Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is this Urban Homesteading movement catchy?

Bye Bye Grass - My "garden" last summer
Yes, I plowed up my new front and side yards this year for a massive garden, but I've been doing this kind of homesteading for decades.  What pricks my interest is the startling number of times I hear that people have started their first garden this year.  Seems gas and food prices and the recession has spurred many on.  The rising distrust of the whole BigAg food chain and its suspicious quality has some concerned enough to try gardening.  The paranoia of some podcasts and watching CNN is enough to get others prepared.

Yesterday was a big day though.  My new neighbors to the north converted their south faced dirt driveway into a raised bed garden.  That was not too surprising.  They have chickens and an intense personal and profession interest in creating local food agriculture.  The lady of that house works for the Arkansas Sustainability Network.

More surprising however, the family across the street had their gas motors going tilling up the grass front lawn.  Seems their foundation beds of tomatoes last year just weren't enough.  Now they have committed to the movement.  Lawn as farm; a wonderful aesthetic if I do say so myself.

The neighbors to the south were out working on decks and tree houses and trimming the trees to get more sun into their front herb beds and rear vegetable parterres.  The lady of the house repeats her chicken envy.  Maybe this year she will break down and go farm all the way.

The neighbor across the street and down a ways with the raised hoop beds was bringing in new compost and the lady of that household was over at my garden asking what was growing.  Another neighbor across the street was planting herbs in her newly landscaped front beds.  I know she harbors a permaculture forest garden in the rear of her house.

Dirt!  My garden with transplants and seeds started.
What's going on?  Can we really be seeing Urban Homesteading as a sustainable way of life taking hold?  Wouldn't that just be the ticket?  Growing and preserving and enjoying life right in our own community.  I can dream can't I?

Meanwhile, I plot along with my own land.  The picket fence is almost done.  The beds are made. What remains of the winter cover crops are flowering.  The seeds are planted.  The rabbits are kitting.  The chicks are chirping.  Our dog is nursing puppies. My persimmon tree is moved to its showy spot in front.  Now for those spring showers...


  1. Our neighborhood is dotted with front yard veggie gardens, including ours! This summer we'll expand our raised beds by 2 more in order to take better advantage of the full sun in the front yard. The backyard has too much shade and too many chickens for a vegetable garden to be successful.

    Congrats on the expanding garden & good works.


  2. Thanks Jenn! So glad to see gardening neighborhoods abound.