Book Review and Giveaway: How to Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg by Joe Hashman

This giveaway is now closed. Winner will be announced on Monday 12 March.

We haven’t really written much about our veg patch recently, and I’m afraid to say it’s looking rather sad and neglected (and, more to the point,  unfinished) just now, so it’s fantastic to get a bit of inspiration (and a kick up the bum…) from this week’s giveaway book:

Gardening book giveaway

I love the concept of How to Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg by Joe Hashman – which, at its most basic level, is a run down of the jobs you need to do in your vegetable garden on a week by week basis. For a semi-beginner on the veg plot like me, it’s just so reassuring to have an easy-to-check guide of what to do when. I already have quite a collection of veg-growing reference books, but pretty much all of them are arranged by theme or type of fruit/vegetable, so it’s often not easy to find out when you need to get all the stuff done.  Even when I do have some idea of what I’m supposed to be getting on with, I find that sometimes I forget, or time runs away with me (where do we go together, me and time?), and this book is an excellent aide memoir for us disorganised, forgetful folks.

There aren’t tons of colour photographs of beautiful potager gardens (phew!), but there are lovely line drawings and the layout is very simple to use. I really like the DIY mentality (we are definitely going to be using his idea for creating simple brick paths), and it’s refreshing to read a reference guide where the writer is enthusiastic about sharing his gardening space with lots of wildlife. I wonder how many other veg growing books suggest creating a badger-friendly gate rather than having badgers constantly ruining your fences! Pleasingly, because it isn’t a massive book, there’s also space for nutritional information about what you’re growing, which varieties are good and reliable, and some simple recipes too.

I’d heartily recommend this book as a good buy for a veggie gardener’s library – if you aren’t lucky enough to win a copy that is!  If you’d like to win this one (and I’ll throw in some veggie seeds too, just as an extra treat), then leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite vegetable or vegetable dish.

This giveaway is only open to UK-based readers (sorry!).
The giveaway will run until midnight, Sunday 11 March.

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. Winner will be announced on Monday 12 March.


Filed under Gardening & Nature books, Growing

142 responses to “Book Review and Giveaway: How to Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg by Joe Hashman

  1. lyn burgess

    It’s got to be Jersey mids. They are only available for a few weeks a year, and I always look forward to them so much.

  2. Samantha Wesley

    I love all vegetables really, except peas! My ultimate favourite has to be Runner Beans though, I literally eat them on their own they are so yummy! :)

  3. Rebecca Thomas

    Roast parsnips

  4. Lyndsey Allison

    I am pregnant at the moment and currently have a big thing for red onions

  5. Laura Cooper

    I love roasted vegetables. I’m growing some of my own for the first time this year so I should be making a lot more this year.

  6. Maria S

    My favourite veg is Asparagus! and my favourite dish is an Asparagus frittata! sooo tasty!
    My mum has just taken on an Allotment, so we are going to try and grow some – this book would come in SO handy!!

  7. antonia


  8. Stuart Morrow

    Love carrots

  9. PlaistowP

    I love all vegetables except okra. My favourite recipe at the moment is butternut quash and red lentil stew. Yum!

  10. Jamie Musson

    I love potatoes because you can make jackets, mash, roasties, which are all lovely, also because Keith Lemon goes “POTATO!” :P

  11. abwilliamson

    My fav veg is chillis!! so versatile from mild sweet ones in a salad to mouth burning ones in a curry

  12. Holly Green

    I love carrots, especially in stews and casseroles when they go all soft and take on the flavour of whatever they’ve been cooked in!

  13. Caz

    My favourite veg is broccoli – tastes delicious raw or cooked and it’s so versatile!

  14. Scott Caldon

    I adore ratatouille, made from veg picked that day from my veg plot

  15. Kirsty O'Neill

    I love vegetable and cheese bake.

  16. Miss Natalie Wallace

    I love swede mashed with butter its delicious. Love the look of this book have always fancied having a go of growing my own vegetables

  17. Bernadette K

    I adore asparagus, but only in season, British ones, lightly griddled with a knob of butter….mmmmmmm

  18. Pauline Appleton

    I was recommended to try Beetroot Curry and have to say it is delicious and now one of my favourites

  19. I love carrots & really enjoy growing them, I grow a fair few varieties & my top tip for growing is to grow your carrots in pots to avoid carrot fly

  20. Danielle F

    Corn on the cob – fresh from the garden.

  21. Sue

    I love roasted vegetable rissotto but my very favourite is beetroot!

  22. Sarah Parker

    favourite veg – mushrooms :)

  23. Paul Witney

    Love carrots

  24. Lyn Bosomworth

    Rhubarb and custard cake

  25. Rushna Abrar

    growing fruits and vegetables is my passion,i would love to win this

  26. Louise M

    I love Ratatouille, especially my home-made version, which I make when I’ve got the time :)

  27. Clementina

    Sweet potato. Lush.

  28. Julie Cook

    Rhubarb and custard cake – yum!

  29. Jeremy Hards

    My favourite vegatable has got to be the potato as it is so versatile and with a bit of cheese and butter can be a complete meal.

    A Jacket Potato is very simple to make when you het home from work and really can’t be bothered to cook. It is also a lot cheaper and healthier than a ready meal

  30. I love roasted veggies, a little drizzle of VEOO, must include, peppers and red onions plus any other veg that is in season.

  31. Robyn Clarke

    My favorite vegetable dish is ratatouille. Once had a ratatouille quiche which was divine!

  32. valerie rush

    freshly picked Runner Beans

  33. Charlotte Cottam

    I don’t think there is anything better than roasted carrots :)

  34. Gary Humphrey

    my home grown potatoes

  35. suzanne sendell

    Love using vegetables in soups,love experimenting

  36. Lisa Wilkinson

    I love Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Balsamic Vinegar.

  37. linda wiles

    asparagus with more asparagus

  38. Sarah Ballantyne

    We grew peas for the first time last year and they were just delicious! Very few made it as far as the kitchen as we just ate them straight from the pod sitting in the garden (my toddler was particularly good at spotting ripe pods!) but we had a lovely pea and pancetta risotto with the peas that did get that far.

    We’d love to grow more fruit and veggies this year but with a baby due in May my time will be limited so I need easy instructions/tips and this book looks great.

  39. helenthemadex

    my favourite vegetable dish is curried butternut squash soup delicious

  40. Debbie Timms

    This book looks fab! My favourite vegetable dish is saag aloo, yummy! x

  41. denise soos

    My husband tells me that I make a fantastic mushroom risotto

  42. Tina Lawton

    My favourit veg dish is vegetable jalfreizi… the more different veggies in it, the better!!

  43. jane steels

    This book would be so useful! I’ve got my first ever allotment,and have just got it ready for planting.
    I would be able to use this book to help me become more self-sufficient.
    Please enter me for the competition.

  44. Julia Csoka

    I Love roasted sweet potato yum yum

  45. S Barry

    would love to plant some more veg this year my favourite is my nan’s recipe for med stuffed vegetables u canse use a peppers courgettes tomoates and aubergines it soo tasty reminds me of my childhood days :)

  46. martin turner

    i would love to know more about how to grow your own things the kids are really up for it but i have not got a clue

  47. I love my homemade courgette and leek bake, even better with homegrown courgettes which we grow and love the size of the plant.

  48. Lesley Bain

    My kids and I could really use this book, our novice veg growing attempt last year ended in disaster for the most part….we need help! :D
    My favourite veg dish is broccoli, sugarsnap peas and courgettes, steamed then tossed with a little melted garlic butter….yummy :)

  49. Lisa Ellison

    I’m in love with Butternut squash at the moment and I love cooking it in a mediterranean vegtables, I’ve even got the kids loving it.

  50. arah-Lou

    Courgettes are my fav (which is good considering how many we grew last year!) I love ratatouille (sp?) with a mix of yellow and green courgettes.

  51. Catherine Miller

    It has to be Rhubarb ready for some crumble :)

  52. Clare

    Butternut squah, especially in a curry with sweet potato

  53. Steve

    I really could not, not grow courgettes just for the Pickled Courgettes I make…..possibly the best pickle in the world!

  54. Ruth Grover

    Apple and Rhubarb Pie

  55. IanJ

    I absolutely love sprouts :-)

  56. Janette

    Has to be carrots!

  57. Katie

    Leek, cabbage and cream. Sadly my attempts at growing both leek and cabbage have been mediocre at best so I obviously need some help :)

  58. my favourite vegtable is purple sprouting broccoli – its amazing!

  59. Solange


  60. me & my son love a good veg bake with lots of broccoli (or mini trees as my son calls them) :)

  61. Ranita


  62. Claire

    This book looks fab! I have just reached the top of my local allotment waiting list (after 4 long years!) so I definitely need it! Beetroot is my favourite veg (and about the only one I’ve grown successfully so far!)

  63. Victoria Boland

    I love carrots. Raw or cooked are both nice.

  64. Andrea Upton

    Tomatoes from the garden made into a tasty sauce and served with pasta and parmesan cheese!

  65. I love to make sweet potato and spinach dahl :)



  67. Cauliflower and Broccoli cheese :D or Sweet Potato wedges….can’t decide lol!

  68. Phil Wadcock

    My favourite vegetable is carrots. I love making carrot cake.

  69. WandaFish

    This book sounds great – thanks for the chance to win a copy! We’re just trying to decide what to grow this year in our small veggie patch.
    There are so many yummy veggies it’s so hard to choose a fave, but purple sprouting broccoli would be one of them and definitely beetroot another – so easy to grow and great hot or cold.
    One of my top recipes would be sweet potato and spinach curry :)

  70. Hazel Wright

    I like everything!!! I like coriander fresh in salads and curry and soup, I like peas straight from the pods too! I like to try growing different things indoors and out just to see what will happen!

  71. Sounds the perfect book for me after some disasters I have encountered with the raised beds (see link for proof)!
    Recent convert to beetroot, love beetroot and walnut salad. Hope to do better.

  72. Charlotte Procter


  73. diane findlay

    carrots ,,,, raw , in cake , ext just love em

  74. Pauline M

    I love growing runner beans on my allotment – and I love eating them too. A real taste of summer!

  75. Stephanie Tsang

    My favourite vegetables are sweetcorn and aubergines.

  76. Sue Joyce

    I miss gardening and and thinking of “digging” in again this year! Thanks for the fun offer!

  77. Fiona Mallard

    I love butternut squash – it’s so versatile. I’ve never tried to grow it though, I think it would be a bit big for my tiny garden.

  78. Andrew Hindley

    Baked Marrow stuffed with Minced Beef and topped with golden, bubbling cheese

  79. Becky Butler

    My favourite definetly has to be courgettes, they are so easy to grow, we spend months having to eat them in every meal. They also make lovely moist cakes I discovered this year, and freeze well too!

  80. What a nice giveaway. I’d love to win this book for my school gardening group.
    My favourite veg is purple sprouting broccoli, with lots of melted butter on, eaten with fingers!

  81. Paul Wilson

    I love most raw veg, especially carrots.

  82. Jo Young

    I love roasted onions, peppers and courgettes :)

  83. Kate Dawson

    My favourite garden vegetables are peas, but I have to say most of them are eaten before I cook with them.

  84. Kadaty

    Aw man, one favourite vegetable? Too hard but fave dish at the mo is ‘melanzane alla parmigiana’ cheesy tomatoey aubergines mmmmmmmm num

  85. my favourite vegetable is courgette, absolutely love it….although saying that, I cooked asparagus tonight for an accompaniment with dinner, I think that might be my current favourite :-)

  86. My favourite vegetable is cucumber (although I believe it is technically a fruit!). I love a good veggie soup. Thanks for the chance to win!


    I love spinach and lasagne. This “How to” book would help me so much as I hope for a more productive year on my allotment.

  88. Cheryll H

    I love broccoli :) There’s something really satisfying about eating baby trees :) @pipersky1

  89. Georgina Ball

    Baked butternut squash filled with chilli con carne and topped with cheese!

  90. Ruth Tesdale

    My favourite veg is aubergine and I love mousakka

  91. Val Hartley

    My favourite veg is potatoes

  92. Carrie Cambridge

    My favourite veg is the humble leek, which is fabulous in soups, stews, steamed and lots more – just love ’em!

  93. Tim F

    Caulliflower cheese for me. :)

  94. Rob Brighton

    My favourite veg has to be purple sprouting broccoli, at it’s best dipped into a whole roasted squash filled with a leeky cheesey creme freshy sauce, courtesy of HFW’s veg book. In fact, I’m off out to grab a squash now…

  95. Hellen Jordan

    Started last year for the first time and managed a bumper crop of courgettes. We had so many that I had to keep finding new ways to cook them! Courgette fritters were a winner and so was the chutney :)

  96. Margaret

    My favourite vegetable is Cauliflower :)

  97. Awesome! I’m about to start gardening and am abit daunted since I’ve never done any before, never had a garden or indoor space but now I’m going to get the opportunity so have to learn quick and efficiently!

    I have so many favourite vegetables and dishes as I’m vegan, but I suppose my most favourite would be potatoes, olives and tomatoes. They’re are extremely versatile. My favourite dish would be seaweed and pumpkin lasagna. I could just eat that without stopping until the dish was empty!

  98. Corinne Faulkner

    I absolutely adore gardening, it’s a fabulous hobby especially when you are able to gain something positive from it as in eating fruit and vegetables. My favourite has to be chinese cabbage :)

  99. Lindsay Gough

    I love corn on the cob fresh from the garden, with butter

  100. Gemma Harrison

    I love making stew with lots of veg.

  101. Tracy Nixon

    I love oven baked veg – especially stuffed pepper and beef tomatoes – they are delicious stuffed with vegetables, tuna and rice!

  102. Sam Fenton

    My favorite veggie has to be butternut squash, roasted with chilli and garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Yum!

  103. My favourite vegetable is a homegrown fresh runner bean really tasty. Now I need to learn how to grow other things.

  104. Anne Thompson

    My favourite vegetable is a homegrown runner-bean , nothing beats them fresh from the garden-just to learn to grow everything else.

  105. Joanne

    I love gardening, i think my favorite veg to grow is runner beans, i love to make runner bean chutney for the winter and i love them fresh, lightly boiled in a bowl with a little cream cheese on top

  106. Phil Darling

    I’m a gardening virgin….that wants to grow cherries, and broccoli and sprouts.

  107. My favourite vegetables are all vegetables because they are so good for you with their antioxidents and vitamins. I like sweet peas because of their beautiful fragrent flowers and as a child I helped my father to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit since we had a big garden. I used to love to dig up the potatoes because it was always a surprise! My favourite vegetable dish would have to be vegetables with rice because you can taste all the different individual flavours of the vegetables but I also like vegetable curry!

  108. lesley

    nothing beats freshly picked runner beans lightly steamed then tossed in garlic butter(made with homegrown garlic!! of course!!!)

  109. Julie Picton

    My favourite vegetable is swede. Mmmm

  110. Debbie Cooper

    my favourite veg dish has got to be a vegetable lasagna, filled with courgettes,mushrooms and tomatoes – yum yum.

  111. My favourite dish is a vegetable soup I make, from whatever veggies I have been lucky enough to grow myself. I am still learning and not too good with carrots or sprouts, but will be trying them again this year.

  112. Maxine

    Can’t wait for the summer when I can make garden-grown ratatouille – so simple, but so delicious!

  113. Jamielee Norris

    My favourite vegetable is potatoes – you can do so much with them, make so many recipes and it also takes amazing by itself.

  114. helen tovell

    roasted root veg with onion garlic and thyme


    My favourite vegetable is the red capsicum peppers there so easy to grow in a container and there very versatile you can have them raw with salads or cooked in a curry or pasta dish …I LOVE EM

  116. Kelly Koya

    My fav veg is aubergines!

  117. sarah w

    My favourite veg is cauliflower, my family adores cauliflower cheese!

  118. Gill

    My favourite vegetables are beans! I love them all! especially the climbing french beans which crop so well! Last year I grew the purple podded ones as well as the normal green ones!

  119. Cauliflower or fresh peas cooked in any possible way!

  120. I’ve dabbled with growing my own veggies for a few years now, but never really committed to it. I’m hoping to do more this year, food prices just keep going up so maybe I can help save a few pounds :-)
    My favourite vegetable is cauliflower, i love the delicate taste. I make a cauliflower and potato side dish using ginger, cumin, corriander, coconut milk and black mustard seeds, yum! Please count me in, green fingers crossed!

  121. Chrissie

    What a nice book. It’s hard to say what is my favourite veg because I love them all (but not sprouts unless they are heavily disguised!) but I do love roasted veg and any remaing go into my veg soup.

  122. tammy

    Love the book! My favorite vegetable dish is probably ratatouille. It has a nice mix of summer yummyness!

  123. We have been looking for a book just like this, it’s exactly what we need! Picking a favourite vegetable/veg dish is practically impossible! At this time of year, I think I’d have to say that the sweet potato & cauliflower curry that we make is probably my favourite :)

  124. My favourite veg at the moment is any kind of green veg. I’ve got overwintered bits of cavolo nero and Swiss chard and I’m going to go nettle hunting tomorrow, but I’m longing for a veg box full of greens!

  125. I’d love this book. My favorite would be carrots (and parsnips), I love slowly roasting them so they are so sweet with a roast dinner. If it is a treat day we might even add a bit of honey. My son is a normal 5 year old who thinks he doesn’t like veg but roasted is different :-)

  126. patientgardener

    That sounds like a good book – I get fed up with those beautiful potagers whcih make me feel inadequate

    My favourite veg is Carvelo Nero (Black Tuscany Kale). I like to remove the rib down the middle of the leaves, blanch them and chop having squeezed the water out of the leaves before chopping. Meanwhile heat some olive oil, fry off some bacon lardons with garlic. Put pasta on to cook. Add kale just before the end of cooking to the bacon. You can add cream but I tend to add a splash of garlic olive oil and some chopped parsley. Add drained pasta to kale mixture and there you go – gorgeous and quick

  127. Michie

    Ooo what a lovely opportunity! I am a trying novice vegetable gardener. Struggling with my cat who loves to ‘use’ our garden for her bathroom and a child who loves to throw balls into the patches!
    My favourite vegetable are jerusalem artichokes. Roasted with carrots and celery under slow cooked lamb.
    Fave veg main meal is Aubergine and red lentil curry.
    But have a serious love for Vietnamese summer rolls this week. They are fresh, low in everything you can count and also pretty!
    I love your blog – covers my passions too!

  128. Alice Bishop

    My favourite veg dish at the moment is Madhur Jaffrey’s sweet and sour butternut squash.

  129. I love growing potatoes, and the peas we had last year were lovely, but there weren’t enough of them!

  130. EmIly

    I have been thinking that I (and kids) just don’t get outside enough. But often it is too cold to just go outside without a reason, so I am starting to think we need a purposeful reason to be outside. The obvious answer is gardening, which would obviously be good in other heathly (for body and nutrition and pocketbook) ways. So this book would be a great place to start as I am a total beginner. As for favorite vegetables – that is a hard one, I do love so many of them. Maybe kohlrabi, we love getting it our veg box and munching on it raw.

    Oops just realized that you want a recipe! We are enjoying lots of great veg recipes in river cottage veg and also in super natural everyday, fabulous cauliflower and cheddar soup.

  131. We started to grow some tomatoes, scallions, parsley and green beans last year. I’d love this book to check out what else is in store.

  132. The book sounds great! Very timely for me as I’ve just got an allotment which I’m hoping to make a start on this weekend! Very hard to pick a favourite vegetable or vegetable dish (being vegan we eat a LOT of vegetables!) I’d probably have to pick the good old spud as my favourite though, if I’m forced ;) You can do so much with the humble potato!

  133. I have to say my favorite veg is Beetroot – and the dish I make with it is a beet-tarte tatin – simple and delicious as a dinner and side dish. Thank you for the opportunity to win this great little book x

  134. I’d love to read this as last year I started growing veg with the help of my son. This year we’re doing potatoes for the first time. Our favourite veg dish at the moment is spicy carrot and potato soup

  135. Celila

    Ooh looks like the very book I need now we have a garden again! My favourite veggie is peas, because my girls always eat them all!!

  136. My fav vegetable dish is new potatoes cut into halves and smothered in butter and herbs. perfect side dish to any meal!
    Would love this book as im a beginner at growing! my second year this year.

  137. Hello – my favourite vegetable recipe is Caulifower soup. Easy recipe – sweat one chopped onion with 1 tbsp butter in a big pot then add a whole cauliflower along with 4 cups veg broth and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-30 mins until cauliflower is soft. Puree and wah-lah :) Yum. I grow my own veg too (and blog about it along with quilting/sewing!) so would LOVE to win! Thanks for the chance!

  138. Clare Davidson

    I’d love to have a read of this book. My favourite veg dish at the moment is chickpea and vegetable curry. I want to make it all the time, pity the kids aren’t keen yet.

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