Sunday, February 5, 2012

Becoming an Urban Homesteader Series

Urban Homesteading Series #1

What is an urban homesteader?

The Dervaes family in California – home of the “” defines it as “Pioneering a journey towards self-sufficiency – one step at a time”.   The Dervaes have “transformed an ordinary city home into a productive city farm that produces over 6,000 pounds of organic food annually on 1/10 of an acre (66 x 132 foot lot) and provides other subsistence needs – with the goal of reducing their family’s environmental impact and returning to a home-based, family-centered and self-sufficient way of life”.  They also run a daily blog called “Little Homestead in the City”.   You can also find them on Youtube.   They are truly inspiring ! 

New trends shown in gardening magazines for 2012 include "urban homesteading".    For those who have been growing their vegetables in an urban setting, this will be old hat to you, but now has become “fashionable”.   Maybe now my neighbours won’t complain if I turn my front yard into a vegetable garden too.  There has been much media hype about the 100-mile diet and now it’s trendy to have your own 100-meter diet.   A couple years ago I started my own 100-foot diet – see my post on “Simple Gardening”.  

So what is an urban homestead?  It’s a home where self-sufficiency is practiced through growing their own food and storage, reducing their environmental impact, increase their self-sufficiency and living simply.   

In posts to come I will share my journey in becoming an urban homesteader.  But in the meantime, here's another short clip on backyard farming  which is also very inspiring and will get your ideas flowing on how you can city farm in your own urban backyard.


  1. So many people think that you have to have acres of land to be self-sustaining. But we grow almost all our own food on a regular lot (double). Just by eating vegan you don't need to have room for livestock. Although a lot of cities are now allowing chickens and rabbits. Only thing we don't grow is grains, but this year I'm giving hull less oats a try. Suppose we could grow more corn and use that for flour. Top bar bee keeping is easy and supplies sweetness. Sorry! This is a subject dear to my heart!

  2. I have been doing this for so long, that I just never thought to call it anything else but just simple living :-)

    It is amazing to me how trends tend to become fashionable when they have truly been around for years.

    As long as you grow what you know your family eats, and when you do not have the right conditions, become friends with the farmers and buy directly from them.


  3. I've been an Urba Homesteader for years and love it! My yard is about 1/12th of an acre and I'm 4 feet away from each of my neighbors (I can see into their houses from mine!).

    One tip - make friends with your local Councilman/Alderman and ask about waht the city codes are before you invest money and time in your "farmette". In Milwaukee where I am, beekeeping and chickens are prohibited, for example.

    If you're as on top of your neighbors as I am, you can bet they'll be nosing into what you're doing and they might "call City Hall on you". Boo!

    Best to you in your endeavour!

  4. I saw your blog post over at the Homestead Barn Hop. I've been wanting to grow some veggies in my backyard. It would have to be container gardening, because my area on the coast of California runs rampant with deer and the ground isn't good for that kind of thing..Do you know of a good website where I can found information about what grows in my area? In any case, I really admire people who grow their own food. It's amazing. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  5. This is my first time here! My wife and I started an Urban farm last year! I grew up on a 300 plus acre farm and missed it. So we started to use that which God gave us, our backyard in the little city! I will link you to my blog,! Thank you for sharing with us!


Pin it