Urban Homesteading

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

There is a misconception of homesteading, the one that says: finding a piece o land in a rural setting to live a life of self-reliance. While this is the way homesteading has been interpreted over the decades and even centuries homesteading will become irrelevant if that conception is not reexamined.

If we want to see a sustainable life coming to the world all over then that also must mean urban homesteading and there are ways that this can be done, for sure.

What is homesteading?

Homesteading, at its best, is a way of transforming kills and values into a lifestyle, no matter where one feels at home.

Many of us, sadly, now have to relearn how to homestead – regardless of location – because so many of the necessary skills that were once considered an ordinary part of life were traded in for a manufactured life of relative ease and convenience over the course of just a few generations – less maybe even than that – and have thus but been lost.

You can basically homestead wherever you life. The skills can be applied in most, if not indeed all, settings.

Homesteading can be a state of mind and is a way of living lighter on the Earth and in harmony with Mother.

While in an urban setting not all aspects and skills of homesteading will come into play many can and do and thus the urban homesteader can live lighter on the Planet too.

In a suburban setting more of the skills come in to play and those are nigh on all those that also would be employed in a rural setting.

We must, however, get away from the notion of homesteading being about a plot of land somewhere very rural and of total self-sufficiency and of independence.

The modern homesteader must be part of the world and not withdraw from it, whether in a rural setting or in suburban or urban.

It is the mindset of homesteading that may just save us and the Planet, as long as we all get into that frame of mind, and this must happen in town and countryside.

Is urban homesteading possible?

It better is for that is where most folks live today; not in rural areas, and, if we would all go “back to the land”, as in countryside, as in rural, there would be no rural places left anymore.

The “back to the land movement attitude must change into a “back to yard movement” if we want to have a chance of survival and living somewhat the “good life” everywhere.

While total self-sufficiency is not something that ever will be completely achievable some of it is and that even in a suburban and urban setting.

Urban homesteading is feasible and even possible as it all depends on one's mindset and outlook. Food can be grown in many a place, from a balcony or patio, backyard, to allotment and community garden and, as in the case of some places in New York already practiced, even on the roofs of apartment blocks.

The rest of homesteading is something that fits in anywhere for, predominately, it is a philosophy of living lighter on the Earth with using fewer resources.

© 2010


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