Urban Homesteading

I have been thoroughly impressed with my current hosts. There is freshly made chocolate and strawberry ice cream in the freezer, a tupperware container full of fantastic black bean soup in the fridge, and chickens out back sitting on eggs. We just shined a light through one of the eggs and saw a little baby chick growing inside. This is the life I want to have when I have a place of my own: making good food, connected to nature.

Do you know of good resources for learning to have a simple, homespun life in the city? I know less than I like, and want to know more!

4 Replies to “Urban Homesteading”

  1. I’ve heard that food gardening in the greater Boston area soil is not advisable, due to heavy metal contamination. However, raised beds are quite doable. Gardening takes practice and dedication, and results can vary from year to year due to weather (for example, last year many crops were devastated by rain). But those veggies will be so fresh and delish. I’ve also had friends grow gardens on their balconies (for lack of yard). Right now I have some herbs on ours but I’m hoping to expand to tomatoes.

    There are also biodynamic and organic farms in the area that you can get farmshares from.

    Something to try: make your own yogurt, cheese, bread, and wine. Except for wine, it’s quite simple

  2. There was this amazing book back in the 70’s(?) called something like “The Integral Urban Home.” It focused on an urban homestead in Berkeley CA which sat in a tiny yard but had lots of edible plantings, a chicken run, water capturing systems, passive solar retrofits etc. I found it very inspiring.

    Another more recent inspiring book is called “Toolbox for Sustainable City Living” by Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew.

    Much of the same information is available through Permaculture and Transition websites, publications and skill-sharing events. In-town or urban living need be no obstacle to taking lots of steps toward productivity, growing and preparing some or a lot of your own food, and joining with others to meet our essential needs.

  3. Responding to Heather’s comment:

    Yes it is good to be aware that soil near human habitation, especially dense human habitation can have a history of use and abuse making it contaminated with heavy metals etc.

    The book I mentioned above – “Toolbox” grew out of a remediation project in a brownfield site in Texas.

    Other possible directions for healing the soil and making it once again safe to grow food in, include phyto-remediation and myco-remediation. Permaculture has regeneration of soils as one of its foci.

    There is so much happening in this field these days!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *