Living Homegrown

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LH 26: Interview with Erica Strauss of NW Edible Life

Welcome to Episode #26 of the Living Homegrown Podcast!

This week I interview my good friend Erica Strauss of NW Edible Life.

She’s a blogger, mother, and homesteader living just north of Seattle, WA. 

And Erica ALSO has a brand new book that relates to us foodie, homesteader types.

And by “brand new”, I mean…it was just released a few days ago!

So on this week’s podcast, we’re chatting about:

The Hands on Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving and Natural Homekeeping.

The book is all about keeping a more productive home, kitchen and lifestyle through DIY projects. You save money, time and end up feeling good about what you do.

For this interview we focus on being efficient with the food we work so hard to grow ourselves or source locally.

Get a sneak peak into the book and learn:

  • Professional chef tips for saving flavor and money
  • Why you should get creative with food scraps
  • Two clever ideas to repurpose fruit peels
  • How kitchen prep can save you from “What’s for Dinner?” syndrome

And there are a couple bloopers after the closing music…Ha!

Resources & Links Mentioned:

The Hands-On Home Book – by Erica Strauss*

Modern Homesteading – The PBS episode of Growing A Greener World TV (#523) where I featured Erica as one of the modern homesteaders.

How to Make Homemade Yogurt – Podcast episode #2

NW Edible Life – Erica’s blog




Click here for the full transcript for Episode #26


For More About This Podcast Series:

Check out podcast Episode 00 to get:

  • The whole scoop on what this podcast series is all about
  • My background, experience & training
  • What to expect going forward

It’s like an audio “about” page for the podcast.


Thank you so much for listening!

If you liked this episode, I would love for you to help me spread the word.

There are three easy ways you can do that (listed below).

  1. Share this episode via the social media buttons below.
  2. Rate & Review this podcast episode over on iTunes. Your input there really does matter in the ranking of this show. Plus, I will read every single one and would appreciate your input there.
  3. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes so that you never miss an episode.


Have a Question?

Do you have a canning/homesteading question you’d like answered on a future podcast episode?

Ask me on my Ask Theresa page – It’s easy!


The Giveaway:

I bought an extra copy of The Hands-On Home book to give away. But unfortunately, the giveaway is now closed.

You can still leave a comment – it just won’ t count toward the giveaway.

Just answer this question:

Which best describes you?

  • I’m a gardener who cooks
  • I’m a cook who gardens
  • I don’t garden or cook yet – but I want to learn
  • I’m not sure!

Honestly, you can leave any comment you like and I will count it toward the drawing.

Here are the giveaway details:

  • Odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received.
  • Please only leave ONE comment per person
  • Giveaway closes 11:59 pm, October 8, 2015. (PST)
  • Any comments after that time will not be counted toward drawing.
  • I will randomly pick a winner from the comments and send that person an email letting them know. (Be sure that your email is correct when you fill out the comment form)
  • You must live in the United States or Canada to win. (Sorry)
  • If I do not hear from the winner within 5 days, a new winner will be picked.

Leave and comment below and good luck!

 * Denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • Jeff Bowen says:

    Once again another very helpful show that is helping me and my family move to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Eric G says:

    I’m a cook who wants to garden again. I love to cook but I’ve been cooped up in a 200 square foot studio for a little while, with no outside space. I found you when I started getting ready for a move to somewhere with more space. I’ve already realized that I didn’t need any space to eat and live better, but I’m still excited to start my garden in a couple weeks! 🙂

  • Sara says:

    I’m a cook who gardens I suppose, but it is a hard distinction to make. Love the podcast and this episode!

  • Colleen says:

    I’m definitely “one of you”, currently more of a gardener (or perhaps a small-scale farmer) but once the compost pile is stacked and the snow hits, you can find me in kitchen!

  • Clare says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks.

  • Kate says:

    I think I’m more of a gardener who cooks but living in a small apartment makes the gardening a bit tough. I do my best with herbs and tomatoes and love using them in my cooking!

  • Danielle says:

    Hmm…..I’m not sure! I am learning to garden and really enjoy cooking homegrown veggies. I would LIKE to be a gardener who cooks, because I feel like that means I’d be getting really good at gardening!

  • Stephanie says:

    Both – gardening and cooking have been part of my life since I was a kid. My favorite memories always have something to do with Grandpa’s veggies or fruit.
    I love Erica’s weekly email updates. I am so excited to see that you two are connected. Thanks, Theresa, for all your valuable insights.

  • Amy0 says:

    I’m…..a person who loves food harvested out my back yard and made into meals. Or maybe I just like to eat good food. Still debating the subtle differences on that. I am not sure what category that puts me in.

  • joy says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks

  • Diana says:

    I love your podcast and am inspired to expand my own little homestead and try new things. Thanks for the links too

  • Donna U says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks. (But mostly I make salads.)

  • Thomasina says:

    I am a gardener who is learning to cook what I grow.

  • Beth says:

    I would say I switch between being primarily a cook that gardens ( as that is how I got started) to becoming a gardener who cooks ( and cans, freezes, dehydrates, etc) during the height of the growing season when an abundance of produce is coming in left and right!
    Love your show…thanks for the inspiration and your enthusiasm!

  • Mary says:

    I’m a cook who likes to gardens, although I don’t always know what to do with the stuff I grow! I’d like to be more deliberate on what I grow, but I’m working on it!

  • Chris says:

    I have a small garden and enjoy cooking! I want to preserve more and waste less!

  • Sarah LaVallet says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks! And cans and loves to bake. Love your podcast!

  • Deon says:

    Cook who gardens.

  • Marian Allen says:

    I am a cook that married a garden and also discovered CSA’s. Right now we also have chickens!

  • Toni says:

    I am a challenged gardener in Arizona! When I bring a harvest into my kitchen I am challenged again. Love to be creative in every way.

  • Alyssa says:

    I’m a cook and a gardener, but not an expert at either. 🙂 I do have to say I’m a much better cook when I utilize the garden, for inspiration and awesome ingredients. I have loved Erica’s blog for ages, super excited to check out her book.
    Hey thanks for having a contest that I don’t have to have Facebook for!

  • Deanna Tworivers says:

    I am an urban farmer who loves to cook. My husband is a Master Food Preserver and farmer’s market manager. We share and teach our community to appreciate home grwn food.

  • Carol Dunn says:

    I’m a home cook who gardens some. Love growing herbs because they add such flavor and beauty to a dish. Enjoy cooking because you can be so creative and it’s more healthy too. Love your podcast for all of the helpful and interesting topics that keeps my juices flowing- Thanks for this opportunity to win this fabulous book!

  • April Mae says:

    I am always cooking up better ways to garden given my skills and my resources and growing my passion to cook by learning to bake, broil or boil what my garden gave me.
    Garden Gloves & Oven Mitts,

  • Debra Norton says:

    I am a gardener who cooks. I enjoy all the information you supply on your website. It has given me many new ideas on canning and I greatly appreciate all the information I can get to preserve what comes out of my garden. Thank you

  • JJ says:

    This year, I’m more of a cook who gardens than the other way around (although I have high hopes for shifting back towards more gardening next year…).

  • I always enjoy your podcast and this week’s episode was very good. I am familiar with Erica’s work. She is a regular on another podcast I listen too. She is a wealth of knowledge and a very good teacher. Would love to get a copy of her book to review. 🙂

    I would describe myself as a gardener who cooks during the summer and fall but more of a cook who gardens during the winter and early spring. Keep up the great work.

  • Amy P. says:

    I live to garden and I garden to cook with better ingredients. I call gardening my “gateway drug.” It has led me down a path to pickling, jamming, drying, Monarch raising, nature photography, and even more cooking!

  • Ronny Kosempel says:

    I am a senior gardener with a small garden and I love to cook. I am always looking for ways to maximize my use of garden space and new ideas for preserving and cooking our small harvest. This book looks like it would be a big help. Thanks.

  • Vickie says:

    Great podcast – thanks! Erica’s philosophy is near and dear to my heart – no waste! I loved her story about how they saved the ends of the tomatoes after slicing for hamburgers and used the bits and pieces for salad or bruschetta! Such a great idea. And vinegar out of peach peels – genius! I would love to win a copy of her book – thanks for the opportunity!

  • Jennet says:

    I have been cooking for years and gardening for 2 years, but I think I like gardening more. I love your podcast!

  • elizabeth says:

    Definitely a gardener who cooks, but more like a gardener who ‘puts up’. Jam and pickles, oh yeah!

    I already bought the book (Love Erica!) but I wouldn’t mind winning a second copy to give to my daughter. If I don’t win, I’m sure I’ll buy her one anyway…

    Thanks for the give away!

  • Susie Schueneman says:

    I Love to garden, Love to cook, love to cook what comes in from the garden, love to preserve from the garden. I also volunteer as am Extension Master Gardener here in Minnesota. I follow your weekly email and love them, Its a favorite for me as i aspire to be more in all i do.

  • Machelle H says:

    I am a cook who wants to garden. The book looks great – thank you for letting us know about it and thank you for the give-away!

  • Delphie says:

    I love this podcast. It gives me an extra reason to be exited about fridays ! I’d say I’m more of a cook who gardens, but really I just love creating stuff in general, be it food, plants, art, etc.

  • susan says:

    Just started listening and really enjoying the podcast.

  • Jackie Hooper-Hage says:

    I am a gardner who cooks. And truly enjoy canning. It connects me.

  • Shelley Beck says:

    I’m a cook and semi-successful gardener. It’s a journey. Would enjoy winning this beautiful book!

  • Amanda says:

    I’m a theoretical gardener. All the gardens I’ve put in while renting different houses in Oregon have befallen one disaster after another. One year the sheep escaped and ate everything. The next year I was hit by boring beetles in the root veggies, more jumbo slugs than a dozen bowls of beer could drown, leaf mold and some other bug that ate all my leaves.
    Then I moved on to small trees, which the deer ate. So I tried an indoor tree that my cat destroyed so utterly that it couldn’t be saved.
    So the next garden will be inside of a greenhouse fortress containing zero animals and have raised beds…you know, once I can actually afford to build one, that it.

    • theresa says:

      I think you may have to invest in a full time security guard Amanda. Sheesh! I love that you don’t give up. Its a process and you are gaining experience…just perhaps not the type of experience you were planning on!

  • Rose says:

    I’m a cook and gardener and student of life.

  • Val says:

    I’m great cook and a mediocre gardener.

  • mandy says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks at the moment. When my garden slows down I’m definately a cook with a freezer and jars full of things from my garden to experiment with.
    So happy to have found your blog and now…my first podcast to listen to. It will come in handy on canning days 🙂

  • Starletta says:

    I’m a cook who gardens

  • Jen says:

    I’m a wannabe Gardner that cooks for the littles. I love Erica’s blog and can’t wait to become.more of an urban homesteader.

  • Mike says:

    I’m a gardener who’s lucky to be marred to someone who cooks!

  • I guess I’m both a cook who gardens and gardener who cooks. I think they both fit together quite well 🙂 I’ve been following Erica’s blog for a quite a while and am thrilled for the chance to win her book. Thanks so much!

  • WendP says:

    I’m a cook who gardens, and grows things to cook with, and occasionally who finds things in the kitchen to grow in the garden.

  • Rachel Costenbader says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks!

  • Kathleen says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks, although the cooking part is generally only when the mood strikes. Luckily I have a spouse who keeps me fed on a regular basis!

  • Celia Bell says:

    I’m a cooking gardener

  • Patricia says:

    Just started listening and love the podcast and I would love to win this book! I am getting more and more into this homesteading lifestyle and am so excited to share this with my young children as they grow!

  • Lisa Lee says:

    It’s been a few years since I planted anything (too busy with my biz) and when we suspected the summer would be hot and glorious, planted 3 organic Washington Cherry tomatoes from PCC. It has been delightful to get back in the kitchen with ingredients just steps away!!

  • Cory ChristY says:

    I am a cook who is trying to garden. I can grow chickens, but my gardening skills are definitely lacking

  • Alison says:

    I’m a former urban balcony/rental house gardener who is trying to tame her new country yard and learning to garden all over again and preserve what she grows. This podcast is wonderful help!!

  • Erica says:

    I’m a cook who loves to garden. A recent accomplishment was whipping up dishes with homegrown garlic–yum! Love both Living Homegrown and Northwest Edible Life.

  • Rachel says:

    I’m a cook who dabbles in gardening, but would like to get a lot better at the latter!

  • Sarina says:

    I’m a gardener who rarely gets to eat what I grow. My damn chickens make sure of that. 😉

  • Tanya says:

    I am obsessed with gardening AND cooking….don’t make me choose! So excited about this book!

  • Melissa says:

    I cook and garden and love both! I would love a copy of this book!

  • leslie says:

    Hmmm, gardener or cook….chicken or egg….hard to say which came first.

  • Kelli smith says:

    I’m a gardener who cooks and am looking forward to Erica’s new book!

  • rachel says:

    I’m a cook who is planning to build a raised bed garden next season. I’ve started canning (applesauce, apple butter and tomatoes) this fall using locally sourced fruit. I am excited about exploring an urban homesteading lifestyle and enjoyed your conversation with Erica. I stopped at my local library and while they don’t yet have her book, I picked up a few others. I enjoy your podcast and the practical advice I can apply weekly to my home. Thanks for your good work and I am looking forward to more!

  • Rebecca Zuniga says:

    I am a cook who gardens.
    Thank you for kindly sharing your wealth of knowledge.
    Appreciate all I’ve learned so far.

  • Christina says:

    I garden to support my canning habits.

  • Theresa says:

    I’m a cook who gardens or maybe I’m a gardener who cooks. It depends on the day or week. My kids and grandkids call my place “the farm”. The hope is to grow and preserve as much of my own food as possible. I’m enjoying learning a little more each time I listen to your podcast.

  • James says:

    Yes I must agree that being passionate about doing things at home. Starting a third square foot garden. I have lions I planted three years ago, you think I should pulled them to regevinate the soil. They survive the Ohio winters and bloom every year. Suitable life style great people think I’m crazy. What do they know. Thanks for your podcasts.

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