All posts by Rebecca Odenkirk

Urban Homesteaders

Many people are looking for a simpler way of life. They want to be more self sufficient and to have a smaller environmental footprint. This is why we are seeing a growth of urban homesteaders.

This is an ever increasing trend. These enthusiasts change their urban lawns into urban micro farms. Back yards become animal pens and gardens. They raise chickens for meat, eggs and manure. Pygmy goats and dwarf rabbits can also be raised. Check your local government for city regulations on raising farm animals. Crops of fruits and vegetables are also grown.

Urban homesteaders must also learn to can, freeze, dehydrate, and ferment their produce to preserve it for future consumption. Excess produce may go to food co-ops and farmers markets.

Usually fruits, vegetables, and poultry are grown organically. This means that no chemical pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, growth hormones, or antibiotics are used. Urban homesteaders who grow organic gardens will use natural solutions for fertilizers and pest control. Rain water is collected and poultry, rabbit and goat manure becomes fertilizer. Most garden waste goes into compost bins to become soil amendments and mulch.

Solar and wind power are used and bio-diesel can be home brewed to fuel cars and home generators. Some homesteaders even sell energy back to the utility company. You will probably see laundry on the line, instead of using energy to run a clothes dryer. This is to save power, and front loading washers save water.

Fresh organic food and all of the hard work of farming, leads to healthier and happier lives. As a result, the cost for doctors and medicine is less.

Using green building designs is a common practice. These improvements may qualify for tax rebates. Having a green home and garden is good for you, your neighborhood, and your wallet.

Home grown food is less expensive than grocery store food. The use of alternative energy is much cheaper than public utilities, after the initial equipment cost, and has less impact on the environment.

The conserving and sharing of home grown food and energy is part of living the simpler and more self sufficient life of the urban homesteader.

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