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A celebration four years in the making

Every year, it arrives before I know it. My Mom celebrates her birthday on May 4, usually Mother’s Day comes a few days or even a week after that, and somewhere right in the middle, my blog celebrates another anniversary.

Today, this blog turns four. And I’m not going to lie to you…it makes me choke up a little bit every year to think about what has changed since the first day I sat down at my laptop and pounded out my first post. I’ve learned an incredible amount and, through this blog and the associated activities the blog has fostered (Yeah, Twitter, I’m looking at you…) continued enriching my life with new, wonderful people, ideas, and experiences.

In fact, just this week, I had an amazing Monday, thanks to my roommate, Fatemeh, who I met solely through food blog connections. After we both woke absurdly early, she suggested an early morning bike ride through Oakland, followed by Blue Bottle coffee and a brioche, which, people, I must say, is a damn civilized (and mood-boosting) way to start the day. And then, that evening, we met on our patio for Hendrick’s martinis and appetizers, and then she made me a steak dinner, over which we shared many stories. Without this blog, I wouldn’t have had the best Monday in years.

And last night? Over wine and vegetarian food at Encuentro, I finally met Adri, who started reading my blog when I was in Iowa, and who has been a friend on Twitter since she lived in Texas. Turns out, she lives not even a block from me, now, in Oakland. I would have never met her had I not started this blog. And we had a fantastic night of conversation and food and wine that would have never happened but for this connection.

I know I said I’d spend a good portion of this week celebrating other people’s gardens, but sometimes, one has to stop and mark the passage of time. And I had hoped maybe to celebrate by announcing that I’d actually gotten my new container garden underway, but I admit I’m still a bit behind on that project. Apparently I’m marking the passage of time by not hauling dirt…or drilling holes in wine barrels.

So, instead, today I stop and thank, as I do every year, those of you who come through these posts to read, to comment, to learn along with me, and hopefully, laugh along the way. You mean a lot to me, whether your number is small or big on any given day, and whether you comment or not.

But today? Comment, why don’t you? I’d love to say hello, virtually, and thank you for stopping by. Just to sweeten the pot a bit, I’ve got a giveaway: An autographed copy of my friend Tara’s book The Butcher & The Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through A World of Men, Meat and Moral Crisis. Tara is yet another of the friends I would never have met if not for blogging, and her book is a wonderful, heartfelt read. Leave a comment between now and May 13 at midnight PDT, and after that, I’ll use a random number generator to select a winner. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you, too, if I don’t know how to reach you already, just in case you win! (And, just to be clear, if I draw a comment number that is my own reply to one of you, I’ll select again until I get a number that doesn’t correspond to me. I already have my own signed copy!)

And for those who like to celebrate with a bit of the way-back machine, here are the first four May 6 posts that have marked this blog’s growth since it all started on a quiet street in Iowa City:

Cheers to all of you, and may your gardening and food adventures bring you as much laughter as mine do.

26 Comments on “A celebration four years in the making”

  1. #1 JennKD
    on May 6th, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Heellloooo!! Can I have that Monday please? :)

  2. #2 bellini valli
    on May 6th, 2010 at 6:40 am

    So many milestones and reasons to celebrate. Enjoy every one of them.

  3. #3 blahblahblah
    on May 6th, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Woot Genie. xx

  4. #4 trey
    on May 6th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Congrats Genie,

    Things sure have changed since Iowa City! “Blue Bottle coffee and a brioche…and then, that evening, we met on our patio for Hendrick’s martinis and appetizers, and then she made me a steak dinner, over which we shared many stories.” Delightful!

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on May 6th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Jenn, it was an amazing Monday. Dr. Inadvertent prescribes it to everyone. :-)

    Val, absolutely!

    Cole, xx back at ya. One of these days, we’ll toast in Baltimore.

  6. #6 inadvertentgardener
    on May 6th, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Trey, you’re not even kidding — things have changed a LOT since Iowa City! ;-)

  7. #7 Sharon
    on May 6th, 2010 at 8:19 am


    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 4 years. I have never met anyone with such passion for so many different things, including tomatoes! I am so glad to have met you in person, and shared some of your joie de vivre (excuse my poor French spelling). Congratulations on your success – and get those tomato seedlings started!

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on May 6th, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Sharon, I am so glad as well, to have met you, and to know you so long, online as well as off! Thanks for your sweet comment.

  9. #9 Janet
    on May 6th, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Hi! Happy Blog Anniversary! Glad I met you in the elevator at BlogHer last year, and found your blog! I really enjoy reading it.

    I feel lucky to have also made many wonderful friends via blogging and Twitter!

  10. #10 colleen
    on May 6th, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Hi Genie,
    This is my first time commenting…but with your open invitation to comment and your exciting 4 year anniversary – I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
    I found your blog a few months ago when I started pondering my own container veggie garden, and have loved reading about your adventures (doing exactly that!) and everything else along the way.
    Thanks for having a great, funny, and often insightful blog!
    Keep up the great work – and I can’t wait to hear more about your patio garden and the wine barrels (especially once they are drilled and planted!)

  11. #11 Faith
    on May 6th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    happy blog-o-versary to one of the nicest people in the blogosphere. and why does open id always say I’m not a member of my own blog!

  12. #12 tea_austen
    on May 6th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Happy anniversary, Genie! It seems hard to remember that you were once not in the Bay Area, not friends with the gang there. Our lives are so much richer for knowing you.

    Thanks so much for mentioning my book and spreading the love, you are a peach.

    And hey, I’m planting a tomato forest up here this year. You must come visit in the summer!


  13. #13 licorous
    on May 6th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Congrats on four years of sharing your joy of food & gardening!

  14. #14 the mint killer
    on May 6th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    happy blog-o-birthday.

    no matter where you are, or me for that matter, you will always be my iowa city pal.

    and thanks to you, my brown thumb is a tinge greener. or maybe it was thanks to iowa’s soil? hard to tell…..

  15. #15 Zach
    on May 6th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Ironically, my mom’s birthday is also May 4!

  16. #16 katie
    on May 6th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Happy blog birthday! I’ve been a lurker for a while, thoroughly enjoying your blog posts and the conversation on Twitter (thanks to your beet green tips, I’ll be giving them another go this summer). I was initially pretty skeptical of the value of all this social media, but, as you point out, it can make life so much richer offline as well as online. What a wonderful world we’re living in!

  17. #17 barbara
    on May 6th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Happy blog anniversary Genie. Blogging has brought wonderful people into my life too.

    I’ve read Tea’s book and loved it but if I win you can post it direct to a friend in the US.

  18. #18 Sandra Sullivan
    on May 6th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Happy blog anniversary! I love the fact that there are so many things to read, personal accounts of food, gardening… all the wonderful interests that make life fun! Keep on writing, and we’ll keep reading. : )

  19. #19 Annie in Austin
    on May 6th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Congratulations, Genie – what a ride you & your blog have taken together!
    You’ve gone so many places, and met so many people and shared so much. Quite a difference from that Iowa not-farm girl trying to grow tomatoes under a black walnut tree ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  20. #20 christina
    on May 6th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    hi genie,

    congratulations on your 4th anniversary! i just found your blog last month and started reading because i’m going to start my first garden (in containers on my balcony). wish me luck!


  21. #21 Lydia
    on May 7th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Wow — four years! Your blog is just a month older than mine, so I can appreciate how much work and dedication it takes to keep a blog going for that long. I love that your blog has grown and changed — and occasionally been garden-free — but it’s always a good read. And PS: You are one of the friends I’d never have met if not for blogging! Congratulations on the beginning of your fifth inadvertent year. I’m looking forward to it.

  22. #22 Patti
    on May 7th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Way to go Genie. Have loved reading your blog since you were in Iowa City. Felt connected since I had lived in Iowa for many years, several of my children attended U of I and some still live in Iowa. Blogs do seem to make a very big world much smaller and all of us more connected. Here is wishing you many more years of blogging and making many, many new friends.

  23. #23 Hillary
    on May 7th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Congrats! Happy Anniversary!

  24. #24 Karen Davis
    on May 8th, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Genie..Congratulations! I don’t have your anniversary date logged in my rain just yet but now that I can associate it with your Mom’s birthday I’m in good shape. Thank goodness I remembered said birthday. Your blog has meant so much to me because it got me doing two things….blogging myself (albeit with a very different style) and gardening. Two things that bring a great deal of satisfaction in my life. I think I probably ventured into making jewelry for the same reason. The process of creating anything brings so many simple pleasures. As your friend, cousin, and the big sister you should have I am so proud of you. Your talent inspires me as I know it does many others. Love you!

  25. #25 Heather's Garden
    on May 8th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I can’t believe how long I’ve been reading your blog. It was one of the first that I found when I started gardening, and you helped inspire me to start my own garden blog. I always love reading your posts and vicariously experiencing your adventures!

  26. #26 An anniversary winner! – The Inadvertent Gardener
    on May 17th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    [...] a couple of days behind in making the announcement, but thanks to everyone who entered the 4th Anniversary drawing for a copy of my friend Tara’s book The Butcher & The Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through [...]

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