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The Homestead Blessings Collection Volume 2:

The Art of Herbs / The Art of Gardening / The Art of Canning

Franklin Springs Family Media

317 Main Street Suite 212
Franklin, TN 37064

Franklin Springs Media and the West ladies have done it again! They have created and produced a three-volume set of videos that are perfect for the family or homemaker who wants to master some practical skills that are quickly becoming a lost art. With these DVDs, you too can learn about growing herbs, gardening, and canning while enjoying some homespun hospitality and southern charm with Vicki, Jasmine, Hannah, and CeCe West, a delightful mother/daughter(s) team from Tennessee.

"The Art of Herbs" video (61 minutes plus additional bonus material) is all about identifying, growing, preserving, and using herbs in a variety of ways--for both cooking and health. The Wests take you on a walk through their own beautiful herb garden while giving tips and advice on cultivating and harvesting various plants, including thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, chives, and more. The West ladies also present easy step-by-step instructions for making vinegars, tonics, teas, butters, and even attractive culinary gifts.

"The Art of Gardening" video (49 minutes plus additional bonus material) is a terrific DVD for both beginning and veteran gardeners. The West ladies start with a lesson on composting and then move on to other topics, including pest control, potato patches, tools, flowers, container gardening, vegetables, how to lay out straight rows, etc. I especially liked the segments on how to grow potatoes the easy way and how to create an instant "lasagna garden." The West ladies prove that a garden can be beautiful as well as functional, and I can't wait to try out some of their ideas when we plant our garden in the spring.

"The Art of Canning" video (54 minutes plus additional bonus material) is one of the best resources about food preservation I've ever seen, and I have quite a few books on the subject. This DVD is chock-full of useful information that will give a canning "newbie" the confidence to master and enjoy what can be a difficult skill for many beginners. The West ladies cover basic equipment, types of canners, jar cleaning and storage, etc. They also give easy instructions for canning goods such as green beans, tomatoes, pickles, and jams. Although I have canned produce and vegetables for years, I have never "put up" pickled eggs or sauerkraut before. After watching this video, I may have to give it a go!

Each video includes bonus material, including trailers, recipes, contact information, and a song performed by the West ladies. And if you've never heard them sing before, you are in for a treat. Their down-home Appalachian style and beautiful harmonies are music to the ears. And their obvious love for family and home is truly a blessing.

Each video retails for $19.95, or the three-volume set can be purchased for $39.95. More information and clips from the videos can be found at The DVDs are well worth the money for what you get--a storehouse of knowledge and practical skills that can be used for a lifetime. Priceless.

I already own and have enjoyed the Homestead Blessings Collection: Volume 1 covering bread baking, candle making, and soap making. Now I am thrilled to have Volume 2 on my shelf as well as a resource that I can use over and over again. Highly recommended!

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2010

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