Welcome! I’m Linda Ly, also known around here as the Garden Betty. To answer one of my most-asked questions, Betty was more or less one of my nicknames, and it’s surf lingo for a girl in the surf, skate, and snow scene. When I decided to register a domain for my blog (then a personal diary — never did I think it would become what it is today), I combined two of my passions, edible gardening and outdoor adventuring, to come up with Garden Betty.
I started my blog in September 2010 after moving from the urban jungle to coastal suburbia. It was quite a culture shock, but I somehow managed to keep my garden alive, season after season — and wrote about all the trials and tribulations since sowing my very first seed. You can read more about my garden and what I grow.
In addition to growing food, I blog about making food. Most of my recipes are based on the bounty from your own backyard harvest, and you might be surprised by what you can actually use from your plants! (Like the seed pods from your radishes, for instance.)
In fact, it was this curiosity in the garden (and an adventurous appetite) that led to my first book, The CSA Cookbook, released in 2015 by Voyageur Press.
Along my modern homesteading journey, I started raising backyard chickens. The ladies free-range the way chickens were meant to free-range: out on a pasture, pecking and scratching in fields of flowers and weeds. This all coming from someone who could barely keep basil alive on her windowsill just a few years ago! (So have faith if you think you have a black thumb. As I like to say now… There are no black thumbs, only green thumbs in training.)
As you might have guessed, I like to spend a lot of time outside — and that leads to all the adventures you read about here. I surf, stand-up paddle, ski, snowboard, climb, kayak, backpack, camp, and occasionally mountain bike (that one I’m still learning!). I love to travel for adventure and if I’m not outside, doing something, I’m in the car, going somewhere.
I have a second seaside abode (also known as the Dream Boat) in Baja California, Mexico, and documented the start of our off-grid renovation. We’ve continued to get away and enjoy our little slice of paraíso, but for now, further work is on hold as my husband and I are contemplating a future move for our family (which grew by one in 2016!).
I post a lot of stories each month on a variety of things, so here’s a rundown of what I do and where to start:
What topics do you write about?
I write about my Garden of Eatin’, Recipes, Backyard Chickens, House & Home, Outdoor Adventures, Parenthood, and Work. Posts that don’t fit neatly into any of those categories are part of my Random Thoughts.
This is why I write about my garden.
How do I find a specific post or topic?
Blog posts are organized into the seven main categories seen in the menu above. You can also browse related content (suggested at the end of every post) or search for posts across the same tag. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, use the search box found in the top right corner of the page.
To make sure you never miss a post, simply subscribe to my blog and any new posts will be automatically emailed to you. If you prefer to read my blog in a newsreader like Feedly, you can subscribe to my RSS feed.
What are your most popular posts?
Here’s a look at the kind of stuff people love to read and share with their friends:
If You Love to Garden
- From Seed to Seedling: An Anatomy Lesson
- How Long Do Seeds Really Last? (Plus, a Cheat Sheet on Seed Storage Life)
- Common Gardening Mistakes and What I’ve Learned From Them
- Grow Bigger and Better Tomatoes This Summer!
- Are Carrot Tops Toxic? (The Short Answer: No)
If You Like to Spend Time in the Kitchen
- Fresh Homemade Pasta (Using What You Already Have in the Kitchen)
- Ruby Kraut (and Why It’s So Good For You)
- Tangy Oven-Dried Heirloom Tomatoes
- Small-Batch Grapefruitcello and Orangecello
- Homemade Vitamin Water
If You’re into Adventure (or Armchair Traveling)
- Epic Yosemite backpacking series (start with the first day here)
- The Heaven That Is Havasupai Falls
- Quintessential SoCal: Surfing and Snowboarding in the Same Day
- Kayak Camping on the Rio Chama
- Adventures in Pregnancy (Or, How I Balance an Active Life With a Growing Bump)
See anything you like? My hope is that you’ll stay and wander for a while because no matter what you came here for, I want you to leave feeling awakened, excited, and inspired to grow, play, every day!
And who knows, you might even find a new perspective on things. Take it from one of my readers:
I Googled Mexican sour gherkin and chose the link to your page. I expected to read about it and then go to another web page to learn more, but I stayed on your page for over an hour! I read about being a freelancer, the Mexican fisherman parable, saw your little spot in Mexico, your wedding photos (you looked beautiful, your dress was amazing), and many other pics you had posted. And what I got was inspiration! You made me think, you put a smile on my face and you got me even more excited for all the things I want to do this year then I already was! In one part of your post about your work, you said, “I am good at what I do.” Yep, and you’re good at things you might not know that you’re doing, being a HUGE inspiration! Thank you!