If You're New

I started Concrete Gardener when my husband Eug and I were living in a tiny apartment in Watertown, just outside Boston. I was interested in exploring social responsibility in the U.S. context. That is, if we have so much, how do we:
  1. Enjoy what we have.
  2. Not take more than we need.
  3. Use what we have really well.
I'm still interested in those things, though our location has changed and many of Eug and my dreams around working less and doing more have come true. After working in a state government Refugee Health program for several years, I'm now telecommuting part time, doing a PhD, and helping to take care of our sons Noah and Eli. Eug is starting a new career as a novelist, and we are learning how to parent together.

I'm South African, and after 12 years away, Eug, our son Noah, and I moved to South Africa at the beginning of 2012.

My dream for the blog this year is to speak to people in my life stage- those in their 20s and 30s who are figuring out how to live "well." I'd love living well to include making space for others- whether they be workers in China who make my Apple products, or neighbors, or family.

I've been humbled to find that the questions are totally different here in South Africa- not only because of economic inequality, but also because work culture, shops, public transportation, the second hand market, and recycling are all so different. So the blog is not "how to" do frugality, simplicity, or minimalism. It's just a story of our family and things we're trying out. I hope it'll be helpful to you.

Now, in 2013, we're learning as much as we can about farming in the hopes that we'll be able to buy a plot of farmland and begin a more tangible journey of stewardship (somehow). If you're interested in earthships and you're in the Western Cape, please stay in touch because we're hoping to build our very own off-the-grid earthship in a couple of years, and we'll need your help.

Here are some past posts to check out:

This is where we live
Down to just two bags and two plastic totes (Our experience of radical minimalism)
More Wonder Years to Come (may it be so!)

On Stopping Full-Time Work
Worm Composting
Let's Do Something about South African banks

Some Recipes

Some Posts Involving Noah and Parenting

If you're interested in getting in touch, I'd love to hear from you, either through the Facebook page or by e-mail at concretegardenerblog@gmail.com .