Most people associate homesteading with acreage, rural areas and plenty of space. And let’s not forget the dairy cow! But nowadays, there are homesteaders all over, from rural Texans to urban Manhattanites. Urban homesteaders have to be a bit more aware of rules than their rural counterparts, but other than that, there are so many possibilities!
Do you live in an apartment building with a shared-use yard? Or perhaps there is an abandoned plot somewhere in your neighborhood. How about the rooftop of your office building? Community gardens in your area?.
The point is, there is wasted space and homesteading opportunities around all of us just crying out for homesteaders to direct tender loving care onto them. Whether you own the land, rent it or take care of in exchange for growing rights…there are so many possibilities.
That said, trying to manage these projects alone can get a little overwhelming. Which is where the power of community comes into play.
That said, it can be REALLY hard to find a local community of like-minded homestead friends. Sure, there are more online homestead forums and Facebook groups than you can shake a fist at but it’s not always easy to determine who is close to where you live.
So what could you do with a local community? Here are five ideas!
1. Find a small plot of land (someone’s yard, rooftop, the side lawn of a local business/church, etc) and share the costs and energy to get it set up for a first-year garden. This can be A LOT of fun!
2. Organize a monthly get-together (or even weekly) to put together healthy from-scratch meals that can go into the freezer. This can be combined with a bulk order from your local farmer or online food provider.
3. Get together to pick berries at a local farm and then gather at a community member’s kitchen to make some jam together. Jam tastes even better when it has fun memories associated with it. Many farms will give you a bulk or pick-your-own discount.
4. Join forces to convince a local business to allow beehives on their rooftop or other available space. Become beekeepers together…share resources, knowledge and enjoy the honeyed fruits of your labor!
5. Buy bulk meat from a local farmer. Buying a half or whole animal translates to huge savings but can be difficult in urban kitchens with tiny freezers. Splitting up the purchase among your community is a great solution, and hey, if weekend BBQs with delicious, humanely raised meat pop up because of it, all the better!
Those are just a few ways to band together in your urban homesteading efforts.