Homesteading Tips-Urban Living
As a tried and true modern homesteader I find myself wondering what kind of homesteading tips can I give people desiring to homestead in urban areas of the city because the urban Homesteader have things that are unique to them.
The term “The Urban Homestead” is defined for those living in or close proximity to the city and they want to improve their situation. Their desire is to live a self sufficient lifestyle where they live in the city.
This seems like a contradiction of terms. Urban Homesteading is neither homesteading nor hobby farming in its truest sense of the word.
While it is possible to enjoy gardening in the city there are few remaining places where you could have even a few chickens. Therefore, out of necessity one still has to have another place of employment. However, with the increasing interest in doing what we can to protect our environment we will continue to encourage people to do what they can wherever they are.
Currently the term ‘homesteading’ applies to anyone who is a part of the back-to-the-land movement and who chooses to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life.
The new movement — ‘urban homesteading’, can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable and perma-culture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living.
Before you dig up your whole backyard, you might try growing a crop in a community garden the first season. Once you are sure you want to keep going, you can carefully plan out your garden at home. Start with some easy to grow container plants.
Herbs like oregano, sage and thyme grow well in pots. Vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers are another great starter idea. Maximize space with trellises, plant stands and hangers. Companion gardening can make the most of a plant box or raised garden bed. Many gardening manuals are available to tell you which plants do well together.
Before you dig up your front lawn you better visit city hall unless you want a lawsuit. City planners and your neighbors get a little touchy when they see yards of grass seemingly destroyed by one yard that does not look the same!
My other concern is when people face undo hardships such as the ice storms that have plagued various areas this winter. Several weeks without electricity is a major concern. People out in the country may not have done well either because of their dependence on the electrical grid.
True homesteaders by nature plan for these things in advance by having diversified heating and electrical sources.
For example. I have wood heat that I use all winter. I also have propane radiant floor heat as an option. I also have water heated through the wood stove for showers and dishes if necessary. I have a propane stove for cooking but I can also cook on the wood stove. I have a solar powered refrigerator, batteries, solar panels, windmills, gas and diesel generators for electricity.
No matter what happens on my homestead I always have a backup. And this is where city dwellers experience much of their misfortune when a family is totally dependent on electricity and/or natural gas for heat. Electricity, natural gas, and water are totally unusable in a crisis within the city.
I have lived in cities, small towns, and on the homestead. Therefore, I have drawn some of my own conclusions over the years.
Homesteading Tips: Plan To Move Out Of The City
The truth is that you may be able to put a planter on your balcony or have a tiny garden but it will not provide the means to be truly independent and live off the land if you are living in the city.
If you succeed in planting a small garden, there is no guarantee you will see the harvest before someone steals it.
But there is more to it than that.
Everything costs in the city. Regardless of the type of job you have or the pay you receive there never seems to be enough money to go around because of the cost of inflation.
Homesteading Tips: It Costs To Live In The City
The overall price of living in the city is enormous.
Besides the everyday fear of what may happen, there is the stress of traffic congestion, high mortgage and rental prices, the dwindling of funds on things we think we need to have.
Along with the high costs of living in the city, your employer is determined to keep you at the lowest possible pay level for the most amount of work. It’s the almighty dollar and your employer wants to keep as much as possible for themselves.
No matter how hard you work there will always be the feeling that you are tirelessly working for someone else with very little appreciation.
Homesteading Tips: Your Too Busy To Homestead
City dwellers are too busy driving, running errands, shopping, picking kids up at school, going to sports events, theaters, dining and so forth to enjoy homesteading like it is meant to be.
Take the average city dweller out of the city in the country and they will climb the walls that first month out of boredom. They are so used to running around that they find it hard to sit still.
If you really want to homestead you have to separate yourself from the lifestyle of the city that is ingrained into every fiber of your soul.
It is possible to work in the city and be a hobby farmer. That is different from homesteading and completely different from Urban lifestyles.
Hobby farming is living in the country while still being connected to the city. This may be the best choice for many people due to lack of employment is rural areas and for those people who really do love the city.
As for me, I love homesteading and I have enough work on the homestead farm to keep me busy and to keep me from getting bored.