Monday, September 21, 2009

Urban Homesteading

Ashes sent me a wiki entry on Homesteading-

"Currently the term 'homesteading'[1] applies to anyone who is a limb of the back-to-the-land movement and who chooses to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. A new movement, called 'urban homesteading', can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable and permaculture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living."

I think this is roughly my goal. I'd like to produce some of my own food, turn most of my yard into either a) gardening space for growing food or b) native plant areas that mimic (somewhat) what plants might naturally grow here. I also am trying to eat "seasonally" or with seasons in mind. Of course, that's not as easy as it sounds. It doesn't even sound easy! But here's some of the things I've been working on:
  • Trying to choose previously owned, sustainably-made or re-purposed furniture whenever possible. All that we bought new (furniture-wise) for this house was our bed frame and that was made by company that re-plants a tree for each one it uses, and uses parts of Rubber Trees that are going to be disposed of!
  • Shopping at the farmer's market, Ypsilanti Food Co-op, or Whole Foods/Trader Joe's. That's where I get 90% of our groceries
  • Canning and preserving food that is in-season now for the winter, when it will be unavailable
  • Had my own community garden plot this year!
  • I try to support local businesses whenever possible, whether its buying furniture, buying food, buying art, etc.
  • Hope to transform my yard and leave only about 20% grass. The rest will be raised-bed gardens and native plant areas!
  • 90% of the household products I buy (toilet-paper, cleaners, etc) are organic or non-toxic
  • Used No-VOC paint (FreshAire from Home Depot) on most of the new rooms we painted!
In general, I try run everything I buy by this test: Is it either local or environmentally friendly (it's hard to find both!)?

Anyway that was a rant! Just meant to post some pictures of our latest canning adventure: Butternut Squash soup, Apple and Ginger Marmalade, and Apple butter! Yum!


  1. hi :) share your apple butter recipe!

  2. I think you are one of the most interesting, open hearted, open minded, loyal, people I know. If everyone tried to be just a little like you in there every day walk, do you know what a great place we would live in. Thank you for being my friend these past couple of years. I wish we could see each other more, but thank you Arika!!