My partner in the good life

When Betsy Krogh and I went on our first date in September 1977, we realized we had a common interest in homesteading. We talked about Helen and Scott Nearing and their book “Living the Good Life.” On Monday, we will have been married for 35 years, and to mark our anniversary she is officially becoming a partner in this blog. Check out her photo and bio note at right and in “About.”

Actually, Betsy has been involved in this blog from the beginning. She suggested the name, which fit perfectly, when I was mucking about with names like “Veggie-manic” and “Amherstgardengnome.” She has edited most of my posts and written several (“Designing Eden,” “Tea and tedium,” “Sweet on sauerkraut,” “Here comes the sun” and “Simple living on Cape Cod.”) She has taken many of the photos and inserted them all into the texts.

It is appropriate for Betsy to be a partner in this blog, because our simple-living, urban-homesteading lifestyle is something we do together. We both see it as a response to the overly consumerist, greed-centered, planet-destroying, stressed-out culture that we live in. She has always been more knowledgeable about gardening than I, though I’m catching up and taking over more responsibility for our backyard plot.

Betsy is the permaculture enthusiast in this household, and I hope she’ll continue to explain her efforts to grow perennial plants and nourish the soil. She has some other practices that go further than I would go on my own, and I hope she’ll share them on this blog.  Betsy records all our expenses, divides them into categories, and totals up how much we spend on each category every month. She washes out plastic bags and dries them on a rack. She collects our urine, dilutes it with water, and uses it as a fertilizer. She dreams of having a composting toilet.

In any long-term marriage, it helps to have core beliefs in common, and for us this blog is an expression of them. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been married for 35 years, but we are hoping to be living this life together for several more decades. As our friend Chris O’Carroll says, these days being married to one person all your adult life qualifies as an alternative lifestyle!


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