I don’t know if you caught wind of the storm brewing lately in regards to those who embrace homesteading. I saw it myself last week and was absolutely flabbergasted. A well known family in California (The Dervaes) have decided to claim ownership of the term Urban Homestead(ing) and had it trademarked. Then they proceeded to send out letters to bloggers and even companies who used these terms or had them as part of their business name asking them to remove these references. Facebook pages for homestead groups and informational non-profits had their pages turned in for infringement and they were erased. This family insists that they are being vilified unfairly, yes several major newspapers and a myriad of homesteading bloggers have lambasted them, but in my opinion they are not. I myself was on the receiving end of one of their letters once and it was VERY clear that wanted me to stop using a term coined during war time America or credit them as the inspiration for my work OR face lawsuit. The response to crediting them was HELL NO. Urban Homesteading is a movement and it existed long before the Dervaes. That is why I am participating in the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action where we speak out about the fact that we ARE Urban Homesteaders and no other family, even if they do think they are the cat’s meow, gets to take credit for that.
In addition to talking about homesteading for years I would classify my husband and myself as urban homesteaders. We don’t butcher our own hogs or grow 7000 pounds of food in our backyard but we do what we can and what we can do increases with each year.
– We grow as much food as we can in the space we have. Last year that was tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. This year we hope to increase that x3 even though we technically have a smaller space to work with.
– We buy local. We support local growers and homesteaders by purchasing local grains, pastured eggs, milk, grass fed meat, honey, and other seasonal offerings. The farmer’s market is our second home!
– We make our own. I sew things for the home and my husband is also quite crafty. This year we plan to invest in wood working machinery so we can increase our self sufficiency. We also make our own yogurt, dairy and water kefir, sourdough, dried fruit, and bread. This year we plan to add more foods we have preserved, and make our own butter and buttermilk.
– We cook and we rarely eat out. Our weekly produce box is the basis of our meals for the entire week. This morning hubby is making breakfast while I prep dinner and throw it in the slow cooker.
– We compost indoors with worms so that we have no food waste.
– We use green cleaners (of our own making) for our home and we use natural body care products (sometimes making our own as well). We hope to make our own bar soap this year.
– We don’t have much land to call our own but we take care of it and try our best to live off of it.
I am an Urban Homesteader. How about you?
Monday, February 21st, 2011