Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Urban homesteading on the rise

The New York Times has an article out today talking about how urban homesteading is become much more popular:
In cities across the country, the term "homesteading" has taken on a new meaning. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it referred to settlers occupying land, cultivating it and claiming it as their own.

Today in the Bay Area and beyond, urban homesteaders like Ms. Stone and her roommates are raising their own food in their backyards, in community gardens and on derelict and undeveloped spaces in the city. They’re preserving and pickling vegetables and fruits, sewing their own clothes, baking bread, making alcoholic beverages, and much more.

As the movement has flourished and become more mainstream — embraced by activists and food lovers alike — so too have the resources for would-be urban homesteaders.

For all you urban homesteaders or wannabes out there, go check out the article.

If you live in an urban area, are you seeing more interest in urban homesteading? Are you seeing more classes and clubs available to help support that growing interest?

I will be soon working with some of the production crew of Mission: Sustainable to offer our own urban homesteading classes as well. We're still really early on in the planning stages, but for those in the area, keep your eyes peeled!

15 comments:

Deb(bie Debbie Doo) said...

don't know if i'm ness. seeing more classes but lots more mention of the term and of skill building that would facilitate that lifestyle choice ...

Robj98168 said...

I am seeing lots of movement- All the classes on home cheesemaking, hens in the backyard are all signs there is a movement afloat- just the fact that a couple of years ago local city councils wouldn't hear of hens or goats in the backyard and today they are welcome!!

Urban Thorn said...

Well, living in New York City I can't say I've seen much of anything along those lines... I get looked at like a crazy person when I bring my drop spindle on the subway! What I have been hearing more about are community gardens, usually populated with flowers, starting to be used for veggies... I also recently found out about windowfarms.org, which is nowhere near as informative as I'd have liked in building my window farm, they're trying to raise awareness in areas that are veritable nutritional deserts.

Condo Blues said...

I'm not ready to be Little Condo on the Prarie. I appreciate farms and visit farm country often but really rather keep it on a day trip basis. I'm the reason farm markets and CSAs stay in business.

Rae said...

I haven't seen much interest in urban homesteading around here (not that there really is an urban area!) but it sounds great to me.

Eco Yogini said...

in Halifax there is definitely an increased interest in urban gardening. we attended an 'edible city' talk by our local ecology action centre last week- and she also noted that they have gone from a 3 month seasonal program to a 9 month gov. funded program. :)

yay!

The Mom said...

It is certainly on the rise near me. I would also call myself an urban homesteader as well. It's lots of fun and seems to go hand in hand with the locavore movement.

Rosa said...

I don't hear it called homesteading, but there are lots of chickens in my neighborhood, everyone I know took up knitting a few years ago (and a few have progressed to spinning and dyeing...sheep are the next step.) Lots of bees, lots of front-yard gardens, but only in the hippie neighborhoods where there were always lots of gardens.

Bureinato said...

I live in Denver and I've seen (because I've looked for them) a rise in urban homesteading expressed as a yahoo group and a center that someone opened up. they offer classes and run a farmers market year round.

Sarah said...

I am not exactly sure how urban homesteading is defined and how it is different from urban farming...we are urban dwellers, in probably one of the most "urban" neighborhoods of our city and we have kept hens for a few years and always have a huge garden which feeds us in the summer and fall and with preserved things in the winter too. But, we still buy a lot of food, etc. I like the term urban farming for us...
In any case, even a tiny bit of this type of thing is fun and worthwhile I say---even if you are not "homesteading"!

Haazegirl said...

I know that around St. Paul and Minneapolis it's pretty big to be in the urban homesteading interest. But in rural MN, homesteading is pretty slow to come around. Why does all the good stuff have to come from big cities. All the people out here look at me and say, "Oh, I used to do that." Crap the roosters in the garage again...

Jes said...

And yet it is still considered 'radical' - while I just thought I was being practical!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/work/meet-the-radical-homemaker-goodbye-rat-race-hello-vegetable-garden/article1501415/

meg said...

I have a lot of energy behind the concept on many fronts. I am involved in many of the activities commonly associated with "urban homesteading." I have a large edible garden, raise chickens, can, make food from scratch, knit, etc. I love the community building, the opting out of industrialized food production, etc.
However (the big however!), I think calling it 'homesteading' is extremely problematic. It is chock full of historical trauma for so many people. It is racist terminology.
Now, I am not calling all the 'urban homesteaders' racists. I am asking people to think about the words they use.
Words have power and we, as white people, can not decide it has 'just changed meaning' over time and now is 'ok' to use and ignore all the historical implications associated with the word.
It is not homesteading. It is urban agriculture. It is beekeeping, goat/chicken raising. It is cooking, preparing food from scratch, brewing, fermenting, canning and building community.
But 'homesteading?' Problematic.

Chelle said...

Well, I am not white, and I do call it homesteading, at least thus far. I also do consider myself Little Condo on the Prairie. I do what I can given my limitations, but hopefully one day I will be able to expand.

Anonymous said...

Its bizarre to me how 'homesteading' can be a racist term. My grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe (Polish) to the prairies of central Canada at the beginning of the last century, were given a plot of land to settle and till, etc. They (and the thousands who did the same) were called 'homesteaders', back then and in the history books today. Its a far broader term than one racial group.

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