The CSA Cookbook Road Trip: Bainbridge Island, Portland, and Willamette Valley!

(Chatting with a passionate group of edible gardeners and urban homesteaders at cluck! urban farm supply in Providence, Rhode Island.)

This post is bittersweet for me. It’s the last leg of The CSA Cookbook Road Trip, but marks a drive I’ve always wanted to do since moving to California — Highway 101 down the coast of Oregon and Northern California. I’m over the moon to be visiting three places on the west coast that are completely new to me: Bainbridge Island, Portland, and Willamette Valley.

June 24 is my last official book tour stop, and the week remaining will be spent exploring the Redwood Coast before we finale in Lake Tahoe, and then home to Los Angeles. But all of that still feels worlds away!

This past weekend in Vermont, we reached the Hump Day point of our road trip, exactly three weeks in with three weeks left to go. I haven’t calculated the total mileage thus far, but I’m guessing we’ve logged at least 5,000 miles on our Kia Sedona MPV (which, by the way, we’re loving more and more as we wander on dozens of scenic byways).

We’ve also reached a milestone in the trip where all the signs are starting to point west… and I’m looking forward to meeting my Midwest readers in Chicagoland and the Wisconsin River Valley this week!

Saturday, June 20 at 1 pm – Bainbridge Island, WA
Eagle Harbor Book Co.
Following the Saturday morning farmers’ market, I’ll be giving a talk, answering questions, and signing books at Eagle Harbor Book Co. This will be a fun and informative event to learn how to use all those fresh vegetables you just picked up, with as little waste as possible! (And you might be surprised by all the unconventional parts you can actually eat.) Books will be available for purchase.

Monday, June 22 at 7 pm – Portland, OR
Broadway Books
I know there are plenty of kindred spirits in Portland, and I can’t wait to meet you all! Join us for a book talk, Q&A, and signing. I’ll be discussing common food myths and the surprising parts of plants you might not have known were edible. Books will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, June 24 at 7 pm – Corvallis, OR
Grass Roots Books and Music
The only reason I’m looking forward to the final stop on The CSA Cookbook Road Trip is my visit to one of the most passionate food and farming communities on the west coast! Come out for a conversation on CSAs and local food, and learn how you can make the most of vegetables you buy or grow. Books will be available for purchase.


June 8 2015      32 comments     Linda Ly
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The CSA Cookbook event at Urban Garden Center in East Harlem, New York

(The most interesting and brilliant venue on my book tour: an urban garden center under the train tracks in East Harlem, New York. I am amazed by all the work the Gatanas family has put into creating this green oasis amid a bustling city block.)

This week, Will and I finally made it to the Atlantic and to the farthest point east on our road trip: a secluded little beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was cold and cloudy, but that didn’t stop Will from celebrating the milestone by jumping into the water!

We finally made it to the Atlantic!

We warmed up with some classic Cape fare (clam chowder and steamers) just as the sun was starting to peek out, and thankfully, it looks like this clear weather may be staying with us as we continue north up the East Coast. I don’t think I’ve ever used my umbrella more in the last two years as I have in the last two weeks alone, so I’m really looking forward to some sunshine as summer approaches!

Next week, I only have two events scheduled for the Midwest, so if you live near (or will be passing through) Chicagoland or the Wisconsin River Valley, I sincerely hope you have a chance to stop by and support these wonderful small businesses! (As a reminder, the East Coast leg of my tour concludes this weekend in Northern Vermont.)

Wednesday, June 10 at 6:30 pm – Oak Park, IL
Green Home Experts (in conjunction with Band of Farmers)
Hello Chicagoland! Join me for a special event at Green Home Experts, which will be staying open after hours to host a book talk, Q&A, and signing. As a thank you to our guests, the store will offer a 15% discount on my book plus all other purchases that evening. Refreshments and samples from my book will be served! Band of Farmers will also provide information on CSA farms in the area if you’re interested in signing up for one.

Thursday, June 11 at 6:30 pm – Spring Green, WI
Arcadia Books
This bookstore and farm-to-table cafe is a hidden gem in the Wisconsin River Valley, and I’m so excited to partner with them on a special menu for their weekly Pizza Night, inspired by The CSA Cookbook! Come out for a bite, a book talk, and a signing! Books will be available for purchase.


June 3 2015      26 comments     Linda Ly
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Two weeks and four events later, I’ve made my way across the stormy south and am heading north this weekend for the east coast leg of The CSA Cookbook Road Trip. It’s so hard to pick just five of my favorite moments as I’ve found something wonderful in every state, city, and random roadside town I’ve stopped in, but here are a few highlights from my week.

To see more, be sure to follow @gardenbetty on Instagram for all my pictures from the road!

Driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway

1. Driving along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. One day I’d like to do the entire 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville, but on this trip, we were fortunate to explore the first 122 miles.


May 29 2015      25 comments     Linda Ly
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The CSA Cookbook Road Trip: Plymouth County, Providence, and Northern Vermont!

(Rain or shine, the book signing must go on! It’s hard to tell in this picture, but shortly after I arrived in Austin, a torrential Texas-sized storm moved in and brought unceasing rain, thunder, and lightning for the rest of the day… along with a tornado warning!)

Week 1 of The CSA Cookbook Road Trip is now a wrap! And what an adventure it’s been. The trip started out warm and dry in Southern Nevada and across the Utah desert… but as soon as we went over Vail Pass, the temperature gauge dropped to 34°F and we had snow and rain for our entire stay in Colorado. (This is May?!) The storm followed us down the Front Range into North Texas, where we drove from Amarillo to Austin with scary semi trucks going 80 MPH and sending barrels of water over our Kia Sedona.

But, we are safe and still enjoying the endless scenery on the drive. I never knew the Lone Star State could be so lush and green! The wildflowers are intense out here. I’m crossing my fingers for calmer weather as we make our way across the South this week… and next week, I hope I’ll get to meet many of you on my East Coast stops!

Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 pm – Mattapoisett, MA
How on Earth (in conjunction with Heart Beets Farm)
Calling Cape Cod and Boston area readers! The CSA season is fast approaching, and I’ll be giving a talk about my new book and how to make the most of your CSA share (or any vegetables you buy or grow). A Q&A and signing will follow, and books will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 pm – Providence, RI
cluck! urban farm supply (in conjunction with Stock Culinary)
I love meeting like-minded folks and can’t wait to see you all at this urban farm and garden shop. Join me for a book talk, Q&A, and signing. See if a farm can stump me with a CSA cooking challenge! (Even I won’t know what it is!) Books will be available for purchase.

Saturday, June 6 at 11 am – Waterbury, VT
Pete’s Greens Farm Market
Join me at this vibrant produce market (right on Route 100, conveniently located between Burlington and Stowe), where I’ll be signing books and sharing samples from my recipes. Pete’s Greens (a certified organic, four-season farm) will also share information about their CSA program. Books will be available for purchase.


May 25 2015      19 comments     Linda Ly
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The CSA Cookbook Road Trip: Asheville, South Central Pennsylvania, and New York City!

(Speaking to a full house at my first tour stop, The Writer’s Block! Thank you Las Vegas!)

The CSA Cookbook Road Trip has officially begun! With my first talk wrapped up, I’m now making my way through the Southwest and eventually the South (looking at you, Denver and Austin!)… and I cannot wait to meet all my readers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York in the next couple of weeks! Bring your friends and come with questions on all things cooking, gardening, or chicken-keeping!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 7 pm – Asheville, NC
I’ve been wanting to visit Asheville for the longest time and am so excited to give a book talk and Q&A at this gorgeous farm and garden shop. Come out for a conversation about no-waste, top-to-tail, farm-to-table cooking! Books will be available for purchase.

Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 11 am – Chambersburg, PA
North Square Farmers Market (in conjunction with Fulton Farm at Wilson College)
It’s going to be a beautiful day in South Central Pennsylvania! I’ll be hanging out at this lively farmers’ market for a meet-and-greet and book signing at the Fulton Farm stand. This is a casual, unstructured event, so come with any curiosities you’d like answered! Books will be available for purchase.

Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 3 pm – New York City, NY
Urban Garden Center
Manhattan’s largest garden center is an oasis for urban gardeners. Get outside, get inspired, and join me under the train tracks for a book talk and book signing. Come with your questions about farm-to-table cooking, edible gardening, or chicken-keeping! Books will be available for purchase.


May 17 2015      33 comments     Linda Ly
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Watch a mason bee emerge from a cocoon

A few weeks ago, I received a shipment of mason bee cocoons from Crown Bees for my native bee house. I could already hear the little guys buzzing around before I’d even opened the box, and sure enough, several male bees had already emerged in transit.

Mason bees and cocoons

One, however, was just starting to wake up from his winter slumber. I was fortunate to capture his emergence on camera! The whole process took about 40 minutes, but you can watch the fascinating sequence in a shortened span of 2.5 minutes.


May 11 2015      12 comments     Linda Ly

An enthusiastic crowd at the Spring Planting Festival

(This picture makes me smile every time… over 125 enthusiastic people sat in this tent and listened to me talk at this year’s Spring Planting Festival in Mansfield, MO.)

Pull out your calendars, I’m going on a book tour!

And not just any book tour… but The CSA Cookbook Road Trip, where I’m hittin’ the road for 6 weeks and 10,000 miles, going coast to coast (twice!) to spread the message of good food to good people.

Honestly, I wish I had 6 months for something like this, as I’ll barely be skimming the surface of this great country despite all those miles. In total, I’ll be making 14 tour stops with my co-driver and adventurer-in-crime, Will (you might know him as The CSA Cookbook photographer and, of course, Mr. Garden Betty). But all told, we’ll be making multiple stops along the way and I just. can’t. wait!


May 7 2015      26 comments     Linda Ly
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