We live in an area of Seattle that is not known for its urban homesteading. It's known for its manicured lawns, manicured shrubbery (think Edward Scissorhands), lack of trees and covenants.
Out of a community of roughly 360 homes, there are only a handful of us doing any kind of reasonable food gardening. There are a few homes that have solar panels, but we are routinely warned that if we want to get them, they have to be approved by the board. In other words, we don't have a whole lot of control over what we do on our own property. We knew this going in, but that was before I became the Crunchy Chicken.
Getting our chickens approved was a year long project and I had quite the disagreement with the previous board president. He was extremely rude to me about it and, even though he was overruled by Seattle City laws, he made it clear that he wouldn't want to be my immediate neighbor. Now, several years later, most of our neighbors don't even know we have chickens. And those that do help out when we are out of town.
Well, a few months ago our next door neighbors moved out and new neighbors moved in. I wasn't sure if our chickens were going to be a problem, but it was quite the contrary. About a month ago one of our new neighbors stopped me to say that he'd love to talk to us about our chickens because they were planning on getting some themselves.
They were also planning on ripping out all the rose bushes in their backyard and putting in tons of raised beds, a greenhouse and planting fruit trees. They were newbies at all of it and I let him know what we were up to over on this side of the fence. I chatted with him for a while and I think he realized he'd moved in next door to the urban homesteading jackpot. I later dropped off a veritable library of books, some to keep and others to borrow.
I haven't had a chance to check in with them yet, but I can't tell you how excited I am to have neighbors just over the fence pursuing the same urban homesteading dreams that I have. It's been so lonely around here, but now I don't feel so much like an outcast. Now I feel like a valuable expert.