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      11 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      21 comments     Linda Ly
Libros   Noticias   Viajes

The five little things that made my week…

Red Round turnips

1. Of all the turnips I’ve grown over the years, these Red Round turnips are the best. So sweet and tender right out of the soil! I just harvested the last of the winter turnips and have so far made turnip soup, turnip gratin, braised turnip, roasted turnip, pickled turnip… what’s next?


May 1 2015      10 comments     Linda Ly

Win a native bee house kit courtesy of Crown Bees

I just received a shipment of leafcutter bees in the mail the other day. Aren’t they neat?

Summer leafcutter bee cocoons

Or I should say, leafcutter bee cocoons. The silken cocoons come encased in the leafy cells the mother bee created when she laid her eggs.

Unlike spring mason bees, which start flying when temperatures reach 55°F, summer leafcutter bees like hot weather and emerge when the weather is consistently in the mid-80°Fs.

We’re moving into a week of warmer weather so I suspect they’ll be waking up just as their mason bee cousins start to wind down. I’ve had my native bee houses hanging in the garden for a few weeks and it’s such a joy to spot the mason bees buzzing around the borage and nasturtiums every day.

I love my native bee houses so much, in fact, that I’ve asked Crown Bees to give one of my readers an opportunity to own a native bee house too!


April 27 2015      146 comments     Linda Ly
Diversión   Entomología

Mallow: the everywhere edible weed

Every spring, the first signs of life in my mulch (and everywhere else in my garden and neighborhood) are these ubiquitous weeds. You probably have them too. They invade lawns, landscapes, parkways, parking lots, drainage ditches, and all nooks and crannies when the weather is cool and damp.

Here in Los Angeles where our winters are mild, they start popping up in November or December if we’ve had some early rains. They usually appear in neglected areas and it doesn’t take long for a few plants to overrun a plot. With deep woody taproots and a fast growing habit, they’re often considered invasive.

Mallow is a much maligned weed to gardeners who feel the same disdain for dandelions. But did you know this common weed is actually edible?


April 22 2015      12 comments     Linda Ly

A grand giveaway with OXO to celebrate the release of The CSA Cookbook!

I’ve been using OXO products ever since I started cooking… actually, before I started cooking. I still remember my first serious stroll through the kitchen section at Macy’s when I was 20 and living away from home. What did I find there that I thought I absolutely needed for my first kitchen in my first apartment? Not a pan, not a knife, not even a spatula… but an apple corer. I couldn’t believe that such a contraption existed! Imagine the countless apples I’d be able to core and slice in one fell swoop!

That corer is still in my kitchen 14 years, 1 cross-country move, 4 apartments and 1 house later. It’s joined by a whole family of OXO products collected over time, including measuring cups, measuring spoons, slotted spoons, silicone brushes, dish brushes, and not one, but two salad spinners.

You could say my kitchen style is anything but minimal. I believe having the right tools on hand will not only inspire you to cook more often, they will help you become a better cook. And that’s why I’m so excited to team up with OXO on this grand giveaway in conjunction with The CSA Cookbook!


April 20 2015      227 comments     Linda Ly
Diversión   En La Cocina   Libros

The five little things that made my week…

Tiny grapes

1. After four years of waiting and watching them grow verdant in spring only to go dormant in winter, fruitless, our grapevines finally have… itty bitty little grapes!


April 17 2015      8 comments     Linda Ly