Brunette Gardens best of 2023
Nourishing soups, healing jams, and homesteading without one.
Twenty twenty-three was our first full year on Substack. January provides the perfect calendar-pause moment to check in with you, beautiful readers, on what you deemed best in our many, varied offerings. Here’s a rundown of what went down. I’ll be curious to know what you think of these results, so please tell us in the comments.
The measure I’ll use for what’s “best” is Substack’s own “Most Popular” ranking, which is built into the design of Brunette Gardens and generates a list you can view anytime on the main page. Note that if on the day that you read this, the list differs from the below, it’s because it’s a live, dynamic account and can change fairly quickly.tells me, “It’s a mix of factors including views, engagements, and number of new subscriptions the post drives.” For 2023, the top five were, as of this writing, in reverse order:
I wonder if the promise of pectin-free jam helped sell this one. Or maybe its popularity is due to hitting right at the peak of elderflower season.
Our next-most popular was a very recent one, and it really surprised me, as it’s both paywalled and personal.
Speaking of paywalls, there’s never been a better time to become a paid subscriber, as we’ve slashed the prices on all subscription levels, plus there’s a 25 percent discount now through January 15 on top of that. For our winter giveaway, we’re opening it up to all subscribers with six-month paid subscriptions or a six-month extension if you’re already a paid subscriber to five randomly drawn winners. The drawing will be January 15 at 9 am CDT.
This piece, in addition to being popular with Substack readers, generated a lot of buzz elsewhere.
It was popular on Permies.com and X, where it led to my participation in a two-hour Spaces talk hosted by the wonderful Robin Basiliki, who’s also a Brunette Gardens subscriber.
At the No. 2 spot on the list is another one that seems like a sleeper hit to me, but maybe the idea of eating garden tomatoes on Thanksgiving day hooked you?
Our No. 1 post is the undefeated challenger and has remained so ever since it went live back in February. I happen to know it received more than 12,000 shares from one source alone, and that was a newsletter site called The Sample.
Do you agree with this top-five list? If not, what would you put at the top?