The Very First Urban Homesteading Book

The urban homesteading shelf at your local bookstore, thanks to the great recession, sure has gotten crowded in recent years. There are many fine volumes now alongside our two books with a great diversity of authors opining on chicken coops, homemade soap and composting. This is a good thing–we need as many voices as possible. But there’s nothing new here. On a serendipitous trip to the library last week I stumbled across what must...

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Urban Homesteading Thing Catching On

I have a Google alert set up for the phrase “urban homestead”. Lately I’ve noticed more real estate and apartment listings using this phrase. Our neighbors Anne and Bill even used it to rent out their duplex. A rental listing that includes the photos in this post came from a real estate concern renting out an apartment in Edmonton, Canada. For $1,600 Canadian dollars a month you get:  hot water on demand system.  sunroom has...

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Casting out the lawn

...s. Thankfully there’s a growing awareness that our city’s negative spaces are in fact negative, that they contribute to blight, profligate use of resources and our general unhappiness. But a consciousness shift is underway led by forward thinking folks like the parishioners of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in West Los Angeles who have teamed up with the non-profit organization Urban Farming to rip up their entire 1,200 square foot so...

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Urban Permaculture Survey/Interview

Attention urban/suburban permaculturists. I’m writing an article for Urban Farm Magazine on “urban permaculture” and I need your help. I’ve created a survey/interview for the article: click here to take the Urban Farm permaculture article survey. Please forward this link/survey to all your permaculture friends–send it out far and wide–work that Facebook! If you’re critical of permaculture you are also w...

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Chicks, Mayonnaise and Personal Responsibility

...ctory sources. And yes, 99% of eggs you find will be from sketchy factory farms. 2) While you’re at it, do the same for all meat and dairy raised by sketchy producers, which again, is 99% of what you’ll find. Dumpsters full of newly hatched chicks are just the tip of the iceberg in the animal cruelty department. 3) Seek out small farmers who treat their animals with respect. You might find such people at your local farmers’ mark...

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Poultry Outlaws: Chicken Laws Around the U.S.

...aughter is forbidden. Detroit: Unlawful to own, harbor, keep, or maintain, sell, or transfer any farm animal on their premises or at a public place within the City. [Despite this, we hear tell that there is some pretty progressive urban farming going on in Detroit, including plenty of livestock.] Los Angeles: Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner’s residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling. Crowing fowl must be...

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Comrades

...Rant Gary Nabhan Green Roof Growers Grounded Design Heirloom Broccoli Hen Cam Holy Scrap Hot Springs I am Roger the Shrubber James Howard Kuntsler Kevin Kossowan LA Creek Freak LA Streetsblog Little House Living Lloyd’s Blog Low Tech Magazine LunaSol Farm Margie’s Garden Mikey Wally Milk Crate Digest Modern Cat Natural Building Blog Paleofuture Petaluma Urban Homestead Plants are the Strangest People Port Potager Poultry Bookstore Bl...

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How to Keep Skunks Out of the Yard

...k defenses held up, I scattered some flour around the gaps in the fence I had fixed. If skunks managed to get in they would leave tracks in the flour. Here’s what I discovered: My new skunk proofing was not keeping skunks out–it was keeping them in.  I found tracks in the flour on the inside of the fence where they were trying to get out. I also saw the skunk late at night. Understanding Urban Skunk Habitat In the wild skunks dig den...

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Resources

These are our favorite web resources on various topics, and books which you’ll find on our bookshelves: General Home Ec/Appropriate Tech/DIY Living Mother Earth News How to Homestead Backwoods Home Magazine  AfriGadget  The Urban Homestead Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World Radical Homemakers The Integral Urban House Made by Hand Farm City The Natural Kitchen Country Wisdom and Know-How Wendell Berry’s ess...

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Looking for the Union Label

...sed to describe a song stuck in your head. Our earworm came after a search for union made socks and underwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here). We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company called Union House which carries a functional, if unexciting line of apparel. Unless hipsters take to...

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