A Rewilding Journey: Workable Land
Rewilding… where do you start? You might start with the land.
Having grown up on a council estate and spending most of my adult life moving within and between cities, land has been a thing I have not had access to. Not that I’ve seen a place for land in my life until fairly recently.
While being shown around the house we ended up renting, we were offered the opportunity to rent the acre-sized paddock next to our (huge) garden. The estate agent suggested it would be a good move for privacy but also talked casually about the idea of keeping animals on it. We were both a little taken aback. Until now, I’d never considered the potential of having a patch of land to experiment with let alone become responsible for any other lifeforms beyond our pooch, Betty. My mind raced… I already have a wool gilet and wellies, was I going to transition into a farmer? I wondered how I’d look in a flat cap.
As people that have a dog, like to make things, enjoy cooking over fire, and observing the lives of critters, Lydia and I always enjoyed having a garden where possible, even in the city. For me personally, it’s a space where I can get messy and weird without annoying anyone else. Even while living in Brooklyn we committed to parting ways with a sickening amount of rent every month for the privilege of having a back yard. But that allowed me to do everything from make a table big enough to sit 14, fire up the BBQ rain or shine and make cam-models out of the local cardinals.
The need for a private outdoor space continued when we moved to Portland — there’s a lot more space there so the vast majority of properties outside of downtown have gardens and thankfully ours was on the larger side. We felt extremely lucky as it became a space for our group of friends to celebrate birthdays with the occasional socially distant gathering during Spring/Summer of 2020.