Monday, March 18, 2013

On urban gardening like a boss 15 stories up, and my reversion back to childhood

Last year, my boyfriend, John, and I started an "urban garden" on our balcony. In the middle of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, which is close to downtown. 15 stories up.

John has been watching too much Walking Dead and is preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Me, I just like having fresh, and organically grown food, at my disposal. I hate going to the grocery store, and I REALLY hate having to run for JUST ONE THING (which generally seems to be tomatoes, because I love tomatoes). It's great being able to instead just step out on my balcony and pick one from a plant, which takes about 10 seconds and because our balcony has a 4' wall instead of bars, only requires me to be dressed from the waist up.

We're currently prepping for Urban Garden: Year II. Last Thursday and Friday were absolutely gorgeous here in Denver (although it was probably snowing upwards up a foot in the mountains), so I spent those days readying our balcony for planting. I even turned a bunch of old scrap wood (where do we store scrap wood in an apartment, you might ask? You should see our "second bedroom" which also doubles as my art studio and John's music room) into an incredibly ugly but utilitarian table (which can be seen here on the left-- it's sturdier than it looks), which serves to raise our tomato plants up to the light.

Heidi & John's balcony garden at the Denver Sky Palace: Year II

I had a small art opening on Friday, but we spent the latter part of the day-time hiking the Travois Trail above Clear Creek Canyon in Golden, Colorado, with some good friends.

Hiking the Travois Trail above Clear Creek Canyon in Golden, Colorado...
well, actually stopping for a beer break. 

While I was tramping along through the mud and snow (we were at a much higher altitude than Denver while hiking), I started thinking about how my current state of existence is a lot like life was as a child. I grew up on a farm in South-Eastern Wisconsin, and spent most of my free time (in between chores, feeding and caring for our animals, making quilts for 4-H and being awarded the prize for "Best Poultry" at the Wisconsin State Fair with my white Leghorn rooster, George) coloring, helping my mom Mavis in the garden and eating peas-in-a-pod, building things out of discarded wood from my father's shop (he owned a home remodeling business), catching salamanders out of our window wells, and roaming around in nature for hours at a time with my small orange pony, Herbie, who was a ripe 32 years old when he passed away. And my life is a lot like that now, sans salamanders, and I haven't really ridden a horse since I had a horseback riding "accident" in college that involved me falling and landing on my head, and having to crawl home a mile with a concussion (that's really another story entirely).

Small Heidi, prepping for a life as a 
creative by building a "raft".

I'm constantly building frames for canvases, cutting wooden panels (I am allowed to use a power saw now), sketching, cutting paper, painting, creating things, re-creating things, pretending to be a grown-up. I'm incredibly responsible, but I try not to stress about a-dult responsibilities... and after years of worrying about paying for college, getting good grades, working 4 jobs while taking 21 credits, how will I pay my credit cards?, ...and my rent?, .. and how is it that I work my ass off and never get ahead?, ...and am I wasting my life? WHAT AM I DOING HERE???, I've reverted back to my childhood self, and I'm furiously, madly happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment