When I think of all the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, and the blessings I’ve had, this year did not feel real at all. As soon as the clock ticked over to 2015 just 364 short days ago, it’s been nonstop with the 3 Bs: book release, book tour, and (soon-to-be) baby!
Had you asked me last New Year’s Eve how I thought this year might turn out, I never could have foreseen just how incredible of a journey it’s been. Despite a slower pace on the blog because of my travel schedule (a total of 80 posts and 686 images uploaded — not bad considering I was on the road for a good part of the year), Garden Betty reached almost half a million pageviews in a single month, and for the first time since its inception five years ago — a stat that shocks and amazes me.
I have many, many people to thank for this milestone — from my cookbook ambassadors to the bloggers who reviewed my book, from the writers who interviewed me to the organizers that brought me out to their events, and from the new friends who heard me speak at these events to the hundreds of thousands of virtual friends who came to my corner of the web, month after month. You know who you are, and I thank you, truly and deeply, for supporting my blog, my book, and my various endeavors this year and in years past.
So, my blog. What happened this year on Garden Betty? We learned a lot about seeds: the stories behind heirlooms, the shelf life of your seed packets, and the simple trick of soaking your seeds to speed germination.
We also delved into Chicken Care 101, from trimming your chickens’ nails (yes, you should know how!) to wrapping a sprained wing. And if you’ve ever wondered why some of your chickens seem to molt faster than others, there’s an easy explanation for that.
On the book front, The CSA Cookbook released on March 20, 2015, and we celebrated a few weeks later at the official release party at Post-Future: The Art Company. What a blast that was!
The CSA Cookbook Road Trip dominated my summer, and I was so thankful for the opportunity to meet some of my readers in far-flung nooks of the country I never thought I’d have a chance to visit. I treasure the time I spent in little-known jewels like Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, as well as population centers like Portland and Chicago where many a Garden Betty follower came out to support my book.
Thank you for introducing me to your hometown, for recommending your favorite local eateries and scenic stops, and for being the most wonderful, inspiring, and positive people I could ever hope to meet! That trip was one of the most life-changing 11,270 miles I’ve experienced thus far, and I owe it to the great community of gardeners, farmers, cooks, adventure lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts I encountered along the way.
But I have to say, the best thing that came out of that trip was the souvenir we brought home: a little Sprout, due to send up its cotyledon in March 2016!
And with that, I present to you… Garden Betty’s (other) greatest hits of 2015!
Choose Your Adventure
- Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
- Life in a Little Off-Grid Surf Community
- Life in the Slow Lane: 37 States in 48 Days
- A Day in Pennsylvania Dutch Country
- The Scenic Byways of Vermont
- Brewing Compost Tea for Better Plant Health
- What Is Damping Off Disease?
- Video: Watch a Mason Bee Emerge From a Cocoon
- Fennel for the Butterflies
- Smells of Summer: Fresh, Fragrant Tomato Leaves
In the Kitchen
- Watch It: The CSA Cookbook Trailer
- Simple Preserves: Making and Freezing Basil Puree
- Choco Banana Date Cookies aka Breakfast in a Bite
- Homemade “Tin Can” Cranberry Jelly
- Glühwein: A Spiced Wine to Warm the Heart
With a baby on the way, this next year will undoubtedly be full of surprises, and hopefully happy ones! I know I’ll have a lot on my plate with the little one (plus several projects already in the pipeline) and I am amped to give them my all.
Here’s to a bright and beautiful New Year full of life’s simple pleasures, at home and in the wild!