(c) The Herbangardener

Hi!! I’m Lindsey, and I live and garden in Zone 5/6, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

When I started writing here in 2009, my hubby F (as he is known when I write about him here) and I were living in a drafty, one-bedroom attic apartment in a dense area of the city. While we were living there, perched aloft in our little shoebox, I realized something important: that you can create a homestead no matter where you live. It seems to be as much a mindset as it is a physical setting, and maybe even more so. Many of the traditional homesteading tasks can be adapted to apartment life — one can still go out foraging, brew their own kombucha, make their own clothes (or “forage” for them too, at a thrift shop), make kefir and sourdough bread and yogurt, grow parsley in the window, gather herbs for tea, braid their own rag rugs, and more.

And in the city it’s easy to take it a step further and get rid of your car, as we did, and get where you need to go by bike, foot, or public transit. And if we really needed a car, there was a rental company nearby. My folks lived in the area too, and sometimes we’d combine a fun visit with errands in their car.
During the winter, our weekly grocery run sometimes became a Grocery Adventure as we trudged through a foot of snow while shielding our faces from the 5-below-zero wind chill. Actually, we looked forward to those weekends because they were extra fun! Usually though, we were on bikes to get the groceries together, and it was a highlight of our week. We much preferred riding to driving, and believe it or not it’s often just as fast in the city.

During the 5 years in our apartment, I commuted weekly to my parents’ backyard to tend the garden, where I’d raised organic vegetables since I was a teenager. There were five 4’x8′ raised beds and lots of pots, and I can’t believe the amount of food that poured in from this small backyard plot. When you have an abundant veggie garden, you eat like a king.

In the summer of 2012, my folks were ready for a change and they moved out of my childhood home, which F and I rented from them for three years. My gardens were then only a few steps out the back door! Even though it was just a standard city lot, it was a piece of heaven for us and we had room to spread out and DIY to our heart’s content. Our own yard, our own domain, our own territory. Humans need it as much as animals do.

Now, it is 2016. We have again moved. My folks are back in their home, and we got priced out of the city. We moved a few hours away to a house on three acres. The area is a little more rural, but we had hoped to continue our tradition of bicycling to our destinations since it is something we really enjoy. Although we occasionally still do, it just wasn’t proving feasible. The area isn’t conducive and the distances are far. So we got a truck with poor gas mileage, to make up for all our ecological years of being car-free in the city! I do miss the city because I had deep roots and deep connections there (it’s where I was born and raised) and I miss having the freedom to go everywhere I want to go solely by bike. Living was easy there! There’s always a trade-off no matter where you live. Now, we have elbow room, a big sky, a giant garden, and a view of the mountain range out our back door.

But nobody’s life is a smoothly flowing sequence of flower-studded color photographs, as we might infer from a blog. We are human beings living life on earth; what is beautiful and joyous and transcendent is inevitably interwoven with grief and heartache, bitter pills to swallow, matters out of our control, and unfortunate circumstances we did not choose. And yet we eventually see, don’t we, that having come through misfortune has a way of intensifying what is good and beautiful into something far more precious and extraordinary — not unlike sitting down to an exquisite feast after a long and terrible starvation. If such good can come from misfortune, I wonder, is it truly misfortune? Where is the line?

The beauty surely feels better to look at, and that is where my blog tends to focus. I think we need more reminders of what’s beautiful in this world. Sometimes I write about the harder stuff too though, and maybe even take some pictures of it. I don’t have to like it, but it is part of life.

So you’ll find a mix of things here — recipes, homesteading how-tos, garden tips and photos, ponderings about life, frustrations of extended illness, my little giftshop of things to buy, and cat pictures of course, since this is the internet!

Thank you for stopping by; it’s so nice to have you here.


Liz, (c) The Herbangardener