Chicken clucking contentedly in the back yard … Homegrown jars of pasta sauce sitting on the shelf … The garden’s bounty overflowing in bowls on the counter … Happy, healthy kids scattered outside playing.
These are the images that come to mind when I think about homesteading and it is so, so, SO appealing to me. But with urban homesteading the neighbors might be calling the cops on you for the chickens!
Then I remind myself I can walk out the door to a couple dozen restaurants and shops and get whatever I want. I don’t need to drive over an hour to get to a Target. Museums and other cultural activities are always happening somewhere nearby. And my local Farmers’ Market rocks! Even the winter one.
Yep, I’m an urban girl with a yen for homesteading. I especially want the chickens … easier said than done, right?
It does depend on where you live, and for me the chickens are definitely out. So is growing most of my own food. I am planning on expanding a bit this year but I’ve got a tiny balcony garden that will only hold so much. I mostly cook at home, but I’m not quite willing to give up my restaurant meals or my jaunts with my kid to all the city has to offer. (We actually WALK to Red Sox games!)
All that said, we can still lean into the concept of homesteading. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Cook mostly at home
- Belong to a veggie and/or meat CSA
- Know where your food comes from!
- Try to live a frugal lifestyle
- Embrace crafting and “using what you’ve got”
- Embrace container gardening (if you don’t have any land) or consider community gardening
- Make friends with like-minded souls to keep learning more
Especially that last one. Since I’ve been keeping my eyes open, I’ve been reading more and more blogs about homesteading. True Food Movement has also joined the Homesteading Bloggers Network (we’re pretty excited about that!).
But I’ve also learned about a group who get together weekly for a yogurt co-cop and fledgling canning co-op. I’m really excited about the canning co-op because frankly I’ve got memories of my grandmother exploding jars in the basement and I don’t want to kill myself or my family. Learning from some experts definitely sounds like the right move.
We city folk trade convenience for limitations in open space and what we can do on it. I’m fine with that choice. But there are ways I can bring the homesteading lifestyle into my urban life and my whole family is better off for it.
What about you? What choices do you make to be more of a homesteader?