Finding an Urban Homestead on Craigslist

Backyard of the “Lee Street Homesteaders”

You know the urban homestead thing has caught on when the phrase shows up in a Craigslist rental ad:

Imagine… living at the edge of a city and at the edge of modern society. Growing your own food and medicine in your backyard. Raising poultry and harvesting your own eggs. Brewing your own beer and kombucha. Fermenting your own raw sauerkraut and pickles. And living within sight of and easy access to all the modern amenities of a chic urban wonderland. If this is your dream for your next home, look no further.

The Lee Street Organic Homestead is seeking a new partner in urban uprising. We’re looking for someone who wants a room and a little slice of the post-American dream. What we have to offer: a bright bedroom with a large walk-in closet for your personal space. A shared bathroom for your bathing needs. A large, well-stocked kitchen for your culinary pleasures. A comfortable living room with a record player instead of a television. A large garage bursting at the seams with all manner of bicycle fixin’s so that you never have to go to a shop again. And a sunny organic garden with a fire pit, compost, drip-irrigation, chickens, and fertile earth waiting for you to grow whatever you want. Other useful toys we have: a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a clothesline, a fireplace, a bread machine, a wireless router with smoking fast internet, and a deep-fryer (one of us is a southerner).

We are not a co-op – we cook our own meals and live our own busy lives, but we all pitch in to maintain our little homestead. If you don’t mind occasionally turning the garden water on, feeding the chickens, and turning the compost, then this could be beautiful. If you like to drink Budweiser and watch teevee at 3 a.m., well, you can do that in the comfort of your room.

Your roommates will be as follows: a 31 y.o. park ranger who inhabits the upstairs and likes to identify birds by ear and spot clean the floors, a 34 y.o. medic and bike mechanic who likes to brew beer, drink it, and then go on 300-mile rides, and a 30 y.o. outdoor educator who likes to pet her cat and sew up organic undies from reclaimed t-shirts. The last two will be your downstairs co-inhabitants and bathroom buddies.

We are an organic and natural household – meaning we avoid chemical cleaners, reuse, recycle and compost adamantly, and generally try to live easy on the earth. We are looking for a roommate who does the same. You rent will be $650 + utilities, which run from $30 – $60, depending on the season. The room will be available on April 1st.

So if you’re looking to live in Santa Cruz, CA it looks like you’ll have the three “Bs” taken care of: bikes, bird watching and beer. And kudos for the imaginative ad copy, not to mention of cats and organic undies.

I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this kind of informal but intentional housing as the great recession winds on. Not a bad idea to have roommates with skills!

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6 Comments

  1. This is awesome! It (almost) makes me wish I lived in Santa Cruz.
    My group house has a similar-sounding ad, though we’re not quite to that level yet. Soon – chickens may be on the way!

  2. Sounds a bit like us…but there are only two of us. No chemicals or pesticides. Organic material goes into the compost hole in the ground. Recycle everything we can. But that ad sounds pretty neat. I would think there are many people who want to live that way but are single and cant afford the place to do it.

  3. Check craigslist room listings for that area and he’s not out of line at all for the price.

    There are some of us who have been doing this for years but run under the radar as many municipalities forbid more than 4 un-related people living together.

    But room rental plus garden access and fruit tree pick’ens appeals to some.

    Irony: we put out a smaller garbage cart for almost double the number of people compared to most all of our neighbours. Compost and recycling does it.

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