...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.

Define Urban Homesteading

These are the 10 Elements of Urban Homesteading--my current goals on our urban plot.

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.

2. Use alternative ENERGY sources.
E.g., solar, wind, in conjunction with energy efficiency and conservation measures to reduce usage.

3. Use alternative FUELS & TRANSPORTATION.
E.g., bio-fuels and/or alternative methods of transportation (bicycle, walk, public).

4. Keep farm ANIMALS for manure and food.
Practice animal husbandry.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without, compost it, re-purpose it.

6. Reclaim GREYWATER and collect RAINWATER.
Practice water conservation and recovery.

7. Live SIMPLY.
…in the manner of past eras. Develop back-to-basics homemaking skills, including food preservation and preparation.

8. Do the work YOURSELF.
Learn to do home and vehicle maintenance, repairs and basic construction.

9. Work at HOME.
Earn a living from the land or hand work done at home. Develop a homebased economy.

10. Be a good NEIGHBOR.
Be conscious and considerate of your surroundings – ask yourself, “Would I want to live next to me?” Offer a helping hand for free. Urban homesteading is a community-based way of life, not a business opportunity. Be a neighbor, not a business person.

10 Elements of an Urban Homestead Copyright Dervaes Institute.