Monday, February 21, 2011

urban homesteading

I'm still not 100% done with the stairs to the carport, but they're fully functional and passed the elderly mother-in-law test. I still need to add more spindles to the railings, and some more lighting, but the stairs and railings are there.

Once that's done, I probably won't have as many DIY projects to blog about, so I plan to blog more about urban homesteading. I was inspired in part by Novella Carpenter here in Oakland, who wrote Farm City: the education of an urban farmer and runs Ghost Town Farm. I've also found inspiration from City Homestead here in Oakland. They don't have much in the way of an urban or city homestead yet, but they both feel strongly about local food and are taking steps in that direction. Quite a bit further along are my friends at Casa Decrepit in Alameda. They grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables, and have kept chickens for eggs for a number of years.

But the real inspiration of where to head is from Root Simple (formerly known as Homegrown Evolution) and authors of The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City. Back when I was first reading Farm City and started following various urban homesteading blogs, Root Simple was one of the first and best I came across. K didn't know I was following their blog at that point, but came home from a business trip with a book for me -- The Urban Homestead.

For me, it's not about saving money (though that's a bonus), it's about knowing where your food comes from. That's a large part of why I became a vegetarian over a decade ago -- the idea of factory farms and having no idea what's going into your food, and a process that's damaging the environment -- it's clearly not sustainable in the long run and not very healthy in the short run.