The original 66 Square Feet, Cobble Hill, April 2012

Hello! I am Marie Viljoen, a writer, forager and gardener. 66 Square Feet was the exact footprint of my first, tiny terrace in Cobble Hill, Brooklynabove. 

That garden, the meals I made there - outside on the fire, or inside in the even tinier kitchen, inspired this blog and my subsequent cookbook, 66 Square Feet - A Delicious Life. Even the New York Times wrote about it.

When our Cobble Hill rent was hiked dramatically we (woman, Frenchman, cat and all the plants) moved to Harlem, and a terrace about triple the size:

Harlem terrace, June 2014

Which made me add (Plus) to 66 Square Feet. In this link you can read all the Harlem terrace posts.

Despite the pleasure of transforming that terrace (which was also featured in the New York Times, and a book), learning about edibles that could handle far less sun, and appreciating our Harlem adventure, our stay was not a very happy one; we were very sad to lose Don Estorbo, there. And our landlord, who lived below us, was a drummer whose studio was not as soundproof as he had promised. He built the studio while we lived above the construction. Need I say more? 

We moved back to Brooklyn, to the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, just a few blocks south of our original tiny apartment and terrace. 

Carroll Gardens, 2016

We now live on the ground floor of a townhouse, and have a spacious backyard which I have turned from weed jungle to garden. It is a new challenge. There is a lot of concrete - where my pots live - and the sun does strange things. Like, there is none from fall through early spring.  And we now have nearly 1,000 square feet!

Our kitchen opens to the garden, where our tiny stone table for outdoor eating has made way for a wooden one that is seven feet long. It feels good to stretch. In summer we watch fireflies dance, and a pair of possums visits in the evenings. They are on pest patrol (and are also immune to rabies and eat their body weight in ticks) and I haven't a single slug in the whole vegetable plot (100 square feet).

In that vegetable plot I am growing many conventional edible plants as well as indigenous edibles that tie into my foraging life: common milkweed, sweetfern, ostrich fern, prickly ash and elder, to name a few.

You can follow our new garden's progress in all posts tagged 1st Place

(And if you're looking for recipes, please head over to 66 Square Feet (Food).)

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