pinterest. Everything from unusual plant tags and clever garden trellises to new flowers and vegetables have inspired me.

And Pinterest is such a great place to get ideas for how to use the fruits and vegetables I grow. I have found some great recipes and canning ideas - so many in fact that I could never possibly make them all! (But isn’t that a problem for all of us pinners?)

Do you have any advice for pinners who are looking to learn how to garden?

My advice to newbie gardeners is to follow as many garden pinners as you can. I found some great bloggers via Pinterest who share lots of how-to articles and basic tips.

But beyond that, gardeners naturally tend to be open and willing to share with others. So if newbies just post questions on some of the pins, many experienced gardeners will quickly give the answers. There is a great gardening community here on Pinterest.

We love the solidarity going on in the Vegetable Garden Blogger & Writers United collaboration board. Can you share the good news from this community and how others can use collaborative boards for collective efforts?

The idea for this collaborative board came from Pamela Price who blogs at RedWhiteandGrew.com. Most of the collaborators on this board knew each other already through our garden writing. We found that we were constantly sharing and repinning each other’s edible gardening pins. Pamela thought it would be fun for all of us to work together on one board. Boy was she right!

See, we are all organic, sustainable, grow-your-own types and by working together, we created a very rich board with information we could all trust. And by pooling our resources, we have all gained more followers and had many new visits to our blogs. I would highly recommend creating collaborative boards for a common cause or effort.

Who are some of your favorite pinners in the gardening space?

Oh man - Pick a favorite?! That is very hard to do!

Honestly every single pinner on our collaborative board is a very respected expert in gardening and edibles. I would highly recommend that people follow ALL of them.

Within the group we have:

Pamela Price and LaManda Joy for Victory Gardening info

Stevie@Garden Therapy for DIY garden projects

And me for Homesteading and small space edibles. ;-)

Other great pinners who are NOT on the collaborative board are:

Helen Weis for general gardening and design

Christina Salwitz for garden design and plant inspiration

Nicky@DirtandMartinis for funky garden ideas and garden cocktails

And there are so many others!  I just can’t list them all!

Thanks for the pinterview, Theresa! We appreciate your advice and green thumb inspirations. Happy pinning!