What is Suburban (Urban) Homesteading?
Once a term to define the lifestyle of pioneers who farmed and raised cattle and livestock on acres of land, homesteading today has a wider meaning. It's all about self-sufficiency, and is a lifestyle that can be lived whether you live on several acres in the country, a half acre plot in the suburbs or a tiny lot in the city. As the desire to get back to a simpler, natural lifestyle stirs in more people living in the suburbs and urban areas, Suburban and Urban Homesteading is becoming more and more popular.
Homesteaders, wherever they live, have a deep desire to live a simpler life that is more connected nature, to feed their families whole, local foods, to be more self-sufficient and to be better stewards of the environment. It's about doing what you can at home, whether that's providing for all or most of your family's needs at home-living a lifestyle similar to that of the pioneers--or by simply growing some of the family's food at home and striving to simplify the family's life.
Can I Really Homestead in the City?
You would be surprised at how much you can produce in just a few square foot gardens. One Urban Homesteader in downtown Pasadena, California grows 6000 pounds of organic produce on just 1/10 of an acre! Of course, you don't have to go to that extreme to practice a homesteading lifestyle--although you certainly could and should if you feel so called. Suburban (Urban) Homesteading isn't necessarily about being able to provide for your family's every
need, but about reducing your dependence on others and increasing your ability to provide for yourself, in whatever way is meaningful to you.
Believe it or not, most cities allow backyard chickens, although you may be in trouble with your home owners association if you belong to one.
Even several square foot gardens and some fruit bushes and trees could provide much of a family's food, at least for the growing season, and four to six laying hens, in a small coop, roaming about the back yard could provide enough eggs for small family and some to sell.
Growing a Lot in a Little Space
If you a small space but want to grow a lot of produce, you have more options than simply turning your entire yard into growing space. Square foot or intensive garden, inter-planting and successive gardening are all ways to get higher yields out of a small space. Well-cultivated berry bushes and fruit trees could replace ornamental varieties, bringing both beauty and
function to your landscape.
Homesteading Crafts and Projects
Homesteading crafts and projects are fun and rewarding activities that the whole family can enjoy. Again, the point is not that these are activities that you must do to live a homesteading lifestyle, but ideas of activities you could incorporate as the desire strikes your family. Remember, even traditional homesteaders didn't do everything.
> Tending a vegetable garden
>Seed saving and seed starting
>Canning and Preserving
> Cultivating fruit trees and shrubs
>Growing and preserving herbs
> Using medicinal herbs and natural medicine
>Meat chickens, turkeys, laying hens
>Milk and meat goats or goats for wool
> Making Maple, Birch or Walnut Syrup
> Soap Making
>Make natural body care products
> Collecting Honey
> Sewing and Handicrafts
>Crochet or knitting
>Sewing clothes or gifts