Kristina’s Bookshelf

Captivating Flowers, Perfumed Herbs, Curved Branches:
Love’s Truest Language

Harvest offers ideas for creating beautiful and delicious treats using items from your garden.

Harvest offers ideas for creating beautiful and delicious treats using items from your garden.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with beautiful and delicious things beyond the traditional chocolate! For inspiration, look no further than your own garden or the out-of-doors around your house. Flowers, branches, petals, leaves, roots, and seeds can make striking arrangements, flavor food and drink, and mix up into aromatic treatments and elixirs to excite the senses and welcome the early days of spring.

Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants
by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis
(Ten Speed Press, 2017)

Authors Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis own Homestead Design Collective, a local landscape design firm. The duo’s latest volume, filled with colorful photographs, describes how to grow 47 different plants and use them to create pantry staples, floral arrangements, fragrances, beverages, and beauty supplies. Lafayette resident Bittner also co-authored The Beautiful Edible Garden, and Harampolis co-founded floral design company Studio Choo and co-wrote The Flower Recipe Book and The Wreath Recipe Book. Organized by three gardening seasons, Harvest offers instructions for growing plants like cardoons, scented geranium, gem marigolds, Chilean guava, and chinotto orange to make lovely Marigold Bitters, Lemongrass Salt Scrub, Lilac Flower Cream, Vin D’Orange, Pickled Rhubarb, and Oregano-Infused Vinegar. An extensive resource section lists the different plants that can be used for each project. An inspiring, instructive book by specialists well-versed in horticulture that manages to be both a very informative garden guide and a source of inspiration for lovely and delicious ways to use your garden bounty.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers. 


Photos reprinted with permission from Harvest, by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis, copyright © 2017, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by David Fenton.