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Urban Homesteading

 
Posts: 2
Location: Rhode Island
urban bike writing
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Hello! My name is Josh - I am new to the forums here, but have been poking around over the past few weeks.
I have yet to come across a post on urban homesteading and thought it would be a great topic for open discussion.

I am curious about the possibilities of homesteading and permaculture within or close to a city.

Some areas of exploration:
  • law and policies
  • collaboration with urban farms
  • simultaneously maintaining a city job and homestead
  • repurposing buildings
  • community outreach
  • solutions to the limitation of space
  • bicycles, bicycles, bicycles
  • rainwater collection
  • exchanging locally made items
  • hydroponics or other alternative growing systems
  • working with a small yard
  • generating energy
  • zero-waste living


  • Seeking anyone with personal experience, expertise, general knowledge, or ideas!

    My interest lies in the ability to create a self-sufficient lifestyle while pushing the community of a city toward its own sustainability. As much as I love the idea of separation from the city, I can't help but feel some sort of purpose in staying. Without forward-thinking and active people in deeply established places, change occurs much too slowly to stay ahead of an inevitable detriment. Adaptation seems increasingly important (well, it always has been) - especially given the lack of resources that many of us have. If there was more support for like-minded people in cities, perhaps there would be more development for urban homesteading to exist.

    So what are your thoughts? Do you think mid- to large-sized urban environments have too much of a foundation for things like homesteading and horticulture to break into? If not, where do you see potential?
     
    master pollinator
    Posts: 11367
    Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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    Most people live in cities these days, so in my opinion, urban homesteading, and especially urban permaculture, are extremely important.

    Some people think there are laws against growing food in the city, but nobody has ever been able to show me such a law.  Not too long ago, San Antonio,TX, where I live half the time, specifically made market gardening legal throughout the city.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 2409
    Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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    Homestead to me means onsite conservative use or production of
    Electricity
    Water
    Sewer
    Space Conditioning
    Raw Food (Fermentation & Dehydration)
    Food Preservation (Above + Canning/etc)
    Prepping food for the week/etc
    Cooking Nutrient Dense Food
    Herbs/Mushroom/Probotic Condiments/Vegetables/Tubers/etc
    Less prepared food
    Outside Kitchen
    Onsite food growing
    Preventing sickness thru herbs/mushroom/sleep/etc
    Helping sickness thru herbs/mushroom/food/sleep/etc
    Composting
    Producing less waste esp non compostable ones.
    Buying sustainable local good+services.
    Human powered transportation/less energy intensive transportation.

    Alot places do have laws that laws/hoa that says keep your yard looking tidy.
    But I think that we can have pretty/tidy permaculture.
    Some might day no biocide spraying or low water usuage but that can still be done
     
    Tyler Ludens
    master pollinator
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    S Bengi wrote:
    Alot places do have laws that laws/hoa that says keep your yard looking tidy.
    But I think that we can have pretty/tidy permaculture.



    I super agree.  I think if there are weed ordinances, etc, that permies can design a beautiful productive edible landscape that fits the requirements.  Might take a teeny tiny bit of creativity, but it is certainly possible.

    HOA rules, which are a contract and not a law, may be restrictive, but again, I think creative design can solve these problems.

     
    Josh Taran
    Posts: 2
    Location: Rhode Island
    urban bike writing
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    Tyler Ludens wrote:Some people think there are laws against growing food in the city, but nobody has ever been able to show me such a law.  Not too long ago, San Antonio,TX, where I live half the time, specifically made market gardening legal throughout the city.



    That's great! Where I currently live, there is an extensive presence of direct farmer-to-consumer markets - even through the cold winters. I get a real sense that urban farmers and other growers/makers can generate relatively consistent income, or at the very least barter for what is needed through the changing seasons. What also makes cities desirable for homesteading is the huge variety of disciplines that different groups have in close proximity. You have access to consciously-made goods of almost every sort. Versatility in a community is so important.

    Tyler Ludens wrote:I super agree.  I think if there are weed ordinances, etc, that permies can design a beautiful productive edible landscape that fits the requirements.  Might take a teeny tiny bit of creativity, but it is certainly possible.



    Right! And it is sometimes surprising how much land is tucked away in a dense city. I often walk around the neighborhoods here and discover a hidden garden, or a grassy lot between residential buildings that is otherwise unused. A small amount of land can go a long way, especially with intentional design. Growing vertically when possible could help substantially as well. If you have a solid circle of collaborators, different homes could focus on different plants/goods/services and everyone could reap the bounty of abundance together!
     
    I will suppress my every urge. But not this shameless plug:
    permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
    https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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