I founded Apartment Farm on a warm June evening at dusk. I was sitting on a hand-me-down loveseat in the first one bedroom apartment I shared with my then-fiancé (now husband) in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, cradling my computer in my lap and idly surfing the internet, bored out of my mind. I’d read all of the latest posts and news from the cooking, gardening and crafting blogs and websites I frequented. Then I stumbled across WordPress and thought to myself “I can do that”. So I did.


Currently, my husband and I live in our second one bedroom apartment in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, where we finally have a deck of our own. We share our home with our baby son, various plants (the permanent residents is a bay tree), too many books (mostly about food, I admit) and a small herd of milkglass. I do the office gnome thing by day to pay the bills (oh, those student loans!) and Apartment Farming the rest of the time.


If you’d like to get in touch outside of leaving a comment on an article, please feel free to send me an email at apartmentfarm [at] gmail [dot] com. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Apartment Farm doesn’t take advertising at this time, but I am open to mutual link exchanges if I feel we’re a good fit. If you’re interested, send me an email.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing my little slice of the world.


– Amanda Olsen

For information on my other writing endeavors and engagements, please see my personal WordPress site.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Sorry…I couldn’t find your email address anywhere on site, so I have pasted this from my email program……(I really get great enjoyment out of reading your site.)

    Hi there fellow bloggers!

    You have just been awarded (or assaulted by, depending on how you look at it) the Thinking Blogger Award. (http://jarofspiders.com/veranadine/2007/05/20/thinking-bloggers-award/)

    Vera Nadine has found true personal value in the style and content of your writings and wanted to let the world know how thought-provoking and original your blog is.

    If you wish to participate in this growing (and, quite honestly, frighteningly relentless) blog meme then all you have to do is chose five blogs that inspire you and make you think to pass this award on to.

    You can add the award logo to your blog if you think it might brighten the place up a bit. (http://jarofspiders.com/veranadine/images/thinkingblogger.jpg)

    Honestly guys….I REALLY enjoy all of your individual blogs and hope that you are happy (rather than annoyed) to know that someone thinks you rock!

    Universal Blessings,
    Vera Nadine

  2. You’re pretty much on the same track as I am! We live in a modest one-bedroom apartment, too, but it works for the time being. We have, however, made it a priority that the next place we live is a HOUSE with an actual YARD (aka mini-farm). Speaking of which, we just discovered an awesome site about building log homes, maybe you’ll find it as inspiring as we did: http://www.loghomebuilders.org/

  3. Report Card:

    Content: (B) very useful; keep up the good work.

    Presentation: (D) your decision to use halftone light grey text on a white background renders this site essentially unreadable for me. I realize that WordPress offers canned layout choices and it’s reasonable to believe that they wouldn’t offer one that’s unreadable but, unfortunately, they do…


  4. Michael– thanks for stopping by. Sorry you had problems reading the site– the main pages are in black text on white background– the pesky gray is only here on the About page, and unfortunately, as you note, WordPress doesn’t let me change that (at least as far as I have found). Any suggestions on making it darker, let me know!

  5. I am really enjoying your site & can hardly wait to come back and read some more. I lived many years in the southside of Chicago. We, too, dreamed of homesteading. Through of series of circumstances that I could have never forseen, we are now living our dream in West Tennessee with a little homestead. Don’t give up on your dreams. They really do come true!

  6. Sister, where do I find how to grow my plants. Elle and I purchased them, and attempted to pot them, what now? Do I keep them outside? Will they grow? Please call.

  7. I’ve been looking at and falling in love with “tiny living” lately and found your blog through one of my searches. I would like to ask you if I could do a short interview, perhaps 5 or so questions and a picture or two of your choice, for some “Tiny Lifer” profiles I’m planning for my blog.

    You can see the referencing post here if you’d like to see what I’m talking about.

    Each profile is intended to give people who are living in conventionally sized homes (1500+ square feet) a look into what it’s like to downsize, whether for ecological or financial reasons, or simply a desire to simplify their lives.

    If you’d be interested, please email me at greenplantDOTblogATgmailDOTcom with the name of your blog and your square footage. I’m hoping to keep most of the profiles in the 1200 square foot or less range.

    Thank you!

  8. Very nice site. I’m sure you will do well on the farm. I used to live in the Chicago area and can remember those cold winters. I relocated some 16 years ago to a town called Forsyth which is close to Branson Missouri and like the change in climate also. I have been gardening for many years and enjoy home grown veggies very much. Have a great career!

  9. Hi there-

    Nice site, great idea! I cannot, however, (at a fast glance) tell what your name is!

    At any rate, I am not sure if you are aware of my company, but having been in business for 25 years, and in Chicago for 20 of those, I thought you might want to add a link to our site. Also, we were featured in the Fall issue (#2) of Edible Chicago mag, which is right up your alley.

    Thanks for your time,
    Rachel Collins

    Collins Caviar Company
    113 York St
    Michigan City IN 46360
    219/809-8100; 800/715-4034

  10. Thanks for your information on soy candles! I too am living in Chicago and am really interested in making my own candles. Just wondering where you found your soy wax. I would prefer to find it semi-locally….I’m most certain Illinois is full of soy, any suggestions?


  11. Rachel at Collins Cavier – I just read an article about you! Great thing you guys are doing; I’d love to link to you.

    Melissa – I find my soy wax at Tom Thumb Hobby shop in Evanston.


  12. I wanted to let you know I just stumbled across your blog while looking for lingonberry recipes. See we live in Alaska at present and they grow wild here. I’ve got a couple gallon bags in the freezer and was looking to make juice.

    When I have more time I will have to puruse your site more thoroughly but I do know I will be coming back more and more.

    A couple of questions:
    1. Did you do your internship at an organic farm? If so, how did it go?
    (We have 60 acres in NY where we will be moving in 3 yrs when my husband retires off active duty military.)
    2. Do you still live in the one bedroom apartment? How many square feet?
    (We are at 1800 now but will be moving into an 1840’s farmhouse w/ 1200 square feet. Think 5 people one bath, 2 bedrooms when the time comes)
    3. Have you made the dough for your dumplings? I love oriental food and we live in the middle of nowhere (literally). It is an hour drive to the grocery store and restaurents (unless you want a bar/grill that sells burgers.. ) I’m looking for all the oriental (non-poultry) recipes I can find that are not too overwhelming which can be frozen.. Any ideas?

    Once again thanks and definitely keep up the good work!!

    Peggy in the Interior of Alaska

    P.s. My blog is truly a work in progress, only 3 postings so far but more this fall (hopefully.)

    • Thanks for stopping by Peggy. Wish I could get wild ligonberries around here. To try to answer some of your questions:

      1.) I had a few internship offers, but I didn’t take any of them because the financial side of things wouldn’t have worked out. I content myself with apartment farming in the meantime!
      2.) Yep, still living in a little one bedroom apartment. Not sure of the exact square footage, but it’s Chicago so it’s modest.
      3.) Haven’t made the dough yet, though I had made a few batches of pork dumplings and wontons using frozen wrappers. They turned our pretty well, but doing the xiao long bao from scratch is still on the immediate to do list. You can freeze any kind of dumpling, etc. as long as it hasn’t been cooked first – cooked stuff tends to get mushy once thawed.

      Keep up the blogging – it’s always fun! Thanks again for stopping by.

  13. Hello,

    I am writing you on behalf of Couronne Company, Inc. an eco friendly wholesale glass bottle manufacturer. Forgive me for not emailing you, but I am having a hard time finding an address. You have a great site with links to other quality sites similar to my website. I would appreciate it if you could see if a link to my site, http://www.CouronneCo.com would benefit your viewers.

    Thank you for your time,


  14. I really love your idea/name and wish that I could do more of it as well. I haven’t read everything here, but I’m assuming that you try to grow your own as often as possible in a small Chicago apartment? Or maybe you’re just dreaming of farming while being stuck in an apartment? What hold me back is I’ve found that the money going into patio farming wasn’t more cost effective than grocery shopping (although of course it’s more satisfying and better for the environment), and for now, the economic considerations are the determining ones 😉
    Like so many of the others who post here, we are making do with a small space that served first 4 people, then 5, now four again (3rd child later in life), plus numerous and frequent guests. Don’t have a blog because it’s all I can do to keep up with keeping things tidy, making a tasty bite no and again and homeschooling my youngest.
    One day, though, I’m going to cull all those midnight musings and get a blog going to share with the world. Even if it’s only kitchen musings, I do love sharing my love of food and joy of cooking.

    Good luck with your project!

  15. Hi Amanda, Not sure how I got to your site, but I see you have a link to ours, Homesteaders Supply. I thank you for that. And, I love your bog here, great articles you have written. So it made me think of one of our articles on our blog that you and your readers may just enjoy… the best and easiest bread recipe that will fill your home with the best aroma and your tummies with the best bread you have ever eaten… well at least one of the best. Here is the link http://homesteaderssupply.blogspot.com/2011/10/amazing-homemade-bread.html Thanks again for the link… Jerri and Nance

  16. Sister, I am a longtime lurker. I want you to know I do pop in from time to time to read your work. You are very talented at what you do. I also wanted you to know you are doing a wonderful job in the ranks of being a Domestic Engineer like myself. Happy Holoidays Sister!

  17. Pingback: What does it mean to live a simple life or long for simpler times?

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