Friday, October 8, 2010

Urban Homesteading

I love goat milk. So do my kids.
I love gardening - I think I got that from my grandparents.
I love looking for unappreciated mushrooms/nut trees/fruit trees in random parks.
I love fresh eggs. Tastes WAY better than the store bought kind ---
I am contemplating a wood burning stove to heat my home while I cook on it...
Hey I just thought I was saving money-but wait- there's a name for this love??

Apprently, it's "urban homesteading".

I went to the local library with the kids, and picked up a few gardening books.
I was surprised to find a few books on urban homesteading in the same shelf.
Even more surprised to see chapters on raising chickens, and edible landscaping, honey bees and alternative energies.

It was a little bit like Harry Potter finding out he's not just a wierd kid, but that there's others much like him out there. Up until now, I'd just ramble my ideas/hopes/dreams to my friends and co-workers which would give me varied responses that ranged from nodding approval to a sideways glance. A quick search of Chicago and Urban Homesteading didn't bring up anything. Closest thing was a meetup group about permaculture.

I'll put those thoughts on the back burner for now...

On another note, I've found a landscaping company to work on the Edible front Yard I keep envisioning. The work starts in the fall, and we'll see what we get by Spring of 2011. I've always had a running battle with the thoughts of:

1- removing my lawn
2- contemplating an edible groundcover to take over my lawn
3- contemplating an actual edibles garden in maybe raised boxes...
4- mixing regular flowers w/edible flowers...
5- trying to accomplish this without being the neighborhood eyesore.

It's important to me to have a nice looking edible frontyard, because I know my neighbors will appreciate it, and it would really help the movement. Emphasize HELP THE MOVEMENT. Even win over some of the hard corest lawn lovers - if it just had some oompf of design to it.

As much as I am "yeah! You go girl/guy!" when I see a full on veggie patch in the frontyard, I know I will probably get lazy at some point, and it might look scraggly (Esp half the yard beign in the shade) so I think the best way is to have some nicely designed landscape that is using edible fruits/veg in a way that has people go:

first glance: what a beautiful house!
second glance: wait a second, is that a.... pepper? hey there's also an eggplant!

We'll see what happens, and I hope to have some pictures/video of this all happening.

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