Monday Series: Urban Homesteading

monday-series-urban-homesteading.jpg

Today we begin our month-long Monday Series for August.  The topic for this month is Urban Homesteading.  I struggled with what to call it, because embracing the concepts of homesteading can be done in nearly any setting.  You don't have to live on a farm to raise hens for eggs, but if you do... even better.

The term homesteading as we know it has changed significantly over the years.  Originally it was a means to get citizens to establish roots in undeveloped areas.  This included water and sewage, energy, food, and just about anything else that could be handmade at home.  The Homestead Acts, which essentially gave the property to people in exchange for them developing the land into a homestead farm, no longer exist in most of North America.

As urban spreading occurred and more families moved closer to metorpolitan areas, homesteading took on new meaning.  Today the movement relates more to doing what you can for yourself on your own land.  This movement has become more popular in recent past most likely due to the unstable economic climate.  While there is something very gratifying about the autonomy of self-sufficiency, you cannot overlook the amount of money you can save.

Some aspects require radical changes in the way you operate currently. However, there may be some small changes that could have a significant impact.  You may not be up for raising sheep to get the wool to make sweaters, but you could probably save rain water in a barrel for watering your container garden.  I recommend that you start small.  Take a look around and see what you could affect with little expense or hassle... make a list.  Once you have a taste of success you will likely want to see what else you can do. 

Please send along your tips, tricks, and how you “homestead” now.  I look forward to your comments.  Until then...

savour... your own backyard 

Get the rest after the jump...

Urban Homesteading Basics

Here are a few things you might consider:

Making butter, better yet, herb butter

Making jams/jellies

Making homemade cleaners

Raising hens for eggs

Composting

Small space container gardens

Gardening, grow your own food (consider fruit trees)

Sewing projects – mending, making clothes and curtains

Making greeting cards and gift wrap

Drying herbs

Canning vegetables, pickles, and sauces

Water collection – rain barrels to collect water for gardening

Knitting and crocheting

Creating edible landscaping