In the last week the urban homesteading community has been in uproar. On the lemonade side of the lemons, a Facebook group has sprung up which has created a forum for urban homesteaders which, as far as I know, has never before existed. Over 3800 people have joined in four days. It may be that an attempt at fracturing the urban homestead community has actually brought it closer together.
Why do we consider ourselves an urban homestead?
a) I actually like the term “urban farm” more than “urban homestead” because it’s more easily understood and avoids some of the social issues associated with “homesteading,” but I don’t think we’ve reached the level of production of an urban farm. I don’t want to claim too much, because our efforts don’t even come close to the level of work and production that goes into a standard farm.
b) I really don’t like using the term “gardening” to describe what we do. Gardening to me has the connotation of hostas, knock-out roses and gardening gloves to keep the soil out from under your fingernails. That is not what we are about.
c) Although the Dervaes did not originate the idea of growing your own food, they have been the most visible group in the urban homesteading movement. The reason we are urban homesteading at all (and even know what it is) is because of their example and demonstration of what can be accomplished on such a small area of land. I was interested in container gardening before I came across the Dervaes, but seeing their urban homestead completely changed my idea of what I could accomplish. We urban homestead because they showed what urban homesteading could look like on a large scale.
But more importantly, we urban homestead because we want to eat the best-tasting, most nutritious foods possible. We want to reduce our dependence on the food system and globally-transported foods, and improve our environment while developing a stronger connection to the earth.