I’ve always been uneasy with the moniker “urban homestead.” It’s the title of our book (what else could we have called it?), but it’ not really accurate. The activities we describe are also practiced by suburbanites and people in rural places. And “homestead” is not technically accurate–all the readers of our book, I’m fairly certain, either own or rent their property. The term is also loaded with some not so nice cultural baggage as this blog post points out.
The earliest reference I can find to an “urban homestead” is a 1976 article in Mother Earth News describing Berkeley California’s Integral Urban House.
I’m fairly certain the term has caught on and is here to stay after discovering a Craigslist real estate listing in Livingston Montana using the term:
$269500 / 4br – Urban Homestead (524 S. 10th,)
It’s the best of both worlds…you can be self-reliant and live in town. Inside, this home features 3+ bedrooms, 2 baths, an office or hobby room, reading area, and large family room, plus cold-storage for canned goods. Outside, there are raised organic garden beds, a chicken coop, a koi pond and apple, cherry and plum trees for sustainable food production. There is an efficient furnace and a low-emissions woodstove for auxillary [sic] heat. This wonderful home is located across from the city water works park and just 2 blocks from schools, the clinic, Sacajawea Park and the Yellowstone River. This property is perfectly set up for those with a green thumb or those who wish to live a greener lifestyle! For more photos and a downloadable pdf brochure go to http://www.ecorealestatesource.com/urbanhomestead.pdf. Call Mary 406-599-9889 or Dixie 406-223-1225 to preview. MLS#168742 ”
Does the sofa double as a composting toilet?
O.K., I see a microwave, but where the hell is the pickle crock?
Can we keep the Buddha if we eat the koi?
If any of you buy it, I’ll throw in a free copy of our book but you gotta take down that Thomas Kinkade print.
Kidding aside, it’s kind of amazing to see a real estate agent touting a chicken coop rather than demanding it to be removed in order to sell the house. Maybe things have changed.