So nice to meet you! First, the professional bio (’cause I’m fancy like that)
Linda Ly is the founder and creative force behind the award-winning site Garden Betty.
What began as a personal blog in 2010 is now a leading resource in the home and garden sphere, reaching millions of readers every year in over 230 countries.
The site celebrates the art of living slow and eating well, with fresh, original content on modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring.
Garden Betty has been honored as the “Best Gardening Blog” by Country Living and a “Top 10 Gardening Blog” by Better Homes and Gardens.
Linda Ly’s expertise in edible gardening and her penchant for crushing common food myths led to her first book, The CSA Cookbook (2015), which took a unique top-to-tail approach to using vegetables.
It was followed by the bestselling The New Camp Cookbook (2017), named an Amazon Editors’ Choice for four years running, Amazon’s Best Book of the Month, and PureWow’s Best Book of the Year, and a companion title, The Backyard Fire Cookbook (2019).
With the popularity of the zero-waste movement, Linda’s debut book was revised and republished as The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook (2020). It helps us rethink what’s edible, be more sustainable by composting less (yes, you read that right), and use up all the plants we grow or buy. Like the veggie version of nose-to-tail, if you will.
In 2022, Linda took the “good food in the great outdoors” theme to another level with the release of her newest book, The National Parks Cookbook.
Linda, her blog, and her books have been featured in dozens of top-tier publications, including TIME Magazine, HGTV, DIY Network, Travel Channel, Outside, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Guardian.
But you’re here to REALLY get to know me, right? So let me elaborate…
My name is not Betty. (‘Nother story, ‘nother time.) But I do love to garden. And camp. And paddle. And hike, bike, surf, ski, snowboard… pretty much anything that brings me outdoors. I see it as a lifestyle, not merely a heap of hobbies.
I love feeling the sun on my skin, the sand between my toes, and the fresh air in my face. I love scaling up mountains as well as sliding down them.
I feel incredibly lucky to live on the sunny side of the Cascades. Life is slow here, but in the absolute best way. There’s never any shortage of epic adventure or craft beer, or someone fun to share them with on a weekday.
I love to explore my PNW playground and on a hot summer day, this is what it looks like…
It’s really hard to get any work done here.
By day, I’m a thrill-seeking, dirt-slinging, chicken-wrangling, pickle-making, bread-baking blogger who loves to get my hands dirty while learning as much as I can.
By night, I’m a data nerd and an endless dreamer (very much left brain meets right brain) who loves to dive into research and come up with the Next Big Idea. I’m married to a city-boy-turned-mountain-man, and together we raise two feisty little girls and a flock of backyard chickens in our home in Central Oregon.
In my garden, I grow mostly food. I am amazed by all the food that comes from the earth (and how little we see of it in the store).
I’m a bonafide garden foodie and my favorite meals come from my own backyard harvests. Most of my gardening is guided by instinct, and part of it follows the principles of permaculture.
I believe in the notion of il dolce far niente—the sweetness of doing nothing. Living life by instinct and passion, not by routine and shoulda-woulda-gotta. Indulging in the simple things. Relishing every breath.
I like watching sunsets slowly dip behind distant peaks. I like the smell of burning wood and bonfires—especially in my own backyard.
I like wearing the same pants for five days while I’m out exploring the unknown. I like poking at bugs and chasing after critters.
I like road trips with good people, great food over laughter. I like getting on a red-eye flight and waking up in a different country the next morning.
Garden Betty began as a creative outlet in 2010 (and turned into a full-time endeavor in 2014) to feed my insatiable curiosity of the outdoors. I draw constant inspiration from the organic processes of slow gardening, slow food, and slow travel.
(And yes, driving through 37 states in 48 days can still be done slowly.)
I am a believer in the “work to live, not live to work” school of thought. And if you truly love what you do—not just for work, but also in life—that energy will come back to you tenfold.
Every day I embrace the creativity around me, from the spirit of the people I meet to the beauty of the places I discover (or even rediscover).
And what I’ve discovered is that there’s no place like home, but life is too short to not get out of the house. Out of your comfort zone. Off the treadmill of life. Just more often than you think you can.
Sometimes all it takes is a day to get away, or an uninhibited moment that can change everything you thought you knew.
Through my stories and pictures, I hope I can inspire the homemaker, wanderer, adventurer, joy-seeker, and life-lover in you, too!
P.S. Do you remember me living in Southern California at one point? I did! The garden that started it all truly changed my life, but in 2017, my family was ready for a change and we moved to Bend.
This year I am so excited to build a new (and much bigger!) garden from the ground up in our new home. Follow along!