Urban Homesteading Principle #1: Grow your own FOOD on your city lot.

“More than 50% of diet, organically, on an urban lot (approx. less than half an acre*) with visually appealing landscaping. *Depends on square footage of house, location, and climate zone.”

If you’ve been following along, you know we are conducting a little experiment with urban homesteading. We’ve devoted as much of the 144sq ft. rooftop space (and as much as we estimate we safely can without caving it in) for food production. Now. This first principle puts 50% as the marker for earning your “urban homesteader” badge. I’d estimate we are absolutely smashing it right around the 5% marker. I can practically feel my badge (which I imagine to be like that of an American Girl Scout’s) between my compost encrusted finger tips now! Seriously though, there is no shame in that figure. For me, this is about the act of moving towards something rather than waking up one day and deciding to produce 50% of our dietary needs! That, btw, is an “s” ton of food – no, seriously, like actually 2,000lbs of food! I mean obviously this is the eventual goal but I’m doubtful we can accomplish that in 144sq ft of rooftop space with dubious underpinning. But until we have more space, I will grow what I can. It is also helpful to remember that anyone who is actually producing that much food for themselves will tell you to build up to it season upon season rather than expect it can be done all in one go.

So what I’ve discovered through this whole process is that even more satisfying than eating my own, homegrown, fresh veggies is giving them away or using them to make food for others. We had some dear friends over recently and I don’t actually remember enjoying my own plate of food as much as I remember staring my friends down while bouncing around like an over excited puppy and jabbing my finger at things on their plate asking “did you try that yet?” “what about that?” “want some more?” “what about this? Here! Eat that! And this!” Thankfully they are close enough friends to find it amusing rather than extremely creepy.

Other things I’ve enjoyed are the time it takes to grow food. Life moves so fast, especially in an urban setting. It is nice to not be able to click your fingers and get a result immediately. The idea of sowing seeds and patiently awaiting a harvest is quite a refreshing one. I’m also more aware of small little fragile signs of life. I notice tiny little creates buzzing or crawling around that would have never before been a blip on my radar. I’m enjoying the sense of being acutely attuned to beautiful little details that previously fell on dull senses.

Anyway - scroll through my pictures as a visual update on how the 5% of our diet is going!

I want an urban homesteader badge! 50% is an excellent marker and I’d like to join you on this quest.

Is this quote from The Urban Homestead?

Reblogged from gabriellepatrick


I’m out of town for a family emergency and one thing I quickly realized is that my “farm” is unsustainable. I need to set up my backyard so that, when I do have to leave on short-term notice, my plants and animals don’t die. Right now, I have someone watering my plants and letting my girls in and out of the coop, but in the meantime here are a couple of ideas I’m toying around with…

  • A chicken tunnel so the girls can let themselves in and out of their coop
  • A self-watering system with timer so I don’t have to physically water my plants

Hopefully, a little YouTube and Google will do the trick!