Monday, February 21, 2011

Urban Homesteading - A Lifestyle

I an an urban homesteader. My little piece of earth is slowly but gradually being converted from a city lot to a productive urban homestead. There are a few fruit trees that are still young but hopefully will provide a few more fruit this year, (and weather cooperating). Last season saw lots of tomatoes, rhubarb, and sunflowers. The late cold weather last year and my school and work schedule made it more challenging to do all I wanted but that is what is really great about this lifestyle. There are no hard and fast rules. An individual can do what they want as they want and still be a part of it. They live everywhere. Some may only have a few potted plants, share space at a community garden, or convert their yard to a garden. To say that one is an urban homesteader only if they do everything on a checkoff list is denying the existence of many who, due to no fault of their own, are limited in what they are doing. I am only one working here, where others may have a larger group working on their little piece of earth, be it family members and/or volunteers. They may also have the advantage of being able to do it fulltime. That is not my current situation. I am a fulltime student at a local university. I also have to work outside the home. But I can do what I can and as I can.

I grew up a farmer's daughter and learned much from my parents and grandparents. I never lost that desire to play in the dirt and have animals around. While my children were young, I continued to do what I could with gardening and raising a variety of farm animals such as chickens, goats, and rabbits. I have learned so much from so many people through various magazines, books, blogs, and visiting with other urban homesteaders. My grandparents could even be considered early urban homesteaders when they moved from the Ozarks to a small rural town in Idaho. They didn't have any animals but they converted the majority of their property to a huge garden and that was in the 1960s! 

I would love to have a small farm outside the city, but it will have to wait. But that doesn't mean my dream has to.So grass has been replaced with garden and hopefully this spring a few chickens will join the cats and dog I currently have. I also have an empty rabbit hutch that might become the new residence for a pair of rabbits.

I am not able to do everything I want to due to physical limitations and zoning regulations, but that does not make me any less an urban homesteader. I do what I can and I know there are many others out there just like me.

I am an urban homesteader living on my little urban homestead and I am proud to be a part of a loving, caring, giving community that shares the same values and goals as mine. May God richly bless all urban homesteaders. 

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