2014: A Year in Review

2014: a year in review

Before writing this post, I fondly read over the previous “Years in Review” from 2011, 2012, and 2013, and I’m astounded by how much has happened in the relatively short time I’ve been blogging. If I had to choose a theme for 2014, I think I would call it the “Year of Growth.”

Not only have I grown incredibly as a person through new experiences, but my career has grown in ways I never could’ve imagined, and my blog has grown into a repository of inspiration for visitors all over the world, giving Garden Betty its highest traffic numbers ever in 2014!

From when I first began writing to what I write now, four years later, there’s been a noticeable shift in quality and content — a shift for the better. I’ve put my energy into producing more personal stories, more in-depth articles, and more timeless advice that readers can refer to again and again. One of my oldest posts (knowing when to harvest garlic, written in 2011) remains one of the most-Googled and most-read posts on my blog — a fact that delights and shocks me.

This was the year we really dug (har-har) into the very foundation of gardening, from learning about the anatomy of a seedling and laughing about the sex life of squash to building a no-dig vegetable garden and improving problematic beds with the power of the sun. We planted a Three Sisters garden. We grew bigger tomatoes. And we explored a series of unconventional edibles for our garden, from salad burnet to black radishes.

We went behind the scenes with my backyard chickens and watched a video of Iman taking a dust bath. When she decided to stubbornly sit on an empty nest this past spring, we learned how to break a broody hen — and also got a surprise with the littlest egg my chickens have ever laid.

We stayed hydrated with fresh lemongrass-ginger ale, homemade strawberry lemonade, refreshing watermelon and lime agua fresca, and plenty of sangria (sparkling apple cider or lemongrass, ginger and peach, anyone?).

And if you were wondering why I didn’t post as many food-related recipes this year, it’s because my favorite ones ended up in my forthcoming book, The CSA Cookbook, which officially releases on February 16, 2015! Landing that book deal (and inking the contract on New Year’s Day, no less — what a way to start the year) was the most exciting and nerve-wracking high of 2014. I spent months developing, testing, cooking, shooting, and writing for the book, and I blogged about my journey in the “Making of a Cookbook” series.

Because so many of you amazing people turned up to preorder my book, The CSA Cookbook made Amazon’s Top 10 in the “Whole Foods” category and held the #1 New Release spot for several weeks. (Pinch me!)

I am so, so moved by the overwhelming support of my readers and the generosity of authors who’ve reviewed my book thus far. As I figure out my book tour schedule in the coming months, I sincerely hope I’ll get to meet many of you on the road so I can personally thank you for giving my blog (and my book) a reason to exist. (If you haven’t told me yet where I should be making a stop, please let me know here!)

All told, I’ll have uploaded 131 posts and 1,240 images by the time this year is over.

These were the best of the best… Garden Betty’s greatest hits of 2014!

Choose Your Adventure

Garden Goodness

In the Kitchen

Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for learning and growing every step of the way with me. These have been the most thrilling four years of my life, and I’m fired up to see what the next year brings!

Here’s to a bright and beautiful New Year full of life’s simple pleasures, at home and in the wild!

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December 29 2014      20 comments     Linda Ly
Aventuras   En La Casa   En La Cocina   Gallinas   Jardín   Noticias   Trabajo   Viajes   Vida

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  • Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage

    Happy New Year Linda! As always I’ve adored following your adventures at home and away, thank you for sharing your knowledge and sense of adventure with us!

    • I’ve always appreciated your kind comments on this blog and am glad you choose to follow it! Thank you for your support over the years and Happy New Year!

  • Peggy Zortman

    Loving the blog! Can noy wait to see the cookbook! Wishing you abundant blessings for the New Year!

    • Thank you kindly Peggy! Happy New Year and hope you continue to find some inspiration around here!

  • Awesome year for an awesome blogger! I feel so blessed to have met you in person and wish you even more success in 2015! You deserve it!

    • Lisa, I’m so happy we connected this year! Your spirit and humor is infectious! Also, it looks like we’ll be seeing each other again in Atlanta. 🙂

  • Jeremy Heyl

    You should be very proud of what you’ve done here. I’ve found this site to be an invaluable resource in my own ‘food journey’ and its expanded my gardening & cooking too. I broke out my fermented hot sauce for friends last night with chicken wings and it was a huge hit (my wife said its her favorite of all the hot sauces I’ve made or bought- I agree). I made the kimchi jjigae (with the ruby kimchi from this site as well) and I really got the same comfort feeling that I get with a plate of Spaghetti and meatballs (something I would have NEVER tried without this influence). The ruby kraut is pretty awesome in a pepper jack quesadilla. Tried your fig jam in yogurt when I ran out of fresh fruit (yummy- but watch out for peppercorns) Can’t wait for your Book Frog to send me my copy!

    • Jeremy, it totally made my day to read your comment! THIS is why I blog, and this is why I wake up every day excited to learn something new to share with my readers! Thank you for your curiosity, enthusiasm, and support!

  • Congratulations on a fantastic year. My mother-in-law preordered your cookbook for me as a Christmas gift. Looking forward to its arrival in February! Happy New Year to you.

    • Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too! I hope 2015 brings many beautiful bounties to your garden. 🙂

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