Gardenizer of the Month

Karen Lise Mosekjær Madsen

The Gardenizer of the month is Karen Lise Mosekjær Madsen, who lives in the countryside on Sealand Denmark together with her husband Henning, and their daughter Iris. The family owns a small old farm with the name Lindelyst with approx. 5 hectares of land, a small lake, a fruit garden, approx. 30 chickens and a couple of ducks.

We have interviewed Karen Lise and asked her about her gardening hobby and how it all started.

Karen Lise Mosekjær Madsen

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi. My name is Karen Lise and I live in the countryside here in Denmark. During the last few years, my interest in self-sufficiency, homesteading, gardening and living off the grid has grown substantially and the idea of the simple life and living off the land is appealing more and more to me and my family.

I started using the Gardenize app a couple of years ago as a way to track our self-sufficiency levels to see how much natural food my family and I were able to produce ourselves and it has been interesting to see that level increase every year.

In 2020 I decided to quit my rat race banking job to work full time on producing vegetables, fruit, seeds etc. for my local community and I have now created my company »Lindelyst«, as a way to contribute in a positive way to the world and inspire others to get back to nature, work with their hands and enjoy their green spaces and the simple life, which we so often forget during our stressful working- and homelives.


Tell us about your daily life?

My husband Henning, my 2-year old daughter Iris (and her soon-to-be-born little sister) and I live in the country side on Sealand in Denmark. We have a small old farm with the name Lindelyst with approx. 5 hectares of land, a small lake, a fruit garden, approx. 30 chickens and a couple of ducks.

We have great plans to expand the farm with goats, more chickens and other animals, fruit and berry areas, a community farm project and much more, but everything takes time.

We are the kind of people, who love to do, design and build everything ourselves, and we mainly use recycled materials for everything, so we have had to realize that projects always take longer than you think, and it is such a challenge to prioritize what to start-up next, as all the plans and dreams just keep developing. The important thing for us, though, is to always have our values be part of all decisions and to have fun with what we do. There has to be time to experiment with new plants and projects, spend time with the family and bake bread over a bonfire.


How did your interest in gardening begin?

My interest in gardening has always been present, though it was much less profound when I was a kid and a teen. Back then socializing with the girlfriends took priority. However, the feeling of being one with nature, creating something with your hands and gathering your own food has always been important to me.

As a kid, my parents often took me berry or mushroom picking, taking walks in the forest and teaching me about plants and herbs and some of it stuck. Today, I do the same with my kids. In the spring we collect wild plants for our salads, in summer it is wild berries for marmalade and desserts and in the fall is it nuts for the winter time.

There is nothing better than having a pantry full of food that you have produced yourself and where you know exactly what is in the food and that it is healthy and delicious.


Please tell us about your current garden?

Today I have approx. 800 square meters of market garden where I grow vegetables to sell. Besides that, I have approx. 5000 square meters of garden with fruit trees, a lake, flower beds and a small »forest«-like area. The rest of our land (4 hectares) is laid out as traditional fields. We have made the decision that we no longer want any type of poisons, pesticides, unnatural fertilizer and other environmentally unfriendly substances on our land, so we have decided to lay out our fields with grass, clover and flowers from now on.

We also want to plant approx. 1/5th of our land with forest to create good areas for the animals, birds, insects and to get some more wind protection. But again, things take time!


What is your favourite plant?

It is impossible for me to choose. I grow at least 100 vegetables and flowers every year and I love them all! If I had to point out something in particular, I think I would have to go with our cherry trees and berry bushes and strawberries. We get a huge number of berries every year, they are easy to take care of, and berries in all forms are some of the healthiest you can eat.

Moreover, all types of berries are easy to prepare into other products such as marmalades’, lemonades, cakes etc. Berries also remind me of high summer and sunshine.


What are your favourite garden tools, if any?

I use a wide variety and unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the ones I use the most – they are partly self-created to fit my exact need. In general, I enjoy the old-fashioned hand-held tools without technology and a motor. If you need a simple tool, you can often create it yourself, if you are a bit handy.


Favourite things to do in the garden?

Weeding is pure meditation for me and seeing the results after weeding is done is such a pleasure. However, I also very much enjoy harvesting and thereby seeing the produce of my effort.

Another thing that is very enjoyable for me is to have the opportunities to experiment with new vegetables, new methods, new seeds, new beds etc. Often, things do not go as planned, but you have to see that as a learning experience.

The day that I stop learning is the day that gardening, and farming is no longer a passion for me.


Favourite time of year to be in the garden/gardening?

My favourite time of year to work outside must be either spring, when all your seeds are sprouting inside and outside, or during late summer when the weather is nice, and you can harvest all your vegetables in the evening sun.


Do you have any advice for our fellow Gardenizers?

Have fun and try things out. Do not be afraid to fail and fail again – in the end you will succeed!


In what way do you benefit from the Gardenize app?

I tried out at least 20 different apps before I found one that fit my purpose. I wanted an app, where I could easily track all my activities in the garden, that could contain my harvesting amounts and where I could download the years results in an excel spreadsheet for further analysis. Gardenize has been able to fulfil this purpose.

I am always able to go back and see when I planted specific plants and adjust the next years plan based on my experience – e.g., maybe I planted out my cucumbers too early last year, so I will start up germination 2 weeks later next year.


If people want to follow you, what is your name in Gardenize?

Karen Lise

Follow Karen Lise in Gardenize App

Karen Lise lives in the countryside on Sealand Denmark together with her husband Henning, and their  daughter Iris. The family We owns a small old farm with the name Lindelyst with approx. 5 hectares of land, a small lake, a fruit garden, approx. 30 chickens and a couple of ducks.

You can follow Karen Lise in Gardenize App under the name Karen Lise.

Karen Lise Mosekjær Madsen

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