The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener – Book Review and Giveaway!

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basically it's all about timing, growing the right types of crops that will survive the winter, building the proper structures that will protect the plants, and insulating those structures to protect from extreme cold.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener in the mail, I just had to crack it open right away. The most exciting part of this book for me is the details about growing food outside in the garden through the winter. The idea of growing garden fresh vegetables year-round in my Minnesota garden never seemed possible without an expensive heated greenhouse. Well this book has opened my eyes to the possibilities of winter gardening, exciting right?

Growing carrots in a cold frame through the winter
Growing carrots in a cold frame through the winter

Niki Jabbour, the author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, gardens through the winter every year despite the cold and snow where she lives in Canada. In her book, she shows us that anyone, no matter what climate you live in, can grow garden fresh produce every month of the year.

Shovel off the cold frame with a plastic shovel
Niki says: “I like to keep a plastic shovel by the frames for quick snow removal”

The concept of winter gardening is hardcore in cold climates like Minnesota, but it’s not that hard to imagine doing it, and this book is chock-full of the details needed to become a successful year-round gardener.

A peek under a mini hoop tunnel in late autumn.
Nikki says: “A peek under a mini hoop tunnel in late autumn.”

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener doesn’t just tell you how cool it is to grow food through the winter, and then glaze over the details – it actually shows you how to do it. In this book you will find detailed information that will give you the confidence to grow your own food year-round, and the tools you need to ensure you are successful.

mini hoop tunnels in winter
Mini hoop tunnels in winter

The first half of the book is filled with tips and detailed instructions on extending the growing season, and growing year-round. Niki takes great care in explaining different types of protective structures, like cold frames, mini hoop tunnels, and hoop houses. She also lists the pros and cons for each one, then gives you step-by-step instructions on how to build these structures yourself, and shows you ways to add these structures to your garden to maximize your success.

In addition, Niki shows you the different ways to protect and insulate the structures during the winter, how to harvest winter crops, and also discusses ways of amending the soil to add the nutrients back that are essential for year-round growing. You will even find details about crop rotation and several garden design plans for growing productive vegetable gardens in The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.

It's a hint of spring when I pop open the top of my cold frames to harvest
Niki says: “It’s a hint of spring when I pop open the top of my cold frames to harvest!”

But Niki doesn’t leave you hanging there. The second half of the book is an index containing tons of different types of vegetables and herbs, and details of what types of crops to choose and grow through each season of the year. This section is also packed with wonderful tips for how to grow these crops.

Frosted kale leaf
Frosted kale leaf

Niki includes crops for all seasons, but the fact that she includes which types of cold hardy crops to grow through the winter is invaluable. This list, combined with the information provided in the first half the book solidifies faith in the reader that they really can grow food year-round. I will definitely be using this section of the book as a reference for years to come.

Winter harvested carrots
Winter harvested carrots

If you live in a cold climate, and are at all interested in growing food during the winter, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book. Just imagine the look on your friends faces when you walk them out the garden to harvest garden fresh produce in January! Now that would be impressive. You can pick up your copy here… The Year Round Vegetable Gardener


Not only do I get to boast about this fabulous book, but I get to give away a copy to one of you! Double bonus!

I’ll give you one week to enter to win the book (deadline is Monday, February 10th). Then I will pick the lucky winner randomly (via from all the people who entered.

Sign Up to Win!

All you have to do is leave a comment below (be sure to leave your email address too, if it’s not on your profile) and tell me why you want to win this book.Of course, I would love it if you would follow my blog, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest… etc. And don’t forget to share this giveaway with your friends via your favorite social media site.
Giveaway open to residents of the United States and Canada.Photographs reprinted with permission from Niki Jabbour The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener ©2011).



  1. says

    Wow! Thank you so much Amy for taking the time to review The Year Round Veggie Gardener!! It's much appreciated.. I'm so glad you liked it.. I think you understand what a snowy climate is like for winter weary gardeners! ha ha.. Thanks again!! Niki

    PS – good luck to everyone who enters the contest!

  2. Anonymous says

    I live in southern ohio & have longed for a year round garden.This book would be a big help to get me started. Thanks.


  3. Anonymous says

    I would be thrilled to WIN this book! I bought it once but gave it to a friend and haven't been able to rebuy it yet, It would be an awesome Birthday present to me… as mine is in March, drbcrawford@eastlink,ca Zone 5a…Annapolis Valley…..Brenda

  4. says

    Great post! Building a cold frame has been on my want-to-do list for a few years – perhaps this book would be just the inspiration I need to get on that! Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. says

    This is so exciting! I need this book! I've been reading Eliot Coleman's book on the same topic, but so far I feel it lacks some of the details you're talking about. Plus, he's more in zone 5 than 4, so sometimes I wonder if some of his tips will work in Minny. Thanks for the review!

  6. says

    Well, earlier this year I decided to move to Sarasota, Fl after years of living in Mass. I spent 5 months there and it was beautiful, but I just missed living close to my parents/family and the beauty of the seasons. So I recently moved to Cape Cod and am fully ready to get back into Winter Gardening. I would love to have Niki's book in my arsenal to help me with the task! Nice gesture,

  7. says

    I want to win because I live in the northeast and am addicted to gardening.I can only grow stuff a small part of the year.I want to be able to keep things alive year round.

  8. says

    I just bought a new house and part of my plans are to start growing my own produce and herbs and start canning. I remember as a little girl helping my grandma in the garden to pick green beans and can them. I would like to pass that memory on to my grandkids by starting the traditions again of gardening. I am trying to soak up all information I can and being able to plant during the whole year

  9. says

    Would love to win this book! I live in zone 6 and would love to be able to winter over some hardy veggies! BTW, I am trying winter sowing for the first time this year. Can't wait for Spring!

  10. says

    I live in zone 5. My dream is to grow all the veggies our family eats (we are vegetarians). I love gardening so much I would like to do it all year–without leaving my home in Michigan. So this book really intrigues me–it may be the answer to my dream!

  11. says

    I have been talking about ways to make extending the season happen and this gives me the kick I need to get started. Those pictures are very inspiring, especially the carrots.

  12. says

    I have tried to extend my season with a hoop frame but ended up freezing the plants under it at the first snow & very hard frost. Would love more infor on how to keep the condensation from freezing my plants when it gets really cold.

  13. says

    We are renovating our old veggie garden and having the insights of her book would be a great benefit to helping me to design it so we can best use the space year round.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway and good luck everybody!

  14. says

    North Dakota winters would certainly be more tolerable if I had some fresh veggies, this book seems like a great resource for getting started with that.

  15. says

    We purchased an old 1940's 2 bedroom bungalow, this past summer. Our new home has a garden, with raised beds and 3 huge old pecan trees, 1 peach tree and 1 pear tree. I have never tried to grow vegetables, other than a few herbs, but in my search of how to grow food for our family, I got so excited, I can't wait for spring. So, now I am trying to read anything I can find on growing

  16. Anonymous says

    I live in a rural area in MO and am very interested in gardening year round. I have 15 grandchinldren and am eager to allow my grandchildren to enjoy growing vegetables year round. Also a good way to help prevent nature deficet disorder lol.

  17. says

    Our Chicago winter has been nothing short of a character builder this year. I feel bad for my wife of 2 years who left Tucson to marry me and now be subjected to true Midwest life.

    Last summer I dipped my toe in the home garden world with a modest herb selection and 3 tomato plants. We were pleasantly surprised with the yield we received and now are looking forward to the spring to

  18. says

    I've attempted to extend the season with hoop houses and a cold frame but haven't made it past Thanksgiving in my zone 4 garden. Need some help!

  19. says

    Love to read your Blog. You are in the same area as I am and I learn so much and get so many ideas. I'd love to be able to stretch this all too short growing season longer! I think this year I'm going to go shovel some snow off my garden bed, sprinkle some lettuce seed on and recover with snow. Doing this on Valentine's day, as I always planted Lettuce on that day when gardening with

  20. says

    Growing vegetables in cold season is really difficult but after reading this post i shocked that now the idea behind growing vegetable plants in snow fall atmosphere is valuable and impressive.