It’s been hard for me to not write about this since I made the decision last November. My urban homestead if being uprooted – we’re moving.

I’ve spent the last almost-decade working in the advertising industry, which I never talk about here. Over that time, I’ve built a really great reputation and a wonderful career. I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of great non-profits and some for-profits that I truly believe in. But last summer something became painfully apparent to me: I was leading a double life.

I worked all day in an office just to run home and work all evening and weekend in the garden. I started a mini-farmer’s market stand at work, people came to me for advice on how to start a vegetable garden, and I would meet with publications like Sunset Magazine and find myself talking for an hour about their gardening editorial rather than my advertising needs. I traded sleep in for garden time, canning parties, and volunteering with some local non-profits.

It was an exhausting but rewarding time. Although I work for good instead of evil at my ad job, I think I can do more good if my garden work became my work-work. Imagine if I could make my job teaching other people to garden, or appreciate nature, or understand other cultures through community spaces that brought people together? Imagine designing something that would last a lifetime and be a place of solace and refuge?

I fell in love with the Masters in Landscape Architecture program at University of Oregon, whose acceptance rate is somewhere around 6%. I worked my ass off November-January on the research paper (my Victory Gardens report:), my portfolio, my personal statement, etc. And I quietly held my breath for a couple months. I felt like I just met my soul mate and the idea that my soul mate could potentially not want me was frightening. So?

I got in!!! I got in!!! I got in!!!

This means I am moving to Eugene in about a month to start school. I’m knocking on thirty’s door, but still chasing adventures down new roads. We’re packing up, renting the house while we’re gone, and moving on down the road. Someday we’ll come back and all these fruit trees and berry bushes should be dripping with fruit by then.

The wrench in the plans is that my beloved Jay won’t be with me through it all. Next year is the final year of the doctorate program which has placed him at an internship site in NYC. He leaves a couple months after we move to Eugene and the long-distance love affair will last about ten months before I join him next June during my summer break. A summer in NYC sounds really, really exciting – I love that city.

How complicated, right? Well, yes. But we are determined to make it work and both very supportive of each others’ pursuits. It will be hard. You may hear me complain on here when things get really tough. But you’ll also be with me on this adventure as I stumble upon ways to make a portable vegetable garden, a patio chicken coop,and share all the amazing things I am learning about planning green spaces.

Welcome to the ride! There have been some ups and downs so far, but what is life if not an adventure?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson