Filed under: Lifestyle
You know, I would love to homestead and live off the grid. Might be smarter in the long run, anyway. But, at the same time, I recognize that our family is never going to do this unless forced. really.
But I think we can achieve a good degree of preparedness living in town, as well. Perhaps not to the same degree, but some is better than none, right? Plus, city living enables urban homesteaders to build networks and relationships with other like-minded families that will benefit everyone in the long run.
So what can we do here? I’m trying to figure that out. We’re reading into solar panels, but understand that our home will probably never be able to be completely solar-powered. I can sew, which is a nice perk, and I’m well-versed in reusing fabric (not to mention, my collection of WWII era housewife books has a lot of good tips). We are pretty good at reusing other things, as well. We have tools and skills needed to turn wood into useful items. Said useful items might not be the best-looking things (our finish work is not the best) but they are useable. Drawback = many of our tools are power tools.
Gardening and preserving food is an area we should improve in. We have some garden challenges (acidic soil which has always resulted in incredibly stunted produce – we’re talking green peppers the size of acorns on plants that barely reach 1 foot tall), and we also lost our garden a year or so ago, so we have no garden to speak of at the present time (other than my herb garden). None of us has any idea how to work a gun, which is clearly something we should learn how to do (both for hunting and for self-defense in the event of some sort of unique situation). I’d like to learn how to make soap, though the challenges of doing so with young children running around are what’s kept me from doing so so far.
I’m pretty sure Des Moines won’t allow residents to raise chickens (despite that most of the blogs below discuss raising chickens on the authors’ urban homesteads), and though I’m not sure of the rules about beekeeping, I know I don’t want to do it myself. (PS, the city code can be found here.)
I’ve found a few resources for those looking for more information on self-sufficient city living.
The Self-Sufficient Urbanite Blog (also now featured in the blogroll)
Article on Reality Sandwich that also has a good definition of Urban Homesteading
Mother Earth News, always a good read (though a recent article on solar panels for “everyone” was quite disappointing)
The Urban Homesteader based in Minneapolis
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