(scwollcot - Photobucket)
Some might find it laughable that I associate myself with the homesteading movement. That's okay. I find it laughable too sometimes. I mean really, what does this suburban woman know about roughing it on a farm or ranch? And am I really categorizing myself with people who milk goats and herd cattle while I sip rice milk to the din of my neighbor's mower?
As rural-agrarian culture gave way to endless strips of shimmering suburbia the definition of homesteading broadened. Sure, there are still those old-time, self-sufficient homesteading Gods whose lifestyle has us wannabes panting in awe. They have acreage. And livestock. And OMG actual crops like wheat and barley. They churn butter and make soap. They are homesteaders with a capital H. Attempting to
Suburban and Urban Homesteading get back to the land in ways practical for city dwellers. We grow food in backyards and on porches. We participate in community garden programs that share the labor and its fruits. And boy do we love our local farmers!
Reasons for becoming a Suburban or Urban Homesteader are as unique as the people themselves. For some it is a green lifestyle. Others just want to find their way back to the land somehow. Some are in it to save money. And still others are motivated by self-sufficiency, believing we've become too dependent on multi-national corporations for our every need. For some of us it is all of the above.
I am a Suburban Homesteader. I do not own a farm or a ranch. It is not practical for us to move out to the country because we rely on the city's special education infrastructure, so Louisville Metro and its surrounding counties are my homestead. My goal is to obtain 70% of my family's food from either my backyard or local farmers. This is cheaper, less polluting, and helps the local economy. And for those who wonder why I'm slacking on the other 30%, there are no amber waves of gluten free grains surrounding Louisville. Oh, and the chocolate. Come on people!
Sometimes I think it might be nice to have acreage out in Wendell Berry country but truth is I don't want to do every last thing myself. I still have a family to take care of and a part-time job. Besides I can't even drink milk or eat wheat.
Since I have no desire to make soap I'm lucky Amazing Green Planet sells regionally made products. And why should I piss off my neighbors with chickens when Ralph the free range egg guy supplies the farmer's market. And And AND with Annette, my local farmer, selling year round there's no need to buy much imported produce. Yep, my homestead is the perfect size indeed.
What does homesteading mean to you?
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Tags: Urban Homesteading, Urban Homestead, Homesteaders