Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

Tiny grapes

The five little things that made my week…

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!


2. Nasturtiums are one of my favorite flowers, and I love how they grow wild all over our property, like here in a neglected side yard. I started with a single packet of nasturtium seeds five years ago, and somehow the plants have hopped over the house and traveled around the yard, multiplying by hundreds every spring. They’re the perfect multipurpose plant: pollinator food, trap crop, ground cover, vegetable, and condiment. If you don’t grow this in your own yard, you should. Just throw out a handful of seeds and see what happens after the next rain!

Late spring garden

3. If you’re looking at this photo and have no idea what’s going on, you’re not the only one. This is what my vegetable garden currently looks like. The paths have disappeared and within that chaotic mass of green are fava beans, collard greens, cabbage, kale, dandelions, tatsoi, bok choy, chard, lettuce, mustard, radishes, turnips, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, and calendula. Almost everything is bolting already from our warm weather, and it’s time to put in the tomatoes and squash. But you know what this area looked like just one month ago?

Early spring garden

4. Yep. (Different angle, but you get the idea.) It’s amazing what a steady supply of drip irrigation and a string of sunny 78°F days can do. I want to say the weather’s not normal for this time of year, but I guess it’s now our new normal.

The CSA Cookbook is in its second printing

5. Week after week, this journey I’m on with the book continues to surprise and delight at every turn. On the heels of my book release party last weekend, my editor just sent news that The CSA Cookbook is going into a second printing! Less than a month after its release! Whaaaaat. I think back on my last two book signings this month, where people were buying two, three, sometimes four books at a time… all the emails I’ve received about sauce-stained pages and new family favorites… all the reviews sent in so far from editors, bloggers, and readers… and my heart is filled with the deepest gratitude. I’m grinning from ear to ear. And I have you to thank for this unexpected success!

We are not talking bestseller numbers by any means, but for me, success is hearing from a farmer who never realized he could harvest bean leaves or a cook who finally found a use for kale stems that doesn’t involve compost. It’s a first-time CSA subscriber who’s actually excited about kohlrabi and a longtime gardener who just discovered pumpkin leaves are edible. It’s reading messages from New Zealand and Singapore and other far-flung places from people who just received actual, cold, hard copies of The CSA Cookbook in the mail. These are the stories I cherish and I save every single one of them. Thank you, a thousand times over.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »