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, we moved back to South Africa at the beginning of 2012. I did a PhD, and gave birth to beautiful Eli. In 2015 I began Postdoctoral research in food and migration.

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 sometimes look back on posts from five years ago and cringe, so it's ok if you do too.

Now, in 2016, we're grateful for many things. We've moved into a small house  that Eug designed and helped to build, on 1 acre of land. We had our third child, Hana. Which is to say, the stuff we dreamed about when I first starting blogging-- being without debt, not working full time, being off grid, trying to farm-- we're actually kindof trying it. It doesn't always look the way we expected, but it's always a gift (sometimes in retrospect).

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 .