An Old Idea Becomes New:
I always smile when I hear someone talk about the “new” Urban Farming Movement. The truth is…there has been urban farming as long as there have been cities. For most of human history, food had to be produced close to home. It is only in the last 100 years or so that the technology and infrastructure has been in place to allow us to regularly eat foods from 1000 or more miles away. This has given rise to a whole new system where food is created in factories and shipped to us in neat little packages. This food is very different from anything made at home and your great-grandmother probably wouldn’t recognize most of it.
Times, as they always do, are changing. We are realizing that this “Factory Food” isn’t good for us or our fragile world. Many are thinking about beginning the ancient practice of raising their own food, but many skills have been lost. It is our mission, through the miracle of modern communication, to help those who want to regain this knowledge. Let us help you combine the old with the new and build something better than both!
I grew up on a homesteaded ranch in Wyoming full of wide open spaces with only 2 television channels and no phone. I never would have believed I would be happy living in town. I went from a 7 acre homestead with horses, Jersey milk cows, and Shetland sheep to a small cottage only two blocks from the town square, with a two year stop off-grid in the woods in between. Despite my present location, I am determined to be as self reliant as possible. I believe it is thinking small that will save our world.
After nearly two years of living off grid in the woods, I came to the conclusion that it is definitely not an energy efficient or sustainable way to live. Everything had to be brought in and I was completely dependent on having a truck in good repair and enough money to fill its tank with fuel and put tires on if from the daily 100 mile drive I made to get to work. Having my vehicle break down would have been a disaster. As I watched fuel prices begin to rise after New Years and listened to predictions of 5 dollars a gallon by summer, I came to realize that I was actually less self-sufficient out there than I would be in town.
So I began my search for a new home and WeeHavyn came into my life. She is a 488 square foot older cottage that was newly moved to a three lot property. I get the charm of an old house with the advantages of new foundation, wiring, and plumbing. The price was right and I belong to her now. She has given me independence from my vehicle, a snug home, and the means to
pursue many of my dreams. I no longer work just to put fuel in the truck.
My dream is to take all of the things I learned from my life on the land and apply them to an urban setting. I still want to be self reliant. I still want fresh eggs, vegetables, milk, and cheese. I just need to learn to do it on a much smaller scale. My time out in the woods made me realize that living gently does not mean carving a homestead out of the little wilderness left to us. Rather, it is living within your means wherever you are.
WeeHavyn has gained another urban pioneer in Tony. He grew up in St. Louis and is a city boy through and through. A bit of a genius when it comes to building things, he handles the design and building aspect of our projects, while I generally come up with the concept. Tony has been a great help to me in understanding the challenge gaining this knowledge is for the average person who has never had much access to farm living. This makes me much better at helping others find their own urban homesteading dream.