Garden in the Wild blog


Relaunching this site and this blog space as a place to work through the ideas that are fueling this new book. While originally I thought I’d write a sort of cheery book about gardening and clotheslines and finding a home in this part of the Rocky Mountain west, it turns out that what I’m interested in is something slightly more complicated.

One of the ideas I keep working over is the notion that after twenty years of chasing wilderness, after making wildness the core concept of my PhD studies, after all those years boating and skiing and climbing, when I finally got here, to Montana, I did a deep dive into domesticity. What does it mean to be committed to the ideas of wildness while building a garden? While honing my skills of self-sufficiency (although at the rate I’m going learning to split wood, it’s going to be a very Thoreauvian winter)?

In graduate school the notion was that the wilderness and the garden are at odds with one another, that they cancel one another out, that you cannot have both. Which has not been what I’ve experienced as I’ve embarked on this project, rather, I see them as positions on a spectrum, a spectrum which has been considerably changed by the virtual world which now takes up so many hours of our days, so much space in our heads.

I’m also still worrying over the notion of authenticity. That it’s such a catchphrase, such a marketing concept, only serves to show how crucial it is as an idea to so many of us. How do we experience authenticity in a world of Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook? ¬†How do we navigate the “basket of apples” problem I started writing about in the Pinterest, Walter Benjamin and Lifestyle post below.

That I’m writing a narrative of surviving grief is inextricable to these. The problems of the Real, as we said in graduate school. Few things more real than the death of your loved ones, the death of your beloved landscapes, the death of our planet. How do we move forth in the face of these things?

These weren’t issues that felt appropriate at LivingSmall. I hope those of you who liked my posts about jam, and about chickens, and about mushrooming will come along with me as I seek to examine why those things were so compelling. And for new readers, if you want recipes for bread, and jam, and my beloved green soup, you can hop over there where you’ll find ten years of blogging on all those topics.

So, here we go. A new blog, a re-vamped website, and a book project you’re all joining midway.